Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks, who refused to move to the back of the bus, died last night at the age of 92.

Her life and quiet activism inspired many authors of children's literature as Parks' most famous act of defiance during the 1955-6 bus boycott in Montgomery, AL, is one that was not only an iconic act of resistance, but also one children can relate to easily.

Parks even wrote her own children's book I am Rosa Parks (Dial, 1997) and colaborated in another title called Dear Mrs. Parks: A Dialogue with Today's Youth with Gregory J. Reed (Lee & Low, 1997). In Dear Mrs. Parks, letters to Rosa Parks are included--letters she answers to today's children.

Other well-known titles about Parks include David A. Adler's A Picture Book of Rosa Parks, Faith Ringgold's If a Bus Could Talk: The Story of Rosa Parks, and Eloise Greenfield's Rosa Parks (Trophy Chapter Books). There also have been several easy-to-read biographies published about Parks.

ETA: Camille at BookMoot recommends Walking to the Bus-Rider Blues by Harriette Gillem Robinet, a novel told from the point of view of a young teen. Thanks, Camille! Some other titles of note are being mentioned by members of the child_lit listserv today, including: Nikki Giovanni's Rosa (ill. Bryan Collier).

ETA2: Cynthia Leitich Smith has recently published a short story, "Riding with Rosa," inspired by Rosa Parks in Cicada. (March/April 2005).

(Also, for a wonderful piece about Rosa Parks (by Daphne Muse) check out today's post at Read Roger.)

Do you have a favorite children's book about (or by) Parks?