Boycott Blues: How Rosa Parks Inspired a Nation (Book Review)


Title: Boycott Blues: How Rosa Parks Inspired a Nation

Author: Andrea Davis Pinkney

Illustrator: Brian Pinkney

Age Range: 4-8 years


The story of Rosa Parks and her contributions to the Montgomery Bus Boycott is a lesson typically taught in schools. While the facts are unchanging, Boycott Blues finds a unique perspective from which to tell the tale.  Jim Crow is described as a living being with bony wings that flies in to overwhelm everyone with his darkness.  Jim Crow goes peck, peck, peck when he wants to make his presence known.  Throughout the trying, year-long boycott of the bus system, the citizens never gave into the blues that threatened to hold them down.  Instead, they continued to walk, bike, and carpool to their destinations. They ignored the darkness of Jim Crow and focused on the light that equal rights would bring to their lives.


The poetic language of Boycott Blues is certain to capture your young readers.  The illustrations, with its deliberate brushstrokes and intense use of color, can almost covey the story without words. Overall, it’s a fresh take on a topic that is frequently covered during Black History Month. Be sure to add it to your list!

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