Monday, August 29, 2011

Sit -- and take a stand!

I’m glad that Viola Desmond won’t be budged! by Jody Nyasha Warner and Richard Rudnicki (971.6 WaV 2010) PIC BK) was waiting for me to preview on the new book cart. I’m glad because for whatever reason, this summer I’ve read a number of books about African-Americans and the Civil Rights movement in the United States. I love history but I can’t say that I go out of my way to read about American history. (Must have something to do with over exposure to the US and under representation of Canadian content. Maybe.)

But there have been several fiction and nonfiction books written recently that are really strong in the way they tell the ‘story’ of the people involved in the American Civil Rights Movement that have appealed to me. Books like Through my eyes by Ruby Bridges (379.263 BrT 1999 PIC BK), Claudette Colvin by Phillip Hoose (323.1196 HoC 2009), Sit-in by Andrea Davis Pinkney (323.1196 PiS 2010), A Sweet smell of roses by Angela Johnson , A Taste of colored water by Matt Faulkner, and One crazy summer by Rita Williams-Garcia (823 W6755O FIC).

They called themselves the KKK by Susan Campbell Bartoletti (322.42 BaT 2010) has also been brilliant to listen to as an audio book (read by Dion Graham) and gave me a lot of background information into race relations in the US. I would still recommend the book version as well, just for the illustrations and photos. Many primary documents are replicated which will work well in social studies classrooms and shouldn’t be missed.

So reading Viola Desmond won’t be budged! was timely. Finally, some Canadian history about Black Canadians and their struggle for equality.

In 1946, Viola Desmond went to watch a movie at the Roseland Theatre in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. After purchasing her ticket, she found a seat but was quickly told that her ‘cheap’ ticket meant she had to sit upstairs not on the main floor. Her willingness to pay the difference, so she could sit where she wanted, made no difference as it became clear she was being asked to move because she was Black. Viola, refusing to move, was subsequently dragged off to spend the night in jail  and was fined the next day in court. The charge was for tax evasion of one cent. The Nova Scotia Association for the Advancement of Coloured People tried to appeal her conviction but, due to a technicality, failed. This is the story of a strong woman taking a stand for change.

For additional resources related to the civil rights movement in Canadian go to this earlier posting.

Today is Nonfiction Monday being hosted by Capstone Connect.  Check out other blogs that focus on nonfiction children's literature.


GatheringBooks said...

Oh this is very very interesting. I've seen this picture book around in our library and I think I should borrow it as soon as I am able. I didn't know that this has something to do with Canadian history though. We at Gatheringbooks are also participating in the PoC (Persons of Color) Reading Challenge and I think that this would be perfect for that. Kind of reminds me as well of our recent review of Rosa. ;-) It would be good to link both. Thank you for such a thorough review, Tammy.

The Swimmer Writer said...

Thanks for the information. I am very interested in Black Canadiana.
In fact I tried to sell an article to a magazine in the US about the Black settlement in Amber Valley but they weren't interested. What's your advice on finding suitable Canadian magazines for this?
Many thanks

Tammy Flanders said...

Your welcome, Myra. I did see parallels between Viola Desmond and Rosa Parks. Thanks for stopping by.

Tammy Flanders said...

Hi Swimmer-Writer.
Not knowing much about your question about publishing an article in a Canadian magazine about Amber Valley, I asked the director of the Doucette Library. She loves her history and such enough came up with this journal. Maybe check out Legacy ( to see if there's something here for you.
Thanks for stopping by.

Jeff Barger said...

Tammy, this would be a good book for me to use. I don't think students understand that the fight for racial equality takes place in many areas of the world. I could contrast it with some of the books you mentioned. Thank you for posting this review.

Tammy Flanders said...

Thanks, Jeff. I appreciate you stopping by. The topic of equal rights is a fascinating one and still relevant.

Anonymous said...

Hello Tammy!

(Sorry to put this in a comment, I could not find an email anywhere on your site)

My name is Stacie Grissom and I have been looking around your blog a bit-- I am so happy to have found such a creative and inspirational resource for librarians, teachers, parents and kids. Your posts are always so well-written and I love how you cater book lists to kids to teach them about tough subjects or to explain something relevant going on in the world. I also really like how you are using your blog to help others become more passionate about reading. As a kid I always loved reading, I actually was grounded from reading a few times because I wasn't doing my chores!
I am writing to you because I am a new writer at Affordable Style and I have been creating this section on kids and glasses. I also have a roundup of books pertaining to kids and glasses to help kids adjust to wearing their glasses. If it is not too much trouble, I am hoping to have your input on what you think of the page found here:

I truly, truly, welcome any suggestions you have (because I am so new at this!) and if you like the information on my page, I would love to write a book roundup guest post on your blog or have a link so that your readers can have access to the information I have collected. Also, if you have anything to add, I would love to add it.

Thank you so much for your time and I look forward to hearing from you! If you are interested in adding to the list or posting on our blog, please let me know! My email address is

Have a great day!

Best Wishes,

Stacie Grissom
One Click Ventures

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