Nine months before Rosa Parks refused to give up her bus seat to a white passenger, 15-year-old Claudette Colvin was violently removed from a bus and held in jail. The NAACP, however, did not want a young and “emotional” teenager as the face of the bus boycott and a larger civil rights movement. Claudette Colvin: Twice For Justice (Farrar, Straus & Giroux, $19.95) by Phillip Hoose tells a fuller story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, providing an overview of history about life in Montgomery under Jim Crow, the state of mind of many black and white families at the time, and details about the lesser known figures involved in igniting America’s civil rights movement. Ages 12 up.
Ashley Bryan’s latest treasure, Words To My Life’s Song, (Atheneum, $18.99) is filled with his wisdom and art. Rich textures and strong contrasts enhance the parallel texts that trace Bryan’s childhood during the Great Depression and celebrate his current home on Maine’s Little Cranberry Island. Bryan has been cultivating creativity for decades and his life’s song is another reminder that “If you put art into the world, you get beauty in return.” Ages5 up.
Acclaimed author and illustrator, Don Brown’s latest biographical picture book, Teedie: The Story Of The Young Teddy Roosevelt (Houghton Mifflin, $16.00) is an inviting, warm-hearted introduction to the youngest elected president of the United States. Engaging pen, ink and watercolor illustrations capture the spirit of this frail, asthmatic and timid boy. Roosevelt’s father recognized his strong mind and determination and encouraged him to overcome his physical weaknesses. From Harvard graduate to cowboy to elected official, Roosevelt’s many remarkable accomplishments are brought to life in this finely crafted volume. Ages 4-8.