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Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice (2009)

by Phillip Hoose

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,01020515,647 (4.45)26
Based on extensive interviews with Claudette Colvin and many others, Phillip Hoose presents the first in-depth account of an important yet largely unknown civil rights figure, skillfully weaving her dramatic story into the fabric of the historic Montgomery bus boycott and court case that would change the course of American history.… (more)

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» See also 26 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 205 (next | show all)
Nine months before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat, a teenage girl in Alabama was dragged o to jail for refusing to get up for a white woman on a bus. But that young girl, deemed an un t role model for the civil rights movement, was shunned and isolated
  NCSS | Jul 23, 2021 |
The story of Claudette Colvin, a teenager who refused to give up her seat to a white woman on a Birmingham bus almost a year before Rosa Parks made headlines for the same thing, is especially poignant in our troubled times. The descriptions of what black people had to deal with on the bus system in Birmingham, as well as what people (even the police) did to boycotters and those who supported them and testified in court about the boycotts is horrifying.

The narrator of this book was very good, and did a great job of differentiating Claudette's voice from the others quoted in the book and the narrative of the book. ( )
  ssperson | Apr 3, 2021 |
This poignant linear biography of Claudette Colvin contains a mountain of primary source material including interviews by the author with Claudette. The index in the back is vast and the author has listed several .org and .edu websites readers can use to seek additional information.
The author, Phillip Hoose, has written several award-winning non-fiction books for young adults and achieved a beautiful tribute with this biography. The author does a wonderful job painting a picture of life as an African American during this time period to help the reader relate to Claudette's frustration and eventual fury. In addition to the bibliography, the author also has helpful sidenotes along the way to help fill in some of the blanks for students who have not yet studied the Jim Crow South.
Claudette Colvin played an early role in the fight against Jim Crow segregation in the South, and particularly her home town of Montgomery Alabama. She was at the forefront of the bus boycotts, before Rosa Parks. Unlike Rosa Parks, Claudette Colvin was admonished for her efforts by her classmates, neighbors, and community.
Claudette's refusal to give up her seat to a white woman set a precedent. No one else had stood up to Montgomery's 'whiteness' in such a way and her fellow African Americans were unprepared to process the event. Initially, it seemed the community thought of her as a hero but later when she unsuccessfully appealed her conviction to a higher court people began to turn on her.
It wasn't until nine months later, when Rosa Parks was hand-picked for the assignment, that refusing to give up her seat galvanized the African Americans of Montgomery.
When fighting for Civil Rights, community leaders had to think ahead about the consequences when the battle began. They chose certain people to be the public faces in the fight to end segregation because their characters were infallible and would stand up to the criticism, legal battles, and scrutiny. I am not insinuating that Claudette's character was in question, but she was quite young and while she was seriously considered by local groups to be the catalyst for the bus boycott, they felt her poverty, broken family, and legal record might portray her in a negative light.
Thankfully, Claudette was among those brave enough to sue for their constitutional rights in the case Browder V. Gayle which they won. Time has a funny way of becoming distorted and while Rosa Parks has often been the focus of classroom discussions regarding Civil Rights, more historians are doing their due diligence and uncovering brilliant stories of bravery and change like that of Claudette Colvin. ( )
  JSkoros | Apr 2, 2019 |
This is a true story about a teenaged girl named Claudette Colvin who did not give up her front seat on a segregated city bus to a white woman in Montgomery, Alabama. Instead of being celebrated like Rosa Parks, her classmates dissed her and was found dismissed by community leaders. About a year later though, Claudette wanted to "challenge" segregation again as a key plaintiff in Browder V. Gayle. That is the landmark case that erased the legal underpinnings of the Jim Crow South and struck segregation in Montgomery.
I liked this book because it was such a dramatic story about a real Montgomery Bus Boycott and a court case in Alabama that changed American history. The fact that this was a true story was pretty inspiring, especially because Claudette Colvin was only fifteen years old when she refused to give up her seat because she felt that it was the right thing to do. Which I can strongly agree on. I admire Claudette's strength throughout the book and I hope that when I grow up to be fifteen years old I can be as brave as her. This novel definitely deserves a five- star! ( )
  Hannah.b3 | May 31, 2018 |
This is the story of an unsung hero of the American Civil Rights Movement. As a 15 year old girl, Claudette Colvin refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus to a white woman when ordered to do so by the bus driver. She did this months before Rosa Parks did. Claudette was also one of 4 named plaintiffs in the landmark Browder vs. Gayle case which ruled in Federal Court that Montgomery's bus segregation laws were unconstitutional.
This book illustrates why it is important to study history thoroughly and completely. Her story would have been lost to time if not for the diligent efforts of a few people mainly Hoose himself. Speaking of Phillip Hoose, I find his resume intriguing. He was educated at Indiana University and Yale's school of forestry. He has also been a children's author as well as a performing musician. This eclectic life tells me that he has seen and done LIFE. This gives a huge amount of credibility to his writing.
The book is accessible in that it provides definitions for legal terms and context in which they are used. I have the electronic version so, the bibliography is very easy to use. It also gives a specific section for websites which the reader can use for further research. The author then goes on to give an account of the whole process by which he wrote the book thus adding to his credibility. It also brings transparency to the writing process which makes it an excellent educational tool for aspiring writers.
I have very few critiques. One is the organization of the narrative. The switching from Claudette's point of view to a sort of second/third person mish mash was at times, confusing. The other is that for this topic, I wish there had been more pictures. There were a good many, but I wish there had been more.
This book will be assigned as a historical biography for my American History students covering the Civil Rights movement both for the narrative it tells and the historical context as well as the insight on the writing process in general. ( )
  jcbarr | Apr 10, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 205 (next | show all)
Today, thanks to Hoose, a new generation of girls – and boys – can add Claudette Colvin to their list of heroines.

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Phillip Hooseprimary authorall editionscalculated
Buzzard, MadelynNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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Based on extensive interviews with Claudette Colvin and many others, Phillip Hoose presents the first in-depth account of an important yet largely unknown civil rights figure, skillfully weaving her dramatic story into the fabric of the historic Montgomery bus boycott and court case that would change the course of American history.

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