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Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice (2009)

by Phillip Hoose

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,18120615,140 (4.46)27
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 27 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 206 (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 |
"Claudette Colvin’s story will be new to most readers. A teenager in the 1950s, Colvin was the first African-American to refuse to give up her seat on the bus in Montgomery, Ala. Although she later participated with four other women in the court case that effectively ended segregated bus service, it is Rosa Parks’s action that became the celebrated event of the bus boycott. Hoose’s frank examination of Colvin’s life includes sizable passages in her own words, allowing readers to learn about the events of the time from a unique and personal perspective. The sequence of events unfolds clearly, with its large cast of characters distinctly delineated. Period photographs and reprints of newspaper articles effectively evoke the tenor of the times. Both Colvin and the author speculate that it was Colvin’s unplanned (and unwed) pregnancy that prevented her from being embraced as the face of the Civil Rights movement. Her commitment to combating injustice, however, was unaffected, and she remains an inspiring figure whom contemporary readers will be pleased to discover. (notes, bibliography, index)" From Kirkus Reviews www.kirkusreviews.com
  CDJLibrary | Jan 27, 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 |
Showing 1-5 of 206 (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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