Viola Desmond Won't Be Budged!

Jody Nyasha Warner, illus. by Richard Rudnicki, Groundwood (PGW, dist.), $18.95 (32p) ISBN 978-0-88899-779-1
Years before Rosa Parks's act of civil disobedience, Viola Desmond refused to give up her seat in a movie theater in Nova Scotia. Dragged out of the theater, sent to jail, and charged a fine, Viola returned home and shared her experience with her community, who fought (unsuccessfully) to appeal her case. Debut author Warner's conversational prose is message-driven ("They took Viola to jail. Can you believe it?") while Rudnicki's illustrations, in bright shades of green, red, and orange, are dramatic, if sometimes garish. An appended section on African-Canadian history provides additional background; Desmond's story should prove eye-opening to readers whose civil rights references are limited to American figures. Ages 5–9. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/11/2010
Release date: 11/01/2010
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