Because Claudette

Tracey Baptiste, illus. by Tonya Engel. Dial, $17.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-593-32640-4
Emphasizing cause and effect, Baptiste follows activist Claudette Colvin (b. 1939), who, at age 15, refused to relinquish her bus seat for a white person. After her arrest, she met Rosa Parks thanks to her lawyer, Fred Gray; subsequently, Colvin began attending NAACP meetings. Featuring the word because in most clauses, the text highlights mounting support for the civil rights movement, and how Colvin’s actions helped lead to the Montgomery bus boycott. “Because she had studied Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass at school, she learned how they worked hard and caused trouble so Black people would be treated fairly,” one spread reads, richly enlivened by Engel’s portraits, rendered in acrylic underpainting and oils on textured vellum paper. A powerful narrative that showcases generative energy of acts of resistance both big and small. Back matter includes an author’s note and further reading. Ages 6–8. (Jan.)
Reviewed on : 11/24/2021
Release date: 01/18/2022
Genre: Children's
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