cover image A Ride to Remember: A Civil Rights Story

A Ride to Remember: A Civil Rights Story

Sharon Langley and Amy Nathan, illus. by Floyd Cooper. Abrams, $18.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4197-3685-8

Like many children, Sharon Langley took her first carousel ride supported by a parent’s steadying hand. But Langley’s August 1963 ride, a month before her first birthday, was also a landmark: the culmination of a sustained civil rights struggle to integrate the Gwynn Oak Amusement Park in Baltimore. Framed as a conversation between Langley and her parents, the story recalls the sustained efforts of people working together that made Langley’s ride possible. The structure of the carousel itself becomes an unexpected metaphor: “Nobody first and nobody last, everyone equal, having fun together.” Cooper’s richly textured illustrations, made using oil erasure on illustration board, evoke sepia photographs’ dreamlike combination of distance and immediacy, complementing the aura of reminiscence that permeates Langley and Nathan’s narrative. Robust supplemental information includes a bibliography, timeline, a note from Langley, and information about the carousel, which is now situated at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Ages 6–9. [em](Jan.) [/em]