It’s Her Story: Rosa Parks


It’s Her Story: Rosa Parks recounts Rosa Parks’ life, from humble origins, to an act that would lead her to be declared ‘the Mother of the Civil Rights Movement.

In her early years, her grandfather separated her and her brother from playing with white children on their Alabama farm, fearful of reprisals. When Rosa went to school, it was a school for black children- ‘coloureds’- only. What’s more, even the public water fountains were segregated.

Although Rosa was able, her circumstances meant her academic promise at a Montgomery secondary school was stifled by the need for her to care for her grandmother. Yet she studied after hours, working as a seamstress, in order to graduate from High School. What’s more, she became interested in the Civil Rights’ movement, influenced by Raymond Parks, the man she would marry.

Yet Rosa’s interest became stronger; she elected to become one fo the first women to join the NAACP- the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured Peoples. Thereafter, when bus driver James F. Blake demanded she give up her  seat on the bus for a white man, she refused. When she was arrested for her action, the president of Rosa’s NAACP chapter hired a lawyer to fight her case.

On December 5th, 1955, Rosa was found guilty for her action, yet it inspired a boycott of bus travel in Montgomery by black and sympathetic citizens that lasted thirteen months. They demanded an end to ‘bus segregation‘.

The story and graphics are bright, engaging and astounding. We are awed by Rosa’s courage and then the bravery of others who took up her call. Rosa Parks’ story is important to each of us today as we consider how we might stand up for what we believe is fair. It’s My Story: Rosa Parks is recommended as a title to read and discuss at home, and then for school bookshelves, too.

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It’s Her Story: Rosa Parks

A Graphic Novel

Written by Lauren Burke, illustrated by Shane Clester

(Sunbird Books)– hardback

We learn about Rosa Parks through tagging along with a teacher and child at an exhibition. Thereafter, It’s Her Story: Rosa Parks. 
We learn of Rosa Parks’ early days, including her infant move to her grandparents’ Alabama farm and her segregated schooling. That difference extended into the duration of a school year, so that black children ‘went to school for only five months‘ of every year. It seems they were wanted for cotton picking in the remaining months.
Yet Rosa’s abilities meant her mother sent her to live with her aunt and uncle in Montgomery that she might achieve. Not only was Rosa the victim of racist abuse, however, but her white teachers too for choosing to teach in black schools. Although the need to care for her grandmother meant Rosa left school before she wanted to, she continued to learn actively, take up a job as a seamstress and learn about civl rights from the man she would marry. What’s more, she joined the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured Peoples, one of the first women to take that action.
Her determination led her to seek the right to vote, and thereafter stand up to James F. Blake, a racist bus driver. When their paths crossed a second time, Rosa Parks would make history
Like It’s Her Story: Marie Curie, readers are fully absorbed by this biography of such an important historical figure. What Rosa Parks did as explained and shown in this proud graphic novel, is remarkable; we feel shaken by her courage and ‘aloneness’. Bookwagon is proud to present It’s Her Story: Rosa Parks. We recommend this title for school bookshelves, and for reading and talking about at home.


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