Claudette Colvin: Book summary and reviews of Claudette Colvin by Phillip M Hoose

Claudette Colvin

Twice Toward Justice

By Phillip M Hoose

Claudette Colvin
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2009,
    144 pages.
    Age range: Children


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Book Summary

“When it comes to justice, there is no easy way to get it. You can’t sugarcoat it. You have to take a stand and say, ‘This is not right.’” – Claudette Colvin

On March 2, 1955, an impassioned teenager, fed up with the daily injustices of Jim Crow segregation, refused to give her seat to a white woman on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Instead of being celebrated as Rosa Parks would be just nine months later, fifteen-year-old Claudette Colvin found herself shunned by her classmates and dismissed by community leaders. Undaunted, a year later she dared to challenge segregation again as a key plaintiff in Browder v. Gayle, the landmark case that struck down the segregation laws of Montgomery and swept away the legal underpinnings of the Jim Crow South.

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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Book Awards

  • award image National Book Awards, 2009

Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review ...this inspiring title shows the incredible difference that a single young person can make, even as it demonstrates the multitude of interconnected lives that create and sustain a political movement." - Booklist

"Starred Review. [A]n outstanding choice for most collections. Grade 6 and up." - School Library Journal

"Starred Review. Hoose reasserts [Claudette Colvin's] place in history with this vivid and dramatic account, complemented with photographs, sidebars, and liberal excerpts from interviews conducted with Colvin." The Horn Book

"Hoose's evenhanded account investigates Colvin's motives and influences, and carefully establishes the historical context so that readers can appreciate both Colvin's maturity and bravery and the boycott leadership's pragmatism." - Publishers Weekly

"This fresh look at a well-documented period in American history will appeal to readers from young teens to adults." - VOYA

"Hoose’s book, based in part on interviews with Colvin and people who knew her - finally gives her the credit she deserves." - The New York Times Book Review

"Hoose makes the moments in Montgomery come alive, whether it's about Claudette's neighborhood, her attorneys, her pastor or all the different individuals in the civil rights movement who paths she crossed .... An engrossing read." - Chicago Tribune

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More Information

Phillip Hoose's distinguished nonfiction includes the National Book Award Finalist We Were There, Too!: Young People in U.S. History and The Race to Save the Lord God Bird, winner of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Nonfiction. He lives in Portland, Maine.

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