Synopses & Reviews
Nine-year-old Ron loves going to the Lake City Public Library to look through all the books on airplanes and flight. Today, Ron is ready to take out books by himself. But in the segregated world of South Carolina in the 1950s, Ron's obtaining his own library card is not just a small rite of passage — it is a young man's first courageous mission. Here is an inspiring story, based on Ron McNair's life, of how a little boy, future scientist, and Challenger astronaut desegregated his library through peaceful resistance.
"Deftly told and warmly illustrated, this fictional account of an incident in the Civil Rights-era childhood of Challenger astronaut Ron McNair tells a powerful story. Skipping breakfast, a doughnut and a basketball game with friends, nine-year-old Ron hurries to the public library, where he is warmly welcomed. After searching in vain for books about black children like himself, he selects books about airplanes, a recurring motif. An elderly white lady offers to check the books out for him, but Ron decides to do it on his own. It is only then that readers discover that only whites can take books out. In a painful illustration, Ron stands before the clerk, who ignores his request, her eyes downcast. Ron then leaps onto the desk and, with all eyes upon him, refuses to budge, even after the arrival of the police and his mother, until the librarian decides to break the law. Blue and Naden provide just enough text to let the story speak for itself; Tate's exaggerated, big heads are perfect for showing the strongly felt emotions of each character. A winner." Kirkus Reviews
"When nine-year-old Ron tries to take library books home instead of just looking at them, he knowingly challenges the rule that 'only white people can check out books.' The boy does not back down, even when his mother and the police arrive....An author's note explains that this is a fictionalized account of a real incident from the childhood of astronaut Ron McNair, who died in the 1986 Challenger explosion. This context lends power and poignancy to the event and adds to the book's value as an introduction and discussion starter for concepts of racism and individual courage. School Library Journal
Based on the life of Challenger astronaut Ron McNair, this inspiring book tells the story of how a determined African-American boy desegregated his town's public library though peaceful resistance. Full color.
About the Author
Corinne Naden has written many books for children. She lives in Westchester, New York and Sarasota, Florida.
Rose Blue had a long career as a writer and teacher. Ms. Blue died in 2004.
Don Tate is the award-winning illustrator of Summer Sun Risin', by W. Nikola-Lisa. He lives in Austin, Texas.