Synopses & Reviews
Our nation was founded on the belief that all men are created equal. Nearly two hundred years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, slavery had been abolished but America was still segregated.
Then: Enter the students who marched into the first desegregated school, the passengers who boycotted the buses, and the leaders who stood up and spoke out. When they started, it was all just a dream....
Through striking, powerful verse and gorgeous, detailed illustrations, this is the dream catalogs the American experience before, during, and after the civil rights movement. Come along on this incredible journey, and see how far we've come in attaining freedom and justice for all.
"Ransome (Satchel Paige) creates a striking juxtaposition of closely focused paintings and collage borders incorporating powerful historical photographs. These images will make a strong impression on readers of this expository chronicle of events preceding, during and following the civil rights movement, as Ransome's artwork makes large ideas comprehensible through visual details. The singsong rhythm and 'House-that-Jack-Built' meter creates a chilling contrast to what's going on between the lines: 'These are the buses a dime buys a ride, but the people are sorted by color inside.' Ransome shows the demarcation of the bus's white and black sections, and in a border across the top creates a collage of stirring portraits. Text and artwork similarly depict segrgated lunch counters, libraries and schools. One of the most powerful spreads portrays three black children stepping into a newly integrated school ('These are the students who step through the doors/ where people of color have not walked before'), Confederate flags flying, while a photocollage on the top edge shows the fractured images of angry white bystanders, effectively emulating a mob mentality. Concluding spreads demonstrate the contrast today, with images of a multiracial array of people waiting to use the same drinking fountain and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in one voice at school. This will provide a solid springboard for adult-child discussions, especially since younger readers might need help deciphering some of the poetic narrative's references. All ages." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"[T]his book honors our humanity while leading readers through a painful history." School Library Journal
"[E]ven children unfamiliar with the struggle's origins and landmark events will come away with profound appreciation for its nonviolent methods." Kirkus Review
"The rhythmic verse tells the story of the civil rights struggle with simplicity and power, while the images bring the concepts home in a way that children will see and feel. An excellent resource for discussing the changes of the civil rights era as they benefit all Americans." Booklist
In this powerful tribute to the civil rights movement, Shore and Alexander present inspiring, rousing text that commemorates the American experience before, during, and after the movement.
About the Author
Children's author and storyteller, Diane Z. Shore says her favorite thing about writing for children is meeting the kids. She writes picture books, early reader chapter books, poetry, short stories, games/puzzle pages, and non-fiction.
“Humorous stories and non-fiction are my favorite things to write," says Diane.
Her work has been published in a variety of magazines including Highlights for Children, Cricket, Spider, Ladybug, Humpty Dumpty, Jack & Jill, Turtle, Children's Playmate, Boys' Quest, and various teaching magazines.
Her poetry has won national awards and has appeared in several anthologies, including Miles of Smiles, If Kids Ruled the School, and Rolling in the Aisles. Her nonfiction piece"Presidential Dentures" was awarded the 2002 History Feature of the Year Award given by Highlights Magazine. Diane’s award-winning books include This is the Dream, illustrated by James Ransome, This Is the Feast (HarperCollins), illustrated by Megan Lloyd, Bus-A-Saurus Bop, (Bloomsbury) illustrated by David Clark, Look Both Ways (Bloomsbury), illustrated by Teri Weidner, Rosa Loves to Read (Scholastic), illustrated by Larry Day andHow To Drive Your Sister Crazy (I Can Read! Level 2, HarperCollins), illustrated by Laura Rankin, inspired by and written for reluctant readers.
Diane lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with her husband and two children, Jennifer and Sam. Scampering about the house are Skruffy, a Jack Russell Terrier who holds the record for most bad hair days, and Punkin’, an orange tabby. Diane says her family, including Skruffy and Punkin’, have inspired her writing, but she adds, “The kids I meet at schools inspire me the most!” To find out more about Diane, visit her at www.dianezshore.com.