Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Boycott Blues

This wonderful picture book features a hound dog with a guitar for a narrator and tells the story of the 1955 bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama.  The text flows like a blues song and brings this important historical time to life because kids can't help but be pulled in. Focusing on this part of Rosa Park's story inspires us to really see how brave she was as well as all the people who carried on this life-changing boycott.  As a peaceful teacher it offers me the opportunity to speak of  non-violent protests on a grand scale.
The illustrations are very surreal, match the text so well and make you stop and really look. I love Brian Pinkney's artwork-Max found two sticks is one of my favorite picture books.

I read Boycott Blues today to fifth grade students as part of our ongoing history quest; most of them were mesmerized.  The few that weren't just can't seem to help themselves.  They understood the story enough to ask good questions before, during and after we read the book.  It's very beneficial to have books just like this in order to understand important moments in history better without being dry and wordy.
Boycott Blues; How Rosa Parks inspired a nation (2008)
illustrated by Brian Pinkney.  
5/5 peaceful stars

Click here for The Reading Tub's review.


Tina's Blog said...

This is one book that didn't go over well as a read aloud when I used it. The kids just couldn't get into the dog narrating it and when we talked about it at the end I felt like they totally didn't get anything I had just read.
I may have to try it again with a different group of kids.

Peaceful Reader said...

hmmm-my kids did question the whole dog as a narrator thing but they did get the story. I would say try it again!