edited by
Joyce Carol Thomas, illustrated by
Curtis James

Teacher's Guide available

Jump at the Sun, 2003
ISBN 0-7868-0821-7

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The Brown v. Board of Education Decision

When the Supreme Court decision to desegregate public schools was handed down in 1954, the course of American history was forever changed.

Here are personal reflections, stories, and poems from ten of today's most accomplished writers for children, all young people themselves at the time of the Brown v. Board of Education decision.

Included are Michael Cart, Jean Craighead George, Eloise Greenfield, Lois Lowry, Katherine Paterson, Ishmael Reed, Jerry Spinelli, Quincy Troupe, Joyce Carol Thomas, and Leona Nicholas Welch.

With a compelling introduction by editor Joyce Carol Thomas and stunning pastel artwork by Curtis E. James, this collection celebrates the hard-earned promise of equality in education.


... selections, such as Joyce Carol Thomas' poem "Stormy Weather" and Quincy Troupe's challenging essay "St. Louis," speak powerfully about the searing discrimination that blacks have suffered. Others, such as Jean Craighead George's "The Awakening," talk about "white blindness": "I was as slow to see this injustice as a bear awakening from hibernation."

Gillian Engberg

Publishers Weekly:

To mark the 50th anniversary of the pivotal 1954 Supreme Court ruling, Thomas (I Have Heard of a Land) gathers candid writing by 10 authors who collectively lay bare the profound, complex consequences of the decision. Their personal reminiscences capture a spectrum of powerfully expressed emotions, chief among them anger at the injustice they experienced or witnessed, regret and even shame at having felt hopeless to change the same or being blind to its prevalence. Jerry Spinelli poignantly recounts his friendship with the African-American neighbor he met in the summer of 1954, as they were both about to enter fifth grade.... Thomas's own poem takes one man's act of prejudice against her family and transforms it into a spiritual experience for all present. Ages 10-up.

Kate Tuttle, Africana.com:

May 17th marks the 50th anniversary of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision, which struck down legalized segregation in the nation's public schoolsand, by extension, its other public places. At the time, most folks, black and white, regarded the ruling as a cataclysmic event, a life-changing moment after which everything must be different. Well, they were right and they were wrong ... increasingly, a black middle class grows and expands on the increased educational opportunities and increasingly open economic landscape.

A Junior Library Guild book!

2003 Kirkus ReviewsEditors' Choice

2003 BookViewTop 3 Recommended Books for Children

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