Birmingham, 1963

Birmingham, 1963

It's 1963 and the Civil Rights movement has begun. A hopeful voice waits excitedly on her tenth birthday for her special moment. She's going to sing a solo at church that day. It's a day for white gloves with embroidered flowers and white patent leather shoes. "This little light of mind. I'm going to let it shine." This is 1963 and as the photographs that pair with the free verse text show, this is a time of anger and discrimination and unrest. A church waits quietly for Sunday services to begin. Then, moments later, as this innocent ten-year-old waits to sing, her palms clammy, a bundle of dynamite explodes and rips through the sixteenth Street Baptist Church leaving 21 people injured and four little girls, Addie Mae Collins, Cynthia Wesley, Denise McNair, and Carole Robertson, dead. Their photographs and short poetic testimonies to their lives finish out this poignant, heart-wrenching memorial.

40 pages 978-1590784402 Ages 9-13

Book Pairing: Pair this book with The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis

Recommended by: Barb Langridge,

******* A poetic tribute to the victims of the racially motivated church bombing that served as a seminal event in the struggle for civil rights. In 1963, the eyes of the world were on Birmingham, Alabama, a flashpoint for the civil rights movement. Birmingham was one of the most segregated cities in the United States. Civil rights demonstrators were met with police dogs and water cannons. On Sunday, September 15, 1963, members of the Ku Klux Klan planted sticks of dynamite at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, which served as a meeting place for civil rights organizers. The explosion killed four little girls. Their murders shocked the nation and turned the tide in the struggle for equality. A Jane Addams Children's Honor Book, here is a book that captures the heartbreak of that day, as seen through the eyes of a fictional witness. Archival photographs with poignant text written in free verse offer a powerful tribute to the young victims.--from the publisher

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