Coverart for item
The Resource Back of the bus, Aaron Reynolds ; illustrated by Floyd Cooper

Back of the bus, Aaron Reynolds ; illustrated by Floyd Cooper

Label
Back of the bus
Title
Back of the bus
Statement of responsibility
Aaron Reynolds ; illustrated by Floyd Cooper
Creator
Contributor
Illustrator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
From the back of the bus, an African American child watches the arrest of Rosa Parks
Writing style
Illustration
Award
ALA Notable Children's Book, 2011
Review
  • Gr. 1-3 Rosa Parks’ defiant December 1955 confrontation on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama, is told from the fictionalized viewpoint of a child who is there. In free verse, he describes riding the bus with his mama (“We’re sittin’ right there where we’re supposed to— / way in back”) and rolling a marble down the aisle to the front, where smiling Mrs. Parks rolls it back to him. Then, as people pile on the bus, the driver tells Parks to move to the back. She refuses, and the driver calls the police. The boy “knows . . . she don’t belong up front like that, but then he realizes “maybe she does too.” The child’s innocent viewpoint personalizes the well-known historical event, while Cooper’s oil paintings, expertly rendered in his signature “subtractive” style, show the crowded bus as well as stunning portraits of Parks, the driver, the boy, and his mother as they decide that they are “not gonna hide no more.” -- Rochman, Hazel (Reviewed 02-01-2010) (Booklist, vol 106, number 11, p62)
  • Gr 2–4— Cooper's illustrations are the strongest aspect of this book, a fictional accounting of Parks's famous refusal to give up her seat, as told from the viewpoint of a little boy on the bus. Reynolds writes in free verse that is a tad overdone with Southern dialect, and the colloquialisms ("crammed like lima beans" and "sittin'…like a turnip pile") are a stretch. Cooper's work, however, is powerful for its subtlety; he has incorporated the likenesses of a couple of high-profile civil rights activists in the crowd of passengers on the bus, symbolizing the continuum of mighty figures that began with the petite woman. One of the most powerful images is that of Parks by herself; Cooper has captured her resoluteness simply in the proud jut of her chin. Problematic styling aside, Reynolds does a satisfactory job of capturing a turning point in our nation's history from an anonymous but vital perspective. Coupled with Cooper's rich paintings, this is a noteworthy reflection on the actions of a single individual in turning the tide of segregation.—Alyson Low, Fayetteville Public Library, AR --Alyson Low (Reviewed February 1, 2010) (School Library Journal, vol 56, issue 2, p92)
  • /* Starred Review */ This sterling collaboration views Rosa Parks's 1955 refusal to give up her bus seat through the eyes of a perceptive boy seated with his mother in the rear of the bus. Early on, the child rolls a treasured marble up the aisle and Parks good-naturedly shoots it back to him. He tucks the marble safely away when the bus fills with passengers and he senses trouble up front: “Some folks look back, givin' us angry eyes. 'We do somethin' wrong, Mama?' I say all soft.” Reynolds's (Superhero School ) lyrical yet forceful text conveys the narrator's apprehension and Parks's calm resolve, which inspires the boy. “[S]he's sittin' right there, her eyes all fierce like a lightnin' storm, like maybe she does belong up there. And I start thinkin' maybe she does too.” Cooper's (Willie and the All-Stars ) filmy oil paintings are characterized by a fine mistlike texture, which results in warm, lifelike portraits that convincingly evoke the era, the intense emotional pitch of this incident, and the everyday heroism it embodied. Ages 6–8. (Jan.) --Staff (Reviewed December 7, 2009) (Publishers Weekly, vol 256, issue 49, p48)
  • A child's-eye view of the day Rosa Parks would not give up her seat. On Dec. 1, 1955 in Montgomery, Ala., a boy and his mom sit at the back of the bus, and he amuses himself by rolling his tiger's-eye marble down the bus aisle. "Mrs. Parks from the tailor shop" rolls it back to him. Soon the bus is packed, but it does not move. The boy, acutely sensitive to the tone of his mother's and the driver's voices, wonders what is happening, but he sees that, like his mama, Parks has her "strong chin." She's taken away, the bus goes home and the boy holds his brown-and-golden marble to the light, thinking he does not have to hide it anymore. The language is rhythmic and inflected with dropped gs, with slightly overdone description, but clearly explains to very young children Parks's refusal to give up her seat at the front of the bus to a white man. Cooper uses his "subtractive method" on oil color, in which illustrations are rubbed out or lightened, making the pictures glow with burnished grace. (Picture book. 5-9) (Kirkus Reviews, November 15, 2009)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
342827
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1970-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Reynolds, Aaron
Dewey number
[E]
Illustrations
illustrations
Index
no index present
LC call number
PZ7.R33213
LC item number
Bac 2010
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 2
  • 4
http://library.link/vocab/relatedWorkOrContributorName
Cooper, Floyd
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Parks, Rosa
  • Segregation in transportation
  • Civil rights movements
  • Race relations
  • African Americans
Target audience
primary
Label
Back of the bus, Aaron Reynolds ; illustrated by Floyd Cooper
Instantiates
Publication
Control code
ocn231834077
Dimensions
24 x 28 cm.
Extent
1 v. (unpaged)
Isbn
9780399250910
Lccn
2008018109
Other physical details
col. ill.
System control number
(OCoLC)231834077
Label
Back of the bus, Aaron Reynolds ; illustrated by Floyd Cooper
Publication
Control code
ocn231834077
Dimensions
24 x 28 cm.
Extent
1 v. (unpaged)
Isbn
9780399250910
Lccn
2008018109
Other physical details
col. ill.
System control number
(OCoLC)231834077

Library Locations

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      600 South Main St, Greenwood, SC, 29646, US
      34.186730 -82.16004
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      600 South Main St, Greenwood, SC, 29646, US
      34.186730 -82.16004
    • Ninety Six Branch LibraryBorrow it
      100 S Cambridge St, Ninety Six, SC, 29666, US
      34.174134 -82.024332
    • Ware Shoals Community LibraryBorrow it
      54 S Greenwood Ave, Ware Shoals, SC, 29692, US
      34.393542 -82.239071
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