Read Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip M. Hoose Online


“When it comes to justice, there is no easy way to get it. You can’t sugarcoat it. You have to take a stand and say, ‘This is not right.’” – Claudette Colvin On March 2, 1955, an impassioned teenager, fed up with the daily injustices of Jim Crow segregation, refused to give her seat to a white woman on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Instead of being celebrated a“When it comes to justice, there is no easy way to get it. You can’t sugarcoat it. You have to take a stand and say, ‘This is not right.’” – Claudette Colvin On March 2, 1955, an impassioned teenager, fed up with the daily injustices of Jim Crow segregation, refused to give her seat to a white woman on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Instead of being celebrated as Rosa Parks would be just nine months later, fifteen-year-old Claudette Colvin found herself shunned by her classmates and dismissed by community leaders. Undaunted, a year later she dared to challenge segregation again as a key plaintiff in Browder v. Gayle, the landmark case that struck down the segregation laws of Montgomery and swept away the legal underpinnings of the Jim Crow South. Based on extensive interviews with Claudette Colvin and many others, Phillip Hoose presents the first in-depth account of an important yet largely unknown civil rights figure, skillfully weaving her dramatic story into the fabric of the historic Montgomery bus boycott and court case that would change the course of American history....

Title : Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice
Author :
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ISBN : 9780374313227
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 133 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice Reviews

  • Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship}
    2019-05-13 18:02

    Rosa Parks was not the first woman to refuse to give up her seat on a bus for a white person. I know, I didn't know this either. It's not our fault. Claudette Colvin had done the same nine months before. She was not considered by African American civil rights leaders to be a suitable symbol for the campaign against segregationist legislation. She was too young (she was fifteen), perceived to be too fiesty and too emotional, and too working class to be an appropriate figurehead to inspire revolution among her fellow African American residents of Montgomery, Alabama. She suffered more at the hands of the police than Ms. Parks (Colvin was jailed, among other things), more scorn from her neighbours and supposed friends than Ms. Parks, and yet she's been conveniently forgotten by the press, the historians and the public. But she isn't bitter about it. In fact she understands why Rosa was the better choice, she was everything Claudette wasn't - a well respected introvert, a middle class and middle aged woman. Colvin was understandably hurt when she wasn't informed about victories or included in celebrations, and was completely shunned by everyone when she fell pregnant just a few months after she took a stand, by a married - and supposedly white - man. She was a teenager, an unwed mother - a shameful thing. Her parents forced her to keep the name of the father secret so apart from her immediate family she was without support from the community that once revered her for her bravery. The movement took what they wanted from her and then ignored her when she became the object of shame. The irony is astonishing - the movement rallying against unjust persecution while also persecuting a vulnerable member of their community.Anyway, Colvin never sought fame or criticized the movement's leaders, she quietly tried to rebuild her life. Her dream of becoming a civil rights lawyer shattered once she became pregnant. Her school kicked her out as it did any pregnant teenager and she was forced to bear and raise her son in isolation, constantly looking for work since she was fired every time her employers discovered who she was.This is an exceptionally well-rounded account of events surrounding the bus boycotts and the reversal of the segregation of schools in Montgomery, Alabama in the mid-1950s. Colvin's point of view and personal history is interspersed with accounts from other sources and there are plenty of detailed explanations of how things worked and were organised and funded. It's quite amazing what the co-operation of a community accomplished, and what they had to sacrifice. There are many examples of unjust events that precipitated Colvin's impromptu decision to make a stand. The narration is perfect. Not once did I become bored or frustrated. I highly recommend this anyone that wants to know more about Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and the civil rights movement in Alabama.ETA: I forgot to add that I was surprised to hear that Colvin stopped straightening her hair while she was in high school because she was proud of her African heritage. Unfortunately her classmates and her boyfriend didn't understand and began to pressurize her on the subject. But she was adamant. Her natural hair was beautiful. She didn't want to spend hours every morning trying to make her hair look like a white woman's. She was African and that was that. *Read for free via

  • Sunday Cummins
    2019-04-27 16:04

    Appropriate for 8th graders and older. This is a beautiful book about the struggles of Claudette Colvin- not only in segregationist Montgomery, Alabama where her refusal to give her bus seat up to a white woman sparked the bigger bus boycott movement, but also in her own community where she was shunned (by many of the boycott leaders as well) for being unmarried and pregnant, shunned for giving birth to a fair skinned baby (although the father was black). Despite all of this, she still agreed to testify in the Browder vs. Gayle case that went all the way to the Supreme Court which ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, ending segregated seating on the buses.Colvin disappeared from the public eye for many years (it was hard for her to get a job when the restaurant owners in Montgomery found out who she was) and was largely forgotten except for the work of a few reporters to keep her in the public eye. Eventually her story has resurfaced in history books and lessons; Rosa Parks was not the first person to refuse to give up her seat.Phillip Hoose, the author of this National Book Award Winner, alternates Claudette's narrative with a narrative about facts - revealing the systematic way they boycotted the buses, buying dozens of station wagons and picking up riders at various points. He also includes sidebars with more facts about cases related to or people involved in this experience, pictures, newspaper clippings and handwritten notes. I found this book to be inspiring and think it needs to be widely read by young people. Segregation is still an issue - it's not as transparent as "whites" and "colored" signs, but it exists and somehow we need to continue to hope that things will change, advocate for change, and act towards change.Read Erin Ramai's review for a more thorough critique of this book.Supplemental primary sources include -1) Montgomery City “Bus” Code of the City of Montgomery, Alabama. Charlottesville: Michie City Publishing Co., 1952. Alabama Department of Archives and History, Montgomery, Alabama.2) List of “Negroes’ Most Urgent Needs”"Negroes' Most Urgent Needs," Inez Jessie Baskin Papers, Alabama Department of Archives and History, Montgomery, Alabama.3) Bill of Rights, Amendments I & XIVImage of Bill of Rights (can download high resolution image) -

  • L12_Robyn
    2019-05-22 16:45

    I listened to an audio version on the computer while I read along in the book.The photographs are an important part of this book!Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose is an amazing story of courage, conviction of principals and strength. Claudette, a young lady living in Alabama during the 1950’s, was tired of the segregation laws that were set up against her. This biography shares the story of how Claudette refused to obey by the segregation bus laws and give up her seat to a white lady. As a result of this bravery, she was imprisoned and charged with many crimes including resisting arrest. Claudette really is the first to spring board the Rosa Parks arrest and bus boycotts. The book depicts the events that follow in an engaging way, keeping the reader interested up until the ending.This award winning book shares the life and times of amazing people. I was struck by the strength and courage of Claudette Colvin to stand up for equal rights for everyone. Most young people of her age were concerned with what would happen to them rather than how to create change. This non-fiction book should be used in grades 6 and up. The many uses include: as a mentor text when studying segregation, a study of biographies, and character education to standing up for what you believe in.

  • Monica Edinger
    2019-05-14 20:08

    Wow --- I now see and agree with all the accolades heaped on this book. I'd had it sitting around for weeks before I reluctantly began reading it --- once I did I was engrossed. Hoose's research is remarkable, but it is the way he seamlessly interweaves Claudette's own memories with his third person account (sprinkled with other quotes) that is just wonderful. I absolutely loved, loved, loved this book.

  • Erin Ramai
    2019-05-03 19:51

    Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice is appropriate for children in grades 6 and up. In 2009 it won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, was named a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, and a Cybils Award Nominee for Middle Grade/Young Adult Non-Fiction. In 2010, it a received a Sibert Honor and Newbery Honor Award, was listed as an ALA Notable Children’s Book for Older Readers, and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults. Claudette Colvin, at the age of 15, was the first person to plead not guilty to “breaking the segregation law, disturbing the peace and ‘assaulting’ the policemen who had pulled her off the bus”—everyone else had simply paid the fine. And although all of this happened before Rosa Parks followed suit, Rosa, not Claudette, is most often talked about as the “landmark” case—the catalyst for integration. However, Claudette’s personal lawsuit as well as the Browder v. Gayle case, in which Claudette was a key plaintiff, both opened up the door for the Montgomery Bus Boycott. But history books fail to mention it, maybe because at the time, in the minds of local leaders, Claudette was not the “right person” to lead the movement. The truth is that without Claudette, integration on Montgomery busses may not have come so quickly after the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka case where segregation in schools was outlawed and “separate but equal” was ruled to have no place. Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice proves that information texts don’t have to be boring. Hoose’s third person narration paired with Claudette Colvin’s first-hand account is spectacular. The text reads like a documentary film and I feel it would be easily adapted to that format. The suspense, the pain, and anger felt by Colvin are simultaneously experienced by readers. I found myself reading about thirty pages of this book at a time—a feat for non-fiction information text. The photographs, insets, and newspaper clippings serve a dual purpose; they give readers a real sense of the time and break up the text so that it isn’t as daunting to read. Without the images, the text wouldn’t be as effective. I also appreciated the epilogue and author’s note. By the end of the book I really felt like I understood who Claudette Colvin was and is as well as who Phillip Hoose is as a researcher and writer. I plan to read more of his books in the future and hope they live up to the gold standard.This book would be interesting to pair with a text that chronicles the life of Rosa Parks. Approaching the book in this way would create a great teachable moment because it serves as a warning that we should not blindly accept what history books or other textbooks tell us. Much of what is taught in history classes is one sided and leaves out key details that may be unflattering to the United States. As teachers we have to be concerned with teaching our students the truth and not simply what is socially acceptable. In addressing whether or not this text meets the award criteria, I considered the Sibert Award. As mentioned above, this book has an “excellent, engaging and distinctive use of language.” Because the text was created though interviews with Claudette Colvin and edited for accuracy and wording by Claudette herself, much of the language used is a riveting first-hand account of the events. When Hoose summarizes the “connective tissue” that links Claudette’s account to historical context, it is not belabored and maintains a “stimulating presentation of facts, concepts and ideas.” The “clarity and accuracy” required of this award is obtained through Claudette and also through Hoose’s watertight research. Additionally, this text has “distinctive visual presentation” in that the images included are artifacts from the time period. The table of contents, index, endnotes and other supportive features will help child readers navigate the text and the events described. I feel this text would be of interest to children because I’m pretty certain they have all heard of Rosa Parks, and I think they would be proud and interested to know that someone in their age demographic was actually the first to take a stand. It might even inspire them to follow in Claudette’s footsteps.

  • Tara Crump
    2019-05-10 20:56

    On December 5 1955, African Americans in Montgomery Alabama started boycotting city buses to protest segregation. The boycott lasted 381 days prompted by the arrest of Rosa Parks for her refusal to give up her seat to a white passenger. Although Rosa Parks has been the face of integrated buses, there was more to the story. Months earlier, 15 year old Claudette Colvin was dragged from a city bus for her refusal to give up her seat to a white patron. Her actions sparked much buzz among African Americans in her community and civil rights activists hoped her case would lead to changes in the way African Americans were treated on city buses. Despite all of their arguments, Claudette was fond guilty on all charges. Not long afterwards, contact from civil rights leaders reduced to nothing, her classmates mocked her, and Claudette became pregnant. But her fight for justice did not end and Claudette went on to be a major factor in the desegregation on city buses in Montgomery Alabama. I enjoyed this book as a story about one of the little people who made a big difference. The style of writing is effective switching from first to third person as the author fills in and expands upon parts of Claudette's narrative. The images in black and white are appropriately placed to put emphasis on the story. The side-notes are clearly distinguished and relevant to the story. This book definitely belongs in a civil rights unit of study. It could be used in several ways: to discuss the legal processes that lead to integration and to encourage the study of the lesser known people who impacted the civil rights movement.

  • Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
    2019-05-14 21:13

    Wow! What a story. And to think that, if she hadn't been a teenager at the time, she might have become as famous as Rosa Parks. I'm so glad that Phillip Hoose has written this book about Claudette Colvin, a brave young girl forgotten by history. Hoose did an excellent job of taking a complex political, legal, and social situation in 1950's Montgomery, Alabama, and making it intelligible to young readers. The Montgomery bus boycott was much more than a protest about segregation on city buses. It struck at the heart of segregation as a whole in the deep South. What an eye-opener it was for me to read about how some of these people were treated--and by policemen, who were supposed to be upholding the law! I just don't understand prejudice that deep, and I never will. Thank God they prevailed and ultimately triumphed. This book won several well-deserved book awards, including the Newbery Award Honor Book and the Robert F. Sibert Medal Honor Book for best informational book. I highly recommend this to anyone who wants a deeper understanding of the Montgomery bus boycott or to anyone who wants to read an inspirational story about a brave young teen.

  • Catie
    2019-04-25 21:52

    I normally loathe nonfiction, but this is as thrilling as a novel! It incorporates photos, newspaper articles, interviews with Claudette Colvin, and passages written by Phillip Hoose in very stripped down but powerful words. This is a great read for anyone aged ten or older about a fifteen year old girl who was, in many ways, one of the strongest, ballsiest fighters for civil rights in her time. Highly recommend!

  • Vanessa (splitreads)
    2019-05-17 23:11

    Wow. Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice is wonderfully researched, riveting (through first hand accounts from Claudette Colvin herself) and very clear to the reader (through third-person explanations from Hoose). The inserts and photographs provided great context. This is an important history that should be discussed more. My first five star read of the year!

  • LunaticBookLover
    2019-05-15 18:08

    To be honest the only reason I read this book was because I wanted to know more about Jim Crow Laws and there was only a handful of them at my library and this was one of them.But, it was a decent book overall. It told the story of Claudette Colvin, who before Rosa Parks, stood up to Jim Crow Laws and refused to give up her seat to a white passenger. AT ONLY THE AGE OF 15!!! I probably would never have the courage to do that, so I applaud her for that.This book is a children's book, which probably lead me to find it boring, and a nonfiction book (which are REALLY hard for me to get into because let's be honest, dragons and faes are much more interesting than our own damned world). But, one thing I did have problems with was the way the story was written. It was told in a part-interview, part-nonfiction book writing style and it did not follow. The readers attention is often dragged from point to point, and adding interview segments didn't help to improve my drowsiness.Besides the story making my eyes droopy, it is a really important story that needs to be shared with all children. It teaches the importance of standing up for what you believe in, and that NEEDS to be stressed. Overall, it was a compelling story that I believe all kids should read.

  • The Loft
    2019-05-07 14:52

    Who are the first people that come to mind when you think of the Montgomery bus boycotts of the 1950s? Are there any teenagers on your list? If not, set a place at the table for several, and in particular, for Claudette Colvin. And make it a round table so that as many people as possible can share her story.Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose, the 2009 National Book Award Winner for Young People’s Literature, is a masterfully crafted, beautifully rendered account of Claudette Colvin, much of it told in her own words and accompanied by primary documents, police reports, and signage that transports you right to Montgomery, Alabama in the 1950s.On March 2, 1955, 15-year-old Colvin refuses to surrender her bus seat to a white passenger almost a year before Rosa Parks did the same. Her refusal wasn’t planned, though a long trail of experiences led her to that moment, including an unquenchable thirst for learning and critically examining the degrading and at times horrific events surrounding her, and her mounting frustration with adults who would bemoan segregation behind closed doors but fail to act.Imagine yourself at 15 and in her shoes. Two policemen, both bigger than you, pull you right out of your bus seat, sending your school books flying everywhere. One kicks you as they both drag you off the bus. Then they ask you to stick your hands out of the police car so that they can handcuff you for all to see. On the way to the city jail – the adult jail – they call you every imaginable name and try to guess your bra size, and when you arrive at the station, they don’t even allow you to make a phone call.Many of the adult civil rights leaders had much to lose with their brave actions; the teens who stood up (or remained seated) for their constitutional rights had everything to lose. They did not have established reputations on which to draw. Nor did they necessarily have the family status or attend the “best” churches. Rather, they were immersed in the sometimes murky waters of high school where student opinions shift like the tides; one minute you’re a hero, and the next you’re an outcast and are shunned. Given that, Claudette Colvin’s courage is the rawest, bravest kind. She puts her entire future on the line; she had had dreams of attending law school.There is a second momentous action that Claudette Colvin took at great risk to herself and her family. One year after her arrest, she agrees to be a plaintiff in the Browder vs. Gayle case in which the defendants sue the city of Montgomery and the state of Alabama, arguing that the segregated seating on buses is unconstitutional. Though not widely known, this case changed the relationships of blacks and whites in America and in the world.Author Phillip Hoose first heard of Claudette Colvin in 2000 when he was writing We Were There Too! Young People in U. S. History. When he first contacted her, Ms. Colvin wasn’t ready to tell her story for reasons she talks about in the book. It took four years before she agreed to meet with him.This 2009 National Book Award Winner for Young People’s Literature is more than deserving of the accolade – it’s a major addition to our understanding of the events that changed the course of history, and the very courageous people that stepped out onto the front lines to effect that change. Brava! Reserve a copy of this book from the library as fast as you can, and then give this book to everyone you know.

  • Annette
    2019-05-21 19:04

    In "Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice", Phillip Hoose remembers a forgotten and little known figure of the Civil Rights Movement. Hoose writes with authority: the voices of Claudette and others who were there resonate through the book, which alternates narrative and expository styles to convey the wealth of information and detail gleaned through his many hours of personal interviews with Claudette herself as well as some of her family and friends. In addition, Hoose provides an extensive bibliography of some of the "hundreds of Web sites, articles and books" (p.109)he consulted in his research for the book. The photographs and copies of a police report and newspaper articles reinforce the authority and accuracy of Hoose's work. The photographs in particular are powerful and effective in conveying the harsh realities of the Jim Crow era.This book is intended for middle and high school students, but some the text and photographs could be used in the intermediate grades. It is well organized and well laid-out, with the features (such as photographs with captions and sidebars) well-placed to complement the text without confusing or overwhelming the reader. The sidebars add to the authority and accuracy of the book by providing information about related events. For example, the sidebar on page 71 explains the historical context of segregated buses at that time by citing the Supreme court cases of Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), which allowed segregated transportation that was "separate but equal", and Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (1954), which disallowed segregated education. Hoose explains how Fred Gray based a class-action suit on behalf of Claudette and other black riders on the 1954 ruling.With its stunning photography and the voice of teenage Claudette, Phillip Hoose's book is attractive to its audience. The structure and style, threading Claudette's narration through the text, flows well and adds a sense of immediacy, of "being there": it makes history approachable and personal. The photos of Claudette through her youth and of what "separate but equal" actually means in daily life enhance this effect: seeing signs such as "NO Dogs Negros Mexicans" (p.6)or the movie ticket that says "Child-Colored" elicit a visceral response. Perhaps what makes the story so compelling for young readers is the message that the young, as individuals or as a group,can make a difference; they have their place in history and their role is shaping the future.

  • Alisa
    2019-04-27 19:09

    True or false: Rosa Parks sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott by refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white person. If you answered true, guess again. The story of Claudette Colvin, a young teenage girl who refused to give up her seat, was in fact the action that sparked what would become known as The Montgomery Bus Boycott. It eventually resulted in a federal court lawsuit, Browder v. Gayle, which declared the laws governing Montgomery transit to be unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment. This short book tells the story of Claudette Colvin and her often overlooked role. There is good detail in here about the resolve and incredible organization of the black community in Montgomery during the boycott (the carpool system was a monumental effort), and the early work by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rev. Ralph Abernathy, Rosa Parks, and Fred Gray. The highlight of the book is how it brings to life the story of Claudette Colvin, and the many other people in everyday life who risked everything for freedom and justice. Some good photos in this book drive home the events of the time.

  • Josiah
    2019-05-06 21:54

    I can sum up the greatness of this book with the following statement: I believe that the ALA Newbery committee would have been completely justified in making Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice the first non-fiction book to win the Newbery Medal in twenty-two years, after Russell Freedman's Lincoln: A Photobiography, which was given the award in 1988. To read this book for all it's worth, I think one must use one's imagination to really picture living in a culture in which one's basic freedoms are severely restricted, the kind of freedoms that we take lightly in our everyday lives because they've always seemed to be without cost. It's one thing to look back on a period in history during which blacks were subjected to unfair treatment, and say to ourselves "That's terrible!"; it's quite another thing to really comprehend what it means that the blacks of Montgomery, Alabama, and many other U.S. cities as well, were stuck in a nightmarish world every single day, a world in which their liberty, safety and peace of mind were constantly in jeopardy from the potential anger of a white person seeking revenge for some perceived misdeed on the part of a black citizen. If you can honestly envision what it must be like to be held in bitter contempt by those around you every day of your life because of who you are, and the sadness and internal sickness of having to live like that, then you'll probably better be able to understand what Claudette Colvin is talking about when she relates the story of what happened to her in 1950s Montgomery, Alabama.Thin and bookish, Claudette Colvin nonetheless grew up as something of a spitfire, observing the dismal situation of the blacks in her hometown of Montgomery and wondering why the adults never seemed to do anything about it. Segregation brought about by the enforcement of Jim Crow Laws was the way things were at the time, with every venue and service separated into two distinct parts, one for whites and one for blacks. Drinking fountains, movie theaters, schools, buses; all of these things and pretty much everything else was divided to keep whites from having to associate with blacks, to maintain a standard of prejudice even after most of the legal provisions for racist idealogy—most notable among them being slavery—had long since fallen by the wayside. Jim Crow separation was sort of a last gasp for the prejudiced white populace of the city to feel that they were tangibly better than the blacks, to leave in place a little bit of the sting of slavery that had once been the whites' most obvious foothold of forced superiority.Claudette Colvin knew these segregationist measures to be wrong, that they violated the basic human rights of her family, her friends and herself. She knew in her heart that it was wrong for any people to be treated as lesser than others because of who they are, because of the pigmentation of their skin, and she itched for a way to one day stand up against the cruel system and show that she would not sit by helplessly and accept the oppression that had been a significant part of existence for her entire life.Claudette Colvin's simmering passion for justice came to a full boil one day as she rode the bus in Montgomery, heading home from school. Bus rules in the city were set up so that the back half of the vehicle's seating capacity was designated for blacks and the front half for whites, but a white person coming onto the bus was always given right of way over a black; that is to say, if a black person (or even a whole row of blacks in a single seat) were seated when a white person boarded, the black(s) were expected to leave their seat and let the white person have it. Not just one of them was expected to vacate, but all blacks sitting in that entire seat had to leave their positions, as whites were not asked to "endure" the ignominy of having to sit beside a negro. Officially, Montgomery city rules dictated that no bus passenger of any race could be compelled to give up his or her seat if there were no open spots available, but in the heart of Jim Crow south even that meager mandate was nearly always ignored, and black bus riders frequently were commanded to give up their seats and stand for the duration of their trip should a waiting white passenger come along.As Claudette rode the bus on the fateful day that would vault her into the light of American civil rights history, a white woman came on board the full bus and stood silently beside her, the known signal for telling a black passenger to move. Claudette was in the mind to do no such thing, though. The driver grew incensed and called the police, yet when they arrived she still sat there, refusing to move from the spot that she saw as rightfully hers. Police officers then proceeded to violently drag her from the bus—this being a small, skinny young teenage girl, remember—and load her into their squad car for transportation to the jail, swearing at her and spewing all measures of grotesque lucre as she sat sobbing, helpless to do anything but absorb the abuse. All of this because a fifteen-year-old girl just wanted to keep her seat on a bus, wanted to retain a small amount of dignity in a culture that had continually stripped her of all such tokens of personal honor. I, personally, don't know what it feels like to be degraded so shamefully for having done nothing wrong, but these passages in the book made me think about what it might be like to be so hated and reviled for the crime of only being myself, and it gave me deep chills at the horror of the idea.Claudette Colvin's odyssey into the pages of history was not near done, however. Her criminal case resulting from the bus incident—a case that, incredibly, saw her as the defendant, accused of disturbing the peace, violating lawful segregationist policy and assaulting a police officer—was quickly seen by the leaders of the local black community as a potential stepping stone for a challenge to the Jim Crow stronghold, a challenge that could garner nationwide attention and, as appeal layered on appeal, become the cornerstone for a countrywide effort to overturn once and for all the iron grip that Jim Crow had on the south. As it turned out, Claudette Colvin's particular case did not end up being that cornerstone, but the example of civil disobedience that she had set by refusing to leave her seat on the bus bolstered the courage of a more noted proponent of the black civil rights movement, Rosa Parks, to do virtually the same thing nine months after Claudette's arrest, and herself become the heart and soul of the effort to undo the binding ties of Jim Crow. Finally, Claudette Colvin was called upon by the black attorneys of the Montgomery civil rights movement to be one of five plaintiffs in the landmark Browder v. Gayle federal suit against the state of Alabama. All of the plaintiffs had been involved in their own incidents similar to the one experienced by Claudette and were now taking their position on the offensive, challenging the overall legitimacy of segregation outside of schools, which had already been integrated a number of years before. Claudette's story was to be the lynchpin of the case for the all-star team of attorneys that had agreed to fight in hopes of blowing apart Jim Crow politics once and for all. I'm amazed by the personal courage it must have taken for Claudette Colvin to agree to stand up and testify about what had happened to her on that bus a year earlier, to stand up in a courtroom in front of white attorneys and white judges, amidst all of the threats of violence against herself and her family that had come because of what she was attempting to accomplish, and boldly tell her story of sickening mistreatment at the hands of those sworn to uphold the law and protect the innocent. Ultimately, it was Claudette Colvin's vigorous, straightforward court testimony that made all the difference, and after so many years of heartbreaking inaction sealed the doom of segregation in Montgomery, Alabama and eventually throughout the south. The bookish spitfire of a girl may not have taken the direct path to being the strong hero of which she had always dreamed, but she had somehow become that hero, nonetheless.One of the most incredible things about this book is that some of its most powerful moments aren't even primarily about Claudette Colvin. The relation of the story of high school student Jeremiah Reeves, a smart, popular teenager at Claudette's school who suddenly finds himself accused of the rape of a white housewife, an accusation that later would swell to include six other alleged incidents of rape against white women, is probably the story that will shake people more than any other included in the book. There's a good chance that Jeremiah Reeves was being railroaded by the white police for crimes that he didn't even commit, though we can't be completely certain of that all these decades later, yet he was convicted on multiple counts of rape and sentenced to execution at age sixteen (to be carried out once he turned twenty-one). This contrasts bitterly against the normal backdoor procedure of the day when it came to black women being raped by white men, cases which rarely ever even resulted in an arrest in the south of that era. One can't help but think of the horror facing teenaged Jeremiah Reeves, who already had two strike against him in the eyes of law officers just because he was black, and who was caught up in a gruesome situation that very likely had nothing to do with him at all. That is horror in its starkest form, and I could almost feel the sheer weight of his panic just in reading about what happened to him. I should also mention that the recounting of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s intricate involvement in the book, as he used his forcefulness of speech and uniquely encouraging spirit to keep alive the hopes of the downtrodden blacks in Montgomery when it seemed at times that their taking a firm stand against segregation would do no good, brought him to life again for me in a way that I haven't felt since grade school. Martin Luther King, Jr. has always been something of a hero to me, and what I read in Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice brightly rekindled the embers of my admiration for who he was and all that he did, standing calm yet fierce against prejudice and bigotry, which certainly required magnificent bravery when faced with the snarling hatred of terrorists and thugs who would have killed him had they been given half a chance. This book makes Martin Luther King, Jr. intensely relevant once again to a generation of readers who may not have been as naturally fascinated by his story when it was told in school as I was. Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice is probably the best non-fiction book that I have ever read. It's filled with facts and information that are pertinent today just as they were in 1955, and loaded with heartrending drama and suspense. Honestly, how often is it that one comes across real suspense in a non-fiction book for young adults? This is a truly marvelous story that just screamed to be told, to be put down in writing by a skillful author who could not only present the facts as they actually occurred, but mine the nuggets of truth from the life of Claudette Colvin to show us today what it means to stand up to injustice and push back in the face of overwhelming opposition, and make the choices that allow one to become a hero despite the personal imperfections that will always dog every one of us here on earth. This book beautifully accomplishes all of that, demonstrating very clearly that our imperfections don't disqualify us from also rising up to be a hero.Phillip Hoose is a masterful writer, and I could not have expected more from this classic gem of young adult literature. I wish that every kid in the country could get their hands on this book, and see why our nation's history isn't only not boring, it's at least as full of rich, powerful stories and people as the greatest novels of fiction. Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice is a remarkable contribution to American literature.

  • Jaclyn Giordano
    2019-05-11 16:59

    "Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice" by Phillip Hoose is an award-winning, nonfiction chapter book intended for readers in grades seven through twelve. This book has won numerous awards, including recognition as a 2010 Recommended Book for the National Council of English Teacher Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children, which is an award that recognizes “excellence in the writing of nonfiction for children” and looks at areas of accuracy, organization, design, and style ( This text was also honored as a 2010 Honor Book for the Robert F. Sibert Award, which recognizes excellent use of language, presentation, organization, documentation, appropriateness, and accuracy in distinguished texts. This text was also honored as the 2010 winner of the Carter G. Woodson Book Award, which recognizes “the most distinguished social science books appropriate for young readers that depict ethnicity in the United States” with sensitivity and accuracy ( "Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice" was also a 2010 Newbery Medal Honor Book. The Newbery Medal honors distinguished texts with accurate interpretations of concepts, clear presentation of information, development of plot, delineation of characters and setting, and appropriateness of style. "Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice" has won many other literature awards and is on numerous Best Books of 2009 lists. Phillip Hoose is an award-winning author of many acclaimed texts. He graduated from Yale University and is also an accomplished songwriter and musician ( In "Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice," Hoose recounts a young woman during the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama who refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white passenger—sparking a conflict that would begin a Movement. Phillip Hoose carefully and extensively creates authority in "Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice." In his Author’s Note, Hoose details the story of his initial research of the text, from Internet searches, to article searches in "USA Today," and the 14 extensive interviews with Claudette Colvin herself. Hoose even states, “Claudette let me read aloud the text of the entire book to her, sometimes stopping me to make corrections or to change the emphasis of a particular account.” Also, Hoose includes a bibliography in this text, with a long list of reputable and researched books, websites, and articles he used in gathering facts to tell this accurate story. In his Notes section, Hoose refers to sources of quoted material gained from additional interviews with other sources. Overall, Hoose demonstrates clear authority, as he has extensively shown and clearly credits evidence of research, notes, and consultations of experts in his journey of creating this text. Along with authority, "Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice" also demonstrates accuracy. Page by page, clear photographs with fact-filled captions integrate and highlight important historical facts and events that escalate this story. Historical news articles and informational and enriching page inserts also are presented clearly and reference real events and people. Claudette Colvin’s personal feelings and ideas, which are personal, emotional, and subjective, are clearly distinguished from the historical, objective facts by clearly showing Claudette’s name next to her personal words and vignettes. Hoose’s clear research and careful writing creates very accurate writing. This text is appropriate for its intended age range of grades seven through twelve. It may even be accessible to younger readers if done as a read aloud. Hoose’s style of integrating personal memoir with historical facts, with suspenseful details and stories building anticipation and emotion, will engage and motivate older readers to complete and find resolution to this emotional story. If used in classrooms, teachers may have to give students clear information and frontloading of topics that may be controversial for the intended audience: violence, death, brutality, pregnancy, and racism. If taught with sensitivity and respect for the topic, this text is appropriate for its intended audience. This text’s message of one individual creating such a big difference and helping launch a movement is crucial and appropriate for this intended audience. As "Booklist’s" review of this text states, “this inspiring title shows the incredible difference that a single young person can make, even as it demonstrates the multitude of interconnected lives that create and sustain a political movement” ( The literary artistry within this text perfectly creates and recounts this incredibly emotional and poignant time in history. The organization of combining and interweaving personal memoir and accounts along with historical facts and documents helps “provide a uniquely personal view of Colvin and the Civil Rights Movement” ( The beginning, middle, and end is told, creating an organization within this text that is engaging and whole. This time in history comes alive with personal stories, quotations, recollections, and memories of historic events during the Civil Rights Movement. Personal questions asked to the reader create empathy and an emotional connection. Questions such as “who wouldn’t cry?” after Colvin’s arrest help the reader put his or herself in Colvin’s place. Famous quotes, from historical figures like Malcolm X and Harriet Tubman, open each chapter, truly encapsulating how a whole society, a whole culture, a whole nation, was involved in this Movement. Similes like “I felt like a dog” produce such strong emotion and really place the reader right at this place in history, feeling looked down upon but demanding change and equality. This text, with descriptive and emotional narratives and facts, strong language, and a captivating story, creates an amazing text with literary artistry. The attractiveness of this text comes from its many photographs, inserts, captions, and famous quotes. As "Booklist’s" review of this text states, “on each attractively designed spread, text boxes and archival images, including photos and reproduced documents, extend the gripping story” ( The yellow cover and young girl’s face and newspaper clippings adorning it demand attention and further inquiry. Readers are enticed to read this young person’s story through both images and words. "Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice," with its authority, accuracy, appropriateness, literary artistry, and attractiveness, is a text that truly engages and captures readers with an amazing tale of equality, diversity, and demand for true justice.

  • Emma
    2019-04-24 14:49

    Everyone knows that Rosa Parks helped spark the Civil Rights movement with her refusal to give up her seat on a segregated bus for a white passenger. Her bold decision inspired the black community in Montgomery, Alabama and helped start the historic Montgomery bus boycott. Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat was a pivotal moment in history.But someone else did it first.On March 2, 1955 a fifteen-year-old girl refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a segregated bus a full nine months before Rosa Parks did. Citing a little-known Montgomery bus rule, this girl stated with confidence that it was her Constitutional right to keep her seat on the bus. She was dragged to jail and charged as an adult for her refusal.At first Claudette Colvin was hailed as a celebrity and a shining example to her community. But the tides soon turned and suddenly Claudette found herself on the outside looking in at a movement that she arguably started all by herself. Her name was largely forgotten by history, supplanted by the more respectable and now iconic Rosa Parks, until now. Her story can now be found in Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice (2009) by Phillip Hoose.Chances are if you follow the book awards circuit, you've heard some buzz about this book. It was a 2010 Newbery honor book. It received the 2009 National Book Award in Young People's Literature. It was a 2010 Sibert honor book (think Newbery awards but for non-fiction only). Claudette Colvin was a 2010 finalist for the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction. In addition the book was selected by ALA (American Library Association) as a best book for young adults (BBYA), ALSC (Association for Library Service to Children--a division of ALA) named it a notable children's book although I can't find a link to said list. And, according to the author's site, it was on a heap of lists naming the best books of 2009. As my children's literature professor mentioned to me, you can barely see the cover for all of the awards stickers.I had thought I knew a fair bit about the civil rights movement, but I clearly wasn't reading the right books because I had never heard of Claudette Colvin. Hearing about this girl with dreams of becoming a lawyer and fighting Jim Crow laws, this girl who took a stand before many adults were willing to, was inspiring. The idea that she was shunned for standing up for her beliefs was outrageous.Except that isn't exactly the full story. (WARNING: If you believe in such a thing as a spoiler for a non-fiction book, look away.)Claudette was initially embraced by her community. Classmates thought it was, as the book notes, crazy when she stopped straightening her hair and some leaders of the movement wondered if Colvin was too young to be the figurehead of a city-wide boycott. But one of the biggest reasons for Claudette's shunning was her becoming a pregnant, unmarried, sixteen-year-old in 1955 after her arrest and trial. This is not mentioned in summary stories of Claudette's experiences (ie on the book jacket) and yet, in my view at least, the pregnancy seems like a fundamental aspect of Claudette's dismissal especially given the time.Hoose's book is clearly well-researched and filled with supporting documents and photographs, not to mention extensive reviews with Claudette Colvin herself. But on a lot of points readers only have Claudette's account of what happened. In her interviews Colvin often says none of the movement leaders called her (as on page 61 when her name is misspelled on a flyer about Rosa Parks' arrest). And it just feels weaker than it could have been with more supporting documentation.Colleen Mondor has an insightful post over at her blog Chasing Ray about her own questions about Claudette Colvin. And even if you don't think what I'm saying jives, you should give her post a look because she was a judge for the 2009 Cybils in the MG/YA nonfiction category which comes with a bit of authority.More troubling for me was how the movement impacted Claudette's life. As a child she dreamed of becoming a lawyer to help her people. Her arrest and the subsequent trial verdict made that impossible. It was frustrating to read about this bright, strong girl who stood up for what she believed in only to, basically, have it blow up in her face in a lot of ways.Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice is sure to lead to many lively discussions, not just about this little known and too obscure figure of the Civil Rights movement but also about the aspects of a good non-fiction book and finding (and using) supporting documentation.

  • Kim B.
    2019-04-22 19:07

    I'm not a big fan of nonfiction. I don't really have a difficult time getting through it like I do with most historical fiction, but honestly, I'd rather read a solid fictional story than something I consider to be akin to a school textbook. In fact, I would have had no interest in this book if not for its Newbery buzz; as of this writing, it is really the only book that has a decent chance of knocking the much-beloved-by-me "When You Reach Me" down to mere Honor status. Well, I've read this book now, and I can plainly see what all the hoopla is about: the storytelling here rivals that of even some of 09's best books.When I was in fourth grade, I was heavily interested in civil rights. (Kind of a strange thing for me to be interested in at that time, I suppose, but nobody ever really said anything about it to me.) It was my favorite thing to learn about in social studies. Rosa Parks was my favorite out of all the icons of that era, as I saw her as a positive role model; she stood up for what she believed in and tried to change the way things were when she got sick of it. Taking that into consideration, I'm almost certain that my ten-year-old self would've loved this book's subject. It's utterly dumbfounding that there is so little known about Claudette Colvin. This should change, soon, as this book becomes more and more well-known.The book is richly detailed. It goes into detail on aspects of the subject's life that other biographies would've skimmed over, and keeps things vivid and compelling throughout while, somehow, still remaining at a very svelte 104 pages (plus notes and bibliography). The details never seem unnecessary or didactic, though, and they help to bring the reader right into the story. I really felt as if I was right there throughout most of it.In addition to the details, the book just looks fantastic. The cover is very striking, at least to me, and it's nice to see that a non-fiction, biographical kind of book didn't go with a dreaded cover of beige doom. (I mean, come on, it should be a law that no children's book should have gross amounts of beige or cardboard-box brown on it by now.) Inside, there are a ton of black-and-white photographs and newspaper-clippings that are very much worth a look. The font size is a little small, which gives me a headache most of the time, but seeing as how nonfiction books usually have smaller print, I let it slide.So, do I think it's worthy of the Newbery? Yes and no. Certainly, it's distinguished enough, and it managed the rare feat of making history really, really interesting. However, I feel that the book is, quite frankly, a little bit too old for the Newbery. (I know I said my ten-year-old self would've loved it, but I was also the kind of kid who read Stephen King books and 400+ page adult books on the Presidents.) I mean, it's great for young teens and up, but there's a little bit of iffy content here that leads me to believe that the committee will decide against it. (I doubt a book that involves teen pregnancy will go over well with everyone there; it's a little different from the whole "The Higher Power of Lucky" scandal.) Also, the book will most likely win a thousand more in the coming months, so does it really need to get the usually-fiction-oriented Newbery as well?Still, I can't say anything bad about the book itself. There will be kids who will flock to this, Newbery or not. If it wins it and "When You Reach Me" only gets an Honor, I probably won't feel too sad about it. "Claudette Colvin" is a great book, non-fiction or not, and it deserves all the praise that has been given to it so far. Don't miss out on it.EDIT: This book received a Newbery Honor. Well deserved.

  • Susan
    2019-05-06 16:45

    *Susan Hart*Hoose, P. (2009). Claudette Colvin: twice toward justice. New York: Melanie Kroupa Books.*Biography*2009 National Book Award Winner for Young People's Literature, 2010 Newbery Honor Award, 2009 Robert Sibert Honor Book*Selected from awards lists*The post office has recently offered a new commemorative stamp of Rosa Parks. Few people know that there was a teenager that refused to move from her bus seat and made a bigger statement before Ms. Parks’ actions, yet the other’s name has almost disappeared into obscurity. Thanks to a National Book Award winning biography written by Phillip Hoose, now more of the world knows the name and story of Claudette Colvin. Growing up in the poorest part of Birmingham, Alabama, Claudette lived closely within the restrictive Jim Crow laws and the racial tension building around her. She was highly intelligent, precocious and wanted to be like her heroine, Harriet Tubman. Witnessing the false accusations of a high school friend, Jeremiah Reeves, who experienced justice as a trip to the electric chair for a crime he didn’t commit and a crime that a white man would not have been put to death for, Claudette’s activist passion was ignited.When seventeen-year-old Claudette made her fateful bus revolt, all the while yelling, “I know my constitutional rights! I know my constitutional rights!” she was unfortunately not well supported by peers in school or the greater community of black leaders in Birmingham. Her thoughtful nature and fierce pioneering spirit inspired her to refuse the common practice of ironing her hair according to white standards of beauty; the response was that people thought she was crazy. The more dignified Rosa Parks, the leader of the NAACP youth division, seemed a stronger candidate for representing the carefully orchestrated movement to inspire a bus boycott and eventually to take the bus companies to court. Even then, it was Claudette’s testimony in front of the state supreme court that turned the case around, hence the reference in the book’s title to “twice toward justice.” Fred Gray, the main lawyer of this landmark case that abolished public segregation said, “I don’t want to take any thing away from Mrs. Parks, but Claudette gave all of us the moral courage to do what we did.”This fascinating book takes one within the action of this hot time in history. The young, 26-year-old Martin Luther King Jr. is just starting his career and speaking for his first times in public at boycott meetings, the Supreme Court ruling of Brown vs. Topeka integrates schools, and the tautness of tensions are so high that violence is common. Not only is it an excellent view of an important time in history, but also the reader gets access to some of Claudette Colvin’s own words describing her experiences and personal conviction. Her heroic example demonstrates that teenagers can make a powerful difference in the world. It is highly recommended.

  • Cristina
    2019-04-27 18:04

    Summary of Text“Right then, I decided I wasn’t gonna take it anymore. I hadn’t planned it out, but my decision was built on a lifetime of nasty experiences.” Claudette Colvin’s unplanned decision was one that would land her in prison, give her a criminal record, and ultimately, create a spark that would help to ignite the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955 and 1956 in Montgomery, Alabama. On March 2, 1955, sixteen year- old Claudette Colvin and a few of her classmates climbed aboard the segregated bus that would take them home from school that day. As the bus moved along, passengers quickly began to fill up the seats, until soon riders were standing in the aisle. One of these riders, Claudette noticed, was a white woman who was expecting Claudette and her friends to move from their seats so that the woman could sit down. Claudette’s classmates moved, but at this point, the “lifetime of nasty experiences” and a mind full of rebellion kept Claudette tight in her seat, refusing to budge. Thus, began Colvin’s fight for her rights and the rights of her people during the trying times of the Jim Crow South—it would be a long and rough road to justice.Evaluation of Literary MeritsIn Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice, Phillip Hoose weaves together a blended text of expository and narrative writing. Hoose begins each chapter in one of three ways: description (of historical context), 3rd person narrative, or an excerpt from any of the fourteen interviews with Claudette Colvin. Hoose also includes an epigram or short quote by various Civil Rights Leaders at the start of each chapter, which contributes to the literary artistry of the text. To provide accurate information of this time period, Hoose consulted, as he puts it, “hundreds of web sites, articles, and books.” He provides twenty-three of these in his bibliography. The interview excerpts selected allow readers to gain a first-hand account of one person’s experience. Readers are invited into the text as they connect with Colvin’s experience through understanding her emotions, struggles, and triumphs. Finally, in addition to the numerous written sources consulted and interviews with Colvin herself, Hoose visited Montgomery to experience Colvin’s world himself in order to write this book. In terms of organizational structure, the text as a whole is written chronologically, which deems this an appropriate and accessible text for young adult readers. Readers can easily understand and follow the events leading up to the Montgomery Bus Boycott of ’55 and ‘56. In addition to the accessible text, Hoose strategically disperses primary documents and archived photographs throughout the book, which leaves for an aesthetically pleasing and engaging reading experience.

  • Anna Reid
    2019-05-20 15:03

    The book Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice is a story about the Civil Rights Movement and specifically, the Montgomery bus boycott. Claudette Colvin was the first person to refuse to give up her bus seat to a white person when she was only 16. Because of her age, many believed that she should not be the face of the movement, therefore, today many of us have heard more about Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on the bus. The book is very rich in cultural details about the Civil Rights Movement and the Montgomery bus boycott. There are many photographs included in the book that exhibit the number of people that chose to walk instead of ride the bus, along with mug shots of the numerous people that were indicted on conspiracy charges (Hoose, 81.) The story is written in a unique format, most of the story is told in 3rd person narrative, but the author does include narrative of Claudette Colvin told in first person. The first person narrative of Claudette Colvin allows the reader to get inside Claudette’s head and in turn better understand her thoughts and feelings. For example, after Claudette was convicted of assaulting a police officer many of her fellow classmates began to turn on her and she said, “I had taken a stand for my people. I had stood up for our rights. I hadn’t expected to become a hero, but I sure didn’t expect this” (Hooser, 45). Through this first person narrative you are able to feel the hurt that Claudette was experiencing after knowing she did the right thing that would push the movement further in the right direction. Phillip Hooser’s book is also very well written and accurate; he made sure to include a bibliography at the end of his book that contains many articles and web sites that he referenced. Every picture that Hooser included in his book benefits and relates to the text following the picture. Many of the pictures include captions which makes it easy for the reader to evaluate the photographs. Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice does honor the common bonds of humanity because it so clearly depicts the freedom that the African Americans were fighting for that the white people had already obtained. The African Americans just wished to be treated equally and because they so deeply wanted these rights they didn’t stop until they received them. The reading level of this book would most likely be 8th grade or above. I would use this book in the classroom during a unit about the Civil Rights Movement.Hoose, P. (2009). Claudette Colvin: Twice toward justice. New York, NY: Melanie Kroupa Books/Farrar Straus Giroux.

  • Franny
    2019-05-11 17:51

    Full review with teacher-y stuff on my blog!Almost one year before Rosa Parks took her famous stand (or sit – sorry, no pun intended) on a Montgomery bus, fifteen-year-old Claudette Colvin had already done the same. The difference? Claudette’s actions were spontaneous, a kind of teenage rebellion based partly on her recent school studies about black history and the Constitution and partly on just being tired of tolerating unfair treatment. Rosa’s actions were planned out and strategic, designed to fuel change on a large scale. Both women were extremely important to the Civil Rights Movement, but one is well known and one is not. Why?Phillip Hoose provides answers and describes Claudette’s background and childhood through a combination of his own narration, plus a compilation of interview responses from Claudette that he has written in a kind of autobiographical retelling. I hadn’t seen anything like this in nonfiction before, and I think the two styles blended well together and really worked. For an informational text, I was surprised to find myself on the edge of my seat during some parts.Throughout the description of Claudette’s history, Hoose intersperses both necessary and little-known information about the time period. He also tells of the other Civil Rights leaders who played a part in Claudette’s story; I appreciated that this did not become a collective biography, though, as the focus was always on Claudette’s story.The second half of the book revolved more around the actual Montgomery bus boycott. I had known quite a bit about this and Martin Luther King Jr.’s leadership, but I hadn’t had much knowledge of the actual Supreme Court ruling that ended legal segregation on buses (Browder v. Gayle, 1956). Claudette was a part of this, too, and she was the youngest of only four to testify in the lawsuit against Montgomery, Alabama.Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice ends with Claudette’s acceptance of Rosa Parks being the bigger name in U.S. history, as well as some recognition for herself. It’s a shame that more people don’t know of the important role Claudette played in the Civil Rights Movement, and I’m glad Hoose has brought it to my attention and that of many other readers. This is a book teens everywhere should be introduced to!

  • Katie
    2019-05-20 20:08

    Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice, is a nonfiction book about a fifteen-year-old girl living in Alabama during the 1940’s. It describes in great detail the turmoil the country was in during that time. It discusses segregation, Jim Crow Laws, the civil rights movement, and so much more. But the main focus of this text is on Claudette Colvin, a fifteen-year-old student who stood up for her civil rights while riding the bus. Claudette had a long day at school and did not want to move her seat on the bus when a white woman had requested it. She was forcibly removed from the bus by the police and incarcerated. This act of defiance was huge for this young lady. She faced so much hate and love from the people of her community.Students in fifth grade may not be able to exactly relate to Claudette since those problems are not as prominent in our society, but students can try to put themselves in her shoes as a child, teen, student, member of society. It is shocking to explain that this really happened, that this was someone just like them that did something so big and so brave to stand up for what she believed in. Claudette demonstrates perseverance and sets an example for students to stand up for what they believe in no matter how hard it may be or how much people or society is holding you down. I am currently student teaching in a 5th grade classroom and the students are doing a novel study of Walking to the Bus-Rider Blues by Harriette Gillem Robinet. I brought the Claudette Colvin book in so that students could have a nonfiction book to look at and relate to. The photographs and text features of this book are really what sets it apart from others. It has long quotes and interviews from Claudette herself. It is wonderful for students to be able to read the words right from the person’s mouth rather than a regurgitated story. The photographs are so vivid and provide students with a solid base to let their concept of this material stem from. In the margins, there is a ton of information that helps to clarify some of the content that is mentioned in the text of the book. This book is truly a wonderful resource for students. The text features of this book include: - Table of Contents- Photographs- Captions- Quotes- Bibliography- Web Sites- Notes- Index

  • Crystal
    2019-05-20 21:02

    Crystal Hansen, LS 583. Hoose, P. (2009). Claudette Colvin twice toward justice. New York: Square Fish. Genre: Biography. Awards: National Book Award, Newbery Honor Book, Robert F. Sibert Honor Book , and YALSA Non-fiction Finalist. Format: print book. Selection tool: "Literature for Today's Young Adults" textbook. Highly recommend. During the United States Civil Rights Era, who was the first person to refuse to give up her seat to a White person on a Montgomery, Alabama city bus? If you answered Rosa Parks, you are incorrect, but likely not alone in this misconception. The truth is that the first person to take this brave action was a teenage girl named Claudette Colvin who had a strong sense of the injustices exhibited toward her and the African American community in Montgomery. When she wouldn't give up her seat to a White woman, she was arrested, treated roughly by police officers, and taken to an adult jail for her actions. She sued the city over this matter and lost. For a time, she was a local hero and an inspiration to many Montgomery citizens, but soon after the controversy died down, she got pregnant, and was largely forgotten by history. "Claudette Colvin: Twice Towards Justice" is a more in-depth look at the Montgomery Bus Boycott's key players. The people we usually associate with this historical undertaking—Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks were certainly the face of this movement, but there were many other people involved that weren't chosen to be in the spotlight. Claudette wasn't thought to be the "right face" for the boycott by Black leaders in the community. She was poor, a teenage girl, and had a child at a young age. It may be true that Claudette wasn't the most effective representative for the cause at the time, but it is ironic that while African American leaders were fighting for justice, they were exhibiting classism and ageism toward Claudette. Claudette worked with Rosa Parks' youth group after she took her stand on the bus, and it is likely that Rosa Parks took the lead from Claudette, although Ms. Parks receives the lion's share of credit in history books. This National Book Award winner finally gives Claudette Colvin some of that recognition, and creates a more complete and long overdue representation of events.

  • Terri Lynn
    2019-04-21 20:08

    I just loved this and I love Claudette Colvin's spunk and spirit. Claudette was a black 15-year-old Alabama high school student who was raised by and uncle and aunt because her dad left her mother who was not any award-winning mother. In 1955, it was awful to be living in black skin in the South. Alabama is nothing to write home about even now in 2013 so you can imagine how it was then. She felt the stirrings of disgust at how black people were being treated through several things including the killing of Emmett Till who was 14, seeing a neighbor boy accused and convicted of raping a white woman and getting the death penalty at 17, and through the influence of some teachers who taught about history. In those days, girls straightened their hair to look more white and one of these teachers discouraged that and told them their black hair was fine.One day on a Montgomery bus, she refused to give up her seat to a white woman. Police were called and she was dragged off the bus, arrested, and even accused of attacking the officers though she did not and there were no bruises or scratches on them. She fought these charges and was still found guilty and left with a criminal record. This was months before Rosa Parks did the same thing and the black organizations would not use Claudette as "the case" to try to eradicate segregation on buses because she had been made out to be violent and because she was seduced by an older man and left pregnant and thrown out of school. Her dream had been to go to college to be a lawyer but she derailed herself as so many girls do by stupidly getting pregnant not once but twice.This is a fascinating portrait of Claudette, very much worth reading, and includes much inside detail of the bus boycott, Montgomery's mayor and police abuse of the boycotters, and also of the federal lawsuit Claudette was a party to that eventually outlawed discrimination on public transportation, a ruling that was upheld by the US Supreme Court. Claudette inspires me for her courage and honesty and for facing the 4 burly white men who manhandled her. She faced everything with quiet strength.

  • Sophie
    2019-05-20 20:05

    Excellent book. Excellent. It made me angry that Claudette Colvin was deemed "unfit" to lead the bus boycott, and that Rosa Parks is the one we always remember. The Civil Rights movement had many heroes, and only a few are remembered today--usually the least controversial ones (See also: Negroes With Guns by Robert F. Williams).Claudette Colvin got pregnant a few months after her arrest for refusing to give up her seat for a white person. As she describes it, she was taken advantage of by an older man, at a time when she had few friends. But her pregnancy meant that in the eyes of the Civil Rights leaders of Montgomery, she was no longer an appropriate figurehead for the movement. She was a "fallen woman." In a time when racism was being challenged, sexism stood in the way. In Colvin's own words:I hoped maybe some of the boycott leaders would understand my situation and help me, after what I had done. Deep inside I hoped maybe they would give me a baby shower. I needed money and support so badly. But I didn't hear from any of them after I left the courthouse. Not Fred Gray. Not Rosa Parks. Not Jo Ann Robinson. No one called after I testified, I knew they couldn't put me up onstage like the queen of the boycott, but after what I had done, why did they have to turn their backs on me?I grew angrier and angrier while reading this book. Rosa Parks was already an advocate for civil rights when she refused to give up her seat. She was secretary of the NAACP. Claudette Colvin, on the other hand, was a teenager in high school. She had a lot to lose. Her decision not to give up her seat was based entirely on her own desire for justice. Rosa Parks did a great thing, but she never should have let the world forget that there was someone who came before her, who took the first step. We never should have let ourselves forget.

  • David
    2019-05-13 18:00

    One of my favorite Newbery books to date. Tells the story about a little remembered teenager in Montgomery, Alabama who was arrested for not giving up her seat on a bus a full nine months before Rosa Parks' similar refusal and arrest sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955-56. As it turns out, Claudette's case was initially supported by the NAACP and the civil rights leadership only to be abandoned later after they came to the conclusion that she would be a poor role model for a test case challenging Jim Crow segregation in the South. She became shunned at her all black school as a trouble maker and then confirmed all the others' doubts by become pregnant at fifteen. Yet she was later one of four plaintiffs in Browder v. Gayle, 142 F. Supp. 707 (1956), that ruled that segregated busing was unconstitutional, following Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka a couple of years earlier.Rosa Parks as it turns out, knew, supported, and talked often with Claudette after Claudette's arrest. Over the next nine months it appears that Rosa discussed the ideal way to set up a case to challenge segregation and then went and refused to get up out of her seat. She was arrested, and the incident, as pre-planned, was used to justify the boycott. As it turns out though, Rosa Parks' case was in state court and was delayed to the point that Claudette's case in Browder v. Gayle, was decided before.Listening to this story you cannot help but feel sorry for the fifteen year-old Claudette, moved to refuse to get out of her seat to the point of arrest, then fight the charge rather than simply pay a fine, all to be dropped by the movement as not good enough and shunned by her classmates. While Rosa Parks, it turns out, premeditated her actions and arrest in a calculated way. The former, I cannot help but think, is the more noble action, and yet is little remembered. Remember by reading this book.

  • Brigid Keely
    2019-04-29 21:07

    "Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice" by Phillip M. Hoose is the story of Claudette Colvin and the very large role she played in the Civil Rights Movement... a role that has largely been forgotten.Most of us know about Rosa Parks and how she refused to move to the back of the bus. What's less well known is that she was an experienced Civil Rights activist who was prepared to be a test case to argue the segregated seating was unconstitutional. As such she (and a few other adult women) had received specific training on how to act if challenged on the bus. Claudette Colvin, a dark skinned teenager, did not receive that training which made it easy for the cops to allege she'd fought them and resisted arrest when they pulled her off the bus before Parks made her stand.Colvin, an excellent student who planned to become a school teacher, was very well aware of what her constitutional rights were. When told to move to the back of the bus she refused because she'd had enough of her rights being violated. And she was very vocal in her objections, her resistance. She was, again, a teenager when she did this, facing down social pressure and physical threat. She did it anyway.She was the first person to be arrested for resisting bus segregation, and she was the final testimony in Browder v Gayle ending bus segregation and ending the year plus long Montgomery Bus Boycott. As with Parks, she had to go north in order to find employment after her actions."Twice Toward Justice" is a well written, engaging book detailing her personality, personal history, specific actions, and the way they affected the world. There's primary source quotes and material and photographs to keep the text extra engaging. Hoose does use the word "Negro(es)" throughout the text not just in quotes and historic context, but modern context as well, which is a little jarring.

  • Mason Stewart
    2019-05-02 21:12

    There are many unsung heroes of the civil rights movement. However to be praised was not the primary inspiration of these heroes, such was the case for young Claudette Colvin. Colvin was not the ideal candidate according to African American civil rights leaders to represent the movement. A few months after she was arrested for not giving up her seat to a white person, she became pregnant as an unwed teenager. This along with her aggressive and unruly personality led people to shun instead of support her for her bravery and sacrifice. Although both Rosa Parks and Claudette Colvin took a stand (or should I say a seat) against the injustices towards black people of the time, there are many contrasts which you will have to read more to find out about. Rosa Parks being deemed as an icon of the Civil Rights movement was a political move made by the civil rights leaders. I found myself thinking about a larger picture of how some strong characters throughout history, such as Claudette Colvin, are passed by because they don’t fit the mold and we will never hear there story. Like all good stories, Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice has layers and gives the reader something to think about. The narration between Claudette Colvin and Phillip Hoose painted an exceptionally keeps the reader engaged while providing a well-rounded historical picture. The quoted dialogue adds intrigue and credibility to this non-fiction story. If deepening gaining a perspective different from what we commonly discuss in classrooms across the United States, I highly recommend reading this story. Appropriate for grades 5-9, however by reading this story there is much to be gained by everyone.

  • Ch13_megan Carlisle
    2019-05-07 17:50

    Insightful, beautifully written and full of rich details, this book is a great addition to any classroom or personal library. Hoose, with interviews from important members of the community, tells the story of Claudette Colvin, a little known teen whose defiance of segregation laws helped to start the Montgomery Bus Boycott.Claudette was 15 when she refused to give up her seat on a crowded bus to a white woman. According to Claudette, "I hadn't planned it out, but my decision was built on a lifetime of nasty experiences". The book chronicles the history of the segregation and the bus boycott in Montgomery. It tells of Claudette's challenges not only with the system but also within the black community in Montgomery. "Twice Towards Justice" interweaves Claudette's story with that of segregation in Montgomery. Large black and white photos complement the historical narrative. Interviews with Claudette, her lawyer, and other prominent civil rights leaders give life to the story. Hoose also includes sidebars that give greater detail about potentially unfamiliar topics (for example: Jim Crow, St. Jude Hospital in Montgomery and the NAACP). Because of the amount of text, this book would work best for 8-12 grade. Individual chapters can serve as read-alouds for 5-7 grade. This book would be beneficial for reading as well as social science classes.

  • Kathy
    2019-04-25 17:04

    Fed up with the way blacks were treated in Alabama in the mid 20th century, 15-year-old Claudette Colvin was the first to refuse to give up her legal seat in the back of a Montgomery bus, and was part of the landmark suit that desegregated the buses there, but she has been mostly ignored in the history. With extensive recent interviews with Colvin, interspersed with a smoothly chronological explanation of events of this early successful Civil Rights movement this is an ideal way to present the history to teens. This is a teenager taking action, wanting to change the world, and she did but she didn't get credit. Hoose argues that this was probably for reasons of social class. He also points out that she was a good student - and what an effect the twin disabilities of a conviction for assaulting a policeman and a teen (unwed) pregnancy had on her life. I read this first in a galley and then looked at a library copy for the end matter: a bibliography with some commentary, books and articles and websites; chapter by chapter end notes, nicely illustrated with small reproductions of the photos so you have an idea of which chapter is which, , and acknowledgements, extensive picture credits, index. Splendid.