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If a Bus Could Talk: The Story of Rosa Parks [Hardcover]

By Faith Ringgold (Author) & Faith Ringgold (Illustrator)
Our Price $ 13.29  
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Item Number 151350  
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Hardcover $ 18.60 $ 13.02 2239248 In Stock
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Item description for If a Bus Could Talk: The Story of Rosa Parks by Faith Ringgold...

Provides middle readers with the story of the one courageous woman who refused to give her seat to a white man in the segregated South in order to stand up for freedom and her rights.

Publishers Description
If a bus could talk, it would tell the story of a young African-American girl named Rosa who had to walk miles to her one-room schoolhouse in Alabama while white children rode to their school in a bus. It would tell how the adult Rosa rode to and from work on a segregated city bus and couldn't sit in the same row as a white person. It would tell of the fateful day when Rosa refused to give up her seat to a white man and how that act of courage inspired others around the world to stand up for freedom.
In this book a bus "does" talk, and on her way to school a girl named Marcie learns why Rosa Parks is the mother of the Civil Rights movement. At the end of Marcie's magical ride, she meets Rosa Parks herself at a birthday party with several distinguished guests. Wait until she tells her class about this

Citations And Professional Reviews
If a Bus Could Talk: The Story of Rosa Parks by Faith Ringgold has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Essence - 12/01/2005 page 130
  • Kirkus Review - Children - 11/01/1999 page 1747
  • Publishers Weekly - 11/15/1999 page 66
  • New York Times - 11/21/1999 page 60
  • Booklist - 01/01/2000 page 934
  • School Library Journal - 01/01/2000 page 126
  • Hornbook Guide to Children - 07/01/1999 page 159
  • Hornbook Guide to Children - 01/01/2000 page 159

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Simon & Schuster Children's Publishing
Pages   32
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 10.2" Width: 12" Height: 0.5"
Weight:   1.15 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Nov 1, 1999
Publisher   Simon & Schuster
Age  5-9
ISBN  0689818920  
ISBN13  9780689818929  

Availability  3 units.
Availability accurate as of Oct 28, 2016 07:53.
Usually ships within one to two business days from Bridgewater NJ.
Orders shipping to an address other than a confirmed Credit Card / Paypal Billing address may incur and additional processing delay.

More About Faith Ringgold

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Faith Ringgold was born in Harlem in 1930. She received a degree in art education from the City College of New York and was an art teacher long before she became a professional artist. She is best known for her pained story quilts, some of which hang in the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City. Tar Beach, Ringgold s first book for children, won the Coretta Scott King Award for illustration and was named a Caldecott honor Book. Her other award-winning books include Aunt Harriet s Underground Railroad in the Sky and Harlem Renaissance Party.
Learn more about Faith at"

Faith Ringgold currently resides in Englewood, in the state of New Jersey.

Faith Ringgold has published or released items in the following series...
  1. Avenues
  2. Reading Rainbow Books

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Children > Ages 4-8 > General
2Books > Subjects > Children > History & Historical Fiction > United States > 1900s
3Books > Subjects > Children > People & Places > Biographies > People of Color
4Books > Subjects > Children > People & Places > Biographies > Social Activists
5Books > Subjects > Children > People & Places > Multicultural Stories > African-American
6Books > Subjects > Children > People & Places > Social Issues > Prejudice & Racism > Nonfiction
7Books > Subjects > Children > Ages 4-8
8Books > Subjects > Children > Literature
9Books > Subjects > History

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Reviews - What do customers think about If a Bus Could Talk: The Story of Rosa Parks?

Factual and nicely illustrated... but wordy.  Sep 23, 2006
The title is promising, but misleading. "If a Bus Could Talk" implies an entertaining story for the beginning reader; but, the concept is lost as the story drags from the first few sentences. The gimmick of the driverless bus is mishandled, and one soon wonders why the author thought it necessary add a gimmick to a true story that is inherently interesting when skillfully told. One might speculate that someone early on criticized the book as being a Civil Rights manual for young adults rather than a picture book for children; hence, the story was prefaced with the garbled mess that makes up its first few pages of text. Perhaps that part was hastily added. The suggested audience is the five-to-nine age group. Any healthy five-year old will be dozing from page one. Once it becomes obvious that the prose is better suited to an older child, though, the biography itself becomes quite informative.

By the third or fourth page, the talking bus is forgotten, except for the convention of including a quotation mark at the beginning of each paragraph. The story becomes a straightforward account of Rosa McCauley Parks' life story. As such, it is compelling. The KKK is mentioned early on, with dramatic descriptions of midnight raids that must have been terrifying to a black child growing up in the hostile environment of segregated Alabama. The book mentions torture, beatings and lynchings--quite graphic for a picture book. But it goes on to provide good, detailed biographical material on Rosa, from childhood into adulthood. It tells of her mother, Leona's, determination to have Rosa educated beyond the shamefully lacking, bare-minimum education provided for black children by the state of Alabama before 1960. At age eleven, Rosa went to a girl's school in Montgomery, and then "on to high school at Alabama State Teacher's College for Negroes," but was forced to drop out of school due to illness and death in the family. She did go on to get her diploma, but later on couldn't get a job that would utilize her skills. Meanwhile, she took a job at a department store, doing sewing and alterations. Here, the storyline gets a little disorganized. It gives an early account of discrimination by bus drivers and explains in detail some of the insults that black people were forced to endure under the segregation laws. This might be the perfect lead-in to Rosa's famous protest, but instead, the story jumps to Rosa's marriage to Raymond Parks and goes off on a tangent about Mr. Parks' association with the NAACP. It details Rosa's attempts to get registered to vote and how she managed to do it. Then it jumps to the "fateful day" when Rosa Parks took "this very bus" and refused to give up her seat. Her arrest follows. The book once again bogs down in a quicksand of factual details of the Civil Rights movement, describing the efforts of the NAACP, the Women's Political Council, and local black ministers to organize the Montgomery Bus Boycott. It gets a little preachy. The young Dr. Martin Luther King and his speeches are mentioned, including his arrest and the bombing of his house as a result of his involvement in the boycott. This section barely maintains the book's pretext of being a picture book, once again sounding like a ninth-grade essay on Civil Rights. Finally, though, the storyline manages to straggle back to its simpler form and includes a few pages about freedom songs and birthday cakes. The illustrations are wonderfully rich in expressive color and soul. They beg for a simpler text.

The positive thing about this book is that it is a good, factual, biographical account of the life of Rosa McCauley Parks, probably of interest to an older child who wants to make a study of the 1960's Civil Rights movement. It is a good reference work. Its failure is that it was published in a picture-book format that is too young for its ideal audience. It should have been a chapter book.
Moving Story About Civil Rights Movement  Nov 6, 2003
What would you do if a bus with eyes, nose, red hair, and a yellow cap pulled up to your bus stop? When the door opens and a voice calls out, "Step on up, young lady," Marcie does just that. It will be the ride of her life, for she hears the courageous story of Rosa Parks straight from Rosa's bus itself. This story spans a spectrum of detail in 32 pages: from Rosa McCauley's childhood in Pine Level, Alabama, to her marriage to Raymond Parks, to that fateful bus ride on December 1, 1955, to her continued struggle for equality after the boycott. The artistic style of Faith Ringgold leaps from the page in dramatic acrylic color on canvas. The suggested reading age for this book is 5 - 9. Yet it is not a quick read. Text is detailed enough to make some younger listeners restless. Vocabulary is challenging enough to daunt some older beginner readers. But don't let that deter you from sharing If a Bus Could Talk with your children. No doubt they take their integrated schools, pools, movies, and restaurants for granted. If anything, this story will get THEM to talk!
A good informitive book!  May 23, 2000
If a bus could talk is about a little girl named Marcie who steps onto a bus that can talk. The bus tells her that she is ridng on the Rosa Parks bus. Then the bus tells her about Rosa Park's life and about Martin Luther King and the bus boycott. I learned alot about Rosa Park's life from reading this book, and I would recommend If a Bus Could Talk to any child who doesn't know much about the civil rights movement.
A good informitive book!  May 23, 2000
If a bus could talk is about a little girl named Marcie who steps onto a bus that can talk. The bus tells her that she is ridng on the Rosa Parks bus. Then the bus tells her about Rosa Park's life and about Martin Luther King and the bus boycott. I learned alot about Rosa Park's life from reading this book, and I would recommend If a Bus Could Talk to any child who doesn't know much about the civil rights movement.

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