NONFICTION

Streetcar to Justice: How Elizabeth Jennings Won the Right To Ride in New York

144p. bibliog. chron. further reading. notes. photos. reprods. websites. HarperCollins/Greenwillow. Jan. 2018. lib. ed. $19.99. ISBN 9780062673602.
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Gr 4–7—Hearth sets the stage in this middle grade biography with Elizabeth Jennings hoping to arrive on time at the First Colored American Congregational Church, where she was an organist, before pulling back to explain just what New York City looked, smelled, and operated like in 1854. Weaving together historical background with a portrait of Jennings, Hearth has created a compelling account of the court case Jennings vs. Third Avenue Railroad Company—an early landmark case in desegregating New York City transit. The engaging narrative is supported by plentiful archival maps, photos, and reproductions of primary source documents, such as handwritten reports and newspaper clippings. Sidebars also provide important historical context. The back matter is impressively long—including a six-page bibliography of websites, books, newspapers, journals and reports; extensive chapter and illustration notes; and more, making this a superb mentor text.
VERDICT Hearth brings the story of Elizabeth Jennings to vivid life in an eminently readable book.

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