A Girl Named Rosa: The True Story of Rosa Parks

illus. by Melissa Manwill. 48p. (American Girl: A Girl Named). chron. glossary. American Girl. Jan. 2018. pap. $4.99. ISBN 9781338193077.
Gr 2–4—Focusing primarily on the early life of Rosa Parks, this biography for early readers is rooted in the larger context of the United States in which she was raised. Using incidents of racial violence and segregation from Parks's childhood, readers are given the opportunity to understand how she channeled her experiences of those events into brave acts as an adult. The climactic bus boycott is built up to with details concerning Parks's involvement in the NAACP and her upbringing with her family. Her arrest and the subsequent boycott take up the majority of the text with her later years mentioned only briefly. There is one especially problematic line in the text which states: "As Rosa grew older, she worked hard to keep racism from making her act out in anger again." Though it is explained in the text, the line will still likely confuse younger readers.
VERDICT Many biographies of Parks exist, including an autobiography (Parks and Jim Haskins's I Am Rosa Parks). However, the appealing illustrations and firm language make this a serviceable introduction to Parks and the civil rights movement.

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