A Mighty Long Way (Adapted for Young Readers): My Journey to Justice at Little Rock Central High School

Delacorte. Jan. 2023. 288p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780593486757.
Gr 5 Up–“Why am I just learning about this now?” a student asked Carlotta Walls LaNier when she was speaking about her experience as one of the Little Rock Nine. The 1957 integration of Black students into an all-white high school (a result of the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education desgregation order issued by the Supreme Court) was a challenging and daunting time, but the nine students who took that risk made history and broke barriers for future Black children. This book conveys all the emotions and ups and downs Walls LaNier and her friends, family, and community endured. The Little Rock Nine thought going to a new, well-known school in Arkansas would be a great opportunity and open more doors for their future. Instead, they endured mental and physical violence daily from both students and adults in the community. Alongside its incredible historical value, teachers could use this title to teach empathy and respect; it’s what all students deserve at any school.
VERDICT A compelling account of one of the Little Rock Nine, and the first Black woman to graduate from Central High School. A must-purchase for nonfiction collections and required reading for U.S. history classes.

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