The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks

Beacon. Feb. 2021. 304p. adapted by adapt. by Brandy Colbert. pap. $18.95. ISBN 9780807067574.
Gr 6 Up–The name Rosa Parks conjures images of her most famous act of defiance: refusing to give up her seat to a white man on a segregated bus in Montgomery, AL. Readers will see a pattern of rebellion that started when Parks was a young girl and never really ended until her death in 2005. She fought for the rights of Black people, especially Black women, for over 60 years. Parks was one of the few women who held an office in the NAACP. She marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., and she attended the rallies of Malcolm X. The act of protest on the bus, which led to a 381-day bus boycott and the eventual desegregation of public transportation, is only one example of her activism. The full story is more traumatic and heartrending than the textbook portrayal of a tired seamstress who refused to give up her seat. Parks and her family endured criticism, threatening phone calls, and police brutality. After the bus incident, she and her husband were fired from their jobs, which led to their eventual move to Detroit. As much as some readers want to believe racism was exclusive to the Southern states, both Parks and her husband experienced bigotry during their time in Michigan. Parks was often overlooked as a leader during her own time because she was a Black woman. Theoharis and Colbert provide a thorough tome for those who truly want to understand Parks’s life. The familiar version most people encounter does not paint an accurate picture of Park’s hopes, dreams, struggles, heartbreaks, and successes. The writing style flows seamlessly, drawing readers into the narrative. The addition of journal entries in Park’s own handwriting and photos lend to the authenticity of the stories.
VERDICT Recommended for all middle grade and YA collections.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing