Published by Calkins Creek
Summary: When Lizzie Jennings was denied admission onto a New York City “Whites Only” streetcar in 1854, she stood her ground, refusing to leave until she was forcibly thrown off by the driver and conductor. Lizzie was a teacher whose parents were abolitionists. When she told the people of her church what had happened, they hired a lawyer and formed a committee to make sure she had plenty of support. Her case became Elizabeth Jennings v. The Third Avenue Railroad Company, and she was represented by Chester A. Arthur, who went on to become President of the United States. Lizzie won her case, and the “Colored People Allowed on This Car” came off the Third Avenue streetcars. Others were inspired by her courage, and continued the fight against segregated public transportation, including, a century later, Rosa Parks. Includes a lengthy author’s note with additional information and photos; and an extensive bibliography. 32 pages; grades 1-5.
Pros: A fascinating and little-known story about an ordinary person whose courageous deeds led to real change. Caldecott honoree E. B. Lewis’s colorful paintings complement the story perfectly.
Cons: It would have been nice to tie this to the more familiar story of Rosa Parks, either through the text or the illustrations.