Monday, February 4, 2013

{Project 101: Weekly Library Challenge} Week #3: Rosa Parks + Black History Month

Two weeks ago, I started Project 101 in honor of the 101st birthday of our library, the County of Los Angeles Public Library. I write about 2 books each week: 1 book is a library book for the boys and the other will be a peek into what I am reading. Last week, it was Madeline's Tea Party and Julie and Julia, this week I am highlighting a book about Rosa Parks and The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass.

Today, Feb. 4th, is Rosa Park's Birthday, so it is perfect timing to be sharing Rosa's Bus by Jo S. Kittinger. Her website has a trailer for the book and resources for teachers. I have a confession with this one, I have not read it to Wild Thing yet. My plan is to share a book we have been reading and love, but this one we picked out at the library just a couple of days ago - the bus on the cover attracted Wild Thing, and we have not set down to read it yet. (Last night, he was obsessed with train books). I have read it, though, and love the approach for children of sharing the story of Rosa's courageous act through inviting them to learn about the bus. 

The book is really for children ages 7 and up (perfect for elementary school children to learn about the civil rights movement and Rosa Parks), so I will probably do some summarizing and adjusting when I read it with Wild Thing. A bonus aspect to this book is the additional information in the back of the book, particularly learning that both a 15 year-old and 19 year-old had also refused to move to the back of the bus prior to Rosa. I think hearing about young people standing up for what is right is always good for kids.

As for me, I am often drawn to the biography and autobiography section of the library. In fact, that is where I found Julie and Julia. Last time I was perusing that section, this thin book drew my attention: The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass, which is the autobiography of an extraordinary man. I know many people had to read this in school, but somehow I never did. I particularly liked the introduction in the version that I read (pictured at left) for the added context and insight it gave into the book and into the life of Frederick Douglass. Douglass' words and his commitment to being brutally honest in recounting his experiences as a slave  make the book hard to read at times. Still, I am grateful that I am reading it, for I see the history he recounts as American History, something that is, unfortunately, part of our collective past and in reading it, I hope I can be further inspired to work toward a future for my nation that includes a deep commitment to equality and justice for all - and to teach my sons to treat everyone with dignity, respect and love. Modelling that behavior is the best way to start. How do you teach your children about history? How do you model kindness and respect to your children? 

(Psst...If you have not,  consider joining in with #100ActsofKindness with Toddler Approved. We shared 10 simple ways kids can be kind that don't cost a dime!)

More on books we love and another creative library post:

Week 1 of Project 101

On Perspective
Library Adventure at Home

Now, it is your turn. What are you reading? I love getting your feedback and because of multiple mentions in comments, FB, etc. I will have to put the Llama Llama books on my library list. Oh - and the books that Mama Smiles shared in the comments that she is reading are also going on the list for me. :) 

Shared at:  

Kid Lit Blog Hop


  1. I haven't read these books yet. Thank you for the recommendations!

  2. I need to read The Life and Times of Frederick Douglass. I love biographies and autobiographies, as well.

    Emma brought "Ruby Bridges Goes to School" by Ruby Bridges home from school - I recommend it as a picture book!

  3. I also haven't read these books - I love this series you are doing and the books you are highlighting.

  4. Oh, that book about Frederick Douglass sounds interesting! I may have to check it out!

  5. They both look great and are perfect for Black History Month. I really love books on the Civil Rights. It's interesting to see how things were back then compared to now.

    I will try to get my hands on them! Thanks for linking up to the Kid Lit Blog Hop!

  6. I love this project of yours so much! Thanks for sharing at The Children's Bookshelf!

  7. Oh, I just love Rosa Parks' story. I lived in Windsor Ontario (across from Detroit) for 10+ years and her legend and spirit is still so alive in that area. Thank you for linking your book recommendations into the Kid Lit Blog Hop. I'm a new follower. :D