Cover image for Linda Brown, you are not alone : the Brown v. Board of Education decision : a collection
Linda Brown, you are not alone : the Brown v. Board of Education decision : a collection

1st ed.
Publication Information:
New York : Jump at the Sun/Hyperion Books for Children, c2003.
Physical Description:
xxi, 114 p. : col. ill. ; cm.
Who is Linda Brown? ; Introduction / Joyce Carol Thomas -- Wonamona / Jerry Spinelli -- Desegregation ; Legacy / Eloise Greenfield -- Anthony / Lois Lowry -- St. Louis / Quincy Troupe -- The prophet / Katherine Paterson -- Stormy weather / Joyce Carol Thomas -- Mike and me / Michael Cart -- Color blind / Ishmael Reed -- The awakening / Jean Craighead George -- My dear colored people / Leona Nicholas Welch.
Reading Level:
560 L Lexile
A collection of personal reflections, stories and poems of 10 well-known children's authors, who were themselves young people in 1954 when the Supreme Court handed down the decision to desegregate public schools. Their varied experiences and viewpoints offer a window to that period in our history.


Material Type
Call Number
Item Available
Book J 323.1196 LIN 1 1

On Order



When the Supreme Court decision to desegregate public schools was handed down in 1954, the course of American history was forever changed. Here are personal reflections, stories, and poems from ten of today's most accomplished writers for children, all young people themselves at the time of the Brown v. Board of Education decision. Included are Michael Cart, Jean Craighead George, Eloise Greenfield, Lois Lowry, Katherine Paterson, Ishmael Reed, Jerry Spinelli, Quincy Troupe, Joyce Carol Thomas, and Leona Nicholas Welch. With a compelling introduction by editor Joyce Carol Thomas and stunning pastel artwork by Curtis E. James, this collection celebrates the hard-earned promise of equality in education.

Author Notes

Joyce Carol Thomas was born in Ponca City, Oklahoma in May 1938. She received a bachelor's degree in Spanish and a master's degree in education. She was a poet, playwright, and children's book author. Her first young-adult novel, Marked by Fire, was published in 1982 and won the National Book Award for children's fiction in 1983. Her other young adult novels include Bright Shadow and House of Light. Her illustrated poetry collections include The Blacker the Berry and Brown Honey in Broomwheat Tea, both of which were honored by the Coretta Scott King Book Awards. In 1987, Marked by Fire was adapted into a gospel musical Abyssinia. She died from cirrhosis of the liver August 13, 2016 at the age of 78.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 5

School Library Journal Review

Gr 6 Up-Through poems, personal stories, and essays, contemporary children's book authors reflect on the impact of the Brown v. Board of Education decision 50 years ago. Ishmael Reed talks about how integration has been a mixed blessing within the black community. Lois Lowry shares a story about slurping spaghetti and reading stories with a black child who can't read during three summers in the 1960s. Katherine Paterson relates her own experience with racism as a "white foreigner" born in China. James's detailed, full-color illustrations capture the solidarity of African Americans as well as their sadness. These poignant pictures will attract a younger audience of readers, but without a glossary to define such terms as "model minority" or "white flight," many concepts will be lost on them. Some of the selections seem to be written with an adult audience in mind, and some are only tangentially related to the court decision. An additional purchase.-Kelly Czarnecki, Bloomington Public Library, IL (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publisher's Weekly Review

To mark the 50th anniversary of the pivotal 1954 Supreme Court ruling, Thomas (I Have Heard of a Land) gathers candid writing by 10 authors who collectively lay bare the profound, complex consequences of the decision. Their personal reminiscences capture a spectrum of powerfully expressed emotions, chief among them anger at the injustice they experienced or witnessed, regret and even shame at having felt hopeless to change the same or being blind to its prevalence. Jerry Spinelli poignantly recounts his friendship with the African-American neighbor he met in the summer of 1954, as they were both about to enter fifth grade; Eloise Greenfield's poem "Desegregation" captures, in 17 lines, the hopes and fears for the country through the eyes of a child. Quincy Troupe and Ishmael Reed each articulately address the court ruling's paradoxical negative repercussions on all-black cultural landmarks and institutions. Thomas's own poem takes one man's act of prejudice against her family and transforms it into a spiritual experience for all present. Providing a fitting finale is Leona Nicholas Welch's recreation of her graduation from the only Catholic "colored" high school in Mobile, Ala., conducted by a white bishop who addressed the students as "My dear colored people." Welsh concludes, "The bishop had come to remind us of what color we were. In actuality, he had only given us the impetus we needed to go show the world our true colors." Making a strong children's book debut, James's closely focused, lifelike pastel illustrations feature striking portraits and memorable images. Ages 10-up. (Dec.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Horn Book Review

Fifty years after [cf2]Brown v. Board of Education[cf1], ten children's authors share their individual perspectives on the ruling, including historical background for the event, personal reflections on the decision, and stories that recognize both the hope and pride that followed [cf2]Brown[cf1]. Although the collection is uneven in terms of audience appeal and literary merit, some stories will resonate with individual readers. From HORN BOOK Spring 2004, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Review

A nuanced collection thoughtfully commemorates, rather than celebrates, the 50th anniversary of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education decision. Each piece, by a luminary who was young in 1954, offers a piercing glimpse into black-white relations, and the best carry that glimpse forward to today. While no part of this collection falls flat, some are more effective than others. Katherine Paterson and Jean Craighead George search their own souls, writing honestly about their responses as white women to Brown. Quincy Troupe and Ishmael Reed offer angrier and more political essays, the former recalling his own experience as a minority black student in a newly desegregated white high school, and the latter mourning the loss of the black community institutions that had been fostered by segregation. No one has the temerity to claim that Brown was a cure-all for our nation's ills; perhaps this offering's greatest strength for young readers is the sense that Brown was part of a historical process--and so, now, are they. (Anthology. 10+) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Booklist Review

Gr. 6-12. Published on the fiftieth anniversary of the Supreme Court's ruling to desegregate public schools, this volume collects stories, memoirs, and poems about the history and impact of Brown v . Board of Education. The contributors, well-known writers for young people, were themselves young in 1954, and they speak from different sides of the racial barrier. Some selections, such as Joyce Carol Thomas' poem Stormy Weather and Quincy Troupe's challenging essay St. Louis, speak powerfully about the searing discrimination that blacks have suffered. Others, such as Jean Craighead George's The Awakening, talk about white blindness : I was as slow to see this injustice as a bear awakening from hibernation. The illustrated format, featuring arresting pastel images by James, seems geared to younger readers, but some of the entries are fairly sophisticated. Teachers will need to pull out the selections best suited to their students, but all the passages will bring children up close to the complex realities of segregated society, while showing that the ruling was only the first step on a long, continuing road to progress. --Gillian Engberg Copyright 2003 Booklist

Table of Contents

Joyce Carol ThomasJoyce Carol ThomasJerry SpinelliEloise GreenfieldEloise GreenfieldLois LowryQuincy TroupeKatherine PatersonJoyce Carol ThomasMichael CartIshmael ReedJean Craighead GeorgeLeona Nicholas Welch
Who is Linda Brown?p. ix
Introductionp. xiii
Wonamonap. 3
Desegregationp. 15
Legacyp. 16
Anthonyp. 27
St. Louisp. 43
The Prophetp. 55
Stormy Weatherp. 67
Mike and Mep. 73
Color Blindp. 85
The Awakeningp. 97
My Dear Colored Peoplep. 107