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Review: Seeds of Freedom

February 6, 2015

Seeds of Freedom

Alabama was a hotbed of resistance during the Civil Rights Movement and often made headlines for its defiant attitude.  In Seeds of Freedom, Hester Bass shows how Huntsville managed to desegregate peacefully.

African Americans protested by buying five dollar blue jeans instead of expensive Easter outfits, holding sit-ins, and releasing balloons into the air.  Civic leaders – both black and white – convinced downtown merchants to integrate and Fifth Avenue School was the first school in the state to enroll an African American student.

I really liked the fact that Seeds of Freedom shows that it is possible to solve issues in nonviolent ways but I don’t think things were settled as easily as the book portrays.  As a matter of fact, in the author’s note, Bass notes that some schools still “serve mostly white children and others mostly black children,” and says “the struggle continues.”

The book is presented in a picture book format with stunning illustrations by E. B. Lewis but I have to wonder who the target audience is.  I’m not sure young readers have enough background to understand the story and feel older readers could be turned off by the format.

Overall, I thought this gorgeous book was pretty good and could be used to spark some great discussions.

kid konnection newI will link this up to Booking Mama’s Saturday feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, leave a comment as well as a link on her site.

Review copy provided by Candlewick Press. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
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15 Comments leave one →
  1. Beth F permalink
    February 6, 2015 7:03 am

    Sounds like a lovely book, but it’s a shame that it seems to be a bit off in terms of target audiences.

  2. Diane (@bookchickdi) permalink
    February 6, 2015 7:40 am

    I did not know about Huntsville. This is an important story, in whatever format it is told. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  3. February 6, 2015 9:59 am

    I have similar complaints about some of the children’s books coming out now about black history.

  4. February 6, 2015 11:19 am

    It is so sad as you said, that this is still a struggle in some cases today.

  5. February 6, 2015 12:11 pm

    Overall, it sounds like a good book – perhaps for middle grades?

  6. Patty permalink
    February 6, 2015 2:44 pm

    It could be a nice reference book in a classroom or classroom library.

  7. February 7, 2015 10:36 am

    I’m going to give this book a try. You brought up some good points.

  8. February 7, 2015 5:42 pm

    Thanks for your honest review. The cover illustration’s wonderful.

  9. February 7, 2015 11:30 pm

    Hm. I’ll have to see if our library has it.

  10. February 8, 2015 10:16 am

    Doesn’t sound like this book will work well the targeted audience. I’ll probably give this a pass.

  11. February 8, 2015 2:41 pm

    You do have me curious about this one–especially after seeing Jill’s thoughts on the Hughes book illustrated by the same person.

  12. February 9, 2015 10:03 am

    I do like this book, making the struggle accessible for younger readers…but I don’t like that it portrays the end of the struggle…as an easy one, but it could be a jumping off point for discussion for parents.

  13. Literary Feline permalink
    February 9, 2015 1:48 pm

    Sounds like this could be a great starting point for discussions with children about that time period–and current struggles.

  14. bookingmama permalink
    February 12, 2015 12:38 pm

    Wow! Sounds like a wonderful picture book. Perfect for the month of February!

  15. February 16, 2015 9:52 pm

    that does sound like a difficult topic for younger children; i know my grandson loves to be read to and picture books are his life’s blood….i don’t think he would understand this one though

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