Librarian Pre-K-5 at Peak View Elementary School
This story begins in Boston, MA in 1847. The reader first meets four year old Sarah Roberts as she scurries along busy streets to joyfully find herself at the Otis School. Very soon, though, Sarah is no longer welcome as she is African American and the story really begins from there. Sarah's parents refuse to accept subjecting their beloved daughter to the same injustices they faced growing up attending inferior schools long distances away. They hire one of the country's only African American lawyers to lead their case in Roberts vs City of Boston. The little case that ultimately leads to the first time an African American lawyer argues before the Supreme Court.
This story also links to other people and their participation and children hearing this make connections to other important African Americans and the Civil Rights movement and discover that it takes many, many people decades (even more than a century) to achieve dreams. Yet, at the same time, it all starts with that "first step" and having the courage, the dedication, the love, and the drive to follow a dream and fight for beliefs and rights.
E.B. Lewis, an award winning illustrator does a commendable job of connecting the characters and events to the read through watercolors. Another recommended book he has illustrated on the topic of Civil Rights is "All Different Now: Juneteenth, the First Day of Freedom" by Angela Johnson.
The book doesn't even end with this story, which links to the future and the present. It also comes with a wealth of back matter at the end of the book which includes a timeline, short bios on the key characters, a list of resources, and an author's note.
Five stars for this wonderful story sure to touch and uplift the reader's heart.