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The First Step is an exceptionally well-written and magnificently illustrated book which relates the powerful civil rights story of Roberts v. City of Boston and reminds us that every big change must start with a first step.
By meticulously researching life in 1850s Boston, Goodman transports the reader back in time as she tells the story of young Sarah Roberts in a way that will resonate with children, parents, and educators. Children will try to imagine what life was like for Sarah when she was forced out of her school because of the color of her skin. Parents can take the opportunity to discuss with their children the challenges that Sarah and her family were facing. Educators can use The First Step to lead discussions about history, social change, and how one person's small steps can be a part of a larger solution.
At the back of the book, Goodman includes a list of books, websites and other sources she used in researching this book, as well as an Integration Timeline that puts the story of Sarah Roberts in context and could serve as the basis for broader discussion.
A wonderful new work that shines a light on an important piece of our history, The First Step is not to be missed!
This is a beautifully written book that brings alive an important moment in the history of civil rights in this country. With exquisite illustrations accompanying its clear and vivid text, it will pull young readers into a fuller understanding of what oppression looks and feels like, and will leave them thinking about the tremendous importance of fighting for change in the face of injustice. Most importantly, this eloquently told story conveys how even when the fight for justice isn’t successful in the short run, each step along the way makes a valuable contribution to change over time. The book’s extensive back matter will be of great interest to children, parents, teachers, and librarians, with important information about the timeline of “Marching Toward Equality” in education, additional biographical details about the story’s protagonists, and a fascinating look at the process of how its author worked to gather the information needed to tell this piece of history accurately. Overall an important, compelling, and wonderfully engaging read – with illustrations that add a huge amount to an already vivid narrative.
Straightforward narrative nonfiction about Sarah's little known impact on school segregation. Also connects to later important events in the history of school integration. It could be a bit more creative and engaging, but nonetheless provides significant facts and connections. I bought it to use as a read aloud in my fifth grade class in Boston.
This rating is for the formatting of the Kindle Edition. I cannot rate the actual content because I can't seem to access more than the timeline, author's note, and two pictures. If you want to try this book, I suggest the printed edition.