Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Can You Walk the Walk?


It is six months after Rosa Parks made her famous bus protest and refused to move to the back of the bus. The Alabama bus boycott is still going strong and Alfa Merrifield and his family are having a tough time making ends meet. He, his sister, Zinnia, and his grandmother, Big Mama, walk everywhere and pool their money to pay for their shabby home. Walking everywhere isn’t easy, but they stick with it because they know the system needs to change. Twelve-year-old Alfa works hard to help with the bills and must walk to and from work each day. Things are bleak and go from bad to worse when they find out their rent money is missing, again. With only a little time left to get the money together Alfa and Zinnia are trying to find out who is taking their money. When their family gets accused of stealing thousands of dollars from someone else, it looks like things will never get better. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s  words stick with Alfa and inspire him to solve his problems without violence. He is also determined to solve both mysteries. Will they discover who is stealing their rent money? Can they manage to stay off of public transportation? If they do, will the laws ever change? How long will the bus boycott last? Alfa and Zinnia may not be prepared for what awaits them. Take a ride back in history and learn about how our world has changed.

Walking to the Bus-Rider Blues by Harriette Gillem Robinet is a delightful historical fiction book about a family who will capture your heart. Alfa is a character that I could really connect with and I feel as if I know him. I worried about him, felt sad for him, and laughed along with him when he saw the humor in the world around him. This is a wonderful book for people of all ages, and I think kids in fourth through eighth grade will especially relate to Alfa and Zinnia. The book touches on issues in history and allows us to look at life during the 1950s. We get to see what life was like for a typical African American family struggling to make ends meet and fighting peacefully for their rights. I found myself hoping that good things would come their way and was impressed with their perseverance. I think Alfa would be an excellent friend because he is kind and hard working. I like that he keeps the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with him at all times and does his best to solve his problems with nonviolence. We can all learn a lot from a character who keeps hope in his heart in the face of adversity. If you have not read it yet, I highly recommend it. You will enjoy seeing a slice of history come to life and you will be reminded of how far we have come towards equality. Working together, we can set our goals and make a difference.

Has anyone else read Walking to the Bus-Rider Blues by Harriette Gillem Robinet? Or have you read another book by Harriette Gillem Robinet?

Happy Reading! ~L

22 comments:

  1. I have never heard of this book before (A) But ohh. It does sound awesome :D I'm glad you liked it. <3 Thank you for sharing ;)
    Thank you for commenting on my mailbox. <3
    Love, Carina @ Carina's Books

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    1. Hi Carina, Thanks so much for stopping by! It's always fun to hear from you : ) ~ F

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  2. I've never read any books by this author hence I haven't read this book. I want to hug Alfa! He shouldn't be working at 12 years old. I hope he solves the mystery. He sounds really sweet and I also like he takes MLK's nonviolence to heart.

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    1. Hi Adriana, Thanks so much for stopping by to share your thoughts with us! Let us know your thoughts about this book if you pick it up : ) ~ F

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  3. Sounds like a great read for schools as well as homes, thanks for recommending it.

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    1. Hi Petty, Thanks for stopping by to visit with us. It's a wonderful story and we are happy to share it with all of you! ~ F

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  4. No...I have never read her but again...I am sorely lacking in knowledge of middle grade books...sigh!

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    1. Hi Patty, Keep popping over here, and we'll tell keep telling you about them! It's fun to share stories : ) Lovely to hear from you! ~ F

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  5. This only goes to show how many amazing books are available, yet not known. So glad you posted about this one.

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    1. Hi cleemckenzie, There really are! Thanks so much for popping over to visit us today! : ) ~ F

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  6. This is such a sad and controversial time in our history and I think it is so important to teach our kids about prejudice and how it can be overcome. This is an important book that I will be delighted to check out with my kids.

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    1. Hi Heidi, We hope you and your kids enjoy the story. Thanks so much for stopping by to share your thoughts with us : ) ~ F

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  7. I've never heard of Harriette Gillem Robinet but Walking to the Bus-Rider Blues sounds so intriguing. I'm definitely going to check it out. Thanks for sharing! :)

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    1. Hi Ifrah, We hope you enjoy it! Thanks so much for stopping by : ) ~ F

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  8. I haven't heard of the book or author before, but this does sound like a really good book. :)

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    1. Hi Cherie, It's an excellent book to check out! Thanks for popping over : ) ~ F

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  9. That sounds like a great book. I love the topic.

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    1. M Pax- It is a great book and I agree with you about the topic. :) ~L

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  10. I love this topic and I'm 99 % sure I read this when it was first published for a book report. I think I may have to borrow it from the library and refresh my memory :)
    -Kimberly @ Turning the Pages

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    1. Kimberly- How cool that you read it when it first came out for a book report. It has been out for a while- so I bet you did! Happy rereading. :) ~L

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  11. What a precious story. I love the whole idea of it.

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    1. Donna- It is a fabulous read! :) ~L

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