Small Shoes, Great Strides : How Three Brave Girls Opened Doors to School Equality

$19.99 USD

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Discover the little-known story of three brave Black girls who integrated an all-white New Orleans elementary school on November 14, 1960.

Leona Tate, Gail Etienne, and Tessie Prevost didn't set out to make history. But when these three Black first graders stepped into the all-white McDonogh No. 19 Public School in New Orleans on November 14, 1960, that's exactly what they did. They integrated their school just ten minutes before Ruby Bridges walked into her school, also in New Orleans. Like Ruby, the trio faced crowds of protestors fighting against public school desegregation efforts and relied on US Marshals to keep them safe. Their teacher protected them every step of the way, and the girls formed a close bond, becoming friends for life.

Award-winning author Vaunda Micheaux Nelson conducted extensive interviews to bring this little-known story from the Civil Rights Movement to a broad audience. Vivid illustrations by fine artist Alex Bostic highlight the girls' strength, courage, and determination.

Vaunda Micheaux Nelson is the author of The Book Itch, as well as three Coretta Scott King Award-winning books: No Crystal StairBad News for Outlaws, and Almost to Freedom. She is a former youth services librarian in New Mexico.

Alex Bostic is a nationally award-winning realist painter based in Mississippi. He holds a BFA in Illustration from Pratt Institute and an MA in Illustration from Syracuse University. With more than forty years of being an illustrator, Alex decided to further develop and focus on his personal work and he is now a traditional figurative artist.

"[B]rutal, enlightening, hopeful, and realistic. An important piece of history, the book is a treasure and will require classroom discussion."—starred, School Library Journal

"Bostic's evocative illustrations add tenderness to a narrative of real terror. . . An important addition to civil rights movement literature with which readers can connect on a human level." —starred, The Horn Book Magazine

"[A]n unmissable story about everyday courage whose notes about the importance of overcoming discrimination remain timely." —starred, Foreword Reviews

"Micheaux Nelson and Bostic's information-packed picture book examines an overlooked story of civil rights . . . Art in browns, purples, and golds juxtaposes saturated portraits of the girls with sepia-tone scenes of protesters."—starred, Publishers Weekly


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