Book review: Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961, by Larry Dane Brimner

Brimner, Larry Dane. Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961. Calkins Creek, 2017. $18.95. 111p. ISBN 978-1-62979-586-7. Ages 9-15. P8Q9

Black and white backgrounds alternate by page in the chronicle of thirteen activists—a mix of young and old, men and women, black and white—board two different commercial buses in Washington, D.C. bound for New Orleans. Their intent was to break the illegal color barrier in the South, and their trip became increasingly dangerous as they went deeper into the South, facing severe beatings in Alabama from angry white people despite the nonviolence of the Freedom Riders. Stories of the individuals on the trip are accompanied by a multitude of photographs, often full page, as Brimner shows the peril of their journey, for example when angry whites fire-bombed one bus and tried to keep the people inside the burning vehicle while the police stood by and watched. The Sibert Honor-winning author tells about the arrests when blacks tried to use areas identified as “Whites Only” despite laws desegregating the nation.

Verdict: The clear depiction of struggles to overcome “Jim Crow” demonstrate the necessity for the Civil Rights movement and the life-threatening experiences of those who fought for black rights. Students may be interested in doing further research about the Freedom Rides, including this article on the first one:

December 2017 review by Nel Ward.

Advertisements Share this:
Like this:Like Loading... Related