The girl from the tar paper school : Barbara Rose Johns and the advent of the civil rights movement / Teri Kanefield.

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  • Additional Information
    • Abstract:
      Summary: Describes the peaceful protest organized by teenager Barbara Rose Johns in order to secure a permanent building for her segregated high school in Virginia in 1951, and explains how her actions helped fuel the civil rights movement.
    • Content Notes:
      The tar paper shack problem -- "A little child shall lead them" -- The quiet embrace of the woods -- The time has come -- Stick with us -- Reaching for the moon -- Pupil lashes out at principal -- A lawsuit is filed- and the troubles begin -- The lost generation -- "Nothing is as strong as gentleness, nothing so gentle as strength." -- The birth of the civil rights movement.
    • Notes:
      Includes bibliographical references (pages 50-51), filmgraphy (page 50), and index.
    • Other Titles:
      Girl from the tarpaper school.
    • ISBN:
      9781419707964 (hbk.)
      1419707965 (hbk.)
    • Accession Number:
    • Accession Number:
    • Accession Number:


Booklist Reviews 2013 October #1

Barbara Rose Johns is not a household name, but she is one of the most important players in the early days of the civil rights movement. In 1951, 16-year-old Johns organized a series of peaceful demonstrations to draw attention to the substandard education she and classmates were receiving in their segregated "tar paper" schools, one-room shanties with leaky roofs and no heat. Drawing on inspiration from a favorite teacher and with the support of her family, Johns planned and led a strike at the school that garnered both positive and negative attention from the press and from peers. The demands that Johns made, including equality in educational facilities, would soon after be argued before the United States Supreme Court in the seminal case of Brown v. Board of Education. Well-researched and drawing heavily on Johns' own writings, and interviews with people who knew her best, Kanefield's text manages to create a story that is genuine and should serve as an example to any young person battling an injustice. Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2014 Fall

A heartfelt tribute to Barbara Rose Johns, a lesser-known heroine of the early civil rights movement. In 1951 Virginia, black Robert R. Moton High School and white Farmville High were separate but definitely not equal, and quiet Barbara and her classmates decided to strike. Profuse details, some extraneous, threaten to overtake the inspiring story of bravery. Timeline. Bib., ind.

PW Reviews 2013 October #3

Kanefield (Rivka's Way) reveals Barbara Johns as an unsung civil rights pioneer in this biography for middle-grade readers. As the architect of a student strike in the segregated American south of the 1950s, Johns drew attention to the substandard school conditions she and fellow African-American classmates endured, often in classrooms with tar papered walls. "When it rained, the roofs leaked.... Some students sat under umbrellas so the ink on their papers wouldn't run." In piecing together this account of the courageous, outspoken Johns and the strike at Virginia's Moton High School, the author mines several sources, including Johns' handwritten memoir and interviews Kanefield conducted with Johns's family and friends. Numerous archival and contemporary photos appear throughout, and sidebars cover segregation, the KKK, and other relevant topics. While Johns' innovative, nonviolent protest against racial inequity didn't play out as expected, it did end up a part of the Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education, helping bring an end to school segregation. This stirring tribute to Johns is an important addition to any student collection of civil rights books. Ages 10–14. (Jan.)

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