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If A Bus Could Talk: The Story of Rosa Parks
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If A Bus Could Talk: The Story of Rosa Parks

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  227 Ratings  ·  59 Reviews

If a bus could talk, it would tell the story of a young African-American girl named Rosa who had to walk miles to her one-room schoolhouse in Alabama while white children rode to their school in a bus. It would tell how the adult Rosa rode to and from work on a segregated city bus and couldn't sit in the same row as a white person. It would tell of the fateful day when Ros
...more
Paperback, 32 pages
Published January 1st 2003 by Aladdin (first published 1999)
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Aubrey Yager
Apr 24, 2013 Aubrey Yager rated it it was amazing
Aubrey Yager
Book Review
If a Bus Could Talk: The Story of Rosa Parks
Faith Ringgold

1. Introduction:
What would you do if a bus with eyes, nose and a yellow cap arrived at your bus stop? Would you hop in and enjoy the ride? Marcie does just that in Faith Ringgold’s fictional book If a Bus Could Talk: The Story of Rosa Parks. This adventure story will be the ride of Marcie’s life, because she hears the inspirational story of Rosa Parks straight from the bus. The story goes into great detail regarding
...more
Jenna Dillon
Oct 22, 2009 Jenna Dillon rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fluent-catalog
Summary: If a bus could talk, it would tell the story of a young African-American girl named Rosa who had to walk miles to her one-room schoolhouse in Alabama while white children rode to their school in a bus. It would tell how the adult Rosa rode to and from work on a segregated city bus and couldn't sit in the same row as a white person. It would tell of the fateful day when Rosa refused to give up her seat to a white man and how that act of courage inspired others around the world to stand u ...more
Jennifer
Mar 11, 2009 Jennifer rated it it was ok
Booktalked at Women's History Storytime.

This is an odd book. A talking bus tells the tale of Rosa Parks to a little girl on her way to school. I found it uneven, too wordy, and almost... ugly. I dislike this style of illustration tremendously. I didn't get a sense of magic from the book; instead, I just felt slightly put off by the strangeness of the narrator. Funnily enough, the little girl wasn't allowed to sit in a particular seat because it was reserved for Rosa Parks!

Eh. It fills a gap in
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Barbara
An excellent introduction to the civil rights movement for young readers, this picture book imagines that a young girl named Marcie boards a very gregarious bus. Because the bus has seen it all when it comes to bus segregation and the role played by Rosa Parks in integrating public transportation in Birmingham, the youngster, and by extension, the book's readers, are afforded a ringside seat to an important piece of history. Although the version of Rosa's decision not to move from her seat at th ...more
Chrissy Emmons
Apr 22, 2015 Chrissy Emmons rated it it was amazing
This would be a great book to introduce the civil right movement and Rosa Parks to upper elementary students. This is an imaginative story about a little girl who gets on the same bus Rosa Parks stood up for herself in. The story gives a brief overview of the events that happened the day Rosa Parks would not give her seat up and the movement that started because of her courageous action. I enjoy this simple to read book because the "magic" bus would be fun to students but the story is still very ...more
Elizabeth
Jul 30, 2016 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
If A Bus Could Talk tells the story of Rosa Parks through the magical experience of a young schoolgirl named Marcie. Marcie learns how Rosa, as a child, was not allowed to ride the bus to school, and how, as an adult, she refused to give up her seat to a white person on a segregated city bus. This act of courage is inspirational to Marcie and helps her to better understand Rosa Park's impact on the Civil Rights movement. At the end of the story, Marcie celebrates Rosa Park's birthday with Rosa a ...more
Katherine
Oct 11, 2008 Katherine rated it it was ok
I give this book 5 stars for being informative and inspiring my sons to ask a lot of really hard questions. Even the illustrations of white people were provocative.

I give the "talking bus" gimick 1 star because it wasn't pulled off well in the writing, and the illustrations of the bus just plain sucked! It looked like a clown!

This book makes me want to see Karen Hesse write a picture book biography of Rosa Parks, maybe with her illustrator from Come On, Rain (Jon Murth).
Jana Giles
This would be a great introduction to the Civil Rights movement. It is a story of a girl who gets on a talking bus. The bus tells her the story of Rosa Parks and brief moment of the Civil Rights movement. It speaks very highly of Rosa Parks and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It provides a brief summary of a few events that happened throughout the Civil Rights Movement, which could easily lead to more. This is a book for 3-5th grade classes. I wish it talked more about why Rosa Parks was the one who ...more
Jenny
Jan 31, 2015 Jenny rated it really liked it
This book is filled with historical events relating to Rosa Parks' actions during the Black Power Movement. Including bits and pieces about the NAACP, Martin Luther King Jr., and the Klu Klux Klan, this book connects the dots for children learning about the historical events of the Black Power Movement of the mid twentieth century. The story doesn't water down the truth, but presents it in a way that children can relate to. Children hear about how daily life was different for black children duri ...more
Jesicca Welch
Mar 08, 2015 Jesicca Welch rated it it was amazing
This story describes the relationship between an African American woman, Rosa Parks, and her family members. This story is a clear representation of the obstacles that Rosa encountered in her lifetime. Back then, the events that took place were a part of the African American culture. There was some stereotypes that were brought up in the book, which could be harmful to African Americans. The genre of this book is non- fiction. This book discusses how Rosa Parks, along with the help of her family ...more
Kathryn Brewer
This book was a nice way to tell the story of Rosa Parks and the Civil Rights Movement that she and Martin Luther King Jr. were apart of. The story unwraps Rosa Parks life and all of her accomplishments. It addresses the Ku Klux Klan, segregation laws, Martin Luther King Jr., Montongomery Bus Boycott, bombings, and more historical events. It is a wonderful story to read when discussing black history month, Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and the Civil Rights Movement. I would use this in a f ...more
Sydney Hall
In my field experience for 323 we are discussing historical black heroes such as Rose Parks. This book caught my eye for two reasons: first, it tells the story of Rosa Parks in a fictional way. Also, it is written by Faith Ringgold who we have recently learned about in art. Faith made large contributions to the Civil Rights Movement and has created countless pieces of art representing African Americans. I think this would be a great read for Black History Month or even focusing on famous artists ...more
Mary
Nov 08, 2009 Mary marked it as to-read
Very interesting how different these two reviews are from eachother:

From Booklist
There have been several children's books about Rosa Parks over the years, including the moving autobiography I Am Rosa Parks (1997), written with Jim Haskins. However, this picture-book biography condescends to kids, as if they require a sweet-faced talking bus with cute, flapping eyelashes and a smiling mouth, to entice them to the history. But beyond the intrusive frame, Ringgold tells the story in a direct text a
...more
Anaese Vega
Nov 10, 2012 Anaese Vega rated it it was amazing
Grade/Interest Level: Preschool/Primary/Upper Elementary (k-3rd grade)
Reading Level: Fountas-Pinnel, P
Genre: Biography

Main Characters: Rosa Parks.
Setting: Montgomery Alabama
POV: Marcie, The Narrator

Summary:
This book is about a girl named Marcie who unknowingly takes the same bus Rosa Parks took when she refused her seat to a white man. The bus talks to the little girl when she stumbles upon the seat that’s reserved in Rosa’s name every year. The bus tells the girl about Rosa’s life, how she
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Dolly
Jan 18, 2011 Dolly rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is an odd book and it reminded me a lot of Aunt Harriet's Underground Railroad in the Sky, so I wasn't surprised to see that Faith Ringgold had written both. It offers an important history lesson in a way that children can appreciate and the magical bus ride was an okay vehicle for accomplishing the goal. I labeled this book as historical fiction only because of the magic bus - otherwise I would have listed it as non-fiction. The words, song, and quotes are helpful in describing this time i ...more
Samantha
Marcie takes a ride on a talking bus that details the life and bravery of Rosa Parks. This story is a solid introduction to the Civil Rights Movement and honors a legendary person who had a major impact on African American history.

Text is a bit too lengthy for a read aloud, and doesn't shy away from the cruelties many black people faced at bus stops, department stores, and at lunch counters.

No back matter to speak of. Canvas paintings support the text. Recommended for grades 3-5.
Tracy Holland
Jul 18, 2014 Tracy Holland rated it really liked it
There are so many books written about the heroic stance Rosa Parks took in the heat of the era of segregation. I enjoyed this version of the story as fantasy meets history on a "special bus" that commemorates and speaks of the infamous trip Rosa Parks Made on December 1, 1955. Retold by the bus, the reader follows the life of Rosa Parks, going beyond just the ride, but sharing her life and what lead up to her civil disopedience and the subsequent the bus boycott.
Pat (Get Kids to Read) Tierney
Feb 14, 2014 Pat (Get Kids to Read) Tierney rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ann-l-rogers
This review is also posted on Get Kids to Read: http://www.mrtierneyslibrary.com

Faith Ringgold's book about the story of Rosa Parks is a unique storybook that tells her story from a new perspective. A little girl gets on a magic talking bus and is told the seat she wants to sit on is reserved for a hero, Rosa Parks. The bus tells her the story of Rosa Parks and how she stood up for civil rights and was a big part of the beginning of the movement.
The illustrations are very unique and add an ext
...more
Kara Roberts
If a bus could talk, it would tell the story of a young African-American girl named Rosa who had to walk miles to her one-room schoolhouse in Alabama while white children rode to their school in a bus. It would tell how the adult Rosa rode to and from work on a segregated city bus and couldn't sit in the same row as a white person. It would tell of the fateful day when Rosa refused to give up her seat to a white man and how that act of courage inspired others around the world to stand up for fre ...more
Cortney Perkins
This is a great story about Rosa Parks, the bus in the story has its own personality and character in the story. I think this would be a great read aloud for Black History month or just to share a little history with students when you have extra time to read out loud. I thought the illustrations in the book were detailed and creative too.
Katy Gerondale
Dec 03, 2014 Katy Gerondale rated it really liked it
-Easy for students of all ages to understand.
-The story is told from a different point of view than what is expected.
-Gives great background to students on the history of who Rosa Parks was, not just what she did on the bus that day but how she grew up and the type of person she was.
-Even hero's are normal people too!
Rebecca Tew
Marcie, a girl, gets on the bus on the way to school, which then tells her about Rosa Parks and her life story. Marcie then gets to meet Rosa Parks herself at Parks' birthday party.

The illustrations were done in acrylic paint on canvas paper.

This presents Rosa Parks in an interesting way with the bus telling her story. It is a fun way book to read and gave a lot of information about Parks and her life. This book would be great to read during Black history month.
Bethany Emmons
Apr 21, 2015 Bethany Emmons rated it really liked it
This was a good book that would be great to introduce when learning about Rosa Parks. This book tells the story of Rosa Parks in a fun easy way for students to better understand.
Barbara Lovejoy
Oct 06, 2014 Barbara Lovejoy rated it really liked it
Great book! I didn't realize until I had finished the book that it was written by Faith Ringgold, the author Tar Beach, a favorite book.
Michelle Gray
Jul 21, 2016 Michelle Gray rated it liked it
Shelves: kids-biography
The talking bus part is a little weird, but there is a lot of great information on Rosa Parks' life in this book.
Kathleen Degeer
Feb 23, 2014 Kathleen Degeer rated it really liked it
Really enjoyed! Great alternative to non fiction stories recounting tales of segregation in 1960s America.
Paula
...and the bus can talk. Marcy makes a trip on the bus that once took rosa parks to her work. The same bus on which she refused to give up her seat.
Brooke Metten
The story of Rosa Parks and her journey to school on a bus with its own imagination. Great intro for young students to start a unit over the war on civil rights!
Jennie Cha
Sep 02, 2015 Jennie Cha rated it liked it
Interesting read on Rosa Park's life.
Joana Bastos
Feb 23, 2014 Joana Bastos rated it really liked it
Really beautiful book!
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