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Back of the Bus

4.22  ·  Rating Details ·  633 Ratings  ·  386 Reviews
It seems like any other winter day in Montgomery, Alabama. Mama and child are riding where they?re supposed to?way in the back of the bus. The boy passes the time by watching his marble roll up and down the aisle with the motion of the bus, until from way up front a big commotion breaks out. He can?t see what?s going on, but he can see the policeman arrive outside and he c ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published January 7th 2010 by Philomel Books
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Jul 19, 2015 Elizabeth rated it it was ok
Has anyone noticed the major historical inaccuracy in this book? Rosa Parks did not sit in the front of the bus, as described by both the words and images; she sat in the middle, right behind the white section. She was asked to give up her seat in the colored section, which she refused. There was no way she'd be sitting next to a white person or in front of one at this time. If you choose to use this book, be sure to get the facts right and use it as a lesson to kids that they can't always belie ...more
Nancy Kotkin
Story: 4 stars
Illustrations: 5 stars

Picture book about Rosa Parks, seen through the eyes of a young boy on the bus. Happy to see the date and location indicated on the first page; not sure why that is left off most historical picture books. Floyd Cooper's illustrations are magnificent. His characters' body language and facial expressions add much to the story. This is a strong author/illustrator pairing; hope to see more work from this dynamic duo.
Aug 30, 2014 Relyn rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: teachers, parents, students
Recommended to Relyn by: spotted at the library
Shelves: lawsonland
This will be perfect for our Civil Rights Unit this year. This book was wonderful at making a very difficult topic accessible to second graders.
Summary: Back of the Bus follows a young African American boy as he witnesses the refusal of Rosa Parks to give up her seat on the bus and her subsequent arrest.

Back of the Bus offers a unique view of the events that Rosa Park perpetuated the day she chose not to move from her seat. Children can get an authentic perspective of how that day may have looked through their own eyes and foreshadows the significance of that day to elicit further thought provoking questions and ideas (e.g. “ ‘Don’t’ y
Nov 26, 2016 Daniel rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sofia Davis
Oct 22, 2014 Sofia Davis rated it it was amazing
Back of the Bus by Aaron Reynolds & illustrated by Floyd Cooper is a picture book that tells a story about a young African American child who lives in Montgomery Alabama. On another cold winter day the child and his mom get onto a bus, and go sit in the back like usual. Except on this day a commotion breaks out on the front of the bus. The young child sees the police come and arrest Rosa Parks, who later becomes an influential civil rights activist along side with Martin Luther King. This st ...more
May 01, 2016 Kassandra rated it it was amazing
This is a story of an African American child who is experience what it is like to be on the back of the bus that was setting for the infamous Rosa Parks incident. He plays with his marble as the long bus ride and Southern heat make it almost unbearable for someone to sit down in one place for a long time. He constantly asks his mother if they have done anything wrong but his mother just tells him to be quiet as the bus is pulled to a stop and angry voices get heard over the crowd. The boy of the ...more
Kendall Hagerty
Nov 25, 2016 Kendall Hagerty rated it it was amazing
'Back of the Bus' by Aaron Reynolds is a historical story about the day Rosa Park refused to give up her seat in a bus. The book is told from the eyes of a young boy who is sitting in the back of the bus with his mother. This is an interesting book because there re very few books that tell the story from the point of view of the bystanders. Children should be encouraged to read this book becasue they can gain understanding what Rosa Park's action did for the community.

This story is fiction based
Kayla Reents
Nov 29, 2016 Kayla Reents rated it really liked it
Back of the Bus by Aaron Reynolds is a unique perspective on what was going on during the civil rights movement. In particular, it tells of a boy and his mom at the back of the bus during when Rosa Parks took a “stand” against the discrimination. It includes true historical events like where she sat, how the cops were called, and how she refused to move and was then arrested. However, its fictional element comes from the boy and his mother’s perspective of the event and how they handled it.
The p
Kali Guest
Nov 21, 2016 Kali Guest rated it it was amazing
This story is about a boy who witnessed Rosa Parks refusing to give her seat to a white man. In the story the boy first begins by feeling scared of what might happen, and then he realizes he feels empowered by her movement. In this story, you can see how some African American people feel uncomfortable that this is occurring, and would prefer Rosa Parks just to move. The story appears to be illustrated in colored pencil media, and the images help to really depict the story, showing the boy with h ...more
Sierra Willis
Nov 21, 2016 Sierra Willis rated it it was amazing
"We are sitting right where we are supposed to, in the way back." Through the eyes of an innocent child, Reynolds portrays the times of separation and racism. A young boy sits at the back of the bus as he sees Rosa Parks making a "fuss" over her separation. His mother seems annoyed with Parks, more than the separation. Through the eyes of a young child, the reader learns to see the issues as innocently as this child does. Readers see it as an occurrence that is out of his reach.
Floyd Cooper doe
Jun 07, 2014 Ksamiller rated it really liked it
Shelves: multicultural
1) Text to Text: I love the connection between Back of the Bus and A Picture Book of Rosa Parks. Reading both books in the classroom would give students another perspective on this historical event.

2) Remembering: What does the boys do to keep himself busy on the bus?
Understanding: Explain why the marble is an important part of the story.
Applying: Think of the situation in the story and what would you have done when the policeman entered the bus?
Analyzing: How are Rosa and the boy alike?
Matthew Ciccarone
Nov 29, 2016 Matthew Ciccarone rated it really liked it
The story opens on a young African American boy and his mother riding on the back of a bus. The boy is playing with marbles and having a good time. Midway through the story there is a commotion and the cops are called. It is here we are introduced the historical significance of the story, as the commotion is over Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat in the front of the bus.

Back of the Bus is a piece of historical fiction. It tells the story of Rosa Parks, but from the perspective of a young
Feb 09, 2012 Lindsay rated it really liked it
I read this book for Black History month to my elementary school. Since the story is told from the perspective of a child watching Rosa Park's arrest, it makes it more immediate for the children listening to/reading the story. The rhythm of the writing and the accent of the young narrator catch children's attention, though if you are afraid to get into the accent, it might not be one that you want to read aloud to a group of children, because if it doesn't sound at least kind of natural, the kid ...more
Sarah Jane
Nov 28, 2016 Sarah Jane rated it liked it
A young boy and his mother are riding on bus one ordinary day in Montgomery, AL. As the bus gets more and more crowded something happens near the front. The bus stops and doesn’t move. The boy and his mother stay put as the commotion unfolds and they begin to realize what is happening as the police get on the bus.

The story in this historical fiction picture book takes place on Dec. 1, 1955 in Montgomery, AL. The reader gains a different perspective on an infamous event that took place that day.
Mar 14, 2012 Anne rated it really liked it
“Back of the Bus ” is a piece of historical fiction. It is set in 1955 in Montgomery Alabama, and is about an African boy who sits on the back of the bus with is mother “like he is supposed to”. However this isn’t an ordinary bus ride for the boy who began the ride simply playing with his marble. Instead a woman by the name of Mrs. Parks refuses to move to the back of the bus and a little bit of history is told. This book helps educate children about history by telling the story of Mrs. Parks fr ...more
Ashley Lopez
Back of the Bus is narrated by a young black boy during the times when blacks were segregated by whites. He witnessed Rosa Parks refuse to leave her seat on a bus.

The book is a children's book due to the wording, it showed the boys curiosity as the event was occurring. Instead of being in shock by what was happening he described how those in the bus were in shock and how it scared him that something wrong was going to happen. An interesting part of the book was the marble the young boy was play
Sawyer Dombrowski
This book was about Rosa Parks. A little boy and his momma were sitting in the back of the bus and he was playing with his marble. He described everyone piling onto the bus as "lima beans". Someone asked a lady to get up from her seat that was in the front of the bus so a white person could sit down. She said no, and the cops were called. She was taken away in handcuffs. Most of us have heard that story before, but this time it was from a boy's point of view and that is what makes it historical ...more
Aryiel Vopalensky
Nov 23, 2016 Aryiel Vopalensky rated it it was amazing
In the story, Back of the Bus we read through the perspective of a young boy who witness Mrs. Park’s protest. The young boy sits with his mother at the back of the bus while a commotion starts at the front of the bus. The boy is scared and is confused by what is happening. He asks his mother if they did anything wrong to which she responds no. They sit and wait as they anticipate what might happen. Still the boy is confused as Mrs. Park is being arrested but her act of strength gives both the bo ...more
Brittany McLean
Oct 03, 2016 Brittany McLean rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-books
Back of the Bus was a fabulous read. It gave a fictional account of what happened on that day in 1955 when Ms. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a Bus in Montgomery Alabama. This book was different from other books I have read about this event in history because it is told from the perspective of a child. I believe this would be a great book for 1st or 2nd graders because they have a better understanding of abstract concepts that a Kindergartner. This book could be used to cover topics l ...more
Nov 23, 2016 Ciara rated it it was amazing
Aaron Reynold's story, Back of the Bus was about a boy and his mother who went on a bus ride. While on the bus, the bus suddenly stops and there seemed to be a problem. Segregation seemed to still be in effect as a brave African American woman sits in the front of the bus, with her strong chin. The story was told through the child's eyes, the way a child would describe an event they recalled.
The Back of the Bus is historical fiction. It is historical fiction because the author, Aaron Reynolds w
Nov 25, 2016 Brittany rated it it was amazing
This is the recanting of a bus ride by a little black boy during the time of segregation. It's mostly him thinking/observing to himself but there is also dialogue with his mama concerning the events unfolding on the bus.

At first you don't quite know where the story is going, you get a sense of the time period because of small references the boy makes but it's not until half way through the story that you finally see that it is a specific moment in history. It is a refreshing and new perspective
Nov 28, 2016 Lucas rated it it was amazing
This story is a great historical fiction. It is about the true events of Rosa Parks refusing to move from her seat on the bus, but from the prospective of a young boy who was on the bus that day. The illustrations are great and support the harsh events of the historic moment. The details of the event were accurate to the true story; it was interesting to look at the event through the perspective of someone who was fictionally there. A great read highly recommend it to teachers and their students ...more
Jul 17, 2010 Dolly rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a fascinating perspective on the incident in Montgomery when Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat. It shows the curiosity, the uncertainty and the fear that a young boy experiences while on the bus. It's a wonderful nod to a Civil Rights pioneer and a good way to show children how the event looked through a child's eyes.
I like this take on the Rosa Parks story. The child's innocence and ignorance (at the beginning) are a great lead-in to teaching the reader as to what was going on in the story particularly, and the nation generally. Lovely illustrations.
Mar 30, 2012 Neva rated it it was amazing
One of the sweetest and most womanly revolutions of the 20th century, beautifully told for children.

Read here:
Bistra Ivanova
Mar 31, 2012 Bistra Ivanova rated it really liked it
Историята на Роза Паркс харесах :-)
За четене онлайн:
Nov 29, 2016 Paige rated it it was amazing
Shelves: school
Back of the Bus is a book about Rosa Parks but told through the eyes of a young boy who happens to be sitting at the back of the bus with his mother. The story starts out with a young, bored boy playing with his marble on the floor of the bus where it then rolls down to the front of the bus where Mrs. Parks rolls it back to him. As more and more people get on the bus, there is a commotion and the bus driver is telling someone to move. The boy is not sure what is going but can feel lots of people ...more
Dec 01, 2016 Angela rated it really liked it
The Back of the Bus is a historical fiction children’s novel that gives us a new perspective of the Rosa Parks story. We are all aware of Rose Parks and how she stood her ground when they tried to force her to the back of the bus. Well, in this story we get to watch the whole thing go down from the viewpoint of a young boy who was sitting in the back of the bus with his mother during the event. While the young boy and his mother are fictional characters, Rosa Parks is not, which is why this book ...more
Savannah Semrau
Nov 30, 2016 Savannah Semrau rated it it was amazing
On December 1st, 1955 a little boy on a bus witnesses one of the greatest moments in history. Back of the Bus tells the story of Rosa Parks and her famous refusal to change seats in the bus, as seen from the eyes of a little boy sitting in the back. Trying to keep himself occupied, as well as keep his marble hidden from site, the boy soon witnesses the nice Mrs. Parks "from the tailor shop" get arrested for not giving her seat up to a white man. This leaves the little boy confused and makes him ...more
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