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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

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  300 ratings  ·  74 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
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Paperback, 32 pages
Published January 1st 2003 by Aladdin (first published 1999)
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Mariah Roze
Jan 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Mariah Roze by: Raymond
Thanks to one of my Goodreads' friends, I was suggested the author Faith Ringgold. My class will be reading all her picture books that my library has because they are great for our Black History Month unit.

This book had a really cool theme and was very educational. It introduced the story of Rosa Parks in a really cute way. Then it went through her life story. The students really clung to this book as asked questions. This book was extremely well put together and very creative.

I really liked th
...more
Aubrey Yager
Apr 22, 2013 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 18, 2009 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
Amalia
Nov 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: historical
Awards: n/a

Appropriate grade level(s): 2nd-3rd

Summary: This book tells the story of a little girl named Marcie and her journey to school on a magical bus. On her bus ride, the bus comes to life and tells her the story of Rosa Parks and how she played a part in the Civil Rights movement. After her bus ride, she actually meets Rosa Parks!

Review: I like how this book tries to hook the children in by telling the story through a magic bus. I think it did an amazing job of telling the history and s
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Jennifer
Mar 11, 2009 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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Katherine
Oct 11, 2008 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).
Jeimy
Nov 15, 2013 rated it it was ok
Cute way of introducing the Rosa Parks story.
Jenny Sara
Nov 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved reading this book with my children and with students in my elementary school. Insightful, informative, and beautifully illustrated!
Amanda Knowles
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Summary: This book takes the reader on a journey through the Civil Rights Movement as told by the bus that Rosa Parks herself went on. This bus was important because it was the very bus that Rosa Parks went on in which her actions on that bus sparked a movement. The talking bus tells about Rosa’s life and leads up to her most influential moment, when she refused to give up her seat to a white man. Her refusal to give up her seat on the bus in 1955 went against the segregation laws in the United ...more
Mary
Nov 08, 2009 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
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Kim Pietrobono
Nov 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Awards: N/A

Grade: Kindergarten-3rd grade

Summary: This book tells the story of a young girl, Marcie, who takes a magical bus ride to school. On this magical ride, the bus explains to her who Rosa Parks is and why she is so important to the Civil Rights movement. She learns about how Rosa, an African American woman, sat in the seat of a white person on a segregated bus and refused to give up her seat in an effort to stand up to inequality.

Review: I think Rosa Parks is an incredible female figure
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Anaese Vega
Oct 23, 2012 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 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
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 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 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
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
Jenny Gottstein
Jan 31, 2015 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
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
Jesicca Welch
Mar 08, 2015 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
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
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
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.
Jessie
Dec 06, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ed-310
I am not usually a fan of children's history books but I liked this one. I loved that it was given as the view point of the school bus and it was a really great way to get the history across.

My summary,
The little girl gets on the bus but when she gets on she realizes its not the right bus. At first she is a little worried but the bus tells her to sit down. She sits down and starts getting the story of Rosa Parks. The bus takes her back in time and travels all threw Rosa Parks' story.
Amie Sergio
Oct 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Appropriate for lower elementary readers, the book clearly tells the story of Rosa Parks, an African American who fought for equals rights such as the desegregation of public buses. Though the book is detailed, the illustrations can be deceiving since they are cartoon like. Also, the bus tells the story of Rosa Parks which can be misleading and cause students to believe that the story of Rosa Parks is not real.
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.
Grace
One day, a girl's regular bus doesn't come, but she wants to be on time to school so she gets on the bus that comes in its place. This turns out to be a talking bus that reveals to her the story of Rosa Parks, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement. The book is packed with information in a manageable format. I was not drawn to the illustrations, but the five-year old I read the book with loved all of it.
Kayla
This a great story about the great works of Rosa Parks. I enjoyed reading this book and even learned a little bit more about what Rosa Parks did for America. It was interesting to read with a child-like spin on it. This book can show kids what African Americans at this time really went through. It can also teach them to stand up for what is right and one person can change a lot. They can do it themselves. It even includes Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I will have a copy of this in my classroom!!
Elizabeth
May 19, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: eve-s-books
An interesting premise (the story of the beginning of the Montgomery bus boycott told by a bus), but does not live up to potential. On the one hand too much detail that the bus couldn't possibly have known (the history of Rosa Parks's family before coming to the city) told in a dull encyclooedic way, but no "inside" information that a bus might know (such as the neighborhoods the bus rode through and the people who normally took the bus).
Matthew
Oct 09, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a great biographical picture book of Rosa Parks starting with her early life and continuing into her adult life after the boycott when she left Alabama after losing her job and moving north to Michigan. The whole story was told by a talking bus and it was like an imagined episode for the little girl, but it was very educational and well told.
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