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Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  5,695 ratings  ·  1,071 reviews
“When it comes to justice, there is no easy way to get it. You can’t sugarcoat it. You have to take a stand and say, ‘This is not right.’” – Claudette Colvin

On March 2, 1955, an impassioned teenager, fed up with the daily injustices of Jim Crow segregation, refused to give her seat to a white woman on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Instead of being celebrated
Hardcover, 133 pages
Published January 20th 2009 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Literary Ames {Against GR Censorship}
Rosa Parks was not the first woman to refuse to give up her seat on a bus for a white person. I know, I didn't know this either. It's not our fault. Claudette Colvin had done the same nine months before. She was not considered by African American civil rights leaders to be a suitable symbol for the campaign against segregationist legislation. She was too young (she was fifteen), perceived to be too fiesty and too emotional, and too working class to be an appropriate figurehead to inspire rev ...more
Appropriate for 8th graders and older. This is a beautiful book about the struggles of Claudette Colvin- not only in segregationist Montgomery, Alabama where her refusal to give her bus seat up to a white woman sparked the bigger bus boycott movement, but also in her own community where she was shunned (by many of the boycott leaders as well) for being unmarried and pregnant, shunned for giving birth to a fair skinned baby (although the father was black). Despite all of this, she still agreed to ...more
Monica Edinger
Sep 23, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: award-worthy
Wow --- I now see and agree with all the accolades heaped on this book. I'd had it sitting around for weeks before I reluctantly began reading it --- once I did I was engrossed. Hoose's research is remarkable, but it is the way he seamlessly interweaves Claudette's own memories with his third person account (sprinkled with other quotes) that is just wonderful. I absolutely loved, loved, loved this book. ...more
Tara Crump
Mar 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
On December 5 1955, African Americans in Montgomery Alabama started boycotting city buses to protest segregation. The boycott lasted 381 days prompted by the arrest of Rosa Parks for her refusal to give up her seat to a white passenger. Although Rosa Parks has been the face of integrated buses, there was more to the story. Months earlier, 15 year old Claudette Colvin was dragged from a city bus for her refusal to give up her seat to a white patron. Her actions sparked much buzz among African Ame ...more
Feb 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I listened to an audio version on the computer while I read along in the book.The photographs are an important part of this book!
Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose is an amazing story of courage, conviction of principals and strength. Claudette, a young lady living in Alabama during the 1950’s, was tired of the segregation laws that were set up against her. This biography shares the story of how Claudette refused to obey by the segregation bus laws and give up her seat to a
Erin Ramai
Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice is appropriate for children in grades 6 and up. In 2009 it won the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature, was named a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year, and a Cybils Award Nominee for Middle Grade/Young Adult Non-Fiction. In 2010, it a received a Sibert Honor and Newbery Honor Award, was listed as an ALA Notable Children’s Book for Older Readers, and an ALA Best Book for Young Adults.

Claudette Colvin, at the age of 15, was the first
Nicole aka FromReading2Dreaming
To be honest the only reason I read this book was because I wanted to know more about Jim Crow Laws and there was only a handful of them at my library and this was one of them.

But, it was a decent book overall. It told the story of Claudette Colvin, who before Rosa Parks, stood up to Jim Crow Laws and refused to give up her seat to a white passenger. AT ONLY THE AGE OF 15!!! I probably would never have the courage to do that, so I applaud her for that.

This book is a children's book, which probab
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Wow! What a story. And to think that, if she hadn't been a teenager at the time, she might have become as famous as Rosa Parks. I'm so glad that Phillip Hoose has written this book about Claudette Colvin, a brave young girl forgotten by history. Hoose did an excellent job of taking a complex political, legal, and social situation in 1950's Montgomery, Alabama, and making it intelligible to young readers. The Montgomery bus boycott was much more than a protest about segregation on city buses. It ...more
Feb 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I normally loathe nonfiction, but this is as thrilling as a novel! It incorporates photos, newspaper articles, interviews with Claudette Colvin, and passages written by Phillip Hoose in very stripped down but powerful words. This is a great read for anyone aged ten or older about a fifteen year old girl who was, in many ways, one of the strongest, ballsiest fighters for civil rights in her time. Highly recommend!
May 25, 2021 rated it it was amazing
A magnificent 5star book that should be a model for how non-fiction books can get straight to the point and tell a compelling story concisely and directly. In honor of that fact, I have edited and repeatedly re-edited this review to keep it short.

While ostensibly about the Montgomery Bus Boycott, a great thing about Twice Toward Justice is how this slim book exhibits most of the ways Jim Crow oppressed African-Americans for decades, from continued slavery after the Civil War into the mid-20th ce
Wow. Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice is wonderfully researched, riveting (through first hand accounts from Claudette Colvin herself) and very clear to the reader (through third-person explanations from Hoose). The inserts and photographs provided great context. This is an important history that should be discussed more. My first five star read of the year!
Feb 19, 2010 rated it liked it
Everyone knows that Rosa Parks helped spark the Civil Rights movement with her refusal to give up her seat on a segregated bus for a white passenger. Her bold decision inspired the black community in Montgomery, Alabama and helped start the historic Montgomery bus boycott. Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat was a pivotal moment in history.

But someone else did it first.

On March 2, 1955 a fifteen-year-old girl refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a segregated bus a full nine mo
The Loft
Nov 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Who are the first people that come to mind when you think of the Montgomery bus boycotts of the 1950s? Are there any teenagers on your list? If not, set a place at the table for several, and in particular, for Claudette Colvin. And make it a round table so that as many people as possible can share her story.

Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice by Phillip Hoose, the 2009 National Book Award Winner for Young People’s Literature, is a masterfully crafted, beautifully rendered account of Claudette
Anna Reid
The book Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice is a story about the Civil Rights Movement and specifically, the Montgomery bus boycott. Claudette Colvin was the first person to refuse to give up her bus seat to a white person when she was only 16. Because of her age, many believed that she should not be the face of the movement, therefore, today many of us have heard more about Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on the bus. The book is very rich in cultural details about the Civil Rights M ...more
May 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
In "Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice", Phillip Hoose remembers a forgotten and little known figure of the Civil Rights Movement. Hoose writes with authority: the voices of Claudette and others who were there resonate through the book, which alternates narrative and expository styles to convey the wealth of information and detail gleaned through his many hours of personal interviews with Claudette herself as well as some of her family and friends. In addition, Hoose provides an extensive bi ...more
Apr 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction, at-sjh
Full review with teacher-y stuff on my blog!

Almost one year before Rosa Parks took her famous stand (or sit – sorry, no pun intended) on a Montgomery bus, fifteen-year-old Claudette Colvin had already done the same. The difference? Claudette’s actions were spontaneous, a kind of teenage rebellion based partly on her recent school studies about black history and the Constitution and partly on just being tired of tolerating unfair treatment. Rosa’s actions were planned out and strategic, designed
Excellent book. Excellent. It made me angry that Claudette Colvin was deemed "unfit" to lead the bus boycott, and that Rosa Parks is the one we always remember. The Civil Rights movement had many heroes, and only a few are remembered today--usually the least controversial ones (See also: Negroes With Guns by Robert F. Williams).

Claudette Colvin got pregnant a few months after her arrest for refusing to give up her seat for a white person. As she describes it, she was taken advantage of by an old
May 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: newbery-books
One of my favorite Newbery books to date. Tells the story about a little remembered teenager in Montgomery, Alabama who was arrested for not giving up her seat on a bus a full nine months before Rosa Parks' similar refusal and arrest sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955-56. As it turns out, Claudette's case was initially supported by the NAACP and the civil rights leadership only to be abandoned later after they came to the conclusion that she would be a poor role model for a test case cha ...more
Brigid Keely
"Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice" by Phillip M. Hoose is the story of Claudette Colvin and the very large role she played in the Civil Rights Movement... a role that has largely been forgotten.

Most of us know about Rosa Parks and how she refused to move to the back of the bus. What's less well known is that she was an experienced Civil Rights activist who was prepared to be a test case to argue the segregated seating was unconstitutional. As such she (and a few other adult women) had rece
Mason Stewart
Feb 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
There are many unsung heroes of the civil rights movement. However to be praised was not the primary inspiration of these heroes, such was the case for young Claudette Colvin. Colvin was not the ideal candidate according to African American civil rights leaders to represent the movement. A few months after she was arrested for not giving up her seat to a white person, she became pregnant as an unwed teenager. This along with her aggressive and unruly personality led people to shun instead of sup ...more
May 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
True or false: Rosa Parks sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott by refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white person. If you answered true, guess again. The story of Claudette Colvin, a young teenage girl who refused to give up her seat, was in fact the action that sparked what would become known as The Montgomery Bus Boycott. It eventually resulted in a federal court lawsuit, Browder v. Gayle, which declared the laws governing Montgomery transit to be unconstitutional under the 14th Amendmen ...more
Mar 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
I can sum up the greatness of this book with the following statement: I believe that the ALA Newbery committee would have been completely justified in making Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice the first non-fiction book to win the Newbery Medal in twenty-two years, after Russell Freedman's Lincoln: A Photobiography, which was given the award in 1988.

To read this book for all it's worth, I think one must use one's imagination to really picture living in a culture in which one's basic freedo
Jason Lee
Aug 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
Stating history’s fragility and imperfection, Winston Churchill said that “History is written by the victors.”. This shows history is always incomplete because countless stories of individuals have been lost forever to us. For example, when historians write about Julius Caesar, they might write about him crossing the Rubicon and his achievements in the Gallic Wars. However, we do not know what the legions of soldiers under his leadership thought about him. The Roman soldiers might not be importa ...more
Jaclyn Giordano
Apr 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
"Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice" by Phillip Hoose is an award-winning, nonfiction chapter book intended for readers in grades seven through twelve. This book has won numerous awards, including recognition as a 2010 Recommended Book for the National Council of English Teacher Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children, which is an award that recognizes “excellence in the writing of nonfiction for children” and looks at areas of accuracy, organization, design, and style (w ...more
Kim B.
I'm not a big fan of nonfiction. I don't really have a difficult time getting through it like I do with most historical fiction, but honestly, I'd rather read a solid fictional story than something I consider to be akin to a school textbook. In fact, I would have had no interest in this book if not for its Newbery buzz; as of this writing, it is really the only book that has a decent chance of knocking the much-beloved-by-me "When You Reach Me" down to mere Honor status. Well, I've read this boo ...more
Apr 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
*Susan Hart
*Hoose, P. (2009). Claudette Colvin: twice toward justice. New York: Melanie Kroupa Books.
*2009 National Book Award Winner for Young People's Literature, 2010 Newbery Honor Award, 2009 Robert Sibert Honor Book
*Selected from awards lists

*The post office has recently offered a new commemorative stamp of Rosa Parks. Few people know that there was a teenager that refused to move from her bus seat and made a bigger statement before Ms. Parks’ actions, yet the other’s name has alm
Mar 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Summary of Text
“Right then, I decided I wasn’t gonna take it anymore. I hadn’t planned it out, but my decision was built on a lifetime of nasty experiences.” Claudette Colvin’s unplanned decision was one that would land her in prison, give her a criminal record, and ultimately, create a spark that would help to ignite the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955 and 1956 in Montgomery, Alabama. On March 2, 1955, sixteen year- old Claudette Colvin and a few of her classmates climbed aboard the segregated b
Feb 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: rll-539
Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice, is a nonfiction book about a fifteen-year-old girl living in Alabama during the 1940’s. It describes in great detail the turmoil the country was in during that time. It discusses segregation, Jim Crow Laws, the civil rights movement, and so much more. But the main focus of this text is on Claudette Colvin, a fifteen-year-old student who stood up for her civil rights while riding the bus.

Claudette had a long day at school and did not want to move her seat
May 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Crystal Hansen, LS 583. Hoose, P. (2009). Claudette Colvin twice toward justice. New York: Square Fish. Genre: Biography. Awards: National Book Award, Newbery Honor Book, Robert F. Sibert Honor Book , and YALSA Non-fiction Finalist. Format: print book. Selection tool: "Literature for Today's Young Adults" textbook. Highly recommend.

During the United States Civil Rights Era, who was the first person to refuse to give up her seat to a White person on a Montgomery, Alabama city bus? If you answere
Terri Lynn
Jan 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction, history
I just loved this and I love Claudette Colvin's spunk and spirit. Claudette was a black 15-year-old Alabama high school student who was raised by and uncle and aunt because her dad left her mother who was not any award-winning mother. In 1955, it was awful to be living in black skin in the South. Alabama is nothing to write home about even now in 2013 so you can imagine how it was then.

She felt the stirrings of disgust at how black people were being treated through several things including the
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Phillip Hoose is the widely-acclaimed author of books, essays, stories, songs, and articles, including the National Book Award winning book, Claudette Colvin: Twice Towards Justice.

He is also the author of the multi-award winning title, The Race to Save the Lord God Bird, the National Book Award Finalist We Were There Too!: Young People in U.S. History, and the Christopher Award-winning manual for

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“I knew then and I know now that, when it comes to justice, there is no easy way to get it. You can't sugarcoat it. You have to take a stand and say, "This is not right.

—Claudette Colvin”
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