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Back of the Bus

4.28  ·  Rating details ·  943 ratings  ·  528 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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Average rating 4.28  · 
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 ·  943 ratings  ·  528 reviews

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Jul 19, 2015 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
Mar 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing
One of the sweetest and most womanly revolutions of the 20th century, beautifully told for children.

Read here:
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 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 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nickolas Florez
An African-American boy and his momma are sitting in the back of a bus going down Cleveland Ave. and the boy is playing with a marble. The marble ends up rolling to the front of the bus and ends up in the hands of none other than Rosa Parks. The setting and time is suggested at the beginning of the story, but Rosa Parks' character confirms the time period. The boy sees the events of Rosa Parks on the bus unfold.
The story is a very interesting historical fiction piece because it gives a first ha
Sofia Davis
Oct 22, 2014 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 story ...more
Nicole Maier
The Back of The bus by Aaron Reynolds. This is the story of Rosa Parks, the story takes on a different perspective, a child. This child, who happens to be colored, is in the back of the bus when he notices Mrs. Parks in the front. When she is asked to give up her seat and refuses, the young boy begins to feel worried that he could be in trouble, his legs start to shake. After his mom reassures him that they have done nothing wrong, and Mrs. Parks is taken off in hand cuffs, does he start to real ...more
May 01, 2016 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
Kali Guest
Nov 21, 2016 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
Kendall Hagerty
Nov 25, 2016 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 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
Sierra Willis
Nov 21, 2016 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
Serena Wheatley
Oct 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This story is about a boy who witnessed the arrest of Rosa Parks during the civil rights movement. The story recalls him sitting in the back if the bus with his mother playing with his marble, watching it roll back and forth as the bus moved. He then notices a disturbance at the front and realizes that Rosa Parks is being arrested. He can tell that this mom is bothered by this but she doesn't speak up and he knows its from fear of being taken too. It is a situation that gave the boy a good take ...more
Jun 07, 2014 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 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 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
Mar 14, 2012 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
Sarah Jane
Nov 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: picture-book
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.
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
Gillianne Litvack
Nov 25, 2016 marked it as to-read
"Back of the Bus" is a historical picture book written from the eyes of a child experiencing Rosa Parks arrest in Montgomery, Alabama. The story starts with a boy rolling his marble from the back of the bus, to the front as the bus stalls and goes to each stop. On the front of the bus sits Rosa Parks, standing her ground regardless of the fact that a women of her color wasn't allowed to sit there, let alone refuse to move. The author portrays the kids curiosity and confusion as the events of sit ...more
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
Heather Singh
Nov 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This children’s picture book is a non fiction story that takes place in Montgomery Alabama in the year 1955. A young man and his mother are riding the bus, sitting in the back minding their own business when there is a commotion in the front of the bus. It’s Rosa Parks refusing to move to the back of the bus. The book tells the true story of Rosa Parks and the start of the Civil Rights Movement from a first person account, specifically that of a child. The illustrations are detailed and realisti ...more
Brittany McLean
Oct 03, 2016 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
Aryiel Vopalensky
Nov 23, 2016 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
Nov 23, 2016 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
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
A young boy and his mother, seated at the back of the bus, watch as Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat in the front and is arrested and carted off to jail. The entire event is seen through the eyes of the boy, who finds the situation scary but at the same time feels proud of people like his mother and Mrs. Parks. Floyd Cooper's soft, brown-tinted illustrations give a feeling of being back in time, back to 1955. This is a worthy entry in the list of children's books about Rosa Parks and her h ...more
Nov 25, 2016 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 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
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Aaron Reynolds is a New York Times Bestselling Author of many highly acclaimed books for kids, including Dude!, Creepy Carrots!, Creepy Pair of Underwear!, Nerdy Birdy, and tons more. He frequently visits schools and his highly participatory presentations are a blast for kids and teachers alike. He lives in the Chicago area with his wife, two kids, four cats, and between three and ten fish, depend ...more

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