for Goin' Someplace Special
by Patricia C. McKissack
and Jerry Pinkney
In a story based on Patricia McKissack’s own childhood growing up in Nashville in the 1950s, a young African American girl repeatedly faces racial discrimination as she crosses her city by bus and by foot to reach the destination she calls “Someplace Special.” ’Tricia Ann has certainly seen the Whites Only and Colored Section Jim Crow signs many times before, but she’s always had Mama Frances with her. Making her first solo journey through the city, with her grandmother’s permission, ’Tricia Ann is at times frightened and unsure. Luckily for this spirited young girl, she not only has a grandmother who has nurtured her with love and self-respect but also a community that cares. Other adults she meets remind ’Tricia Ann to “Carry yo’self proud,” and to remember what her grandmother has taught her. When ’Tricia Ann completes her journey, readers learn that “Someplace Special” is the public library. In an author’s note, McKissack explains that the downtown Nashville library was one of the few places in her childhood city that was integrated and had no Jim Crow signs. It was a place she felt welcome, and where she came to understand why “reading is the doorway to freedom.” Jerry Pinkney’s pencil and watercolor illustrations provide a richly detailed visual backdrop for McKissack’s story. Honor Book, CCBC Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Discussion (Ages 5–9)
CCBC Choices 2002 . © Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2002. Used with permission.
Through moving prose and beautiful watercolors, a Coretta Scott King Award and Caldecott Medal–winning author-illustrator duo collaborate to tell the poignant tale of a spirited young girl who comes face to face with segregation in her southern town.
There’s a place in this 1950s southern town where all are welcome, no matter what their skin color…and ’Tricia Ann knows exactly how to get there. To her, it’s someplace special and she’s bursting to go by herself. But when she catches the bus heading downtown, unlike the white passengers, she must sit in the back behind the Jim Crow sign and wonder why life’s so unfair.
Still, for each hurtful sign seen and painful comment heard, there’s a friend around the corner reminding ’Tricia Ann that she’s not alone. And her grandmother’s words—“You are somebody, a human being—no better, no worse than anybody else in this world”—echo in her head, lifting her spirits and pushing her forward.
Publisher description retrieved from Google Books.