Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961


Product Details

$18.95  $17.62
Calkins Creek Books
Publish Date
9.4 X 10.1 X 0.7 inches | 1.5 pounds

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About the Author

Larry Dane Brimner is the award-winning author of a number of civil rights and social justice titles, including We Are One: The Story of Bayard Rustin, Birmingham Sunday, Black & White: The Confrontation between Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth and Eugene Bull Connor and STRIKE! The Farm Workers' Fight for Their Rights. He is also the author of The Rain Wizard: The Amazing, Mysterious, True Life of Charles Mallory Hatfield. He lives in Tucson, Arizona, and San Diego, California. Visit


★ "An engaging and accessible account...Brimner... presents a straightforward narrative approach to the subject that will appeal to readers. The stark, black-and-white design of the text emphasizes the directness of the prose, while the riveting, full-page photos and descriptive captions enhance the reading experience....(a)n essential part of civil rights collections and a worthy addition to all nonfiction shelves." -- School Library Journal, starred review

★ "Brimner, whose books on the civil rights era include Birmingham Sunday (2010) and Black and White (2011), presents a tightly focused, present-tense account of what happened during the May 1961 Freedom Rides. Presented on spacious pages with striking design, the many large, archival black-and-white photos transport readers back in time. While the introductory and concluding sections offer helpful summaries of four major Supreme Court rulings on segregation from 1896 to 1960 and short biographies of the 13 Freedom Riders, the heart of the book is its straightforward, concise, day-by-day reporting of the journey. A memorable presentation of inherently dramatic and historically significant events." - Booklist, starred review

"Sibert Honor-winning author Brimner (Black and White, 2011) explores the first "Freedom Ride" in May 1961... Brimner does an excellent job giving the necessary context for the events, and the day-by-day focus provides dramatic tension for the narrative. Useful backmatter includes biographical sketches, bibliography, source notes, index, and picture credits. Richly illustrated with period photographs and strikingly designed, this is a clear, accessible depiction of a major story in the civil rights movement." - Kirkus Reviews

"A superb overview of Freedom Summer, Brimner's merger of history with photographs imparts the drama and significance of the Freedom Ride of 1961. A powerful message about daring and persistence... Crucial to the even-handed writing of the text is a controlled tone, free of unnecessary accusations and sensationalism... Brimner's organization of print, video, and website source material...stress to young readers the elements of bias-free research. An essential addition to public and middle school libraries, the gripping history of the Freedom Summer promotes understanding of a turning point in U.S. race relations." - VOYA

"Readers will get a true sense of the violence and fear that the riders were subject to the closer they got to their destination. Thanks to well-placed b&w historical photos, the discrimination, confrontations, and violence surrounding this Freedom ride are clearly depicted. Simply written, the text succinctly describes the events of the trip...This volume will serve as an excellent resource on this historic event and its participants." - School Library Connection

"Using a straightforward, present-tense narrative and a diary-style format...(t)his (is a) well-researched and accessible account of a precedent-setting protest." - Publishers Weekly

"Brimner's presentation--with its oversized trim and photographs, and its dramatic black and white layout--is well suited for readalouds and use by readers of diverse ages, reading levels, and backgrounds. (T)his title should spring off the nonfiction shelves and into the attention of middle-school readers." - The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"Brimner's narrative summarizes and recounts the highlights of those violent, turbulent days, but the main attraction of this book is its photographs. A striking and spacious book design with black-and-white images provides immediacy." - The Horn Book Magazine