Every summer, Mama, Sister, and Sarah Marie take the bus down south to visit Grandmama. The three of them sit in the back of the bus, because, as Mama says, it is the best seat. Later, on a walk into town, the girls don’t drink from the water fountain because Grandmama says she’ll make fresh lemon-mint iced tea when they get home. Throughout the summer, Aunt Maria teaches Sarah Marie how to read. Then Sarah Marie notices signs in town she hadn’t been able to read before, like the one on the bathroom door that says, “White Women” and another that says “Colored Women.” Sarah Marie faces a hard realization about the segregated South. But in the fall she reads about events happening in places like Clinton, Tennessee, and Montgomery, Alabama. And by the next summer, when they go back to visit Grandmama, they all sit in the front of the bus.
- 2006 IRA Children’s Book Award Notables
- 2005 SCBWI Golden Kite Honor Book (Picture Book Text)
- CCBC Choices 2006
- 2008 Bill Martin Jr. Picture Book Master List (Kansas)
- 2007-2008 Show Me Readers Award Master List (Missouri)
- 2007-2008 Arkansas Diamond Primary Book Award Master List
- 2008-2009 Georgia Picture Book Award Master List