We have all heard of Brown vs. The Board of Education but this story of a girl and her family working to desegregate schools took place more than 100 years earlier. In the mid 1800’s! Sarah Roberts parents intentionally enrolled her in a school for white students only since it was closest to their home and they knew it would cause a stir. They were ready to cause a stir. In Susan E. Goodman’s words “Every big change has to start somewhere.” This story tells of the first city to integrate its schools and the steps some cities and states made to follow suit. But not all. Goodman refers to one step forward three back throughout the story. The timeline and author’s note include thought provoking questions for the reader as to their opinion of steps forward and backward, and the decisions she made to include details in her telling of the Roberts case. The story is very well written and beautifully illustrated by E.B. Lewis. I love that Goodman included her sources but also included what she added to the story that wasn’t evident from a primary source and her justification for its inclusion.
Title: The First Step: How One Girl Put Segregation on Trial
Author: Susan E. Goodman
Illustrator: E.B. Lewis
Published 2016 by Bloomsbury
This copy was received from the publisher for review.