Monday, February 10, 2014

Birthdays and Black History

Because of all the snow and cold we've had of late, we had to cancel Emily's birthday party and reschedule it for a later date. After much waiting, we were finally able to celebrate this past weekend. Normally I make some kind of a fancy cake or cupcakes for the occasion, but this year I opted for the easy route and bought cupcakes.

I was a good mother, however, and did have crafts and party games prepared for her Lisa Frank theme. The kids all decorated treat bags, played Lisa Frank Bingo which I made at Eslactivities, guessed how many candy kisses were in a mason jar, tried to remember what twelve items were in a box they viewed for six seconds, and played hot potato.

The party was great! The birthday celebration successfully accomplished, I was free to celebrate black history month with two very interesting books. Although both books were fictitious, they were based on historical events that actually occurred in many places.

The first book I read was Ruth And The Green Book by Calvin Alexander Ramsey. It is the story of a young girl named Ruth who is traveling with her parents from Chicago to Rural Alabama in the 1950's to visit her grandmother. Many times they stop for gas, food, or an overnight stay and are turned away because they are negroes. Finally they stop at a gas station where the kindly attendant sells them a Green Book. The Green Book shows them friendly gas stations, hotels, and restaurants that serve traveling persons of color.

I can only imagine the frustration, anger, and feelings of helplessness those families of the fifties felt, and although my family is white, I want Emily to know of the struggles and unfairness suffered by others. It is my hope, that by sharing with her stories such as Ruth And The Green Book, she will learn to treat people with respect no matter what color they might be.

The second book I read was Light In The Darkness by Lisa Cline-Ransome. It is the story of how slaves learned to read in secret. This tale is of a girl named Rosa and her mother who must sneak out at night and walk far into the forest. Their destination__ deep pits hidden by sticks and twigs where a learned slave would pass on his knowledge of letters and words. The danger of being caught by patrols or being beaten if the master found out they knew their letters did not deter Rosa from seeking out the light that knowledge would surely bring.

Both of these books are excellent representations of  darker parts of our American history. Both of these books are excellent choices for celebrating Black History Month. And both of these books are good reminders of  the indomitable spirit of persecuted persons who fought against the odds.

Well, that about wraps it up for this week. Join me next week for another exciting episode, same crazy time, same crazy channel. And feel free to drop by my personal website, Fun With Aileen, any day of the week for even more on reading, writing, my very own early grade chapter book, Fern Valley, and my soon to be released sequel, Return To Fern Valley, coming summer of 2014! I'm also on twitter @AileenWStewart if you want an extremely brief glimpse into my days.


  1. So glad I found your blog via Kid Lit Blog Hop today! I never heard of "Ruth and the Green Book". I'm going to have to read it.

    1. So glad you found both my blog and a good book to read. I really enjoyed reading about the green book. Thanks for stopping by and for leaving the comment love!

  2. I got goosebumps as I read your reviews. These books are a definite must read for everyone to teach understanding and compassion. People of color have had to endure and overcome so much just to be treated as humans and it should never be forgotten. Thanks for sharing!

  3. I'm so glad you enjoyed my review Miss Stacie. thanks for stopping by.