Goin' Someplace Special
Goin' Someplace Special

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Annotation: In segregated 1950s Nashville, a young African-American girl braves a series of indignities and obstacles to get to one of the few integrated places in town: the public library.
Catalog Number: #119302
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
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Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Teaching Materials Receive a FREE Teacher's Guide for this title with a purchase of 20 or more copies of this book. You do not need to add a copy of the Teacher's Guide to your list, it will be automatically included with your order after the minimum number of copies is ordered.
Publisher: Aladdin
Copyright Date: 2001
Edition Date: 2009
Illustrator: Pinkney, Jerry,
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 1-416-92735-2 Perma-Bound: 0-605-96866-7
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-1-416-92735-8 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-96866-0
Dewey: E
LCCN: 99088258
Dimensions: 30 cm.
Language: English
Reviews:
Horn Book
This is the story of a child facing a difficult time sustained by the support of the adults in her life. Going alone for the first time, 'Tricia Ann is off to Someplace Special--the public library where "All Are Welcome." The journey isn't easy: she must face the indignities of life in the Jim Crow South. The text and art strike just the right balance: informative without being preachy; hopeful without being sentimental.
Kirkus Reviews
<p>In a story that will endear itself to children's librarians and, for that matter, all library lovers, 'Tricia Ann begs her grandmother to be allowed to go alone to Someplace Special. Mama Frances acquiesces, sending her off with instructions: " 'And no matter what, hold yo' head up and act like you b'long to somebody.' " 'Tricia Ann's special place is not revealed until the end, but on the way there, the humiliating racism she encounters on the city bus, in the park, and in a downtown hotel almost causes her to give up. " 'Getting to Someplace Special isn't worth it,' she sobbed." When she recalls her grandmother's words: " 'You are somebody, a human beinga"no better, no worse than anybody else in this world,' " she regains the determination to continue her journey, in spite of blatant segregation and harsh Jim Crow laws. " Public Library: All Are Welcome" reads the sign above the front door of Someplace Special; Mama Frances calls it "a doorway to freedom." Every plot element contributes to the theme, leaving McKissack's autobiographical work open to charges of didacticism. But no one can argue with its main themes: segregation is bad, learning and libraries are good. Pinkney's trademark watercolors teem with realistically drawn people, lush city scenes, and a spunky main character whose turquoise dress, enlivened with yellow flowers and trim, jumps out of every picture. A lengthy author's endnote fills in the background for adults on McKissack's childhood experiences with the Nashville Public Library. This library quietly integrated all of its facilities in the late 1950s, and provided her with the story's inspiration. A natural for group sharing; leave plenty of time for the questions and discussion that are sure to follow. (Picture book. 5-9)</p>
School Library Journal
Gr 3-5-'Tricia Ann's first solo trip out of her neighborhood reveals the segregation of 1950s' Nashville and the pride a young African-American girl takes in her heritage and her sense of self-worth. In an eye-opening journey, McKissack takes the child through an experience based upon her own personal history and the multiple indignities of the period. She experiences a city bus ride and segregated parks, restaurants, hotels, and theaters and travels toward "Someplace Special." In the end, readers see that 'Tricia Ann's destination is the integrated public library, a haven for all in a historical era of courage and change. Dialogue illustrates her confidence and intelligence as she bravely searches for truth in a city of Jim Crow signs. Pinkney re-creates the city in detailed pencil-and-watercolor art angled over full-page spreads, highlighting the young girl with vibrant color in each illustration. A thought-provoking story for group sharing and independent readers.-Mary Elam, Forman Elementary School, Plano, TX Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* Tricia Ann excitedly gets her grandmother's permission to go out by herself to Someplace Special --a place far enough away to take the bus and to have to walk a bit. But this isn't just any trip. Tricia's trip takes place in the segregated South of the 1950s. That means Tricia faces sitting at the back of the bus, not being allowed to sit on a whites-only park bench, and being escorted out of a hotel lobby. She almost gives up, but a local woman who some say is addled, but whom Tricia Ann knows to be gentle and wise, shows her how to listen to the voice inside herself that allows her to go on. She arrives at her special destination--the public library, whose sign reads All Are Welcome. Pinkney's watercolor paintings are lush and sprawling as they evoke southern city streets and sidewalks as well as Tricia Ann's inner glow. In an author's note, McKissack lays out the autobiographical roots of the story and what she faced as a child growing up in Nashville. This book carries a strong message of pride and self-confidence as well as a pointed history lesson. It is also a beautiful tribute to the libraries that were ahead of their time.
Word Count: 1,593
Reading Level: 4.3
Interest Level: K-3
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 4.3 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 53934 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.3 / points:2.0 / quiz:Q26589
Lexile: AD730L
Guided Reading Level: M

Patricia C. McKissack’s poignant story of growing up in the segregated South and Jerry Pinkney’s rich, detailed watercolors lead readers to the doorway of freedom.

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.

When her grandmother sees that she’s ready to take such a big step, ’Tricia Ann hurries to catch the bus heading downtown. But 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 even 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.


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