“Inspirational in tone, this is a strong introduction for young listeners and readers to the American Civil Rights movement.”—Kirkus Reviews
After a long bus ride into town with his grandmother on a scorching hot day, Michael runs to the water fountain to quench his thirst. But instead of refreshing him, the water tastes gritty and dirty. Dismayed, Michael begins to imagine that the water from the nearby “white” fountain is exactly the kind of water he would like to taste. . . . Set in 1962 in the segregation-era South at the dawn of the civil rights movement, this moving and inspirational story, based on a real-life childhood experience of author Michael S. Bandy, shows how one epiphany opens up a whole world of possibilities.
About White Water
For a young boy growing up in the segregated south, a town drinking fountain becomes the source of an epiphany.
It’s a scorching hot day, and going into town with Grandma is one of Michael’s favorite things. When the bus pulls up, they climb in and pay their fare, get out, walk to the back door, and climb in again. By the time they arrive in town, Michael’s throat is as dry as a bone, so he runs to the water fountain. But after a few sips, the warm, rusty water tastes bad. Why is the kid at the “Whites Only” fountain still drinking? Is his water clear and refreshingly cool? No matter how much trouble Michael might get into, he’s determined to find out for himself. Based on a transformative experience co-author Michael Bandy had as a boy, this compelling story sheds light on the reality of segregation through a child’s eyes, while showing the powerful awareness that comes from daring to question the way things are.
From the seating on the bus to the two water fountains, this book is a good look at the segregated South. Strickland’s illustrations compliment the text beautifully with a commitment to detail. This is an excellent title to be used for African-American history month, Civil Rights curriculum, and as a read-aloud for younger students. —Library Media Connection (highly recommended)
Michael’s determination and imaginativeness are evident in Strickland’spale mixed-media paintings, which make excellent use of outlines to portray the boy’s imaginings. —Publishers Weekly
Inspirational in tone, this is a strong introduction for young listeners and readers to the American Civil Rights movement. —Kirkus Reviews
Strickland’s illustrations compliment the text beautifully with a commitment to detail. Textually and visually, this title simply comes together very well. —Library Media Connection (starred review)