February 2005

Overcoming barriers

By Angela Johnson, illustrated by Eric Velasquez
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The important role of protest marches in America's civil rights movement is explored in A Sweet Smell of Roses. Written by Angela Johnson, a 2003 MacArthur Fellow, this is a lyrical, simple story of two girls who slip out of the house one morning to march with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Eric Velasquez's charcoal illustrations provide a period feel for the story and are set off by the red bow on the teddy bear the younger girl carries with her on the march. As a symbol of promise of better, sweeter times, the red roses also grace the last page of the book, when the girls return home safely, infused with hope and the possibility of change.

Deborah Hopkinson's newest book is Billy and the Rebel, a story for young readers inspired by a true incident at the Battle of Gettysburg.

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A Sweet Smell of Roses

A Sweet Smell of Roses

By Angela Johnson, illustrated by Eric Velasquez
Simon & Schuster
ISBN 9780689832529

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