Little Rock Girl 1957: How a Photograph Changed the Fight for Integration

Tougas, Shelley. Little Rock Girl 1957: How a Photograph Changed the Fight for Integration. Compass Point, 2012. 64pp. Lexile 1010.

This is an entry in a terrific series called Captured History, in which each book focuses on a photograph that changed American history: the Migrant Mother photograph from the Great Depression; raising the flag at Iwo Jima; Neil Armstrong stepping on the moon; black children being sprayed with water by police in Birmingham, 1963; and a Lewis Hine photo of boy miners.  In each book, short chapters provide background and then explore the significance of the photograph and the impact it made.  In Little Rock Girl 1957, the photograph is of Elizabeth Eckfort, one of the nine students to integrate Little Rock High. Because she didn't get a phone message, she ended up walking into the school alone, surrounded by angry whites.  The photograph alerted the world to the ugliness of racial hatred, even against a teen wanting better education.  Eckfort and the screaming white girl behind her met years later in a temporary highly publicized reconciliation, prompted in part by the photographer, covered in one chapter.  The book also addresses inequality in schools at that time and now.  Sidebars and many more photographs add information throughout.  This is an excellent, accessible book for students at a range of reading levels, that can serve as an introduction to the civil rights movement and the story of a courageous teen.  Available in hardcover and paperback

Reading Std #7:  Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, visually and quantitatively, and in words.  The entire series addresses this facet of the CC standards, speaking to the power of visual images.  The book would lend itself to any response--discussion, debate, essay writing--on the topic.  It could also be easily compared and contrasted with other books in the series.