Sit-in pinkney
Book Review Empowering Children Empowering Parents Parenting

Book Review (Gr 1-4): Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up By Sitting Down

As a parent with tons of responsibilities, how are you supposed to find the time to protest injustice while still making sure your progeny are well cared for and thriving? Well, the simple answer is that you can't be out there on the front lines protesting day after day. But you can make an impact on the future by raising your children to be aware and prepared to stand up for themselves and others.

As a parent with tons of responsibilities, how are you supposed to find the time to protest injustice while still making sure your kids are well cared for and thriving? Well, the simple answer is that you can’t be out there on the front lines protesting day after day.

But you can make an impact on the future by raising your children to be aware and prepared to stand up for themselves and others. There are some great books out there that can help you mold your children, at any age, into people who will make a positive change in the world.

Sit-in pinkney

Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up By Sitting Down (appropriate for grades 1-4) is a lovely book which tells very simply the story of the four African-American college students who sat at a “whites-only” Woolworth’s lunch counter in 1960 to protest segregation. The book was written by Andrea Davis Pinkney and illustrated by Brian Pinkney.

Without talking down to children, this book provides an easily accessible pathway into understanding this turbulent period of history. Beginning with a quote from Martin Luther King, Jr., “We must … meet hate with love,” this book tells how these four students sat “with hearts full of hope” in order to obtain the simple goal of being served “a doughnut and coffee, with cream on the side.”

The most wonderful thing about this book, in my opinion, is that it shows how a social movement can grow from a few people to many. Four people sitting at a lunch counter had an effect that was seen across the country. And the goal was simply to be treated as a human being. Something every young child can relate to.

Idealistic in theme, the book also bravely addresses the contretemps the protesters had to deal with: people throwing food and pouring hot coffee on them, yelling at and calling them names. (These pages disturbed my 7-year-old daughter, but only to affect her recognition of how brave these protesters really were.)

Sit-In is a great children’s book that leaves its readers full of hope for the future and a “recipe for integration” that “makes enough for all.”

Janette DeFelice, MD, MA is a writer currently focusing on how the changing environment affects our health. Her essay collection Resistance Essays from the Heartland and her new novel Delia Rising: A Ballet in Three Acts are both available now. She has also published at Be The Change Mom, ChicagoNow, and Medium.com. She holds a Doctor of Medicine degree from Chicago Medical School and a Master’s degree in Humanities from the University of Chicago, where her major essay was Hegel and Ibsen: The Evolution of Consciousness in Ibsen’s Prose Play Cycle. She also has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Indiana University. A former professional dancer, former adjunct Humanities professor, and former lecturer in Medical Clinical Skills, as well as a mom of 9-year-old twins, she currently finds herself at a career/life crossroads at which she is trying to figure out how to use all aspects of herself (her art, her medical and scientific knowledge, her philosophical explorations, her interest in popular culture as a teaching tool, and her unique perspective) for the good of humanity.

1 comment on “Book Review (Gr 1-4): Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up By Sitting Down

  1. Pingback: 5 Easy Ways You Can Make a Positive Difference in the World Right NOW – Be The Change Mom

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