for When the Schools Shut Down by Yolanda Gladden, Keisha Morris, and Tamara Pizzoli
A 2023 Jane Addams Children's Book Award Finalist
An awe-inspiring autobiographical picture book about a young African American girl who lived during the shutdown of public schools in Farmville, Virginia, following the landmark civil rights case Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka.
Most people think that the Brown vs. Board of Education decision of 1954 meant that schools were integrated with deliberate speed. But the children of Prince Edward County located in Farmville, Virginia, who were prohibited from attending formal schools for five years knew differently, including Yolanda.
Told by Yolanda Gladden herself, cowritten by Dr. Tamara Pizzoli and with illustrations by Keisha Morris, When the Schools Shut Down is a true account of the unconstitutional effort by white lawmakers of this small Virginia town to circumvent racial justice by denying an entire generation of children an education.
Most importantly, it is a story of how one community triumphed together, despite the shutdown.