Goin' Someplace Special

by Patricia C. McKissack and Jerry Pinkney

In a story based on Patricia McKissack’s own childhood growing up in Nashville... read more

In a story based on Patricia McKissack’s own childhood growing up in Nashville in the 1950s, a young African American girl repeatedly faces racial discrimination as she crosses her city by bus and by foot to reach the destination she calls “Someplace Special.” ’Tricia Ann has certainly seen the Whites Only and Colored Section Jim Crow signs many times before, but she’s always had Mama Frances with her. Making her first solo journey through the city, with her grandmother’s permission, ’Tricia Ann is at times frightened and unsure. Luckily for this spirited young girl, she not only has a grandmother who has nurtured her with love and self-respect but also a community that cares. Other adults she meets remind ’Tricia Ann to “Carry yo’self proud,” and to remember what her grandmother has taught her. When ’Tricia Ann completes her journey, readers learn that “Someplace Special” is the public library. In an author’s note, McKissack explains that the downtown Nashville library was one of the few places in her childhood city that was integrated and had no Jim Crow signs. It was a place she felt welcome, and where she came to understand why “reading is the doorway to freedom.” Jerry Pinkney’s pencil and watercolor illustrations provide a richly detailed visual backdrop for McKissack’s story. Honor Book, CCBC Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award Discussion (Ages 5–9)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2002

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