Walking to the Bus-Rider Blues

by Harriette Gillem Robinet

Growing up in Montgomery, Alabama, in the 1950s, 12‑year‑old Alfa Merryfield... read more

Growing up in Montgomery, Alabama, in the 1950s, 12‑year‑old Alfa Merryfield and his 16‑year old sister, Zinnia, are living in the midst of the Montgomery boycott, something that effects their daily lives. Their great‑grandmother, Big Mama, works hard to scrape together the monthly rental payment for the home she shares with Alfa and Zinnia, who both contribute to the family income as well. In addition to working a part‑time job in a grocery store, Alfa studies hard in school and does well; he hopes to be a doctor when he grows up. When the children notice that part of their savings toward the monthly rent is regularly disappearing, Alfa uses scientific methods he has learned in school to help solve the mystery of the missing money. He then helps clear Big Mama’s name when she’s unjustly accused of stealing from the white family that employes her. This fast‑paced novel, set against the backdrop of a turbulent time in U.S. history, reads like a classic who‑dunnit. (Ages 8‑11)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2001

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