Revealing stories from America's past

Calkins Creek Books introduces children to the many people, places, and events that shaped our country's history. Our picture books, chapter books, and novels—nonfiction and historical fiction for ages eight and up—combine original and extensive research with creative, energetic writing. History is key at Calkins Creek-front and center. Our authors transport their readers back in time to recognizable places with living and breathing people.

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Praise for Black and White

A fascinating look at one of the most crucial places and periods in the civil rights movement

“The nonviolence credo adopted by the civil rights movement of the late 1950s and ’60s did not, of course, mean a lack of action or agitation. Leaders used the courts, demonstrations, public opinion and economic power to chip away at the South’s segregationist policies. A handsome introduction to an ugly time, “Black and White” tells how the Rev. Fred Shuttlesworth cannily utilized an unabashed racist, Eugene “Bull” Connor, to advance equality in Birmingham, Ala., and beyond. Larry Dane Brimner presents these two men as stubborn personalities on a collision course. One felt guided and protected by God to push for civil rights, to the point that he was considered by many to be dictatorial. The other was just as determined to maintain the racial status quo. Aided by a wealth of pertinent photographs, Brimner chronicles their interactions through the years, culminating in the events of May 1963. While the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. weighed whether young people should participate in protests, Shuttlesworth and hundreds of Birmingham’s youth went on ahead. With Connor voted out of office but still in charge of the police, Shuttlesworth, who died in October, knew the timing was crucial. The resulting footage of children and teenagers being blasted by water cannons helped persuade the nation to pass crucial civil rights legislation.” –The Washington Post

“Larry Dane Brimner understands the importance of process, not just single incidents, in protest. The Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth, who died in October, may not be a household name, but Brimner explains how he worked and how Eugene "Bull" Connor responded. "The 1960s saw Bull fighting to keep the races apart, while Fred was shaking things up to bring about an end of Jim Crow." This book is a detailed examination of local politics being written large, as Shuttlesworth brings inequalities in Birmingham, Ala., and Connor's violent responses more and more prominently into national view. Brimner uses photographs, clippings and varying formats to keep a long examination readable.” –Chicago Tribune

Starred review “…Never simplistic in his depictions, Brimner shows the viewpoints from all sides: some middle-class blacks resented “Fred’s” heavy-handed style— fiery, confrontational, dictatorial—even if they agreed with the goals; some whites in Birmingham did wish to see an end to segregation, though their voices were drowned out. A penetrating look at elemental national history.” –Booklist, starred review

Starred review “A fascinating look at one of the most crucial places and periods in the civil rights movement through two polar opposites…A clean, graphically interesting design abets a well-researched, engaging narrative that contributes a more nuanced view of the period than is often seen. –Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“…Brimner limns the characters of both men and the ways in which their belief systems and personalities interacted to eliminate segregation from the Birmingham statutes…The writing style is lively and informative. A brief bibliography, excellent source notes, and a sound index round out this volume, which can stand alongside Russell Freedman’s Freedom Walkers (Holiday House, 2006) and Brimner’s own Birmingham Sunday (Calkins Creek, 2010) as fine examples of both civil-rights history and photo-biographies.” –School Library Journal

A starred review for Birmingham Sunday

School Library Journal awards Larry Dane Brimner's Birmingham Sunday with a starred review.

"The author successfully blends the facts of the event with the intense emotions of the period in order to bring it to life. ...The book is beautifully designed, with good-quality, black-and-white photos, informative captions, and pertinent pull quotes. A worthy addition to any collection."

Birmingham Sunday

Starred review "Brimner focuses on the 1963 bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church and successfully illuminates in chronological order the events, social tensions and political reverberations of that terror-filled time. Beginning with personal information about each of the four girls killed in the blast, he then introduces powerful figures or groups, some not well known, on both sides of the Civil Rights Movement. They are brought to life with information gleaned from various primary sources including FBI reports, police surveillance files, court transcripts and oral-history accounts. Each victim of the bombing and each advocate emerges for readers through quotes, black-and-white photographs and engaging, descriptive prose. Sidebars provide related information about the Movement and augment the highly accessible text. On the final pages are profiles of those responsible for the brutal bombing and the justice they finally received. A standout book for its thorough research and comprehensive look at the incident that led to the 1964 passage of civil-rights legislation. (further reading, author's note, source notes, picture credits)"     —Kirkus Reviews