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Viola Desmond Won't Be Budged

Category: Book
Illustrated By: Rudnicki, Richard
By (author): Warner, Jody Nyasha
Subject:  JUVENILE NONFICTION / Biography & Autobiography / General
  JUVENILE NONFICTION / Biography & Autobiography / Women
  JUVENILE NONFICTION / History / Canada / Post-Confederation (1867-)
  JUVENILE NONFICTION / Social Topics / Prejudice & Racism
Awards: SYRCA Shining Willow Award (2011) Short-listed
ReadBoston Best Read Aloud Book Award (2011) Short-listed
Norma Fleck for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction (2011) Short-listed
Resource Links' Year's Best (2010) Commended
Vancouver Children's Literature Roundtable Information Book Award (2011) Long-listed
Publisher: Groundwood Books
Published: June 2010
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 32
Size: 10.38in x 8.35in x 0.42in

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*

Finalist for the 2011 Norma Fleck Award for Canadian Children's Non-Fiction

"On behalf of the Nova Scotia government, I sincerely apologize to Mrs. Viola Desmond's family and to all African Nova Scotians for the racial discrimination she was subjected to by the justice system . . . We recognize today that the act for which Viola Desmond was arrested, was an act of courage, not an offence." -- Darrell Dexter, Premier of Nova Scotia, April 15, 2010

In Nova Scotia, in 1946, an usher in a movie theatre told Viola Desmond to move from her main floor seat up to the balcony. She refused to budge. Viola knew she was being asked to move because she was black. After all, she was the only black person downstairs. All the other black people were up in the balcony. In no time at all, the police arrived and took Viola to jail. The next day she was charged and fined, but she vowed to continue her struggle against such unfair rules. She refused to accept that being black meant she couldn't sit where she wanted.

Viola's determination gave strength and inspiration to her community at the time. She is an unsung hero of the North American struggle against injustice and racial discrimination whose story deserves to be widely known.

The African Canadian community in Nova Scotia is one of Canada's oldest and most established black communities. Despite their history and contributions to the province the people in this community have a long experience of racially based injustice.

Like Claudette Colvin and Rosa Parks, who many years later, in 1955, refused to give up their bus seats in Alabama, Desmond's act of refusal awakened people to the unacceptable nature of racism and began and process of bringing an end to racial segregation in Canada.

An afterword provides a glimpse of African Canadian history.

From The Publisher*

A picture-book biography of Viola Desmond, Canada's Rosa Parks, who defied an order to sit in a segregated section of a movie theatre and was arrested for doing so.

Review Quote*...the author of the children's book 'Viola Desmond Won't be Budged!' knows why she wanted to write the Halifax businesswoman's story... "There's not much that's there that's Canadian and this is such a great story."
Review Quote*...vibrant...
Review Quote*Plain speech in the vernacular of the time and predominantly red-hued acrylic paintings that seem imbued with their subject's passion combine to great effect in this important but not-well-known piece of Canadian history.
Review Quote*Varying perspectives heighten the emotional intensity, as do the excellent layout and design. This unique offering will be of particular value when studying women's or black history.
Review Quote*...warm and engaging...
Review Quote*Desmond's story should prove eye-opening to readers whose civil rights references are limited to American figures.
Review Quote*This book is a powerful discussion starter on racism.
Review Quote*Rudnicki's vivid, dramatic art intensifies the danger that Desmond's stubborn determination brought her, and it lends itself well to the warm recounting of the unnamed narrator.