Cover image for A bus of our own
A bus of our own
Evans, Freddi Williams.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Morton Grove, Ill. : Albert Whitman & Co., 2001.
Physical Description:
32 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 26 cm
Although she really wants to go to school, walking the five miles is very difficult for Mabel Jean and the other Black children, so she tries to find a way to get a bus for them the same as the white children have. Based on real events in Mississippi.
Reading Level:
AD 460 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR LG 3.4 0.5 54237.

Reading Counts RC K-2 3.1 2 Quiz: 26618 Guided reading level: M.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
PIC.BK. Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks
PIC. BK. Juvenile Fiction Picture Books

On Order



More than anything, Mable Jean wants to go to school. She has to walk five miles to get there though, and her papa told her that if she can't keep up, she'll have to wait another year. Finally, Mable Jean asks her parents why the black children don't have a bus, too. Illustrations.

Author Notes

Fyodor Dostoyevsky (1821--1881), one of nineteenth-century Russia's greatest novelists, spent four years in a convict prison in Siberia, after which he was obliged to enlist in the army. In later years his penchant for gambling sent him deeply into debt. Most of his important works were written after 1864, including Notes from Underground , Crime and Punishment , The Idiot , and The Brothers Karamazov, all available from Penguin Classics.

David McDuff was educated at the University of Edinburgh and has translated a number of works for Penguin Classics, including Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov .

David McDuff was educated at the University of Edinburgh and has translated a number of works for Penguin Classics, including Dostoyevsky's The Brothers Karamazov .

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Ages 5-9. Long before Rosa Parks, a group of African American sharecroppers in a rural community in Mississippi organized their own bus so that their children could get to school. The story is based on a real event, and Evans tells it through the eyes of a young child, Mable Jean, who is desperate to get to school, but just can't keep up with her older brother and make the five-mile walk there and back every day. Set in the South more than 50 years ago, Costello's oil paintings show the suffering (in one unforgettable double-page spread the white kids on the bus jeer as they pass the walking children) but also the determination of the black community. Everyone agrees to work extra hours picking cotton, washing clothes, cleaning houses, to earn money. Then one powerful picture shows men, women, and children working on two beat-up old buses until, finally, they have one working bus and Mable Jean rides to school. The drama is in the facts about what ordinary people did together. --Hazel Rochman

School Library Journal Review

Gr 2-5-This story, based on true events, tells how Mable Jean's simple question inspired a community of African Americans in post-World War II Mississippi to beat the odds. Walking five miles to school is hard enough, but enduring stormy weather and the teasing of the white children who get to ride on a bus is even worse. The child asks her father and her teacher why there is no bus for her school and if they know anyone who could get one. Then she asks her Cousin Smith-and gets results. After a lot of hard work and cooperation by the community, a school bus for black children is in operation. While it is not equal to the vehicles provided by the county, it is a remarkable labor of love. Though the oil paintings are hazy (like memories), the effects are remarkably strong; for example, the faces of the white children riding the bus tell a story by themselves. This satisfyingly different title is worthy of acquisition and begs to be read aloud and discussed.-Thomas Pitchford, Rosenthal Elementary, Alexandria, LA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.