Genre: History / Biography / African American / Racism / Library
Year Published: 2009
Year Read: 2011
Publisher: Dutton Books for Young Readers
I have read many children’s books that deal with the racism that many African-Americans had to face during the 1950s, but I have actually come upon a book that was a true inspiration to me! “Ron’s Big Mission” is a children’s book by Rose Blue and Corinne J. Naden and illustrated by Don Tate and it details the big mission that a young boy named Ron must accomplished. “Ron’s Big Mission” is certainly one brilliant book about the importance of standing up for yourself that many children will love for many years!
The book starts off with a young boy named Ron McNair getting ready to complete a mission. Ron’s mission was to go to the library and check out a book, since during that time, it was forbidden for African-Americans to check out books in the library. So, when Ron tried to check out a book from the library and the desk clerk refused to let Ron check out a book, Ron decided to make a stand and demanded that he checked out a library book.
Wow! This book was just so simply amazing as it told the life of an African-American boy in 1950s South Carolina in an extremely simplistic way! Rose Blue and Corinne J. Naden did an excellent job at writing the biographical story about an African-American boy named Ron McNair who was based off the real Ron McNair and his struggles in trying to check out a book from the library. It was really tragic in seeing how African-Americans had to struggle to get their rights during the 1950s and when I saw the page where Ron actually stood on the library desk and demanded to check out his books like everyone else, I was completely blown away by this image! Whenever I read this book, I always think to myself that if I was in Ron’s position and I wanted the right to check out a library book like everyone else, I definitely would have done the same thing that Ron had did in this book. Rose Blue and Corinne J. Naden has done a splendid job at presenting the nonviolent nature of Ron’s stance on racism and I loved the way that Ron never resorted to violence to stand up for his rights as a citizen. Don Tate’s illustrations are extremely cute and effective, especially of the images of Ron standing on the desk at the library as he tried to tell the librarians that he wanted to check out books like everyone else. Even though I will admit that Don Tate draws the characters with large heads, the facial expressions on the characters’ faces were extremely effective in portraying the message in this story.
Overall, “Ron’s Big Mission” is a truly inspirational book for children who want to learn more about racism in the 1950s and about how to stand up for what they believe in and children all over the world will definitely enjoy reading this wonderful book for years to come! I would recommend this book to children ages four and up since the format is simple enough for small children to read and understand.
* 2012 Flicker Tale Children's Book Award Nominee for Picture Book