Book details

Macmillan Children's Book

My Selma

True Stories of a Southern Childhood at the Height of the Civil Rights Movement

Author: Willie Mae Brown

My Selma

My Selma

About This Book

Combining family stories of the everyday and the extraordinary as seen through the eyes of her twelve-year-old self, Willie Mae Brown gives readers an unforgettable portrayal of her coming...

Page Count
240
On Sale
01/03/2023
Age Range
10-14

Book Details

Combining family stories of the everyday and the extraordinary as seen through the eyes of her twelve-year-old self, Willie Mae Brown gives readers an unforgettable portrayal of her coming of age in a town at the crossroads of history.

As the civil rights movement and the fight for voter rights unfold in Selma, Alabama, many things happen inside and outside the Brown family’s home that do not have anything to do with the landmark 1965 march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Yet the famous outrages which unfold on that span form an inescapable backdrop in this collection of stories. In one, Willie Mae takes it upon herself to offer summer babysitting services to a glamorous single white mother—a secret she keeps from her parents that unravels with shocking results. In another, Willie Mae reluctantly joins her mother at a church rally, and is forever changed after hearing Martin Luther King Jr. deliver a defiant speech in spite of a court injunction.

Infused with the vernacular of her Southern upbringing, My Selma captures the voice and vision of a fascinating young person—perspicacious, impetuous, resourceful, and even mystical in her ways of seeing the world around her—who gifts us with a loving portrayal of her hometown while also delivering a no-holds-barred indictment of the time and place.

Imprint Publisher

Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)

ISBN

9780374390242

In The News

Amazon Best Books of the Month for Ages 9-12
A Junior Library Guild Gold Standard Selection

“Vivid sensory language is the book’s great strength . . . A beautiful evocation of time and place . . . In her afterword, Brown says that ‘hope is in the telling,’ and her stories offer a strong voice still needed in the ongoing struggle for justice.” —The Horn Book

“Poignant . . . By balancing personal struggles with racism with everyday joys of community, family, and resilience, Brown authentically imbues this clear-eyed tale with salient detail and historical resonance.” —Publishers Weekly

“Brown uses language effectively to bring the times to life, and emerging from the retelling of her history are portraits of people who shaped her thought patterns and ways of being in her formative years. A panoramic yet intimate depiction of a family experiencing radical social changes.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Reading My Selma felt like sitting around a kitchen table captivated by fascinating stories of a favorite relative’s life . . . So intimate and engaging that I wished for more after I turned the last page.” —Seira Wilson, Amazon Editors’ Picks

About the Creators

My Selma

My Selma