Ruth and the Green Book – book review

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Ruth and the Green Book
by Calvin Alexander Ramsey with Gwen Strauss
Historical Fiction

Ruth and her family take a trip in the 1950’s from Chicago to Alabama to visit her grandmother.  Traveling out of the city and seeing the hills and trees appear and the streets and buildings disappear are something new for Ruth.

Along the way Ruth sees, for the first time in her life, that others are not always friendly to those who are different.  They encounter stores and gas stations and motels where they are not welcome because they are different.  It is very hurtful and confusing to Ruth to be unwelcome.

Her father’s friend tells him to keep an eye out for Esso stations, they will be welcome there.  This is where her father learns of The Negro Motorist Green Book, started by postman Victor H. Green.  In the book are lists of businesses in many states where black people would be welcome.

Ruth and the Green Book is a well written and beautifully illustrated story that tells of young girl’s first encounter with racism and the friendships that she and her family find along the way. Well worth the read.

Review by Stacy Zion, Youth Services staff