Published by Aladdin on January 1st 2002
"Oh, I'm singing the bus-rider blues,
the Alabamy bus-rider blues.
I got me a feeling, deep down inside,
It ain't never ever gonna be the same."
During the Alabama bus boycott, six months after Rosa Parks made her famous bus protest, Alfa Merryfield and his family struggle to pay the rent. But someone keeps stealing their rent money -- and now someone is accusing them of stealing!
With only a few days left before rent is due, Alfa and his sister, Zinnia, know they don't have much time. To solve this mystery, they must "walk the walk and talk the talk of nonviolence" that Martin Luther King, Jr. and other leaders preach -- and what they discover may be more than they dreamed...
Short & Sweet: Alfa lives with his sister Zinnia and grandmother in Alabama during the bus boycott and are always struggling to pay their rent money. Someone keeps stealing part of their hidden rent money and they must find out who it is before the rent is due. When they go to clean a house with their grandmother, they are accused of stealing two thousand dollars and must find who did it so they can get their pay before their rent is due. I loved the pace of this book and the intriguing mystery of rent money disappearing. Alfa feels fortunate to have a job in a grocery store, where he gets money along with food to feed his sister and grandmother. The bus boycott pays a big part in the novel, forcing Alfa to walk everywhere, which takes so much longer than riding the bus.
Final Verdict: Walking to the Bus-Rider Blues is a great novel set during the civil rights movement that should be in every elementary school collection.