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Going Someplace Special

Patricia C. McKissack

Illustrated by Jerry Pinkney

Picture Book

Ages 4 to 8

Simon and Schuster, 2001, 1-4169-2735-2

  ‘Tricia Ann has decided that she is ready to go “Someplace Special” all by herself. Her grandmother, Mama Frances, agrees to let ‘Tricia Ann go into town by herself sending her off with the words: “hold yo’ head up and act like you b’long to somebody.” And so ‘Tricia Ann’s adventure begins.

  On the bus ‘Tricia Ann pays her fare and then goes to the back of the bus to sit in the “Colored Section.” She does not like being segregated like this but there is nothing that she can do about it. She remembers her grandmother telling her that the Jim Crow signs “can tell us where to sit, but they can’t tell us how to think.” In her heart and mind ‘Tricia Ann is a free as a bird.

  When she gets off the bus ‘Tricia Ann sees many other signs of the Jim Crow laws that keep the white people and black people around her separate. After a time the experience is becoming so awful that she is ready to go back home. And then she meets someone who reminds her of her grandmother’s words. After all, there is one place that ‘Tricia Ann can go to where “all are welcome.”

  Based on the author’s own childhood experiences, this powerful picture book shows children what it was like to be a black child in the south in the 1950s. Readers will see that the Jim Crow laws affected practically every aspect of life for black people at this time. The story is intensely personal and very moving. Jerry Pinkney’s artwork perfectly complimenta the tale with its soft colors and expressive characters.


Going someplace special


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