White Water by Michael S. Bandy

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For a young boy growing up in the segregated south, a town drinking fountain becomes the source of an epiphany.

It's a scorching hot day, and going into town with Grandma is one of Michael's favorite things. When the bus pulls up, they climb in and pay their fare, get out, walk to the back door, and climb in again. By the time they arrive in town, Michael's throat is as dry as a bone, so he runs to the water fountain. But after a few sips, the warm, rusty water tastes bad. Why is the kid at the "Whites Only" fountain still drinking? Is his water clear and refreshingly cool? No matter how much trouble Michael might get into, he's determined to find out for himself. Based on a transformative experience co-author Michael Bandy had as a boy, this compelling story sheds light on the reality of segregation through a child's eyes, while showing the powerful awareness that comes from daring to question the way things are.

About Michael S. Bandy

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Michael S. Bandy caught the writing bug when his third-grade teacher surprised him with a set of Dr. Seuss books. He's been writing plays, screenplays, and books ever since. He lives in Los Angeles and is involved in a number of children's charities. Eric Stein has written for the children's TV series Star Street and was a supervising producer on the animated special Defenders of Dynatron City. He is also on the dive team at the Aquarium of the Pacific in Long Beach, California, where he swims with sharks almost every weekend.Shadra Strickland is the illustrator of BIRD, for which she won the Ezra Jack Keats Award and the John Steptoe award, and OUR CHILDREN CAN SOAR, for which she won the NAACP Image Award. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
Published August 23, 2011 by Candlewick Press. 40 pages
Genres: Travel, Children's Books, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for White Water

Kirkus Reviews

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Narrator Michael normally accepts the familiar trappings of the Jim Crow South—giving up a seat at the bus stop and on the bus and drinking from separate water fountains.

Jul 05 2011 | Read Full Review of White Water

Publishers Weekly

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Even ordinary things, when forbidden, can grip a child's imagination, and so it is with Michael, his obsession with "white water" producing several fantasy scenarios and eventually compelling him to sneak back to town, where he discovers that the water in both fountains tastes the same.

Jun 13 2011 | Read Full Review of White Water

New York Journal of Books

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White Water is not the first picture book to use segregated water fountains as a way to demonstrate the shame and confusion that characterized Jim Crow laws in the South, from the 1880s to

Jun 24 2015 | Read Full Review of White Water

City Book Review

The water is nasty and gritty and he stops drinking, but the white boy continues to drink.

Dec 08 2011 | Read Full Review of White Water

Portland Book Review

Michael must drink from a faucet marked “Colored” while the other boy drinks from a faucet labeled “White.” The first sips that Michael takes are war and rusty…then nasty, muddy, and gritty.

Apr 03 2012 | Read Full Review of White Water

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