Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down (Jane Addams Honor Book (Awards))

by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Hardcover, 2010





Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (2010), Edition: 1, 40 pages


"This picture book is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the momentous Woolworth's lunch counter sit-in, when four college students staged a peaceful protest that became a defining moment in the struggle for racial equality and the growing civil rights movement."

User reviews

LibraryThing member calvinsmith8
Driven by Martin Luther King Jr's words, this is the story of four young, African American college students who started a nationwide movement to ban segregation in public places. This eventually lead to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which was written up as an act under JFK's presidency, but not signed into law until Lyndon B. Johnson's term in office. This book provides a great recipe for tolerance and non-violent civil disobedience. It also provides a timeline of events during the Cival Rights era, starting in 1954, and leading up to the signing of the Civil Rights Act in July of 1964.… (more)
LibraryThing member oapostrophe
A poetic telling of the four young African Americans who wanted to be served at a Woolworth's lunch counter in N. Carolina in the 1960's. They just sat, and waited to be served, practicing nonviolence in the face of harassment. Great read aloud.
LibraryThing member jamiesque
Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down is an ode to the non-violent aspect of the civil rights movement in 1960's United States. The picture book recounts the tale of four friends, prompted by the words and message of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., to start a sit-in at a lunch counter in North Carolina. Dr. King's quotes, in enlarged font and contrasting colors, serve not only as informal chapter breaks, but as clear motivation behind the actions of the young friends. The language of the book is interesting and grabs the reader's attention. There is a prominent repition of phrases, which adds a lyrical quality to the prose. For example, in one section, a series of sentences begins: No crime...No harm...No danger..." Sometimes, the author uses only one word sentences, creating a poetic, powerful feeling. Finally, there is the sustained metaphor of food throughout the story, literary and poignagnt, that counterbalances the simple sentence structure. While some of the metaphores are a bit forced, the comparison of integration to a recipe is maintained throughout and can serve as an excellent introduction and conversation starter regarding this particular literaly element. In the back, reinforcing the metaphor, is an anctual step-by-step recipe for integration, prepared according to the peaceful, patient and civil disobedient style of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s vision.… (more)
LibraryThing member ander23
The prose is moving, speckled with quotes that inspired the protesters and good detail. As a picture book ought to be, it is both easily understood and deep enough for older readers. 4.5 stars.
LibraryThing member Danielle_Rumsky
This is an educational book that is well written and well illustrated. It teaches the lesson of fighting for equality. It simplifies a real life issue for children and teaches them an important part of history.
LibraryThing member lalfonso
This book told the story of how four college boys changed a nation. They began simply by sitting a Woolworth’s counter and ordering “a doughnut and coffee, with cream on the side.” They were refused service, but others took note and started to hold their own sit-ins across the nation. Repetition seemed a theme within this book. The order kept repeating, the visual motif kept repeating and throughout the book some phrases were printed using bold colors with huge letters which grabbed the readers’ attention with an important quote or message. The illustrations depicted the growing number of sit-ins perfectly. It contained a circular motif and depicted the boys with soft, gentle faces and muted skin, but wearing boldly colored suits in shades of orange, green, blue and yellow. As the movement grew so did the length of the counter and the number of people seated at the counter. This was a very visual book, which will appeal to a visual learner. Teaching ideas included a unit on civil rights and passive protests. Grades 3-6 could learn from this story. The author seemed very credible. She included a timeline of Civil Rights and a section titled A Final Helping, which included an actual photograph of the boys seated at the counter.… (more)
LibraryThing member abbylibrarian
Following Dr. Martin Luther King's philosophy of peaceful protest, four friends stood up against segregation by sitting at a Woolworth's lunch counter where they were not served because they were black. This protest sparked sit-ins across the nation and ultimately contributed to the passing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. This beautiful book presents the story in a kid-friendly way with bright illustrations that perfectly match the hopeful tone of the book. Highly recommended.… (more)
LibraryThing member 1derlys
This is a good representation of what African Americans went through to get Civil Rights. They protested without violence and made their point. There is a Civil Rights Timeline before and after the Sit-Ins. This was one of the many movements it took for segregation to be undone.
LibraryThing member bmwade
This kids were not afraid to stand up for their rights and choose friendship over other things. Through this book we learn about Martin Luther King Jr. and discover what kids know and think is the "right thing to do".
LibraryThing member Kbernard
This book is a great book that can be used in classrooms to discuss Civil Rights. The book tells the story of four African-American students who sat at a "White's only" counter waiting to be served. Their movement expanded by hundreds of participants doing the same thing in their hometowns. Eventually, white students joined their friends and took a stand. Eventually, all were allowed to be served. Great story!… (more)
LibraryThing member kottenbrookk
This book combines vivid illustrations with lyrical text to tell the story of the lunch counter sit-ins of the Civil Rights Movement. While the content is straightforward enough to function as an introduction to concepts like segregation and nonviolent protest, the complex language at times creates doubt as to the book’s intended audience. The impressionistic, brightly-colored ink and watercolor illustrations mingle with the text throughout the book, but do not add to the story. The text, about five-to-ten lines per page, tells the story in playful language and includes quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in bold font. The treatment of the story is confusing at times - sometimes assuming knowledge on the part of the reader and sometimes assuming the topic is unfamiliar. Older children will more easily understand the story, but may find the childlike language babyish. Younger children may appreciate the language and the illustrations, but not comprehend the context. Some background information, including a timeline of the Civil Rights Movement is included at the back, but the language there is similarly sophisticated. This is a comprehensive, if simplified introduction to the Civil Rights Movement that will appeal to young readers, though because of the sophistication of the language and information, adults should be prepared to discuss the book or provide children with further resources. Recommended. Grades 2-3… (more)
LibraryThing member kelleemorcomb
I liked this book for a couple of reasons. One reason why I liked this book was because of the illustrations. I liked how they were simple and abstract, yet they portrayed the story well. Another reason why I liked this book was for the writing. I liked how Martin Luther King, Jr.'s words were shown throughout and I liked how there were different fonts used on every page. Another reason why I liked this book was for the added features. I really liked that there were interactive pages that would engage the reader, that there was a civil rights timeline in the back of the book, and how the real story was posted in the back of the book as well. I think the big idea that I got from this story is that violence doesn't solve anything and sometimes, being nice gets you way farther.… (more)
LibraryThing member PolyDrive
I love the way this story is told - with a bit of rhythmic prose and repetition of a simple idea...a recipe. The words used are basic but inspiring. I can't wait to read this book. This would be a great book to read for the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr Day or Black History Month. It would also be a great book to read as a reminder that we can change injustices through peace but perseverance.… (more)
LibraryThing member Madison94
This book is awesome. The sit –ins were huge for the civil rights movement. This book made clear how the students were not trying to start a fight but only wanted coffee with sugar and a doughnut but the people refused to serve them. This book did a great job explaining what the sit-ins were trying to prove and how they started. The book had very fluid illustrations and they did not fit on a page. They were detrimental to the story because you did need the words to realize what was going on in the story. I loved how at the back of the book they had a civil rights timeline to inform people in a quick and easy way. The overall message of this book was to inform people about the sit-ins and the civil rights movement.… (more)
LibraryThing member HeatherBallard
This was a great book. I loved that even though the students were not getting served food, and were not welcomed, they still fought for what they believed in. This book displays the sit-in in a very peaceful manner and teaches readers that they should fight for what they want, but peacefully. The illustrations were wonderful. They were drawn very in depth and you can see on the faces of the students, that they were not angry or being rude. The message of this story is to fight for what you believe in peacefully.… (more)
LibraryThing member lrubin75
2011 Carter G Woodson Winner; about the 4 friends who sat and ordered at a whites only lunch counter in Greensboro, NC as a nonviolent demonstration, and started a movement that lead up to the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to break down the Jim Crow segregation era.
LibraryThing member pduste1
Sit-in is an informational book about the four college students who participated in peaceful protest. I really liked this book because of its use of fonts and extra resources. Throughout the book certain concepts are bolded and are a bigger font. The quotes chosen are messages that were taught through the civil rights movement. Of these phrases was a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., “Be loving enough to absorb evil.” Also, in the back of the book there are other resources that help when studying the civil rights movement. There is a timeline in the back that takes you from 1954 with “Brown vs. the Board of Education” to 1964 with “the Civil Right Act of 1964.” The main idea of this book is that we must meet violence with nonviolence.… (more)
LibraryThing member Tessa.Johnson
This is a really well written and illustrated book about four black college students who started a sit-in at the lunch counter at Woolworth's in Greensboro, North Carolina. My students, predominantly white, were fascinated by the story. I read it to grades K - 3 and every class was intrigued. I did a little paraphrasing towards the end with the kindergarteners, but they understood. Everyone had questions and it sparked interested discussions about race. In two classes I had paras who were alive during those times and shared their experiences with segregation. The illustrations and beautiful and tell more of the story. In one picture the waitress is shown as a black woman, opening the discussion of why won't a black waitress serve black customers. This is a great book to extend the lessons of segregation and Martin Luther King Jr.'s story. My one criticism is that the book is written in short, repetitive sentences that I found difficult to read (over and over to each class). Several times I found myself paraphrasing a bit just to make the text flow more smoothly… (more)
LibraryThing member troberts719
This book details the famous Woolworth lunch counter sit-in by four college students that spurred many more peaceful protests across the South. The author writes in rhythmic prose and captures the soul and spirit of the people involved in these sit-ins.
LibraryThing member troberts719
This book details the famous Woolworth lunch counter sit-in by four college students that spurred many more peaceful protests across the South. The author writes in rhythmic prose and captures the soul and spirit of the people involved in these sit-ins.
LibraryThing member mirikayla
The illustrations remind me a bit of Stephen Alcorn's, which I always love. This is a great account of the 1960 sit-ins, and there's a concise timeline of the Civil Rights Movement at the back of the book.
LibraryThing member georperez
Genre: Historical Fiction
Format: Picture Book

This picture book was written in commemoration of a lunch counter sit-in by some college students that happened in 1960. So the story goes, about four young men who stood up by sitting down. They went into Woolworth’s lunch counter where they were denied service. The illustrations were inspired by these events and are in a different art style but very colorful and detailed for the story. This book is a great read aloud for students and can be a good conversation starter for a unit on the civil rights movement.… (more)


Original language


Original publication date



0316070165 / 9780316070164


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