This is the Dream

This is the Dream

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Through striking, powerful verse and gorgeous, detailed illustrations, THIS IS THE DREAM catalogs the American experience before, during, and after the civil rights movement. Come along on this incredible journey through time, history, and American society and see how far we've come in attaining freedom and justice for all.

(HarperCollins Publishers, 2006 Amistad Publishers, 2006)


This is the Dream is an Accelerated Reader Book! -- Quiz #105027



From Publishers Weekly


Ransome (Satchel Paige) creates a striking juxtaposition of closely focused paintings and collage borders incorporating powerful historical photographs. These images will make a strong impression on readers of this expository chronicle of events preceding, during and following the civil rights movement, as Ransome's artwork makes large ideas comprehensible through visual details. The rhythm and "House-that-Jack-Built" meter creates a chilling contrast to what's going on between the lines: "These are the buses-a dime buys a ride,/ but the people are sorted by color inside." Ransome shows the demarcation of the bus's white and black sections, and in a border across the top creates a collage of stirring portraits. Text and artwork similarly depict segrgated lunch counters, libraries and schools. One of the most powerful spreads portrays three black children stepping into a newly integrated school ("These are the students who step through the doors/ where people of color have not walked before"), Confederate flags flying, while a photocollage on the top edge shows the fractured images of angry white bystanders, effectively emulating a mob mentality. Concluding spreads demonstrate the contrast today, with images of a multiracial array of people waiting to use the same drinking fountain and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance in one voice at school. This will provide a solid springboard for adult-child discussions, especially since younger readers might need help deciphering some of the poetic narrative's references.

All ages

Kirkus Review

"A soaring tribute to the accomplishments of the civil rights movement... children unfamiliar with the struggle's origins and landmark events will come away with profound appreciation for its nonviolent methods and for its 'dream of freedom and justice for all.'"

Classroom Materials

Download the "This is the Dream" Read Aloud Family Activity Guide (PDF)

Download the "This is the Dream" Student Reading Activity Page (PDF)

View the "This is the Dream" Teacher's Lesson Plans

Television Interview

Diane's Interview on "Good Day Atlanta" (43 MB MPEG movie)