By Michael Bandy, Erick Stein
Candlewick Press, $16.99, 32 pages

On a scorching day, Michael heads into town with his grandmother. While waiting on a bench for the bus, they are forced to give up their seats to another boy and his mother. Where they live, African Americans must give up their seats to Caucasians. In town, both boys want a drink of water. 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. Michael is determined to sample the “White Water” which he imagines must be pure and icy cold, like mountain water. What will Michael discover when he risks his safety to take a drink? White Water, by Michael S. Bandy and Eric Stein, is set in 1962 in the segregation-era South at the beginning of the civil rights movement. It is based on a true children experience of Bandy. Shadra Strickland’s beautiful watercolor and ink illustrations are moving and inspirational. This children’s book introduces young readers to the reality of racism and prejudice. It takes courage to stand up for what is right.

Elizabeth Franklin