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Gwen Strauss

Ruth and the Green Book


2012, North Carolina Children's Book Award, Nominee2010, IndieFab awards, Bronze Medal Winner2011, Capitol Choices: Noteworthy Books for Children and Teens, Recommended2011, Jane Addams Children's Book Award, Honor Book2011, Jefferson Cup, Honor Book2011, Delaware Diamonds Award, Nominee2011, Independent Publisher Book Awards, Gold Medal Winner2013, Sequoyah Book Awards, Nominee2013, Bluebonnet Awards, Nominee

The picture book inspiration for the Academy Award-winning film The Green Book

Ruth was so excited to take a trip in her family's new car In the early 1950s, few African Americans could afford to buy cars, so this would be an adventure. But she soon found out that black travelers weren't treated very well in some towns. Many hotels and gas stations refused service to black people. Daddy was upset about something called Jim Crow laws . . .

Finally, a friendly attendant at a gas station showed Ruth's family The Green Book. It listed all of the places that would welcome black travelers. With this guidebook--and the kindness of strangers--Ruth could finally make a safe journey from Chicago to her grandma's house in Alabama.

Ruth's story is fiction, but The Green Book and its role in helping a generation of African American travelers avoid some of the indignities of Jim Crow are historical fact.