Down On James Street follows the events of a young man at a dance hosted by the Young Worker’s League in Pittsburgh 1935. On his way there, George meets a delightful young woman named Dorothy who is also on her way to the dance. Once they arrive at the dance, they become dance partners and dance the night away. However, society at the time did not approve of Dorothy and George dancing together because of the differences in their skin color. Later, at the dance, police show up and mayhem ensues over the dancing kids due to the integrated dance. Will Dorothy and George escape the violence? How will George react to this atrocity? How will Dorothy?
Down On James Street is a revolutionary picture book. It follows the story of an interracial couple at a dance. This book addresses social justice issues, bravery, courage, joy, and standing up for what is right. This book is perfect for young readers to listen to and understand the significance of this story that so often occurred in history. While this is a picture book, the wording can be somewhat complex and therefore might be more suited for older readers. Parents could also read this book to their child. Either way, young readers should experience this book and discuss the significance of the story that reflects American history.