Join us at Book Beat on Sunday, November 17 from 2:00-3:30pm to welcome Detroit native Jean Alicia Elster, author of the newly released young reader book, The Colored Car (for ages 8 and up). She will be speaking as well as signing copies of her books. This event is free and open to the public. For more information, or to reserve copies of the titles, please call Book Beat (248) 968-1190.
“In The Colored Car, Jean Alicia Elster, author of the award-winning Who’s Jim Hines?, follows another member of the Ford family coming of age in Depression-era Detroit. In the hot summer of 1937, twelve-year-old Patsy takes care of her three younger sisters and helps her mother put up fresh fruits and vegetables in the family’s summer kitchen, adjacent to the wood yard that her father, Douglas Ford, owns. Times are tough, and Patsy’s mother, May Ford, helps neighborhood families by sharing the food that she preserves. But May’s decision to take a break from canning to take her daughters for a visit to their grandmother’s home in Clarksville, Tennessee, sets in motion a series of events that prove to be life-changing for Patsy.
After boarding the first-class train car at Michigan Central Station in Detroit and riding comfortably to Cincinnati, Patsy is shocked when her family is led from their seats to change cars. In the dirty, cramped “colored car,” Patsy finds that the life she has known in Detroit is very different from life down south, and she can hardly get the experience out of her mind when she returns home-like the soot stain on her finely made dress or the smear on the quilt squares her grandmother taught her to sew. As summer wears on, Patsy must find a way to understand her experience in the colored car and also deal with the more subtle injustices that her family faces in Detroit. By the end of the story, Patsy will never see the world in the same way that she did before. Elster’s engaging narrative illustrates the personal impact of segregation and discrimination and reveals powerful glimpses of everyday life in 1930s Detroit. For young readers interested in American history, The Colored Car is engrossing and informative reading.”
“An emotional and compelling look at how the joys of daily life and the legacy of slavery affected children of the 1930s.” – Ruth McNally Barshaw, author and illustrator of The Ellie McDoodle Diaries
Jean Alicia Elster, B.A., J.D., is the author of the novel The Colored Car — for ages 8 and older. Elster is also the author of the novel Who’s Jim Hines? — for ages 8 and older. Who’s Jim Hines? was selected as one of the Library of Michigan’s 2009 Michigan Notable Books. In addition, the Michigan Reading Association placed Who’s Jim Hines? on the Great Lakes Great Books Award 2009-2010 ballot for grades 4-5. Who’s Jim Hines? was also a ForeWord Magazine 2008 Book of the Year Award Finalist in the category of Juvenile Fiction.
In addition, Elster is the author of the children’s book series Joe Joe in the City, which includes the books Just Call Me Joe Joe (2001), I Have A Dream, Too! (2002), I’ll Fly My Own Plane (2002), and I’ll Do the Right Thing (2003). She was awarded the 2002 Governors’ Emerging Artist Award by ArtServe Michigan in recognition of the series, and in 2004, I’ll Do the Right Thing received the Atlanta Daily World Choice Award in the category of children’s books.