Riding to Washington

Janie is not exactly sure why her daddy is riding a bus from Indianapolis to Washington, D.C. She knows why she has to go-to stay out of her mother's way, especially with the twins now teething. But Daddy wants to hear a man named Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speak and, to keep out of trouble, Janie is sent along. Riding the bus with them is a mishmash of people, black and white, young and old. They seem very different from Janie. As the bus travels across cities and farm fields to its historic destination, Janie sees firsthand the injustices that many others are made to endure. She begins to realize that she's not so different from the other riders and that, as young as she is, her actions can affect change.Though fiction, Riding to Washington is a very personal story for Gwenyth Swain as both her father and grandfather rode to Washington, D.C., to participate in the 1963 civil rights march on the nation's capital. Ms. Swain's other books include Chig and the Second Spread and I Wonder As I Wander. She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota. Artist David Geister has entertained audiences for years with his costumed portrayals of historic characters from the nineteenth century, and his artwork reflects his interest in history and dramatic storytelling. Riding to Washington is his third title with Sleeping Bear Press. David lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Format List Price Your Price Qty
$17.95 $17.95
$29.95 $29.95
Interest Level Grade 1 - Grade 4
Reading Level Grade 3
Dewey 323.1196/073
Lexile AD650L
ATOS Reading Level 3.8
Guided Reading Level P
Language English
Publisher Sleeping Bear Press
Available Formats Hardcover (9781585363247), PDF (9781410308467), Hosted ebook (9781627534017)
Copyright 2008, 2014
Number of Pages 40
Dimensions 9 x 11
Graphics Full-color illustrations
  • Tennessee Volunteer State Book Award List--K-3, Short-listed, 2011
  • NYSRA Charlotte Award Suggested Reading List--Primary Category, Short-listed, 2010
  • Pennsylvania Young Reader's Choice Awards Program: K-3, Winner, 2009
  • Learning Magazine's Teacher's Choice Awards for Children's Books, Winner, 2009
  • Manuscript Wins Honorable Mention for the Mcknight Artist Fellowship for Writers Sponsored by the Loft Literacy Center, Runner-up, 2008

Riding to Washington - Teaching Guide

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Author: Gwenyth Swain

Gwenyth Swain is the youngest of five sisters and the only one to live outside her native state of Indiana. She writes partly to let folks back home know that shes keeping busy through the long Minnesota winters and partly because writing is the best job she can imagine having. She enjoys weaving family stories and historical events together in fiction. Ms. Swain is the author of two middle-grade novels—Shady Grove (Indiana Historical Society Press) and Chig and the Second Spread (Delacorte)—and the historical picture book I Wonder As I Wander (W.B. Eerdmans), illustrated by Ronald Himler. She lives in St. Paul, Minnesota, with her husband, Vinnie, and their two children.

Illustrator: David Geister

Artist Dave Geister tells stories through his historical paintings and costumed storytelling. He enjoys doing school visits almost as much as painting children’s book illustrations. Teachers and librarians often comment on the rapport that Dave establishes with children and staff and how he encourages them to do their art.Dave is married to Pat Bauer, author of his most recent book B is for Battle Cry: A Civil War Alphabet.

Author/Illustrator biography
Glossary of key words
Original artwork
Teaching guides
Full-color illustrations