New Shoes

Written by Susan Lynn Meyer

If you’re looking for a living book for the Civil Rights Movement, this is it. Although the character in this story is fictional; the daily events that she and her family went through were common to many ‘colored’ people of the day.

Upon entering a shoe store for the first time with her mother, Ella Mae quickly learns that she isn’t allowed to try on any shoes! Instead she must trace her foot onto a paper and hold that up against a shoe.

“Pencil and paper are over there, gal,” Mr. Johnson says to Mama

Follow Ella Mae and her friend as they plan to make a difference in the world by opening up their own shoe store.

“In our store, anyone who walks in the door can try on all the shoes they want.”

This story sparked a great discussion with our kids who never realized how black people were once treated.


Ages: 3 and up

Available from the Hamilton Public Library

Reviewer: Meagan


One thought on “New Shoes

  1. Yes, this was a great introduction to discussing racial discrimination (which occurred not much more than fifty years ago!). I LOVED the creative solution found by the girls at the end of the book.


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