Review: The Colored Car Explores Discrimination From a Kid’s Point Of View

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Today I’m reviewing The Colored Car by Jean Alicia Elster and tomorrow I’ll share a guest review on the same book.

I read this book a while ago and really enjoyed it because it was interesting and I learned new things. I learned about discrimination and I learned about stuff in the olden days like the Great Depression and segregation. When I was reading the book there were some parts that made me think, “Wow, that’s so sad” and “Wow, that’s so mean.”

The Colored Car is about a girl named Patsy who lives in Detroit and is going to see her grandmother in Tennessee for the second time in her life. Patsy loves riding the train until she has to move to a different train that has not been cleaned. The train car has dirt on every seat and she feels mad and kind of scared about going on the train. She even at first refuses to go.

Patsy thinks this is unfair that she has to sit on a yucky train just because of the color of her skin. The people with lighter skin than her get to ride on a clean, air-conditioned train. Patsy also sees differences between the north and the south in the streets of Tennessee. People with darker skin are called “colored” and must drink out of a different water fountain than the lighter-skinned “white” people do. This makes Patsy very mad. She wonders why everyone can’t be equal.

When she gets to the grandmother’s house, she complains, but her grandmother says that that’s just the way things are. Her grandma tells her to put her worries into sewing and introduces Patsy to quilting. And yes, her worries about the colored car seemed to die down. In the end, the quilt is just about the most important thing in her life.

I enjoyed this book because I liked Patsy’s character. I liked how she was smart enough to realize that segregation was wrong and brave enough to stand up to it on the train.

I recommend this book to readers who like historical fiction. Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, so I really loved this book.

I give this book 4 out of 4 roses!



  1. This sounds like a wonderful book, and shows the impact young people can have against injustice. Unfortunately much of the prejudice from this book still exists today. Thankfully there are smart and caring kids like you, who realize diversity makes a stronger better world.

    Liked by 1 person

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