KIRKUS Review :
"Perfectly pitched to its target elementary audience, this tells the story of Sarah Keys Evans, a young TAKE A SEAT—MAKE A woman who refused to give up her seat on a bus three years before Rosa Parks did the same. While serving in the Women’s Army Corps in 1952, Evans took a bus to visit her family in North Carolina. At the time, discrimination on busses that crossed state lines was forbidden by law, but the bus company had its own rules. When she reached her home state, the driver demanded that she move to the back of the bus, and had her arrested when she refused. Evans filed a lawsuit against the bus company, eventually winning the case. Nathan reproduces many family photographs of Evans, clearly and concisely explaining her fight. She portrays Evans as an extremely shy young woman; because of her restrained personality, she comes across to readers with heightened courage. By weaving in photographs and Evans’s life story with her legal battle, the book will hold reader interest. Nathan strikes just the right balance of emotion and facts necessary to reach children with-in the context of a history lesson. As a result, this thin volume would be a good choice for elementary classrooms as part of a Civil Rights unit.
A winner. "

“Sarah Keys, a courageous Army private, helped set the stage for the civil rights movement in the 1950s by seeking and getting a legal ruling outlawing discrimination on seating on buses and proving that justice can be there for each of us.”
Wilma L. Vaught, Brigadier General, USAF (retired);
President, Women In Military Service For America Memorial Foundation, Inc.

“Sarah Keys fought her battle against segregation and humiliations as a matter of moral decency and learned first hand about mental and physical fear thus exemplifying extraordinary courage.”
— Representative Major R. Owens, U.S. House of Representatives;
— From a proclamation issued March 2006

Review from: New Moon magazine

Take A Seat, Make A Stand is a fascinating account . . . . Sarah Keys Evans said “No” when asked to make room for a White passenger on a state-to-state bus, three years before Rosa Parks did the same thing on a local trip and received national acclaim for it. Sarah became a living Statue of Liberty, holding her brightly burning torch of freedom high over a segregated country.

Sarah’s story is written by Amy Nathan through the voice of Sarah’s niece, Krystal. Krystal is assigned to write a paper on a hero or heroine, and discovers her quiet aunt’s story when trying to choose someone to write the paper about. Krystal finds out that her aunt committed an act of extreme bravery, and three years later, someone else did the same thing and achieved international fame and commendation. Ironically, Sarah’s courage was no less than Rosa Parks’, and what Sarah did made no smaller of a difference than Rosa’s accomplishments. Rosa Parks is a household name and Sarah remains virtually unknown, despite two Congressional proclamations in her honor. Why should Sarah, too, not be fully recognized and honored for what she did?

Amy Nathan tells Sarah’s story dexterously, writing the nonfiction narrative in a very simple yet compelling way that makes the book hard to put down. Sarah’s courage and determination show through in Amy’s writing, and you can easily hear Sarah’s strong spirit speaking. Take A Seat, Make A Stand is an inspiring book of a young woman’s audacity and her act of civil disobedience that changed the way Americans are treated today.


"I'm glad I was able to help unlock another door of freedom." Sarah Keys Evans

More than 60 years ago—on August 2, 1952—SARAH KEYS EVANS took a stand against injustice when she was arrested, in her Army uniform, for not moving to the back of a bus in North Carolina.
Her story is told in TAKE A SEAT—MAKE A STAND
Sarah Keys Evans ( then in her early 20s), stood up for her rights and, with help from her father and a young woman lawyer, Dovey Roundtree, won a remarkable victory three years later against race-based seating on interstate buses at the ICC (Interstate Commerce Commission), a ruling which was announced in late November 1955, ONE WEEK before Rosa Parks made her stand against discrimination on public transportation in Montgomery, Alabama.
Thank you, Sarah Keys Evans, for helping to lead the way!
During the spring of 2017, Sarah Keys Evans celebrated her 88th birthday.

Sarah Keys Evans in 2006 when she received a Trailblazer Award from the U.S. Department of Justice

"Take A Seat, Make A Stand is an inspiring book of a young woman’s audacity and her act of civil disobedience that changed the way Americans are treated today."
New Moon magazine

Sarah Keys Evans in her Women's Army Corps uniform around the time she was arrested for not moving to the back of a bus in North Carolina, after boarding the bus near Fort Dix in New Jersey where she was stationed.

This book for young people tells of Sarah Keys Evans, an unsung Civil Rights hero, who, as a young woman in the Women’s Army Corps in the summer of 1952, did what Rosa Parks did—three years before Rosa Parks.

Arrested in 1952 in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina—while in her Army uniform—for refusing to move to the back of a bus she was taking to go from her Army base in New Jersey to her childhood home in North Carolina for a family visit, Sarah Keys Evans found a way to stand up for her rights and managed to achieve a remarkable victory: A ruling by the ICC in 1955 that effectively outlawed race-based seating in inter-state transportation. Her ICC ruling was announced in newspapers around the nation just one week before Rosa Parks took her historic stand on a local bus in Montgomery, Alabama.

It would take many more protests and legal maneuvers before the Jim Crow era finally ended. But Sarah Keys Evans played an important part in helping to crumble the walls of that shameful time in our nation’s history.

Unfortunately, her story has been overlooked by most books on the Civil Rights movement. This book aims to correct that oversight.

Her story is especially important for young people because of the lessons it illustrates—that it’s not just famous people who make history, that in troubled times ordinary people can step up and accomplish amazing things. Her story also shows that change is a step-by-step process. Mrs. Evans’s contribution was one step in the right direction that helped prepare the way for other steps that would follow later, to help bring about big shifts in attitudes and laws. As Mrs. Evans showed, an individual can indeed make a difference!

TAKE A SEAT-MAKE A STAND is available from online booksellers and can be ordered wherever books are sold. Sarah Keys Evans shares equally with author of the book, Amy Nathan, in any royalties earned from sale of TAKE A SEAT-MAKE A STAND.