Back to School!FREE Shipping on orders over $30
{"id":2434631794767,"title":"Follow Chester! A College Football Team Fights Racism and Makes History","handle":"follow-chester","description":"\u003c!-- - - - - - - - ENTER AUTHOR\/ILLUSTRATOR INFO BELOW - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eBy: \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.charlesbridge.com\/pages\/gloria-respress-churchwell\"\u003eGloria Respress-Churchwell\u003c\/a\u003e \/ Illustrated by: \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.charlesbridge.com\/pages\/laura-freeman\"\u003eLaura Freeman\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - ENTER HEADING BELOW - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch3\u003e\"We've already won.\"\u003c\/h3\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - ENTER DESCRIPTION BELOW - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eChester Pierce broke racial barriers when, in 1947, he joined his Harvard football team to play against the University of Virginia. At that time, black people were not allowed to sit at lunch counters, they had to use separate entrances, and they weren’t allowed to play college football against white players.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eChester’s team didn’t care about those laws. Amid dropped jaws, jeering, and booing, Chester played and his teammates followed his lead.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eLaura Freeman’s expressive illustrations create an atmosphere of bold moves and a tide of crimson togetherness that could not be stopped.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eBased on a true story.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\"Duty and Courage are often side by side in a war fighting indifference and cowardice. Children snatched from their families at the border; millions being murdered in the Holocaust; the enslaved kidnapped and killed; segregated and denied. Chester and his team, including Robert Kennedy, fought segregation against the University of Virginia and lost the football game but upheld the Constitution and the Bible that all people are created equal. Good for all of us who are willing to Follow Chester. What a wonderful story to share with all our youngsters.\"\u003cbr\u003e —Nikki Giovanni, poet\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/itunes.apple.com\/us\/podcast\/savannahs-world-savannah-follows-chester\/id1451125611?mt=2\"\u003eDownload and listen\u003c\/a\u003e to the music and audio play curated by the author to complement this story.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - ENTER RECOMMENDATIONS BELOW - - - - - - - -- - - --\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"recommended-books\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIf you like this book, you’ll enjoy these:\u003cbr\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.charlesbridge.com\/products\/waiting-for-pumpsie\"\u003eWaiting for Pumpsie\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.charlesbridge.com\/products\/long-armed-ludy-br-font-size-2-and-the-first-womens-olympics-font\"\u003eLong-Armed Ludy and the First Women's Olympics\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - START OF TABS - - - - - - - -- - - --\u003e [TABS]\n\u003ch5\u003eLook Inside\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cimg class=\"cvr-border-gray\" style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\" src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/follow-chester-spread.jpg?5397626304640994089\"\u003e\u003c!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --\u003e\u003cscript type=\"text\/javascript\" async=\"\" defer data-pin-shape=\"round\" data-pin-height=\"32\" data-pin-hover=\"true\" src=\"\/\/assets.pinterest.com\/js\/pinit.js\"\u003e\u003c\/script\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - ENTER AUTHOR BIO BELOW - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eAuthor \u0026amp; Illustrator\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eGloria Respress-Churchwell, author\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eGloria Respress-Churchwell is a co-contributor of the Robert Churchwell Journalism Collection to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.\u003cem\u003e Follow Chester!\u003c\/em\u003e is Churchwell's first picture book. She lives in Boston, Massachusetts.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - ENTER ILLUSTRATOR BIO BELOW - - - - - - - - - - - --\u003e \u003cbr\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eLaura Freeman, illustrator\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eLaura Freeman has illustrated more than twenty children’s books, including \u003cem\u003eHidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race\u003c\/em\u003e by Margot Lee Shetterly and \u003cem\u003eFancy Party Gowns: The Story of Fashion Designer Ann Cole Lowe\u003c\/em\u003e by Deborah Blumenthal. Laura lives in Atlanta, Georgia.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - ENTER AWARDS \u0026 HONORS BELOW - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eAwards \u0026amp; Honors\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cul\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eComing soon!\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003c\/ul\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - ENTER REVIEWS BELOW - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eEditorial Reviews\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cblockquote\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cb\u003eKirkus Reviews\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIt takes tremendous courage to make history. At 8, Chester Pierce saved his younger brother when he fell in a well, becoming a hero in his small New York town. He grew up loving football, basketball, and music. He learned to play multiple instruments and even became the first black senior-class president of his high school. Despite his principal's doubts, Chester applied to Harvard and was accepted, growing his confidence. While there, Chester played varsity football. In 1947, his team was scheduled to play the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where Jim Crow forbade Chester to play. But the coach knew a change was coming, so he told Chester to \"get ready.\" Chester knew \"that being the first black person to do something was never easy\" but that the challenge would be worth it. Despite on-campus racism, Chester's teammates believed Jim Crow laws were wrong. They devised an off-the-field play they called \"Follow Chester!\" and determined that they would stick with him as a team, bolstering his confidence. Chester and his team faced a record-breaking crowd and played as hard as they could. Telling the tale simply, Respress-Churchwell does not shy away from direct statements about Chester's emotions and challenges. In Freeman's illustrations, Chester's facial expressions are pensive early in the story, but as he gains confidence, they become more determined.This straightforward sports tale will encourage readers to face adversity head-on.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cb\u003eSchool Library Journal\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eChester Pierce developed confidence during his life as he confronted various challenges. A later challenge was resisting discriminatory practices that prevented black players from playing college football in the South. In this partly fictionalized account, readers learn that Chester played for the Harvard University varsity football team. In 1947, the team was scheduled to play against the University of Virginia (UVA). Although the UVA coach expected that Chester would be left behind, the Harvard coach believed Chester deserved to play. Harvard players also supported their teammate, using a play that they called “Follow Chester.” This entailed following Chester’s actions and behavior when faced with the Jim Crow laws of the South. For instance, when Chester encountered a bathroom for “whites only,” the entire team refused to use it, opting instead for the woods. When a restaurant barred black people from using the front entrance, the whole team entered from the back. Although Harvard did not win the game, Chester succeeded in refusing to accept racist policies and was cheered on by his fans. An author’s note clearly identifies the fictionalized parts of the story, discusses the author’s extensive research which included an interview with Dr. Pierce, and includes a photograph of the Harvard Crimson football team of 1947. VERDICT This is a well-told, well-researched story, but readers need to be aware of the fictionalized parts. The book not only shows the challenges Chester Pierce faced, it shows how people can work together to combat discrimination.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cb\u003eBooklist\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\nChester Pierce, who grew up in a small New York town and became his high school’s first Black senior-class president, later played football on Harvard’s varsity team. In 1947, they boarded a bus for a game at the University of Virginia, a state where Jim Crow laws were in force. To resist discrimination, they agreed on a strategy they called “Follow Chester.” When Chester was allowed to enter a restaurant only through the back door, they all trooped in after him. Chester and his teammates made history by taking a stand together. Where he was denied a hotel room, they all refused to stay. First introducing Chester as a boy, this picture book will easily draw primary-grade children into this story of courage, teamwork, and resisting injustice. The text reads aloud smoothly, and the beautifully composed, richly colored digital illustrations show up well from a distance. While the football angle will appeal to sports fans, this handsome picture book primarily offers young children an accessible introduction to the struggle for civil rights in mid-twentieth-century America.\u003c\/blockquote\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - ENTER DOWNLOADABLES BELOW - - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eDownloadables\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp style=\"text-align: left;\"\u003e\u003cimg alt=\"\" src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/follow-chester-cvr.jpg?5397626304640994089\" style=\"display: block; float: none; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\"\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"btn-wrapper\"\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/follow-chester-hires.zip?485\" class=\"product-btn\"\u003eDownload the Cover\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"btn-wrapper\"\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/itunes.apple.com\/us\/podcast\/savannahs-world-savannah-follows-chester\/id1451125611?mt=2\" class=\"product-btn\"\u003eDownload the Audio Play\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"btn-wrapper\"\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/follow-chester-teachers-guide.pdf?598\" class=\"product-btn\"\u003eDownload the Teacher's Guide\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - ENTER DETAILS BELOW - - - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eDetails\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eHardcover\u003c\/strong\u003e \u003cbr\u003eISBN: 978-1-58089-835-5\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eE-book\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cbr\u003eISBN: \u003cspan\u003e978-1-63289-723-7\u003c\/span\u003e EPUB\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eISBN: \u003cspan\u003e978-1-63289-724-4\u003c\/span\u003e PDF\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eFor information about purchasing E-books, \u003ca title=\"E-book\" href=\"http:\/\/charlesbridge.myshopify.com\/pages\/e-books\"\u003eclick here\u003c\/a\u003e.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAges: 6-9\u003cbr\u003ePage count: 32\u003cbr\u003e8 1\/2 x 11\u003c\/p\u003e\n[\/TABS]","published_at":"2017-05-30T14:38:37-04:00","created_at":"2019-03-01T11:40:53-05:00","vendor":"Charlesbridge","type":"Children's Book","tags":["Browse by Age_Ages 6-10","Browse by Fiction\/Nonfiction_Nonfiction","Browse by Format_Early Reader","Browse by Language_English","Browse by Subject_Diversity","Browse by Subject_History \u0026 Biography","Browse by Subject_Life Lessons \u0026 Skills","Browse by Subject_Social Studies\/Cultures","Browse by Subject_Sports"],"price":1699,"price_min":1699,"price_max":1699,"available":true,"price_varies":false,"compare_at_price":null,"compare_at_price_min":0,"compare_at_price_max":0,"compare_at_price_varies":false,"variants":[{"id":21551314272335,"title":"Hardcover","option1":"Hardcover","option2":null,"option3":null,"sku":"98355","requires_shipping":true,"taxable":false,"featured_image":null,"available":true,"name":"Follow Chester! A College Football Team Fights Racism and Makes History - Hardcover","public_title":"Hardcover","options":["Hardcover"],"price":1699,"weight":567,"compare_at_price":null,"inventory_quantity":10,"inventory_management":"shopify","inventory_policy":"continue","barcode":"9781580898195"}],"images":["\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/products\/follow-chester-cover.jpg?v=1570473131"],"featured_image":"\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/products\/follow-chester-cover.jpg?v=1570473131","options":["Title"],"content":"\u003c!-- - - - - - - - ENTER AUTHOR\/ILLUSTRATOR INFO BELOW - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eBy: \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.charlesbridge.com\/pages\/gloria-respress-churchwell\"\u003eGloria Respress-Churchwell\u003c\/a\u003e \/ Illustrated by: \u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.charlesbridge.com\/pages\/laura-freeman\"\u003eLaura Freeman\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - ENTER HEADING BELOW - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch3\u003e\"We've already won.\"\u003c\/h3\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - ENTER DESCRIPTION BELOW - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eChester Pierce broke racial barriers when, in 1947, he joined his Harvard football team to play against the University of Virginia. At that time, black people were not allowed to sit at lunch counters, they had to use separate entrances, and they weren’t allowed to play college football against white players.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eChester’s team didn’t care about those laws. Amid dropped jaws, jeering, and booing, Chester played and his teammates followed his lead.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eLaura Freeman’s expressive illustrations create an atmosphere of bold moves and a tide of crimson togetherness that could not be stopped.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eBased on a true story.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\"Duty and Courage are often side by side in a war fighting indifference and cowardice. Children snatched from their families at the border; millions being murdered in the Holocaust; the enslaved kidnapped and killed; segregated and denied. Chester and his team, including Robert Kennedy, fought segregation against the University of Virginia and lost the football game but upheld the Constitution and the Bible that all people are created equal. Good for all of us who are willing to Follow Chester. What a wonderful story to share with all our youngsters.\"\u003cbr\u003e —Nikki Giovanni, poet\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/itunes.apple.com\/us\/podcast\/savannahs-world-savannah-follows-chester\/id1451125611?mt=2\"\u003eDownload and listen\u003c\/a\u003e to the music and audio play curated by the author to complement this story.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - ENTER RECOMMENDATIONS BELOW - - - - - - - -- - - --\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"recommended-books\"\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIf you like this book, you’ll enjoy these:\u003cbr\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.charlesbridge.com\/products\/waiting-for-pumpsie\"\u003eWaiting for Pumpsie\u003c\/a\u003e\u003cbr\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/www.charlesbridge.com\/products\/long-armed-ludy-br-font-size-2-and-the-first-womens-olympics-font\"\u003eLong-Armed Ludy and the First Women's Olympics\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - START OF TABS - - - - - - - -- - - --\u003e [TABS]\n\u003ch5\u003eLook Inside\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cimg class=\"cvr-border-gray\" style=\"display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\" src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/follow-chester-spread.jpg?5397626304640994089\"\u003e\u003c!-- Please call pinit.js only once per page --\u003e\u003cscript type=\"text\/javascript\" async=\"\" defer data-pin-shape=\"round\" data-pin-height=\"32\" data-pin-hover=\"true\" src=\"\/\/assets.pinterest.com\/js\/pinit.js\"\u003e\u003c\/script\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - ENTER AUTHOR BIO BELOW - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eAuthor \u0026amp; Illustrator\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eGloria Respress-Churchwell, author\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eGloria Respress-Churchwell is a co-contributor of the Robert Churchwell Journalism Collection to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.\u003cem\u003e Follow Chester!\u003c\/em\u003e is Churchwell's first picture book. She lives in Boston, Massachusetts.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - ENTER ILLUSTRATOR BIO BELOW - - - - - - - - - - - --\u003e \u003cbr\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eLaura Freeman, illustrator\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eLaura Freeman has illustrated more than twenty children’s books, including \u003cem\u003eHidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race\u003c\/em\u003e by Margot Lee Shetterly and \u003cem\u003eFancy Party Gowns: The Story of Fashion Designer Ann Cole Lowe\u003c\/em\u003e by Deborah Blumenthal. Laura lives in Atlanta, Georgia.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - ENTER AWARDS \u0026 HONORS BELOW - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eAwards \u0026amp; Honors\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cul\u003e\n\u003cli\u003eComing soon!\u003c\/li\u003e\n\u003c\/ul\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - ENTER REVIEWS BELOW - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eEditorial Reviews\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cblockquote\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cb\u003eKirkus Reviews\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eIt takes tremendous courage to make history. At 8, Chester Pierce saved his younger brother when he fell in a well, becoming a hero in his small New York town. He grew up loving football, basketball, and music. He learned to play multiple instruments and even became the first black senior-class president of his high school. Despite his principal's doubts, Chester applied to Harvard and was accepted, growing his confidence. While there, Chester played varsity football. In 1947, his team was scheduled to play the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where Jim Crow forbade Chester to play. But the coach knew a change was coming, so he told Chester to \"get ready.\" Chester knew \"that being the first black person to do something was never easy\" but that the challenge would be worth it. Despite on-campus racism, Chester's teammates believed Jim Crow laws were wrong. They devised an off-the-field play they called \"Follow Chester!\" and determined that they would stick with him as a team, bolstering his confidence. Chester and his team faced a record-breaking crowd and played as hard as they could. Telling the tale simply, Respress-Churchwell does not shy away from direct statements about Chester's emotions and challenges. In Freeman's illustrations, Chester's facial expressions are pensive early in the story, but as he gains confidence, they become more determined.This straightforward sports tale will encourage readers to face adversity head-on.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cb\u003eSchool Library Journal\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eChester Pierce developed confidence during his life as he confronted various challenges. A later challenge was resisting discriminatory practices that prevented black players from playing college football in the South. In this partly fictionalized account, readers learn that Chester played for the Harvard University varsity football team. In 1947, the team was scheduled to play against the University of Virginia (UVA). Although the UVA coach expected that Chester would be left behind, the Harvard coach believed Chester deserved to play. Harvard players also supported their teammate, using a play that they called “Follow Chester.” This entailed following Chester’s actions and behavior when faced with the Jim Crow laws of the South. For instance, when Chester encountered a bathroom for “whites only,” the entire team refused to use it, opting instead for the woods. When a restaurant barred black people from using the front entrance, the whole team entered from the back. Although Harvard did not win the game, Chester succeeded in refusing to accept racist policies and was cheered on by his fans. An author’s note clearly identifies the fictionalized parts of the story, discusses the author’s extensive research which included an interview with Dr. Pierce, and includes a photograph of the Harvard Crimson football team of 1947. VERDICT This is a well-told, well-researched story, but readers need to be aware of the fictionalized parts. The book not only shows the challenges Chester Pierce faced, it shows how people can work together to combat discrimination.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003ci\u003e\u003cb\u003eBooklist\u003c\/b\u003e\u003c\/i\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\nChester Pierce, who grew up in a small New York town and became his high school’s first Black senior-class president, later played football on Harvard’s varsity team. In 1947, they boarded a bus for a game at the University of Virginia, a state where Jim Crow laws were in force. To resist discrimination, they agreed on a strategy they called “Follow Chester.” When Chester was allowed to enter a restaurant only through the back door, they all trooped in after him. Chester and his teammates made history by taking a stand together. Where he was denied a hotel room, they all refused to stay. First introducing Chester as a boy, this picture book will easily draw primary-grade children into this story of courage, teamwork, and resisting injustice. The text reads aloud smoothly, and the beautifully composed, richly colored digital illustrations show up well from a distance. While the football angle will appeal to sports fans, this handsome picture book primarily offers young children an accessible introduction to the struggle for civil rights in mid-twentieth-century America.\u003c\/blockquote\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - ENTER DOWNLOADABLES BELOW - - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eDownloadables\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp style=\"text-align: left;\"\u003e\u003cimg alt=\"\" src=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/follow-chester-cvr.jpg?5397626304640994089\" style=\"display: block; float: none; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;\"\u003e\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"btn-wrapper\"\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/follow-chester-hires.zip?485\" class=\"product-btn\"\u003eDownload the Cover\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"btn-wrapper\"\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/itunes.apple.com\/us\/podcast\/savannahs-world-savannah-follows-chester\/id1451125611?mt=2\" class=\"product-btn\"\u003eDownload the Audio Play\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003cdiv class=\"btn-wrapper\"\u003e\u003ca href=\"https:\/\/cdn.shopify.com\/s\/files\/1\/0750\/0101\/files\/follow-chester-teachers-guide.pdf?598\" class=\"product-btn\"\u003eDownload the Teacher's Guide\u003c\/a\u003e\u003c\/div\u003e\n\u003c!-- - - - - - - - - - - - ENTER DETAILS BELOW - - - - - - - - - - - --\u003e\n\u003ch5\u003eDetails\u003c\/h5\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eHardcover\u003c\/strong\u003e \u003cbr\u003eISBN: 978-1-58089-835-5\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003e\u003cstrong\u003eE-book\u003c\/strong\u003e\u003cbr\u003eISBN: \u003cspan\u003e978-1-63289-723-7\u003c\/span\u003e EPUB\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eISBN: \u003cspan\u003e978-1-63289-724-4\u003c\/span\u003e PDF\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eFor information about purchasing E-books, \u003ca title=\"E-book\" href=\"http:\/\/charlesbridge.myshopify.com\/pages\/e-books\"\u003eclick here\u003c\/a\u003e.\u003c\/p\u003e\n\u003cp\u003eAges: 6-9\u003cbr\u003ePage count: 32\u003cbr\u003e8 1\/2 x 11\u003c\/p\u003e\n[\/TABS]"}

Follow Chester! A College Football Team Fights Racism and Makes History

By: Gloria Respress-Churchwell / Illustrated by: Laura Freeman

"We've already won."

Chester Pierce broke racial barriers when, in 1947, he joined his Harvard football team to play against the University of Virginia. At that time, black people were not allowed to sit at lunch counters, they had to use separate entrances, and they weren’t allowed to play college football against white players.

Chester’s team didn’t care about those laws. Amid dropped jaws, jeering, and booing, Chester played and his teammates followed his lead.

Laura Freeman’s expressive illustrations create an atmosphere of bold moves and a tide of crimson togetherness that could not be stopped.

Based on a true story.

"Duty and Courage are often side by side in a war fighting indifference and cowardice. Children snatched from their families at the border; millions being murdered in the Holocaust; the enslaved kidnapped and killed; segregated and denied. Chester and his team, including Robert Kennedy, fought segregation against the University of Virginia and lost the football game but upheld the Constitution and the Bible that all people are created equal. Good for all of us who are willing to Follow Chester. What a wonderful story to share with all our youngsters."
—Nikki Giovanni, poet

Download and listen to the music and audio play curated by the author to complement this story.

Maximum quantity available reached.

Gloria Respress-Churchwell, author

Gloria Respress-Churchwell is a co-contributor of the Robert Churchwell Journalism Collection to the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture. Follow Chester! is Churchwell's first picture book. She lives in Boston, Massachusetts.


Laura Freeman, illustrator

Laura Freeman has illustrated more than twenty children’s books, including Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly and Fancy Party Gowns: The Story of Fashion Designer Ann Cole Lowe by Deborah Blumenthal. Laura lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

  • Coming soon!

Kirkus Reviews

It takes tremendous courage to make history. At 8, Chester Pierce saved his younger brother when he fell in a well, becoming a hero in his small New York town. He grew up loving football, basketball, and music. He learned to play multiple instruments and even became the first black senior-class president of his high school. Despite his principal's doubts, Chester applied to Harvard and was accepted, growing his confidence. While there, Chester played varsity football. In 1947, his team was scheduled to play the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where Jim Crow forbade Chester to play. But the coach knew a change was coming, so he told Chester to "get ready." Chester knew "that being the first black person to do something was never easy" but that the challenge would be worth it. Despite on-campus racism, Chester's teammates believed Jim Crow laws were wrong. They devised an off-the-field play they called "Follow Chester!" and determined that they would stick with him as a team, bolstering his confidence. Chester and his team faced a record-breaking crowd and played as hard as they could. Telling the tale simply, Respress-Churchwell does not shy away from direct statements about Chester's emotions and challenges. In Freeman's illustrations, Chester's facial expressions are pensive early in the story, but as he gains confidence, they become more determined.This straightforward sports tale will encourage readers to face adversity head-on.

School Library Journal

Chester Pierce developed confidence during his life as he confronted various challenges. A later challenge was resisting discriminatory practices that prevented black players from playing college football in the South. In this partly fictionalized account, readers learn that Chester played for the Harvard University varsity football team. In 1947, the team was scheduled to play against the University of Virginia (UVA). Although the UVA coach expected that Chester would be left behind, the Harvard coach believed Chester deserved to play. Harvard players also supported their teammate, using a play that they called “Follow Chester.” This entailed following Chester’s actions and behavior when faced with the Jim Crow laws of the South. For instance, when Chester encountered a bathroom for “whites only,” the entire team refused to use it, opting instead for the woods. When a restaurant barred black people from using the front entrance, the whole team entered from the back. Although Harvard did not win the game, Chester succeeded in refusing to accept racist policies and was cheered on by his fans. An author’s note clearly identifies the fictionalized parts of the story, discusses the author’s extensive research which included an interview with Dr. Pierce, and includes a photograph of the Harvard Crimson football team of 1947. VERDICT This is a well-told, well-researched story, but readers need to be aware of the fictionalized parts. The book not only shows the challenges Chester Pierce faced, it shows how people can work together to combat discrimination.

Booklist

Chester Pierce, who grew up in a small New York town and became his high school’s first Black senior-class president, later played football on Harvard’s varsity team. In 1947, they boarded a bus for a game at the University of Virginia, a state where Jim Crow laws were in force. To resist discrimination, they agreed on a strategy they called “Follow Chester.” When Chester was allowed to enter a restaurant only through the back door, they all trooped in after him. Chester and his teammates made history by taking a stand together. Where he was denied a hotel room, they all refused to stay. First introducing Chester as a boy, this picture book will easily draw primary-grade children into this story of courage, teamwork, and resisting injustice. The text reads aloud smoothly, and the beautifully composed, richly colored digital illustrations show up well from a distance. While the football angle will appeal to sports fans, this handsome picture book primarily offers young children an accessible introduction to the struggle for civil rights in mid-twentieth-century America.

Hardcover
ISBN: 978-1-58089-835-5

E-book
ISBN: 978-1-63289-723-7 EPUB

ISBN: 978-1-63289-724-4 PDF

For information about purchasing E-books, click here.

Ages: 6-9
Page count: 32
8 1/2 x 11