by Susan Lynn Meyer
illustrated by Eric Velasquez
Ella Mae always got hand-me-down shoes from family. She looked into the shop windows of the local shoe shop with longing, wishing she could have her very own pair of new shoes. As she got close to the next year of school, the traditional hand-me-down phase of shoes got her a pair that just don’t fit. For the first time, she went to the shoe store and pick out a new pair of shoes. Instead of getting to try on the new shoes like the white girl in the shop ahead of her, Ella Mae had to trace around her feet on a piece of paper so the shop owner could guess at her size. Embarrassed, Ella Mae doesn’t even enjoy her new shoes. In response, Ella Mae and her friend Charlotte decide to make a shoe store all their own where ANYONE can try on their shoes before they buy them.
Set in the 1960s when segregation was still going strong in the south, New Shoes is a great way to learn about the history of our country. Ella Mae and Charlotte’s creative and determined approach to overcoming discrimination is inspiring for any reader.
Recommended for grades 1-3.