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"Little Rock Girl 1957" is part of Capstone Press' series exploring the stories behind iconic photographs.

Powerful visuals and descriptions form a look into the historic events of the Little Rock Nine in the Capstone Press book “Little Rock Girl 1957: How a Photograph Changed the Fight for Integration.”

North Mankato author Shelley Tougas put words to the pictures that opened the eyes of the world to the struggle of integration in schools across America. And literacy organizations around the country have taken notice.

“Little Rock Girl 1957” has received numerous honors and awards for its exploration of the Little Rock Nine, the group of nine black students whose brave integration into Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas stirred racial unrest to the point of military in-volvement. VOYA magazine included it on its 2011 Nonfiction Honor List, which only selects 30 titles.

It is also among the starred reviews from the School Library Journal and Booklist, included on the Booklist’s Top Ten Editor’s Choices for Nonfiction Kids Books in 2011, part of the TriState Young Adult Review Committee’s 2012 Books of Note, and in the Pennsylvania School Librarians Association’s 2011 Young Adult Top 40 Nonfiction list.

Capstone’s Capturing History series Ñ which included “Little Rock Girl 1957” as well as other titles about iconic photographs Ñ achieved the Association of Educational Publishers’ 2012 Distinguished Achievement Award Finalist.

Tougas said she’s honored to be a part of the team that put the book together.

“I’m really thrilled with how the editor edited the book, the designer put it together and all of the genius researchers. I’m thrilled to be a part of the team,” she said.

Tougas has plenty of experience in the writing field. As a former reporter for The Free Press, Tougas has gone on to write numerous nonfiction children’s books for Capstone, worked as a ghostwriter and currently has a middle grade novel in the works. “Little Rock Girl 1957” is just one of her many accomplishments.

Tougas enjoyed writing for the North Mankato publisher and says it is a great company.

“They do fantastic books, and their editors are wonderful to work with,” she says.

Tougas’ nonfiction books have taken parts of history and shown middle grade readers how it has shaped our lives today. The “Capturing History” series does just that through a series of books which intertwine the art of photographs, media and history.

In “Little Rock Girl 1957,” pictures really do speak a thousand words, as the famous photographs from the Little Rock integration conflict are brought back to life. Tougas explains each picture in detail and takes readers through the experiences of the Little Rock Nine and their true bravery.

The photos show readers just what the Little Rock Nine had to go through. The design of the book places the story within the photos, making readers feel as though they are there in person, witnessing events that happened more than 50 years ago. Tougas feels it is important that children are still informed about these events that shaped our world today and that they do not get lost in time.

“There are all these lesser-known heroes, and they are just kids,” Tougas explains when speaking of Civil Rights and the fight for integration in schools.

“Little Rock Girl 1957” can be found on online retail websites such as Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Wal-Mart and more. The book, as well as the entire “Capturing History” series, can also be purchased directly from www.capstonehub.com.

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