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Round and Round Together

Round and Round Together

Amy Nathan

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250-page paperback / 6" x 8" / ISBN 978-1-58988-071-9 / Publication Date: December 2011

"A snapshot of the civil-rights movement in one city provides insight into the important role of individual communities as change moved through the country . . . a case study of how citizens of one city both precipitated and responded to the whirlwind of social change around them."—Kirkus Reviews

On August 28, 1963—the day of Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous "I Have a Dream" speech—segregation ended finally at Baltimore's Gwynn Oak Amusement Park, after nearly a decade of bitter protests. Eleven-month-old Sharon Langley was the first African American child to go on a ride there that day, taking a spin on the park's merry-go-round, which since 1981 has been located on the National Mall in front of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Round and Round Together weaves the story of the struggle to integrate that Baltimore amusement park into the story of the civil rights movement as a whole.

Round and Round Together is illustrated with archival photos from newspapers and other sources, as well as personal photos from family albums of individuals interviewed for the book. There is a timeline of major Civil Rights events.

"A profoundly moving tribute to the intrepid unsung heroes who risked their lives to help bring an end to Baltimore's Jim Crow Era."—Kam Williams, syndicated columnist

"Amy Nathan's book deftly describes the courageous struggle by blacks and whites to end discrimination in the park, the city, and the nation. Readers will walk away with a clearer understanding of segregation and the valiant Americans who fought against this injustice."—Debra Newman Ham, Professor of History, Morgan State University

"Round and Round Together tells the inspiring story of how a generation of college and high school students provided the energy and enthusiasm that ended racial segregation in Baltimore's Gwynn Oak Amusement Park and changed the direction of Maryland's history."—James Henretta, Professor Emeritus, University of Maryland

"With clarity and passion, Amy Nathan portrays the struggle of everyday citizens to end racial segregation in Baltimore. This compelling history, for and about young people, is simple but profound like freedom itself."—Taylor Branch, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of the trilogy America in the King Years

"[Round and Round Together] covers not just the desegregation fight for Gywnn Oak Amusement Park, but also the broader movement for racial equality in early-to-mid-twentieth century Maryland. Ms. Nathan covers a great deal of material highlighting the efforts of activists to expand access in public accommodations, education, employment, and recreational venues. She does an excellent job connecting those local efforts to developments within the national civil rights movement.”—Maryland Historical Magazine

Teacher's guide for Round & Round Together [PDF]

Chapter 1: A Special Ride [PDF]

Facebook page for Round and Round Together

Article about the book in Social Studies and the Young Learner: "Round and Round Together: The Civil Rights Movement Comes to an Amusement Park" (pdf)

Also available as an ebook:


Amy Nathan is an award-winning author of several books for young people, including A Ride to Remember, The Young Musician's Survival GuideCount on Us: American Women in the MilitaryYankee Doodle Gals: Women Pilots of World War II, and Meet the Musicians. She grew up in Baltimore and went to Western High School. You can visit her on the web at

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