THE CHILDREN, by David Halberstam, Random House, 800 pages, $29.95.

In February 1960, David Halberstam was a 25-year-old reporter covering the story of a group of black college students who were propelled into the forefront of the Civil Rights Movement when they challenged segregation laws at lunch counters in Nashville, Tennessee. In his book, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author brilliantly recreates the central years of the movement–1960-1965–through the stories of those students who were “seemingly ordinary young people acting largely upon their religious faith” and “again and again risked their lives over a five-year period to dramatically change this country.”