Genre: nonfiction graphic novel
Length: 121 pages
Setting: Washington, D.C. 2009, and Alabama, starting in the 1940s
Summary: Senator John Lewis, one of the preeminent members of the Civil Rights movement, is getting ready for the inauguration in Washington, D.C. in 2009. He is met in his office by a family looking to see their history. John Lewis recounts his early life growing up in Alabama. He always wanted to be a preacher, and went to college. In college, he got involved in the Civil Rights movement, even meeting Martin Luther King, Jr. He trained in nonviolent protest and helped lead a college club sit-in at lunch counters.
Final thoughts: This is a great introduction to the Civil Rights movement for older kids, and a refresher for adults. I’m not sure I knew about John Lewis and his role in the Civil Rights movement. The graphic novel is done is in black and white only, which helped it feel more real to me. The situations shown aren’t always nice, but they are an important part of our history. We see some violence, and a dead body, which might make this inappropriate for younger kids. We’re also introduced to many of the other big names in the Civil Rights movement, like Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. I can’t wait to read the next chapter in the story.
Title comes from: The book starts out with the march over the Edmund Pettus Bridge on the Bloody Sunday events. We don’t get to that point in the Civil Rights story in this book, but I’m sure by book three we’ll get there.
Reading challenges fulfilled: none since this was a graphic novel
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