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Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the Selma Voting Rights March

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A memoir of the Civil Rights Movement from one of its youngest heroes As the youngest marcher in the 1965 voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Albama, Lynda Blackmon Lowery proved that young adults can be heroes. Jailed nine times before her fifteenth birthday, Lowery fought alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. for the rights of African-Americans. In this memoir, she A memoir of the Civil Rights Movement from one of its youngest heroes As the youngest marcher in the 1965 voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Albama, Lynda Blackmon Lowery proved that young adults can be heroes. Jailed nine times before her fifteenth birthday, Lowery fought alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. for the rights of African-Americans. In this memoir, she shows today's young readers what it means to fight nonviolently (even when the police are using violence, as in the Bloody Sunday protest) and how it felt to be part of changing American history. Straightforward and inspiring, this beautifully illustrated memoir brings readers into the middle of the Civil Rights Movement, complementing Common Core classroom learning and bringing history alive for young readers.


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A memoir of the Civil Rights Movement from one of its youngest heroes As the youngest marcher in the 1965 voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Albama, Lynda Blackmon Lowery proved that young adults can be heroes. Jailed nine times before her fifteenth birthday, Lowery fought alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. for the rights of African-Americans. In this memoir, she A memoir of the Civil Rights Movement from one of its youngest heroes As the youngest marcher in the 1965 voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Albama, Lynda Blackmon Lowery proved that young adults can be heroes. Jailed nine times before her fifteenth birthday, Lowery fought alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. for the rights of African-Americans. In this memoir, she shows today's young readers what it means to fight nonviolently (even when the police are using violence, as in the Bloody Sunday protest) and how it felt to be part of changing American history. Straightforward and inspiring, this beautifully illustrated memoir brings readers into the middle of the Civil Rights Movement, complementing Common Core classroom learning and bringing history alive for young readers.

30 review for Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the Selma Voting Rights March

  1. 5 out of 5

    Megan

    I loved this book... from the format (narrative nonfiction) to the content shared.. I just couldn't seem to put it down! I'm so glad I am reading such an engaging and accessible text with my students to truly bring the Civil Rights movement to light! I loved this book... from the format (narrative nonfiction) to the content shared.. I just couldn't seem to put it down! I'm so glad I am reading such an engaging and accessible text with my students to truly bring the Civil Rights movement to light!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Irene McHugh

    If you know a young person who's looking to learn more about or connect with the Civil Rights Movement, put this book in their hands. Lynda Blackmon Lowery tells her story of her experience with Steady Loving Confrontation with passion. As a female protestor, her story nicely complements John Lewis's March trilogy. The first line in the book grabs your attention: "By the time I was fifteen years old, I had been in jail nine times." She explains matter-of-factly what it was like growing up as a blac If you know a young person who's looking to learn more about or connect with the Civil Rights Movement, put this book in their hands. Lynda Blackmon Lowery tells her story of her experience with Steady Loving Confrontation with passion. As a female protestor, her story nicely complements John Lewis's March trilogy. The first line in the book grabs your attention: "By the time I was fifteen years old, I had been in jail nine times." She explains matter-of-factly what it was like growing up as a black teenager in Selma. Her mother died when Lynda was seven because no one at the all-white hospital would treat her. Her grandmother helped raise her and made sure Lynda heard Martin Luther King, Jr. speak. She began her protesting activities as a gopher at various sit-ins to tell parents that their high school teen had been jailed. By fourteen, though, she was marching. The organizers of these student protests knew what they were doing. And the kids picked up on the march, go to jail, get released, get to the next march pattern quickly. Parents helped by packing sandwiches and treats to replace the bad jail food. Other students who were the "brains" stayed in school to do everyone's homework and take tests for the students who were marching. Repeatedly, Lynda references the power of song to quell fear and the comfort from the sheer number of students in jail together. She didn't know Jimmie Lee Jackson, but hearing how the police shot him in the stomach terrified her and the other marchers. When he died, hundreds of people attended his funeral and the idea for the march from Selma to Montgomery was born. Lynda participated in the march on Bloody Sunday. While the sheer number of white people scared her, seeing the state troopers put gas masks instilled a new level of fear. In the aftermath of Bloody Sunday, Lynda describes the numerous people she met who had seen Bloody Sunday on television and traveled to Selma to join the protestors. On March 21, 1965, Lynda marched over the Edmund Pettus Bridge and kept going. She was one of the 300 people who were permitted to march the entire way to Selma. She turned 15 on March 22. She was the youngest person to participate in the march. On that birthday morning, Lynda saw white National Guardsmen and got scared. People wanted to send her home because her panic attack was extreme enough that she was holding up the march. That's when she met veteran Jim Letherer. He assured her that he would lie down and die for her. Lynda knew that she wanted to be the person who would stand up against anything wrong, so she couldn't let her fear of dying prevent her from marching. She marched next to Jim Letherer singing freedom songs together. On March 25, the 300 marchers and thousands more filled the streets of Montgomery. She describes several valuable lessons she learned from marching, including how there were many people ,white and black, who really cared about her and the black people of Selma. Throughout her story, Lynda gives context to events from the past. She describes being rounded up by the police for marching: “If you didn’t get on the bus fast enough, the police would shock you with a cattle prod. That’s a stick with an electrical charge, sort of like a Taser is now. Farmers used them to push cattle to move quicker or to get out of the way. That’s what they used on us, like we were cattle.” She also gives numbers to illustrate the lack of representation African-Americans had in her county. In 1964, there were fewer white citizens in Dallas County than black citizens (14,400 white to 15,115 black). However, out of the 9,530 people registered to vote, 9,195 were white. As a teacher, if I were reading this book with my students, I would make them do that math: that's 335 registered black voters! At the end of Lynda's story, she includes mini-biographies on Jimmie Lee Jackson, Reverend Reeb, Viola Liuzzo, and Leroy Moten. All of them were victims of violence related to the Selma to Montgomery march. She includes two pages on the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and recent changes that have been struck out by the Supreme Court. While her tone is cautionary, she doesn't delve into specifics regarding voting rights. She piques your curiosity. Finally, there is a Discussion Guide where Lynda answers questions about living during segregation, learning about nonviolence, being such a young protestor, participating in the voting rights movement, and living today with racism. Each of these five sections also have thought-provoking questions that teachers or parents could use to frame a discussion about this book.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jasmyn Oliveros

    ***Spoiler Alert***   Have you ever wondered about the youngest person to be part of the Selma march? In Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom this is a autobiography by Lynda Blackmon Lowery who was the youngest person to march in the Selma march. Turning 15 on the road is a really good book. I loved the determination she had even when people wanted to send her back home.           The story takes place mostly in Selma, Alabama where "Bloody Sunday" takes place and where the Selma march begins. The ***Spoiler Alert***   Have you ever wondered about the youngest person to be part of the Selma march? In Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom this is a autobiography by Lynda Blackmon Lowery who was the youngest person to march in the Selma march. Turning 15 on the road is a really good book. I loved the determination she had even when people wanted to send her back home.           The story takes place mostly in Selma, Alabama where "Bloody Sunday" takes place and where the Selma march begins. The story is about Lynda Blackmon Lowery who was the youngest person to attend in the March. When she was 15 years old she had been to jail 9 times. She participated in marches and since she had been in jail so many times she stared to bring her own food to jail. She also was part of, "Bloody Sunday" where she was hit with a bat and was sprayed with a gas that made her not feel right. She wanted to be part of a change of unequal treatment. Although a lot people had to stop marching because guards wouldn't let them go through she stayed and marched all the way to the end and watched Martin Luther King Jr give his famous," I Have A Dream Speech." The type of Conflict is "People vs. People" because many people where trying to get Civil Rights for all people. The theme of the book is if you want something you should never give up. A major event that changed the character was when she witnessed Blood Sunday because her father was more strict about letting go to marches and when she was marching to Montgomery she saw the guard that hit her with a bat and sprayed her the gas and started crying because of her seeing him. The titles relates to the book because she was marching on her 15 birthday and she was on her way to freedom which relates to Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom. The character's motivation to marching all the way to the end was the idea of all people finally being treated the same way and being part of a change. I was surprised when she had been to jail 9 times by the time she was 15 because most people don't go to jail 9 times by the age of 15 and the marches she was apart of didn't cause any harm to people and they were peaceful marches. I was moved by Lynda not giving up when she started crying when she saw the guard because many people wanted to send her home but she didn't give up and kept marching. I was also angry when Bloody Sunday happened because it was unnecessary to hurt so many people and they hit people with weapons and many people where hurt after the event. I would rate the book 5 stars because I liked the way she describes the scenes and information that she includes in the book. I would recommend this book to people who want the learn more about the Civil rights movement. This book was about the youngest person to march in the Selma March.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Harold Titus

    I was 28 when courageous black Alabama citizens and white sympathizers set forth March 21, 1965, across Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge to begin their successful march to Montgomery, the state capital, to demonstrate their determination to force the state of Alabama to allow all of its black citizens to register to vote. I, like many Americans, had watched on television the brutal acts committed by the local police and sheriff’s deputies to end demonstrators’ attempt March 7 to cross the bridge and I was 28 when courageous black Alabama citizens and white sympathizers set forth March 21, 1965, across Selma’s Edmund Pettus Bridge to begin their successful march to Montgomery, the state capital, to demonstrate their determination to force the state of Alabama to allow all of its black citizens to register to vote. I, like many Americans, had watched on television the brutal acts committed by the local police and sheriff’s deputies to end demonstrators’ attempt March 7 to cross the bridge and march to Montgomery. Having lived in Tennessee for two years, having years later received a bachelor’s degree in history, and having thereafter become a public school teacher, I had not been naïve about racial prejudice prior to the Selma events. Nonetheless, I was shocked. A week after recently watching the movie Selma, I read an excellent memoir (just published by Dial Books) about the Selma to Montgomery event written in retrospect (assisted by two professional writers) by a teenage participant, Lynda Blackmon Lowery. Unlike the movie, Selma, many parts of Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom; My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March stirred my emotions. Geared for readers in their teen years, the memoir reaches out as well to adults born after 1965 and to jaded seniors like me. Here are my reasons for recommending this book especially to young people. Turning 15 is a personal story. We experience vicariously the thoughts, emotions, and actions of an actual participant. We gain insight about the effects of racial hatred on actual African Americans. We learn of the sense of security felt by most black children growing up in segregated black communities. We understand better the need black Americans felt to right collectively racially-committed wrongs. Mrs. Lynda Lowery cites her grandmother’s advice: “… if you give someone or something control over you, then you’ve given up yourself.” We celebrate the realization experienced by thoroughly-segregated people like the young Lynda that white racists did not represent all white Americans. After the bloody attempt by early demonstrators to cross the Pettus bridge March 7, many white people traveled to Selma to exhibit their support. Lynda wrote: “It was a whole different feeling suddenly with white people living in your house. They marched with us and were willing to go to jail with us. They ate what we ate. We cooked collard greens and cornbread, and they ate it and enjoyed it as much as we did. They were happy to be with us, even if they had to sleep on the floor. … There was a whole new feeling in Selma.” I especially appreciated the details Mrs. Lowery gave us about her experiences. Here are two examples of information I did not know and found fascinating. School children were used extensively to demonstrate and crowd the jails. Mothers who were maids took employers’ food home surreptitiously that their children ate the next day after they were arrested and put in jail. Twenty-one school girls, mostly high school students, were put in a steel cell (called the “sweatbox”) that had no windows, water, toilet, or lights and kept there until every girl had passed out. It is always the detail of individuals’ lives that make history especially interesting. This memoir is written simply, but it touches upon all the important Selma/Montgomery subject matter events. Anybody who reads at or above the sixth grade level will have no difficulty finishing it in one sitting. Yet the reader will be informed about every topic or event an instructor would want a student of his to read about, examples ranging from the different instances of segregation existent in Selma to the deaths of three people murdered, one by the police and the other two by racist thugs. Mrs. Lowery also explains, quite simply, the Voting Rights Act passed in 1965 and how it has been degraded most recently by the United States Supreme Court. Finally, I am concerned about what our young generation doesn’t but should know about our nation’s past. Racism in America persists. My grandchildren and friends their ages should be exposed to appealing sources of information that instruct them to recognize that no nation is a “shining city on the hill” and that those who proclaim such assertions should be looked upon with skepticism. Take nothing, therefore, for granted. Human history is a story of struggle for freedom and dignity against unwarranted control. Lynda learned from her experiences that “the person I wanted to be was a person who would stand up against what was wrong. I wanted not only to protect myself, but to protect others, not only to fight for myself, but to be out there fighting for others.” Mrs. Lowery’s memoir is a worthwhile, appealing book.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Raina

    Booktalked this as part of my middle school sweep 2016. Love the combination of primary source text with primary source photographs, lovely illustrations, and a narrative/novel-style layout. Kids were impressed by the idea of having to pass tests to be allowed to vote in elections (I brought some printouts of some of the tests). We talked about protesting, and I read a very short excerpt of the book. Yes yes yes. Love love love. Killer.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Joel 조엘

    This book was a little sad

  7. 4 out of 5

    Joyce Yattoni

    This is a quick read. Abbreviated memoir of Lynda Blackmon's journey in Selma peacefully protesting for the legitimate right to vote March 1965. At the time she was 15 years old. I enjoyed it because it portrays a very specific moment in time from Bloody Sunday where hundreds of peaceful protesters were beaten, shot and injured to the subsequent Selma Voting Rights March on the capital to Montgomery, Alabama. I learned about the infamous Edmond Pettus Bridge and the senseless killing of Jimmie L This is a quick read. Abbreviated memoir of Lynda Blackmon's journey in Selma peacefully protesting for the legitimate right to vote March 1965. At the time she was 15 years old. I enjoyed it because it portrays a very specific moment in time from Bloody Sunday where hundreds of peaceful protesters were beaten, shot and injured to the subsequent Selma Voting Rights March on the capital to Montgomery, Alabama. I learned about the infamous Edmond Pettus Bridge and the senseless killing of Jimmie Lee Jackson. A great middle school read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Lynn

    Extraordinary story of young Linda Blackman Lowery as she participated in the civil rights moment as a 15 year old. She endured arrest and imprisonment in jail with her fellow protestors countless times a protestor. She marched in Selma Alabama in the famous marches alongside Martin Luther King Jr. among others. I listened to the audiobook and was very impressed by the reading of the book. The author even sings. Wonderful. Powerful. Meaningful.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Katie Lalor

    Quick informational read about the young girl's journey growing up in Alabama and being a part of history. It is amazing what people had to endure during this time period. At the end, it gives some specific facts on people that are not well known. Quick informational read about the young girl's journey growing up in Alabama and being a part of history. It is amazing what people had to endure during this time period. At the end, it gives some specific facts on people that are not well known.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kristin Staaland

    This book is spectacular and really enthralling--I heard Lynda Blackmon Lowery speak at the Illinois Reading Conference and her story is so important. I was grateful that the book has such a good voice and easy readability so many of my students will have access to it and be able to read it.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Allison

    This book was really good, I just wish it was longer. The story was amazing, but I wanted more of it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Isaac

    I rated this story 5 stars because it is a truly inspirational book. The story is about a young girl surviving things like Bloody Sunday and a long march to Montgomery. Its a march for voting rights. I believe it is a fun book for adults and children. it has real pictures and expertly drawn pictures. I would recommend for a class read for teachers or just a fun read. It is highly educational. I hope my review helped hopefully you enjoy the book.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Nicole

    What an inspiring and beautifully written book to start Martin Luther King day with. The strength of this young woman...what she witnessed, and maybe more importantly, what she experienced. It demonstrates a strength of character and fortitude that I know I do not possess. She did what had to be done, and even though she experienced fear and pain, she kept going.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Lynda Blackmon Lowry was one of the youngest participants in the Selma Voting Rights March. She tells of her experience getting arrested multiple times and of marching to Selma.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sylvia

    I thought the book was informative however I did not like that they put the reason that Lincoln declared war against the south was a question of whether slavery was right or wrong. Everyone by now should know that he really didn't care about slavery but the separation of the union (nation) and if slavery needed to be abolished to preserve it then so be it. I thought the book was informative however I did not like that they put the reason that Lincoln declared war against the south was a question of whether slavery was right or wrong. Everyone by now should know that he really didn't care about slavery but the separation of the union (nation) and if slavery needed to be abolished to preserve it then so be it.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ryan Keefe

    This book was well plotted and put out. It shares the conflict between whites and blacks, remarkably. The main character really stood out to me because she said " Chase your dreams even thought there wild." The only thing I think this book throws the reader off is it doesn't share the characters name or gender. Over all I think this is my fav riot book. This book was well plotted and put out. It shares the conflict between whites and blacks, remarkably. The main character really stood out to me because she said " Chase your dreams even thought there wild." The only thing I think this book throws the reader off is it doesn't share the characters name or gender. Over all I think this is my fav riot book.

  17. 4 out of 5

    paula

    "Every time I sang the line, 'We are not afraid,' I lied a little, but it was important to sing it." Honest, inspiring, authentic - the first-person account of the youngest marcher. "Every time I sang the line, 'We are not afraid,' I lied a little, but it was important to sing it." Honest, inspiring, authentic - the first-person account of the youngest marcher.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Hadeal

    Amazing! I learned so much from this book. I forgot I was reading a book so many times. I felt like I was listening to Lynda Blackmon Lowery telling her story!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Olivia S.

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO Good

  20. 4 out of 5

    Dolly

    This story is a memoir of the youngest marcher on the Selma to Montgomery voting rights march. Ms. Lowery details her experiences protesting, going to jail, and being beaten during Bloody Sunday along with her history making march. The narrative is very short, and I enjoyed following along with the hardcover edition. The inclusion of numerous photographs from the events really help to bring the author's story to life as do P.J. Loughran's illustrations. I was surprised that the audiobook version This story is a memoir of the youngest marcher on the Selma to Montgomery voting rights march. Ms. Lowery details her experiences protesting, going to jail, and being beaten during Bloody Sunday along with her history making march. The narrative is very short, and I enjoyed following along with the hardcover edition. The inclusion of numerous photographs from the events really help to bring the author's story to life as do P.J. Loughran's illustrations. I was surprised that the audiobook version was so short and I thought at first that it was an abridged edition, but after seeing the larger font on the pages as well as the myriad images on the pages of the book, I realized that the book appeared to be longer than it really was. Overall, it was a very emotional and poignant story, a first-person account of the struggle to secure the rights granted more than 100 years prior. It is so important that books like this one remind younger generations about the civil rights struggles that occurred in the 1960s and continue to a smaller extent even today. We must not become complacent and forget that freedom is not free. It is our civic duty to vote and protect the rights of others to do the same. We must hold our elected leaders accountable to their oath to support and defend the Constitution, and fight for equality for all. interesting quotes (page numbers from hardcover edition with ISBN13 9780803741232): "By the time I was fifteen years old, I had been in jail nine times." (p. 13) "To tell you the truth, I just felt that once our parents got the right to vote, everything would be a whole lot better. There's power in a vote." (p. 26) "My grandmother used to say that if you give in to something, if you give someone or something control over you, then you've given up yourself. And you couldn't do that. So I couldn't let George Wallace or my fear from having been beaten take control of me. If I did that, I would never become the person I wanted to be. And the person I wanted to be was a person who would stand up against what was wrong. I wanted not only to protect myself, but to protect others; not only fight for myself, but to be out there fighting for others." (pp. 81-82) "And then deep inside of me all the fear that something might happen to me - and the pain and anger that had driven me there - was released. I fell down on the ground and just cried and cried and cried." (p. 97) "Who has the right to vote is still being decided today." (p. 121)

  21. 4 out of 5

    Marissa

    Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom, mainly demonstrates the need for equal rights in Selma. This book vividly and creatively gives us a good representation of this. I believe this book wanted others to understand the struggles and the violence that Lynda had to go through while standing up for her rights. While reading the book I clearly understood her point of view during the stressful and scary events in her life. However, I would have liked some information at the end of the book to see how th Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom, mainly demonstrates the need for equal rights in Selma. This book vividly and creatively gives us a good representation of this. I believe this book wanted others to understand the struggles and the violence that Lynda had to go through while standing up for her rights. While reading the book I clearly understood her point of view during the stressful and scary events in her life. However, I would have liked some information at the end of the book to see how these experiences have impacted her life today. Has she grown stronger because of this? I would also like a book that was directed towards older kids. I feel this book was very interesting but very easy to read. If the book was a little harder I might want to learn more about what I don’t understand, and I could connect more with the story. This reminds me of a book I read earlier in my life, it was called In Order to Survive. These two books are similar in the ways where the main characters are being treated unfairly. This also reminds me of what goes on today. I realize that people are not always being treated equally, some people even accuse others just because of their race. After all of what I have learned and analyzed, this book would inspire me to take action and stand up for someone the next time there not being treated equally. Overall I would recommend this book for you to read, it’s an inspiring story that shows the power of ones who will do anything for equality “If you are determined, you can overcome your fears, and then you can change the world.” (Lowery, 103)

  22. 4 out of 5

    Erin Brunk

    Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom is the true memoir of Lynda Blackmon, one of the youngest participants in the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965. She was jailed nine times before her fifteenth birthday and fought beside Martin Luther King Jr. to gain the right to vote for African Americans. She tells her true story of nonviolent protest and changing history with action. Middle school students tend to have, for lack of a better word, a lot of inner chaos. Everything is rapidly changing for them, Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom is the true memoir of Lynda Blackmon, one of the youngest participants in the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965. She was jailed nine times before her fifteenth birthday and fought beside Martin Luther King Jr. to gain the right to vote for African Americans. She tells her true story of nonviolent protest and changing history with action. Middle school students tend to have, for lack of a better word, a lot of inner chaos. Everything is rapidly changing for them, and it the midst of it all, they are trying to find out who they really are. This ends up making them very innerly focused. By giving students a text such as this, this connects history to a specific person outside of themselves, and allows that person's voice to be heard by a new generation. Lynda Blackmon Lowery has a beautiful and inspiring voice in her novel, and emphasizes the power of nonviolent protest, which she proposes as a solution to social movement. Using Gallagher's chapter on Proposing a Solution, students can use this text to write a Five Things You Can Do, either on how to nonviolently protest, or what is takes to become a hero of a social movement.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

    This is a great introductory biography for young people to see the civil rights movement and the Selma March through the eyes of an adolescent at the time. Broken into swift chapters with illustrations or photography, Lowery takes the reader through the events leading up to the cause of the march, which is helpful for young people to understand. Many teens know that a march occurred, but the catalyst remains a mystery. What will appeal to many middle grade readers is the account of the treatment This is a great introductory biography for young people to see the civil rights movement and the Selma March through the eyes of an adolescent at the time. Broken into swift chapters with illustrations or photography, Lowery takes the reader through the events leading up to the cause of the march, which is helpful for young people to understand. Many teens know that a march occurred, but the catalyst remains a mystery. What will appeal to many middle grade readers is the account of the treatment in jail/prison and the violence endured by protestors during the period. Many students see protesting in our media today and have no comparison for the dangers implemented on the black community by the KKK. A great read for struggling high schoolers or middle grade readers interested in nonfiction or historical fiction.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Beth

    I enjoyed this book. My rating was biased, having just finished Congressman John Lewis’ “March” trilogy. Mrs. Lowery’s story is compelling and shows how children contributed to the Selma marches. The book doesn’t show as much violence as the March books illustrate, but Lowery discusses the violence that happened. The context of these historic marches is explained in the final chapter of the book. I wish that chapter had appeared at the beginning. The March books weave so much of that context int I enjoyed this book. My rating was biased, having just finished Congressman John Lewis’ “March” trilogy. Mrs. Lowery’s story is compelling and shows how children contributed to the Selma marches. The book doesn’t show as much violence as the March books illustrate, but Lowery discusses the violence that happened. The context of these historic marches is explained in the final chapter of the book. I wish that chapter had appeared at the beginning. The March books weave so much of that context into the heart of the story—I felt this book was lacking in comparison, but that problem was resolved in the final pages. The book does a great job establishing a child’s point of view and the emotions that the children experienced throughout the movement.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Barbara Nutting

    The death of John Lewis inspired me to take another look at the Civil Rights injustices. There he is marching with the 15 year old author of this book. To think that President Buffoon didn’t show him the respect he deserved is a national disgrace. I learned something interesting - I recently read a reference to jelly beans in a jar during the recent black protests and didn’t know what it meant. This book describes how one of the voting requirement prior to 1965 was to be able to tell “ how many j The death of John Lewis inspired me to take another look at the Civil Rights injustices. There he is marching with the 15 year old author of this book. To think that President Buffoon didn’t show him the respect he deserved is a national disgrace. I learned something interesting - I recently read a reference to jelly beans in a jar during the recent black protests and didn’t know what it meant. This book describes how one of the voting requirement prior to 1965 was to be able to tell “ how many jelly beans in the jar”. Hard to believe!! Ms Blackmon was a courageous young lady who followed the teaching of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. all the way to Montgomery!!

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jessica (justagirlwithabook)

    I really loved Lynda Blackmon Lowery’s story. As a junior high librarian, this book is a wonderful pairing to John Lewis’ March for middle grade - junior high students to read about the March for Civil Rights from multiple perspectives, this one being from someone who was their age when she marched! Her story was inspiring and her message of being a history-maker would’ve resonated with me as a younger reader (as I hope it does with our younger readers today!). Highly recommend especially where I really loved Lynda Blackmon Lowery’s story. As a junior high librarian, this book is a wonderful pairing to John Lewis’ March for middle grade - junior high students to read about the March for Civil Rights from multiple perspectives, this one being from someone who was their age when she marched! Her story was inspiring and her message of being a history-maker would’ve resonated with me as a younger reader (as I hope it does with our younger readers today!). Highly recommend especially where civil rights and equality are topics of discussion in curriculum — this is a valuable perspective that should have a seat at the table among other civil rights greats!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Cathy

    Like John Lewis' March graphic novels this is a first hand account of the civil rights movement. The author takes readers through a multi genre experience to paint an intimate picture of the fear and determination shared by these young protesters. Her use of photography, lyrics and illustrations help to set the tone for the reader friendly text. Other historical non-fiction works around civil rights using photography as the medium: Controversy of hope: The civil rights photographs of James Karal Like John Lewis' March graphic novels this is a first hand account of the civil rights movement. The author takes readers through a multi genre experience to paint an intimate picture of the fear and determination shared by these young protesters. Her use of photography, lyrics and illustrations help to set the tone for the reader friendly text. Other historical non-fiction works around civil rights using photography as the medium: Controversy of hope: The civil rights photographs of James Karales and This is the day: The march on Washington.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Hillary

    Lowery shares her story of being part of the historic 1965 Voting Rights March in a way that is easily accessible to students. She shares her experiences and helps kiddos to see the emotions and thoughts that accompanied these experiences. The majority of the book is acceptable for my fourth graders, although I worry about the stories at the end of the book. These stories are an explanation of sorts of those that lost their lives as part of the Selma March movement and they are a bit too graphic Lowery shares her story of being part of the historic 1965 Voting Rights March in a way that is easily accessible to students. She shares her experiences and helps kiddos to see the emotions and thoughts that accompanied these experiences. The majority of the book is acceptable for my fourth graders, although I worry about the stories at the end of the book. These stories are an explanation of sorts of those that lost their lives as part of the Selma March movement and they are a bit too graphic for fourth graders.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Laura I.

    A fantastic plain spoken, deceptively simple, and extremely moving & inspirational story from the youngest marcher on Montgomery in 1965. A part that especially stuck with me was the part about all the children activists packing bologna sandwiches & penny candy every day to eat in jail (where they were sent nearly daily). The photos and drawings are also fantastic. Highly recommend to children, teens, and adults interested in a personal take on civil rights history.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kristen

    What a great Civil Rights resource for younger readers. Lynda Blackmon Lowery tells her story in a way that kids will find accessible and interesting, and I like the information provided in addition to her story--lyrics to songs sung by the marchers and stories of the people who were murdered before and after Bloody Sunday.

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