Lillian's Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965

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9780385390293: Lillian's Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965
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An elderly African American woman, en route to vote, remembers her family’s tumultuous voting history in this picture book publishing in time for the fiftieth anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
 
As Lillian, a one-hundred-year-old African American woman, makes a “long haul up a steep hill” to her polling place, she sees more than trees and sky—she sees her family’s history. She sees the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment and her great-grandfather voting for the first time. She sees her parents trying to register to vote. And she sees herself marching in a protest from Selma to Montgomery. Veteran bestselling picture-book author Jonah Winter and Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award winner Shane W. Evans vividly recall America’s battle for civil rights in this lyrical, poignant account of one woman’s fierce determination to make it up the hill and make her voice heard.

"Moving.... Stirs up a potent mixture of grief, anger, and pride at the history of black people’s fight for access to the ballot box." —The New York Times

"A much-needed picture book that will enlighten a new generation about battles won and a timely call to uphold these victories in the present." —Kirkus Reviews, Starred

"A valuable introduction to and overview of the civil rights movement." —Publishers Weekly, Starred

"An important book that will give you goose bumps." —Booklist, Starred
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About the Author:

Jonah Winter has written many highly acclaimed books for children, including You Never Heard of Sandy Koufax?!, which was named an ALA-ALSC Notable Children’s Book and a Booklist Top of the List, and You Never Heard of Willie Mays?!, which received four starred reviews and was named a Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book. His other books include Here Comes the Garbage Barge!, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book; Barack, a New York Times bestseller; and Dizzy, recipient of Best Book of the Year citations from Booklist, School Library Journal, The Horn Book Magazine, The Bulletin, and Kirkus Reviews. Jonah divides his time between Santa Fe, New Mexico, and a small town in Pennsylvania.
 
Shane W. Evans is the author and illustrator of numerous books for children, including We March and Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom, which received the Coretta Scott King Illustration Award. He has illustrated more than thirty picture books, including Osceola: Memories of a Sharecropper’s Daughter by Alan Govenar, winner of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Nonfiction. Shane lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where he runs Dream Studio, a community art space.

From School Library Journal:

Gr 1–4—Lillian may be old, but it's Voting Day, and she's going to vote. As she climbs the hill (both metaphorical and literal) to the courthouse, she sees her family's history and the history of the fight for voting rights unfold before her, from her great-great-grandparents being sold as slaves to the three marches across Selma's famous bridge. Winter writes in a well-pitched, oral language style ("my, but that hill is steep"), and the vocabulary, sentence structure, and font make the book well-suited both for independent reading and for sharing aloud. The illustrations, though, are what truly distinguish this offering. Lillian is portrayed in resolute left-to-right motion, and her present-day, bright red dress contrasts with the faded greens, blues, and grays of the past, sometimes in a direct overlay. A bright yellow sun, which readers may recognize from Evans's illustrations in Charles R. Smith Jr.'s 28 Days: Moments in Black History That Changed the World (Roaring Brook, 2015), symbolizes hope as it travels across the sky. The story concludes on an emphatic note, with a close-up of Lillian's hand on the ballot lever. An author's note provides historical context, including information about the woman who inspired Lillian (Lillian Allen, who in 2008 at age 100 voted for Barack Obama), and ends by reminding readers that protecting voting rights is still an ongoing issue. VERDICT A powerful historical picture book.—Jill Ratzan, I. L. Peretz Community Jewish School, Somerset, NJ

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