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

Jonah Winter, illus. by Shane W. Evans. Random/Schwartz & Wade, $17.99 (40p) ISBN 978-0-385-39028-6
Winter (How Jelly Roll Morton Invented Jazz) introduces an elderly African-American woman whose walk up a steep hill to cast her ballot doubles as a metaphor for the struggle for voting rights. En route, miragelike figures from the past appear in the background, including Lillian's great-great-grandparents, shown in shackles at a slave auction. She remembers moments of progress and protest as she walks, such as the passing of the Fifteenth Amendment and the march from Selma to Montgomery, and she also hears echoes of her uncle describing the impossible literacy test questions he was forced to answer at the polls. Winter's prose has a lofty, oratorical quality ("As long as Lillian still has a pulse, she is going to vote—and so she keeps on climbing"), skillfully blending Lillian's individual path to the voting booth with the historical context that made it possible. Evans (28 Days) is equally adept at balancing the political and the personal, giving Lillian a stateliness and evident inner strength. A valuable introduction to and overview of the civil rights movement. Ages 5–9. Illustrator's agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (July)
Reviewed on: 08/03/2015
Release date: 07/14/2015
Genre: Children's
Library Binding - 40 pages - 978-0-385-39029-3
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