Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March

Lynda Blackmon Lowery, Elspeth Leacock, and Susan Buckley, illus. by PJ Loughran. Dial, $19.99 (128p) ISBN 978-0-8037-4123-2
Lowery’s dogged participation as a teen in the fight for equal civil rights—as told to Leacock and Buckley (collaborators on Journeys for Freedom and other titles)—offers a gripping story told in conversational language. “We learned the drill real quick: We went to jail, we came back out, and then we went to jail again.... Pretty soon we knew to take our own little bologna sandwiches... because jail food just wasn’t good.” The matter-of-fact tone often belies the danger Lowery and other protesting teenagers faced. Enhancing the narrative’s appeal are Loughran’s dramatic comics–style illustrations, which accompany archival photos. As the 1965 march to Montgomery drew closer, Lowery found herself in increasingly dangerous situations (e.g., the sweatbox in jail or being tear-gassed). Undeterred by fear, she joined the historic march, offering her description of what it was like as the youngest participant on the wet, four-day journey. In time to mark the march’s 50th anniversary, this recounting informs and inspires. An afterword briefly explains U.S. segregation history and profiles people who lost their lives in connection with the march. Ages 12–up. (Jan.)
Reviewed on: 11/24/2014
Release date: 01/08/2015
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 144 pages - 978-0-14-751216-1
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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