Archive for August, 2016|Monthly archive page

March (Book One, Book Two, Book Three)

In Non-Fiction Reads, YA Book Reviews on August 31, 2016 at 5:42 am

by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin, Art by Nate Powell

NonFiction/Graphic Novels©2016/Recommended for 7th Grade and Above

Publisher Info (Courtesy of Goodreads):

Congressman John Lewis (GA-5) is an American icon, one of the key figures of the civil rights movement. His commitment to justice and nonviolence has taken him from an Alabama sharecropper’s farm to the halls of Congress, from a segregated schoolroom to the 1963 March on Washington, and from receiving beatings from state troopers to receiving the Medal of Freedom from the first African-American president.

Now, to share his remarkable story with new generations, Lewis presents March, a graphic novel trilogy, in collaboration with co-writer Andrew Aydin and New York Times best-selling artist Nate Powell (winner of the Eisner Award and LA Times Book Prize finalist for Swallow Me Whole).

March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis’ lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis’ personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement.

Book One spans John Lewis’ youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., the birth of the Nashville Student Movement, and their battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins, building to a stunning climax on the steps of City Hall.

Book Two: After the success of the Nashville sit-in campaign, John Lewis is more committed than ever to changing the world through nonviolence – but as he and his fellow Freedom Riders board a bus into the vicious heart of the deep south, they will be tested like never before.Faced with beatings, police brutality, imprisonment, arson, and even murder, the young activists of the movement struggle with internal conflicts as well. But their courage will attract the notice of powerful allies, from Martin Luther King, Jr. to Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy… and once Lewis is elected chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, this 23-year-old will be thrust into the national spotlight, becoming one of the “Big Six” leaders of the civil rights movement and a central figure in the landmark 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

Book Three: The third volume continues where the second left off and chronicles the heartbreaking and gut wrenching details of the struggle to assure that every African American secures his/her right to vote.

My Thoughts:

I read all three books in one day. I just could not stop reading. I had my doubts about the suitability of a graphic novel format for such an important subject as the Civil Rights Movement, but those doubts were quickly put to rest. . The graphic art was stunning and will most assuredly attract young adult readers. The incredible story of John Lewis and the Civil Rights Movement will amaze them and pull them in.

The second book in this trilogy is just as powerful as the first. I am amazed at how much information is contained in this graphic novel and how accurately it captures everything that went on at the time.  I grew up while all this was happening, yet there was so much I didn’t know.  In addition to the focus on John Lewis’s part in the Civil Rights Movement, the author also shines the light on so many others who likewise made significant contributions. They all most assuredly deserve the recognition for what they did.

The final book in the series just took my breath away. It captured every important event and recognized many of the individuals who put their lives on the line to help secure the right to vote for every African American. So many people showed such courage and conviction – awe inspiring beyond words.

This truly eye-opening and thought provoking series fully deserves to be widely read and not just by the target audience of young adults.

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

Companion Books:

Revolution (The Sixties Trilogy Book 2) by Deborah Wiles

We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March by Cynthia Levinson