Posted in Book Review

REVIEW: Lillian’s Right to Vote by Jonah Winter

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Title: Lillian’s Right to Vote

Author: Jonah Winter

Illustrator: Shane W. Evans

Published: July 14, 2015

Theme: Perseverance

Character Origin: Human

Book Type: Picture Book | Pages: 40

Ages: 5-9 | Book Level: 5.6 | Lexile Measure: 1030L   

Synopsis: 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.

My thoughts…

I was taken aback (in a good way) and moved to tears with this narrative. Lillian’s resilience, conviction, and perseverance reminded me of my ancestors and why my parents instilled the importance of voting to me and my siblings. Winter’s writing style of aligning Lillian’s determination to vote with a memorable voter’s right event (sort of a cause and effect writing style)–was simply BRILLIANT. I love how every page connects with Lillian’s “Why.” Winter makes it easy for a young reader to connect historical events to the present day flawlessly.

Evans’ illustrations were visually stimulating. The book cover caught my attention right off as it masterfully displayed a somewhat aged effect. The richness of Lillian’s skin against the American flag was eye-catching to me. Evans skillfully captures a painful and unforgettable time in American History with a level of depth and deliberation of a seasoned illustrator. I can see why it’s Black History Month favorite. It will definitely be on my Top 10 list.

My rating…

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