Posted in Book Review

REVIEW: Lillian’s Right to Vote by Jonah Winter

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Barnes & Noble | Amazon

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…

Posted in Book Review

REVIEW: Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom by Carole Boston Weatherford

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Barnes & Noble | Amazon

Title: Moses: When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom

Author: Carole Boston Weatherford

Illustrator: Kadir Nelson

Published: September 28, 2006

Theme: Courage and Faith

Character Origin: Human

Book Type: Picture Book | Pages: 48

Ages: 5-8 | Book Level: 4.0 | Lexile Measure: AD660L

Synopsis: This poetic book is a resounding tribute to Tubman’s strength, humility, and devotion. With proper reverence, Weatherford and Nelson do justice to the woman who, long ago, earned over and over the name Moses.

My summary…

This is the story of Harriet Tubman and her journey to freedom. Her faith and extraordinary courage guided her through each treacherous mile.

My thoughts…

I have read many stories about Harriet Tubman. This one, by far, was the most captivating. Weatherford does a marvelous job incorporating Tubman’s faith and ongoing conversations with God into the narrative. You don’t really find that too often in mainstream kids books (but I LOVE IT!). Through this dialogue, she musters the courage and reads the signs that enable her to keep pushing forward. Weatherford’s narrative was eloquently written and a true joy to read. It takes the reader on a heartfelt journey through marshes, wagons, and other hiding places on the road to freedom.

Nelson’s illustrations were stunning and full of such rich detail. Most of the illustrations are reminiscent of photos that I’ve seen previously of Harriet Tubman in other texts. I found myself distracted (in a good way) by the imagery as it aligned perfectly with every word on the page. This is an exceptional story to introduce young readers to Harriet Tubman, slavery, and the Underground Railroad. I’m certain that families will enjoy reading this rendition of Harriet’s story as much as I did.

My rating…