March, Book One
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March, Book One

4.1 18
by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin
     
 

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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

Overview


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.

Many years ago, John Lewis and other student activists drew inspiration from the 1958 comic book "Martin Luther King and the Montgomery
Story." Now, his own comics bring those days to life for a new audience,
testifying to a movement whose echoes will be heard for generations.

Coretta Scott King Author Honor Books selection: recognizing an African American author and illustrator of outstanding books for children and young adults: "March: Book One," written by John Lewis and Andrew Aydin,
illustrated by Nate Powell, and published by Top Shelf Productions.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Ken Tucker
Lewis sees no need to overdramatize his thoughts and actions; he knows that he and the fellow participants in the march from which this book takes its title were committing brave acts of civil disobedience during an era that is absent from the memories of many young Americans. This lends March its educational value even as Powell's drawings give Lewis's crisp narration an emotional power.
Publishers Weekly
The long-overdue move to chronicle American history in graphic novel form takes another great step forward with this first volume of a projected history of the civil rights struggle. Instead of taking an all-inclusive, Eyes on the Prize–style approach (an epic undertaking that hopefully is on another artist’s to-do list), March is told from the perspective of Georgia congressman John Lewis. Listed here as coauthor with Andrew Aydin, Lewis frames his story as a flashback told to a few inquisitive visitors in his Washington office as he is getting ready to attend the inauguration of President Barack Obama. It’s an occasionally creaky device that slips sometimes into hagiography, but Lewis’s tale is a resolutely dramatic one regardless. Highlighted by dark, neo-noirish art from Nate Powell (The Silence of Our Friends), March tracks Lewis from his hardscrabble childhood on a remote Georgia farm to his gradual awakening to the pernicious evil of segregation and his growing leadership role in Martin Luther King Jr.’s nonviolent resistance movement. If the book strays too far from Lewis himself at times, that’s because the momentousness of what’s happening around him cannot be ignored. Superbly told history. (Aug.)
From the Publisher

“Congressman John Lewis has been a resounding moral voice in the quest for equality for more than 50 years, and I'm so pleased that he is sharing his memories of the Civil Rights Movement with America's young leaders. In
March, he brings a whole new generation with him across the Edmund Pettus
Bridge, from a past of clenched fists into a future of outstretched hands.” - President Bill Clinton

"Congressman John Lewis has been a resounding moral voice in the quest for equality for more than 50 years, and I'm so pleased that he is sharing his memories of the Civil Rights Movement with America's young leaders. In March, he brings a whole new generation with him across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, from a past of clenched fists into a future of outstretched hands." ? President Bill
Clinton

"Brave acts of civil disobedience... [give] March its educational value even as Powell's drawings give Lewis's crisp narration an emotional power."? The New York Times

"A riveting and beautiful civil-rights story... Lewis's gripping memoir should be stocked in every school and shelved at every library." ? The Washington Post

"Essential reading... March is a moving and important achievement... the story of a true American superhero." ?
USA Today

"A riveting chronicle of Lewis’s extraordinary life... it powerfully illustrates how much perseverance is needed to achieve fundamental social change." ? O, The Oprah Magazine

"March offers a poignant portrait of an iconic figure that both entertains and edifies, and deserves to be placed alongside other historical graphic memoirs like Persepolis and Maus." ?
Entertainment Weekly

"An astonishingly accomplished graphic memoir that brings to life a vivid portrait of the civil rights era, Lewis' extraordinary history and accomplishments, and the movement he helped lead... its power,
accessibility and artistry destine it for awards, and a well-deserved place at the pinnacle of the comics canon." ? NPR

"When a graphic novel tries to interest young readers in an important topic, it often feels forced. Not so with the exhilarating March: Book One... Powerful words and pictures." ? The Boston
Globe

"The civil rights movement can seem to some like a distant memory... Rep. John Lewis refreshes our memories in dramatic fashion." ? The
Chicago Tribune

"Superbly told history." ? Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Dazzling... a grand work." ? Booklist (starred review)

"A
powerful tale of courage and principle igniting sweeping social change, told by a strong-minded, uniquely qualified eyewitness... the heroism of those who sat and marched... comes through with vivid, inspiring clarity." ? Kirkus Reviews
(starred review)

"Lewis's remarkable life has been skillfully translated into graphics... Segregation’s insult to personhood comes across here with a visual, visceral punch. This version of Lewis’s life story belongs in libraries to teach readers about the heroes of America." ? Library Journal
(starred review)

"This is superb visual storytelling that establishes a convincing, definitive record of a key eyewitness to significant social change,
and that leaves readers demanding the second volume." ? School Library Journal
(starred review)

"There’s something extraordinary about reading a firsthand account of a seminal moment in history from one who not only lived through it but also led it, and this is what ultimately makes this book so essential... nuanced visual storytelling complements Lewis’s account beautifully." ? The Horn Book (starred review)

"Likely to prove inspirational to readers for years to come." ? Barnes and Noble
Review

"Probably the most important graphic novel release of the year." ?
Mental Floss

"Through Powell's powerful graphical recreation of Lewis's life, we slip past the political struggles and into the soul of a man of courage and belief." ? Shelf Awareness

"Like the acclaimed graphic novels Maus and Persepolis, March is a coming-of-age tale set against a backdrop of violent,
historical confrontation. As in those books, the sweep of history is palpable on every page, but it is the prosaic, very human concerns of the protagonist that make the history breathe." ? Chapter 16

"Powell intuitively captures all of the drama inherent in the congressman’s gripping, ultimately moving story. Teaming him with Lewis and Aydin has resulted in one of the must-read graphic novels of 2013 (and beyond). If I were King of the World I’d certainly put March on Required Reading lists in middle and high schools everywhere." ? The Comics Journal

"Yes, it’s educational. But make no mistake... this is not some corporate-packaged spoonful of vitamin water.
It’s an extraordinarily effective and artful graphic novel." ?
Sequart

"The civil rights icon [John Lewis] is a modern Superman, and now he has the book to prove it." ? Atlanta Magazine

Congressman Lewis, with Michael D'Orso's assistance, told his story most impressively in Walking with the Wind (1998). Fortunately, it's such a good story-a sharecropper's son rises to eminence by prosecuting the cause of his people-that it bears retelling, especially in this graphic novel by Lewis,
his aide Aydin, and Powell, one of the finest American comics artists going.
After a kicker set on Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama, on March 7, 1965
(the civil rights movement's Bloody Sunday), the story makes January 20, 2009
(President Obama's inauguration) a base of operations as it samples Lewis' past via his reminiscences for two schoolboys and their mother, who've shown up early at his office on that milestone day for African Americans. This first of three volumes of Lewis' story brings him from boyhood on the farm, where he doted over the chickens and dreamed of being a preacher, through high school to college,
when he met nonviolent activists who showed him a means of undermining segregation-to begin with, at the department-store lunch counters of Nashville.
Powell is at his dazzling best throughout, changing angle-of-regard from panel to panel while lighting each with appropriate drama. The kineticism of his art rivals that of the most exuberant DC and Marvel adventure comics-and in black-and-white only, yet! Books Two and Three may not surpass Book One, but what a grand work they'll complete. - Ray Olson

Eisner winner Powell's dramatic black-and-white graphic art ratchets up the intensity in this autobiographical opener by a major figure in the civil rights movement.

In this first of a projected trilogy, Lewis, one of the original Freedom Riders and currently in his 13th term as a U.S. Representative,
recalls his early years-from raising (and preaching to) chickens on an Alabama farm to meeting Martin Luther King Jr. and joining lunch-counter sit-ins in
Nashville in 1960. The account flashes back and forth between a conversation with two young visitors in Lewis' congressional office just prior to Barack
Obama's 2009 inauguration and events five or more decades ago. His education in nonviolence forms the central theme, and both in his frank, self-effacing accounts of rising tides of protest being met with increasingly violent responses and in Powell's dark, cinematically angled and sequenced panels, the heroism of those who sat and marched and bore the abuse comes through with vivid, inspiring clarity. The volume closes with the founding of the Student
Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (which Lewis went on to chair), and its publication is scheduled to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on
Washington, at which Lewis preceded Dr. King on the podium: “Of everyone who spoke at the march, I'm the only one who's still around.”

A powerful tale of courage and principle igniting sweeping social change, told by a strong-minded, uniquely qualified eyewitness.
(Graphic memoir. 11-15)

"Lewis's remarkable life has been skillfully translated into graphics... Segregation's insult to personhood comes across here with a visual, visceral punch. This version of Lewis's life story belongs in libraries to teach readers about the heroes of America."
-Library Journal (starred review)

“Dazzling... a grand work.” - Booklist (starred review)

Children's Literature - Leona Illig
It is January 20, 2009, and President-Elect Barack Obama is about to be sworn in. As Congressman John Lewis prepares to leave his office to attend the ceremony, some visitors arrive, and he finds himself answering their questions and reminiscing about the past. Thus begins a fascinating and riveting account of the life of one of the great leaders of the Civil Rights movement. He tells about his youth: how he loved tending to his chickens, and dreamed of being a preacher someday. A trip to Buffalo, New York, in 1951, opened his eyes to the injustices suffered by blacks in the South. The desegregation of schools in 1954 began to shake things up, and Lewis's meeting with Jim Lawson, a prominent civil rights leader, was pivotal. From Lawson he learned the values of passive resistance and non-violence that were essential when the sit-ins at the lunch counters in Nashville began. The danger and ultimate success of the sit-ins form the core of this book, which is intended to be part of a series chronicling the life of Lewis. The black and white illustrations are stunning; their use of shadow and detail is excellent. Far superior to what is found in most graphic novels, these illustrations rise to the level of a high art form. The only drawback is the fact that the book uses very small lettering (sometime unreadable) to indicate activity in the background. It is an interesting technique, but readers may become frustrated with it. On the other hand, it does serve as a metaphor for the frustrations and the opaque, behind-the-scene activities that Southern blacks were subjected to. In any case, this excellent book should capture the imagination of a new generation of readers eager to learn about the history of the Civil Rights Movement in this country. Reviewer: Leona Illig
Library Journal
Comics artist Powell (The Silence of Our Friends; Swallow Me Whole) blogged that Congressman Lewis (Representative for the 5th U.S. Congressional Dist. of Georgia since 1986) "is the sole surviving member of the 'Big Six' of the Civil Rights movement, [and]…was integral in the historic marches from Selma to Montgomery, and generally helped smack institutionalized white supremacy in the nuts and changed the face of 20th century American Society." Growing up in the 1940s, Lewis rode a school bus down dirt roads because roads into "colored" communities weren't paved. Sixty years later, he was a guest of honor at Barack Obama's inauguration. Lewis's remarkable life has been skillfully translated into graphics with the assistance of writer Aydin, a staffer in Lewis's office and his capable Boswell. The art from Eisner and Ignatz Prize winner Powell is perfect for the story, ranging as it does from moody ink-wash to hand-drawn lettering. VERDICT Segregation's insult to personhood comes across here with a visual, visceral punch. Suitable for tweens through teens and adults, this version of Lewis's life story belongs in libraries to teach readers about the heroes of America. Two more volumes are forthcoming, and a teacher's guide is available.—M.C.
School Library Journal
★ 09/01/2013
Gr 8 Up—Beginning with a dream sequence that depicts the police crackdown on the 1965 Selma-Montgomery March, this memoir then cuts to Congressman John Lewis's preparations on the day of President Obama's inauguration. Lewis provides perspective on the occasion, explaining and describing his own religious and desegregationalist origins in Alabama, his early meeting with Dr. King, and his training as a nonviolent protester. The bulk of the narrative centers around the lunch counter sit-ins in 1959 and 1960 and ends on the hopeful note of a public statement by Nashville Mayor West. The narration feels very much like a fascinating firsthand anecdote and, despite a plethora of personal details and unfamiliar names, it never drags. Even with the contemporary perspective, the events never feel like a foregone conclusion, making the stakes significant and the work important. The narration particularly emphasizes the nonviolent aspect of the movement and the labor involved in maintaining that ideal. The artwork is full of lush blacks and liquid brushstrokes and features both small period details and vast, sweeping vistas that evoke both the reality of the setting and the importance of the events. This is superb visual storytelling that establishes a convincing, definitive record of a key eyewitness to significant social change, and that leaves readers demanding the second volume.—Benjamin Russell, Belmont High School, NH
Kirkus Reviews
Eisner winner Powell's dramatic black-and-white graphic art ratchets up the intensity in this autobiographical opener by a major figure in the civil rights movement. In this first of a projected trilogy, Lewis, one of the original Freedom Riders and currently in his 13th term as a U.S. Representative, recalls his early years--from raising (and preaching to) chickens on an Alabama farm to meeting Martin Luther King Jr. and joining lunch-counter sit-ins in Nashville in 1960. The account flashes back and forth between a conversation with two young visitors in Lewis' congressional office just prior to Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration and events five or more decades ago. His education in nonviolence forms the central theme, and both in his frank, self-effacing accounts of rising tides of protest being met with increasingly violent responses and in Powell's dark, cinematically angled and sequenced panels, the heroism of those who sat and marched and bore the abuse comes through with vivid, inspiring clarity. The volume closes with the founding of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (which Lewis went on to chair), and its publication is scheduled to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, at which Lewis preceded Dr. King on the podium: "Of everyone who spoke at the march, I'm the only one who's still around." A powerful tale of courage and principle igniting sweeping social change, told by a strong-minded, uniquely qualified eyewitness. (Graphic memoir. 11-15)
Entertainment Weekly
An astonishingly accomplished graphic memoir that brings to life a vivid portrait of the civil rights era, Lewis' extraordinary history and accomplishments, and the movement he helped lead... its power, accessibility and artistry destine it for awards, and a well-deserved place at the pinnacle of the comics canon." — NPR
"March offers a poignant portrait of an iconic figure that both entertains and edifies, and deserves to be placed alongside other historical graphic memoirs like Persepolis and Maus.
USA Today
Essential reading for just about anyone... March is a moving and important achievement. While it looks a little different than your average comic, it does tell the story of a true American superhero.
Booklist
Dazzling... a grand work. (starred review)
The Washington Post
A riveting and beautiful civil-rights story… Lewis's gripping memoir should be stocked in every school and shelved at every library.
The Boston Globe
When a graphic novel tries to interest young readers in an important topic, it often feels forced. Not so with the exhilarating March: Book One... Powerful words and pictures.
Mental Floss
Probably the most important graphic novel release of the year.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781603093002
Publisher:
Top Shelf Productions
Publication date:
08/13/2013
Series:
March Series, #1
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
26,608
Product dimensions:
6.40(w) x 9.40(h) x 0.70(d)
Lexile:
GN760L (what's this?)
Age Range:
13 - 16 Years

What People are saying about this

President Bill Clinton
Congressman John Lewis has been a resounding moral voice in the quest for equality for more than 50 years, and I'm so pleased that he is sharing his memories of the Civil Rights Movement with America's young leaders. In March, he brings a whole new generation with him across the Edmund Pettus Bridge, from a past of clenched fists into a future of outstretched hands. -- President Bill Clinton

Meet the Author

JOHN LEWIS is Georgia's Fifth Congressional District Representative and an American icon widely known for his role in the Civil Rights Movement.
As a student at American Baptist Theological Seminary in 1959, John Lewis organized sit-in demonstrations at segregated lunch counters in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1961, he volunteered to participate in the Freedom Rides, which challenged segregation at interstate bus terminals across the South. He was beaten severely by angry mobs and arrested by police for challenging the injustice of Jim Crow segregation in the South.

From 1963 to 1966, Lewis was Chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). As Chairman, John Lewis became a nationally recognized leader. Lewis was dubbed one of the Big Six leaders of the Civil Rights Movement and at the age of 23, he was an architect of and a keynote speaker at the historic March on Washington in August 1963.

In 1964, John Lewis coordinated SNCC efforts to organize voter registration drives and community action programs during the Mississippi Freedom Summer. The following year, Lewis helped spearhead one of the most seminal moments of the Civil Rights Movement. Hosea Williams, another notable Civil Rights leader, and John Lewis led over 600 peaceful, orderly protestors across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama on March 7, 1965. They intended to march from Selma to Montgomery to demonstrate the need for voting rights in the state. The marchers were attacked by Alabama state troopers in a brutal confrontation that became known as "Bloody Sunday." News broadcasts and photographs revealing the senseless cruelty of the segregated South helped hasten the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Despite more than 40 arrests, physical attacks and serious injuries, John Lewis remained a devoted advocate of the philosophy of nonviolence. After leaving SNCC in 1966, he continued his commitment to the Civil Rights Movement as Associate Director of the Field Foundation and his participation in the Southern Regional Council's voter registration programs. Lewis went on to become the Director of the Voter Education Project (VEP). In 1977, John Lewis was appointed by President Jimmy Carter to direct more than 250,000 volunteers of ACTION, the federal volunteer agency.

In 1981, he was elected to the Atlanta City Council. He was elected to Congress in November 1986 and has served as U.S. Representative of Georgia's Fifth Congressional District since then. In 2011 he was awarded the Presidental Medal of Freedom.

Lewis' 1999 memoir Walking with the Wind: A Memoir of the Movement, called "the definitive account of the civil rights movement" (The Washington Post), won numerous honors, including the Robert F. Kennedy, Lillian Smith, and Anisfield-Wolf Book Awards. His most recent book, Across That Bridge: Life Lessons and a Vision for Change, received for the NAACP Image Award.

His first graphic novel, March (Book One) -- co-authored with Andrew Aydin -- will be published by Top Shelf in August 2013.

ANDREW AYDIN, an Atlanta native, currently serves in Rep. John Lewis' Washington, D.C. office handling telecommunications and technology policy as well as new media. Previously, he served as communications director and press secretary during Rep. Lewis' 2008 and 2010 re-election campaigns, as district aide to Rep. John Larson, and as special assistant to Connecticut Lt. Governor Kevin Sullivan. Andrew is a graduate of the Lovett School in Atlanta, Trinity College in Hartford, and Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

His first graphic novel, March (Book One) -- co-authored with Congressman John Lewis -- will be published by Top Shelf in 2013.

NATE POWELL is a New York Times best-selling graphic novelist born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1978. He began self-publishing at age 14, and graduated from the School of Visual Arts in 2000.

His work includes "March", the graphic novel autobiography of Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis (Top Shelf, 2013); the critically acclaimed "Any Empire" (Top Shelf, 2011); "Swallow Me Whole" (Eisner Award winner for Best Graphic Novel, two-time Ignatz Award winner, YALSA selection, and LA Times Book Prize finalist; Top Shelf, 2008); "The Silence Of Our Friends"(YALSA selection; First Second, 2012); "The Year Of The Beasts" (Roaring Brook, 2012); and "Sounds Of Your Name" (Microcosm Publishing, 2006).

Powell appeared at the United Nations in 2011, discussing his contribution to the fundraising fiction anthology What You Wish For: A Book For Darfur alongside some of the world's foremost writers of young adult fiction.

He's currently working as the artist on two high-profile projects: March, the three-part graphic novel memoir of Congressman John Lewis, and the graphic novel adaptation of Rick Riordan's #1 international bestseller Heroes of Olympus: The Lost Hero. In addition, he is writing and drawing his own forthcoming graphic novel Cover and assembling the short story collection You Don't Say.

From 1999 to 2009, Nate worked full-time supporting adults with developmental disabilities. He managed DIY punk record label Harlan Records for 16 years, and has performed in the bands Universe, Divorce Chord, Soophie Nun Squad, Wait, and Boomfancy. He lives in Bloomington, Indiana

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March: Book One 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can't wait for the next two! This is the book schools, teachers and graphic novels as a whole have been waiting for
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Absolutely extraordinary. A historic work unto itself, depicting a dark moment in our nation's past with hope and optimism. The beauty of this book is the simplicity with which complicated ideas are conveyed. Perfect for young readers and older readers alike.
Chet_Guevara More than 1 year ago
inspiring!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A classic work of literature that, along with it's spectacular subsequent volumes, will be read for generations.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A spectacularly well written and illustrated story of a man we should all know more about. Perfect for the teen you know that needs a little inspiration or motivation.
JenTeach More than 1 year ago
The book is fantastic. The illustrations are wonderfully done. The authentic feel of the story being in black and white versus color is nicely done. I will be reading and using this book with my students. I can't wait for Book 2.
WillieStark More than 1 year ago
Couldn't put it down, and then when I finished I had to go read the next one. It's that good.
KevinRaybo More than 1 year ago
A spectacular work of memoir that stands with Maus and Persepolis at the pinnacle of graphic novel literature.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Nate's art fits the story perfectly.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book should be a must read on everyone's list. I grew up in this time period but was sheltered in the Midwest. I remember the scenes of the attack dogs and fire hoses but couldn't understand the reason for them. We are in a time now that may not be formal desegregation but there are still groups in America that are being disenfranchised.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story. Also it is just a great graphic novel.
Anonymous 11 months ago
I learned so much from this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was intrigued by the format of this book. The illustrations are stellar. However it offers more of an introduction to the subject matter and I was hoping for more of an in-depth individual perspective. It seems appropriate for a middle school to high school audience.
pydollwillie More than 1 year ago
I just finished John Lewis' book "Walking With The Wind" and this book is especially good for students to learn about a time in our history that is largely left untouched in our schools. This is an excellent book that I highly recommend to folks of all ages! Let us never forget our past so that we don't make the same mistakes in our future!
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racist