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"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 GA-5 is an American icon, one of the key figures of the civil rights movement. His commitment to justice and nonviolence has taken ...
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March, Book 1

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"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 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.

A 2014 Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book

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Editorial Reviews

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.
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.
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.
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.
Mental Floss
Probably the most important graphic novel release of the year.
Dazzling... a grand work. (starred review)
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.)
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)
The Barnes & Noble Review

Long before the advent of the "graphic novel," the occasional comic book focused on the feats of more tangible superheroes. Perhaps the most famous example came in 1958, when a pacifist organization called the Fellowship of Reconciliation published a single-issue comic about the up-and-coming leader of the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott. Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story explained the tenets of nonviolent action that had guided the yearlong boycott, which led to the desegregation of the Alabama city's public bus system; it sold more than 250,000 copies and influenced young activists working to desegregate the Jim Crow South. That comic book is read by the characters in the powerful graphic novel March, which tells the story of the civil rights movement from the perspective of another one of its icons, Georgia congressman John Lewis.

March has been planned as a trilogy, and the release of its first volume takes place on the eve of the fiftieth anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Of all who spoke in front of the Lincoln Memorial on that summer day in 1963 — most famously King, who delivered his "I Have a Dream" speech — only Lewis is still alive, making this project, intended for young adult readers, feel all the more vital.

March was co-written by Lewis and one of his congressional staffers, Andrew Aydin (the narrative also draws from Lewis's 1998 memoir, Walking with the Wind); the artwork is by Nate Powell, winner of the Eisner Award for Swallow Me Whole. The book opens on the morning of Barack Obama's first inauguration. Lewis has stopped by his Capitol Hill office on his way to the event, and there he encounters some constituents, an African-American mother and her two young sons; the story's point of view shuttles back and forth in time as Lewis tells the boys about his childhood and the early years of civil rights while preparing to attend the inauguration of the country's first African- American president.

Powell's artwork — dynamic and richly expressive — is particularly evocative when he depicts Lewis's childhood in rural Alabama, where his solicitous concern for his family's chickens presaged his later interest in social justice. A formative summer spent with aunts and uncles in an integrated neighborhood of Buffalo contributed to Lewis's growing awareness of the iniquities of the South, where, in stark contrast to white children, he carried hand- me-down textbooks onto a rickety school bus that traveled unpaved roads to an ugly, cinder-block schoolhouse. "After that trip," Lewis writes, "home never felt the same, and neither did I." Still, he thrived in school, even while he was increasingly politicized by the events — the Supreme Court's Brown vs. Board of Education decision, the murder of Emmett Till, the Montgomery boycott — that gripped the region.

He left Alabama to attend the American Baptist Theological Seminary in Nashville; there, through his church, Lewis underwent thorough instruction in the principles and practice of nonviolent resistance in preparation for sit-ins to desegregate stores and lunch counters downtown. March devotes many pages to the extensive training that preceded these demonstrations: activists studied the teachings of Gandhi, role-played by hurling racial epithets at each other, and learned how to position themselves during beatings. Rosa Parks is more often remembered as a tired seamstress than as an NAACP activist who knew that the organization was looking for a plaintiff to test the constitutionality of segregation on public buses. In a similar vein, March provides a potent reminder that the sit-ins, far from being casually assembled, were well-coordinated, disciplined events informed by a rigorous philosophy.

Though the trilogy is named for the pivotal 1965 marches from Selma to Montgomery, the first volume leaves off in Nashville, still early in Lewis's activist career. At book's end, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, which Lewis would eventually chair, is being formed. There are hints of the violence to come, just as there are hints of the fissures within the movement, felt especially by younger activists like Lewis, who regarded his elders as too conservative. ("Our revolt was as much against the traditional black leadership structure as it was against segregation and discrimination," he writes.) Powell's black-and-white depictions of these tensions are striking, whether he portrays the brutality of a beating or the close-up furrowing of a brow.

Meanwhile, the 1958 MLK comic book cited in March has lived on: it was recently translated into Arabic by an Egyptian activist promoting civil disobedience during the Arab Spring. March, dedicated to "the past and future children of the movement," is also likely to prove inspirational to readers for years to come. When Congressman Lewis promoted his graphic novel at Comic-Con in 2013 — clad in a suit and tie, among the fanboys dressed as their favorite superhero and sci-fi characters — he was an unexpected hit.

Barbara Spindel has covered books for Time Out New York,, Details, and Spin. She holds a Ph.D. in American Studies.

Reviewer: Barbara Spindel

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781603093026
  • Publisher: Top Shelf Productions
  • Publication date: 8/13/2013
  • Series: March , #1
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Sales rank: 116,031
  • File size: 37 MB
  • Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

Meet the Author

John Lewis
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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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 13 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2013

    Can't wait for the next two! This is the book schools, teachers

    Can't wait for the next two! This is the book schools, teachers and graphic novels as a whole have been waiting for

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 15, 2013

    The book is fantastic. The illustrations are wonderfully done. T

    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.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 14, 2013

    more from this reviewer



    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2013

    Good for appropriate audience

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2013

    Absolutely extraordinary. A historic work unto itself, depicting

    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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2014

    A spectacularly well written and illustrated story of a man we s

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2014


    Nate's art fits the story perfectly.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 25, 2013

    This book should be a must read on everyone's list. I grew up in

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2013



    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2013

    Great story. Also it is just a great graphic novel.

    Great story. Also it is just a great graphic novel.

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  • Posted August 17, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I just finished John Lewis' book "Walking With The Wind&quo

    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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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 12, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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