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Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March
     

Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March

5.0 1
by Lynda Blackmon Lowery
 
A memoir of the Civil Rights Movement from one of its youngest heroes

A Sibert Informational Book Medal Honor Book
Kirkus 
Best Books of 2015

Booklist Editors' Choice 2015
BCCB Blue Ribbon 2015

As the youngest marcher in the 1965 voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Albama,

Overview

A memoir of the Civil Rights Movement from one of its youngest heroes

A Sibert Informational Book Medal Honor Book
Kirkus 
Best Books of 2015

Booklist Editors' Choice 2015
BCCB Blue Ribbon 2015

As the youngest marcher in the 1965 voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Albama, Lynda Blackmon Lowery proved that young adults can be heroes. Jailed nine times before her fifteenth birthday, Lowery fought alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. for the rights of African-Americans. In this memoir, she shows today's young readers what it means to fight nonviolently (even when the police are using violence, as in the Bloody Sunday protest) and how it felt to be part of changing American history.

Straightforward and inspiring, this beautifully illustrated memoir brings readers into the middle of the Civil Rights Movement, complementing Common Core classroom learning and bringing history alive for young readers.


From the Hardcover edition.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
11/24/2014
Lowery’s dogged participation as a teen in the fight for equal civil rights—as told to Leacock and Buckley (collaborators on Journeys for Freedom and other titles)—offers a gripping story told in conversational language. “We learned the drill real quick: We went to jail, we came back out, and then we went to jail again.... Pretty soon we knew to take our own little bologna sandwiches... because jail food just wasn’t good.” The matter-of-fact tone often belies the danger Lowery and other protesting teenagers faced. Enhancing the narrative’s appeal are Loughran’s dramatic comics–style illustrations, which accompany archival photos. As the 1965 march to Montgomery drew closer, Lowery found herself in increasingly dangerous situations (e.g., the sweatbox in jail or being tear-gassed). Undeterred by fear, she joined the historic march, offering her description of what it was like as the youngest participant on the wet, four-day journey. In time to mark the march’s 50th anniversary, this recounting informs and inspires. An afterword briefly explains U.S. segregation history and profiles people who lost their lives in connection with the march. Ages 12–up. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
A Sibert Informational Book Medal Honor Book
Kirkus
Best Books of 2015
Booklist Editors' Choice 2015
BCCB Blue Ribbon 2015

"Vivid details and the immediacy of Lowery's voice make this a valuable primary document as well as a pleasure to read."—Kirkus, starred review

"One of those rare books that is geniunely accessible to a broad audience."—BCCB, starred review

"This inspiring personal story illuminates pivotal events in America's history."—Booklist, starred review

VOYA, February 2015 (Vol. 37, No. 6) - Alicia Abdul
The appeal of this memoir is the vividly illustrated chapter openings and interspersed photographs from the civil rights movement, rather than an inspiring story of a girl on the verge of adulthood contributing to the cause. Lynda wants to be a part of the march in Selma for voting rights after seeing her community denied this through unfair tests and scare tactics. So she joins the march, becoming the youngest fighter for justice in this trek from Selma to Montgomery in Alabama. Her fight is not without fear, hurt, and imprisonment but she pushes through and feels vindicated when, in 1965, Congress passes the Voting Rights Act, taking the children’s movement and making history. The abrupt chapters and relaxed account of the marches, jail, and resistance work to Leacock and Buckley’s disadvantage in relaying the story to an audience in need of powerful stories about survival during a time of great upheaval in the south. Rather than arouse passion, the lack of context that a more developed narrative would provide leaves readers uninspired, save for the rallying call in the last chapter for all youth to change history if there is something to fight for. The memoir has its place on the shelf but not as a keystone text. Reviewer: Alicia Abdul; Ages 11 to 15.
School Library Journal
01/01/2015
Gr 5 Up—One of the youngest participants in the 1965 voting rights march in Alabama, Lowery provides a moving first-person account of her experience. Through this thought-provoking volume, the picture of an incredibly courageous young woman emerges. Lowery effectively conveys the enormity of the injustices in her world and the danger that those she knew encountered daily. Lowery shows what people, including children, are capable of when they stand together. Readers will appreciate what the author endured, including being jailed nine times before she turned 15. Lowery includes many intricate details, such as what the marchers ate and where they slept. The illustrations are a mix of photographs and cartoonish drawings, which bring a graphic novel-like feel to this memoir. A concluding chapter explains the fight for voting rights and contains short biographies of those who died for the cause. This is an honest, powerful historical work, straight from the source.—Heather Acerro, Rochester Public Library, MN
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2014-10-22
In 1965, Lynda Blackmon Lowery turned 15 during the three-day voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery. In this vibrant memoir, Lowery's conversational voice effectively relates her experiences in the civil rights movement on and before that march. The youngest person on the march, she'd already been jailed nine times as a protester, once for six days and once in a hot, windowless "sweatbox" where all the girls passed out. At a protest on "Bloody Sunday," earlier in 1965, a state trooper beat her so badly she needed 35 stitches in her head. The terror of that beating haunted her on the march to Montgomery, but she gained confidence from facing her fear and joining forces with so many, including whites whose concern amazed her after a childhood of segregation. Lowery's simple, chronological narrative opens and closes with lyrics of freedom songs. Appendices discuss voting rights and briefly profile people who died on or around "Bloody Sunday." Double-page spread color illustrations between chapters, smaller retro-style color pictures and black-and-white photographs set in generous white space will appeal even to reluctant readers. Vivid details and the immediacy of Lowery's voice make this a valuable primary document as well as a pleasure to read. (Memoir. 11-16)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780698151338
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
01/08/2015
Sold by:
Penguin Group
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
128
Sales rank:
355,102
Lexile:
780L (what's this?)
File size:
28 MB
Note:
This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher
• "Vivid details and the immediacy of Lowery's voice make this a valuable primary document as well as a pleasure to read."—Kirkus, starred review

• "One of those rare books that is geniunely accessible to a brad audience."—BCCB, starred review

• "This inspiring personal story illuminates pivotal events in America's history."—Booklist, starred review

 

Meet the Author

Lynda Blackmon Lowery, the youngest person to take part in the whole Selma to Montgomery March, now works as a case manager at a mental health center, and still lives in Selma, Alabama.

Elspeth Leacock and Susan Buckley have collaborated on several previous history and geography books for young people. Elspeth lives in Brooklyn, New York, and Susan lives in New York City.

P J Loughran is an illustrator, creative director, and musician. He lives in Chicago, Illinois.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the Selma Voting Rights March 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous 5 months ago