Dad of Divas' Reviews: Book Review - Lillian's Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Book Review - Lillian's Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965

Lillian's Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965

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About the Book
En route to vote, an elderly African American woman remembers her family’s voting history in the picture book LILLIAN’S RIGHT TO VOTE (Schwartz & Wade Books | On sale July 14, 2015 | Ages 5–9) by critically acclaimed author Jonah Winter and illustrated by Coretta Scott King Illustrator Award winner Shane W. Evans, which publishes in time for the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Full of mixed-media illustrations with bright colors and aged historical images, along with lyrical text, LILLIAN’S RIGHT TO VOTE brings to life the struggle of African Americans to get the right to vote.

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-grandparents voting for the first time. She sees her parents try to register to vote. And she sees herself marching in a protest from Selma to Montgomery.

About the Authors
JONAH WINTER is the award-winning author of 30 nonfiction picture books, including New York Times Best Illustrated books Diego and Here Comes the Garbage Barge!, New York Timesbestselling Barack, and New York Times Editors’ Choice You Never Heard of Willie Mays?! . His most recent books include The Founding Fathers!, illustrated by New Yorker cover artist Barry Blitt, and How Jelly Roll Morton Invented Jazz. Mr. Winter divides his time between Santa Fe and a small town in Pennsylvania. Visit him online at

SHANE W. EVANS is the author and illustrator of numerous books for children, including We March and

Underground: Finding the Light to Freedom, which received the Coretta Scott King Illustration Award. He has illustrated more than thirty picture books, including Osceola: Memories of a Sharecropper’s Daughter by Alan Govenar, winner of the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award for Nonfiction. Evans lives in Kansas City, Missouri, where he runs Dream Studio, a community art space. Visit him online at

My Take on the Book
This was a powerful book that really places the history of the United States in the limelight and allows young readers to gain a context for the inequality that was pervasive within the country before the passing of this bill. It also shows the long road that Lillian and others had to follow to finally receive he right to vote and become full-fledged Americans. The book is filled with great detail and does not hold back in describing some of the hardships and challenges that people had to overcome to surpass these barriers. The book is honest and open, yet is still appropriate for your readers and it opens up a dialogue for parents to talk with their kids about this part of the United States' history.

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