Cover image for Lillian's right to vote : a celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965
Title:
Lillian's right to vote : a celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965
ISBN:
9780385390286

9780385390293
Edition:
First edition.
Physical Description:
32 unnumbered pages : color illustrations ; 29 cm
Reading Level:
AD 1030 L Lexile
Added Author:
Summary:
As an elderly woman, Lillian recalls that her great-great-grandparents were sold as slaves in front of a courthouse where only rich white men were allowed to vote, then the long fight that led to her right--and determination--to cast her ballot since the Voting Rights Act gave every American the right to vote.
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Summary

Summary

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.


Author Notes

Children's author and illustrator Jonah Winter was born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1962. He has created many popular books, including works about baseball and biographies of famous individuals including Frida Kahlo, Roberto Clemente, and Barack Obama.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 5

Publisher's Weekly Review

Winter (How Jelly Roll Morton Invented Jazz) introduces an elderly African-American woman whose walk up a steep hill to cast her ballot doubles as a metaphor for the struggle for voting rights. En route, miragelike figures from the past appear in the background, including Lillian's great-great-grandparents, shown in shackles at a slave auction. She remembers moments of progress and protest as she walks, such as the passing of the Fifteenth Amendment and the march from Selma to Montgomery, and she also hears echoes of her uncle describing the impossible literacy test questions he was forced to answer at the polls. Winter's prose has a lofty, oratorical quality ("As long as Lillian still has a pulse, she is going to vote-and so she keeps on climbing"), skillfully blending Lillian's individual path to the voting booth with the historical context that made it possible. Evans (28 Days) is equally adept at balancing the political and the personal, giving Lillian a stateliness and evident inner strength. A valuable introduction to and overview of the civil rights movement. Ages 5-9. Illustrator's agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Horn Book Review

On the opening (endpaper) double-page spread, centenarian Lillian stands at the base of a hill that leads to her polling place. She takes small, slow, determined steps up, all the while contemplating the metaphorical steps taken by her predecessors that afforded her the right to vote today. In her minds eye she sees her great-great-grandparents Elijah and Sarahstanding side by side on an auction block; her great-grandpa Edmundforced to pick cotton from daybreak to nightfallright here in this country where it is written that all men are created equal; the cross burning on the lawn of her girlhood home, set aflamejust because her parents want to vote. Winter weaves a good amount of African American history and civil rights information throughout his earnest tale of one familys tragedies and triumphs: Though her feet and legs ache with one hundred years of walking, what fuels her ancient body is seeing those six hundred people beginning a peaceful protest march from Selma to Montgomerypeople who, though they dont know it yet, will be stopped on a bridge in Selma by policemen with clubs. Evanss distinctive angular, textured mixed-media illustrations spotlight Lillians family members and the tales historical eras; purple-clad Lillian also appears in every scene, moving steadily onward and upward in order to claim her own place in history. An appended authors note tells more about the Voting Rights Act of 1965 then and now. Pair this with Bandy, Stein, and Ransomes Granddaddys Turn (rev. 7/15). elissa gershowitz (c) Copyright 2015. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Booklist Review

*Starred Review* An elderly woman stands at the bottom of a steep hill, determined to walk to the top to cast her vote. As she climbs she recalls significant people and events that have led her to this day: her great-great-grandparents being sold at a slave auction, her great-grandpa picking cotton, her uncle failing unfair voting registration tests, her parents being deterred from the polls, cross burnings, civil rights marches, and, finally, the signing of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Evans' mixed-media illustrations both complement and extend Winter's poignant text. The use of full-bleed color spotlights Lillian and contemporary events, while memories are depicted in a muted, less finished style. Readers will also note how the sun signals the passage of time, as the story moves from dawn to moonlit night. An afterword details the story's inspiration African American Lillian Allen, who voted in 2008 at age 100 and notes how the 1965 Voting Rights Act has been diminished by a 2013 Supreme Court decision. Simple yet powerful, Lillian's narrative transforms a complex topic into an affecting story suitable for a younger audience, making it a perfect introduction to voting and civil rights. An important book that will give you goose bumps.--Weisman, Kay Copyright 2015 Booklist


School Library Journal Review

Gr 1-4-Lillian may be old, but it's Voting Day, and she's going to vote. As she climbs the hill (both metaphorical and literal) to the courthouse, she sees her family's history and the history of the fight for voting rights unfold before her, from her great-great-grandparents being sold as slaves to the three marches across Selma's famous bridge. Winter writes in a well-pitched, oral language style ("my, but that hill is steep"), and the vocabulary, sentence structure, and font make the book well-suited both for independent reading and for sharing aloud. The illustrations, though, are what truly distinguish this offering. Lillian is portrayed in resolute left-to-right motion, and her present-day, bright red dress contrasts with the faded greens, blues, and grays of the past, sometimes in a direct overlay. A bright yellow sun, which readers may recognize from Evans's illustrations in Charles R. Smith Jr.'s 28 Days: Moments in Black History That Changed the World (Roaring Brook, 2015), symbolizes hope as it travels across the sky. The story concludes on an emphatic note, with a close-up of Lillian's hand on the ballot lever. An author's note provides historical context, including information about the woman who inspired Lillian (Lillian Allen, who in 2008 at age 100 voted for Barack Obama), and ends by reminding readers that protecting voting rights is still an ongoing issue. VERDICT A powerful historical picture book.-Jill Ratzan, I. L. Peretz Community Jewish School, Somerset, NJ © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Kirkus Review

In a book commemorating the Voting Rights Act of 1965, readers are introduced to 100-year-old black Alabaman Lillian, who recalls her long-delayed journey to exercise her American right to vote 50 years ago. As Lillian climbs the "very steep hill" to the courthouse to vote, she reminisces about the struggles that African-Americans faced and overcame on the way to the passage of the historic law that dismantled the widespread exclusionary practices that African-Americans encountered to that point and guaranteed their right to vote. She's reminded of the legacy of slavery that her great-grandparents Edmund and Ida survived and of the 19th Amendment, which allowed women to vote, yet angry mobs of white locals forced her parents to back away, holding little Lillian by the hand. She pauses to recall the actions in Selma, 1965. She arrives at the voting booth and presses the lever. In Evans' mixed-media illustrations, a stooped Lillian makes her slow way up the hill as the tableaux of history play out on the page. She is dressed in vibrant colors, contrasting with the faded, translucent historical images. A burning cross figures in one powerful spread; another joins 100-year-old Lillian to her 50-years-younger self at the gutter, emphasizing her determination to claim her rights. A much-needed picture book that will enlighten a new generation about battles won and a timely call to uphold these victories in the present. (author's note) (Picture book. 4-8) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.