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Granddaddy's Turn: A Journey to the Ballot…
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Granddaddy's Turn: A Journey to the Ballot Box

by Michael S. Bandy

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I really enjoyed this book for several reasons such as the illustrations and the message behind this story. I also like last page gives some information about the time back then when African Americans couldn’t vote. This will help readers better understand why they couldn’t vote back in those times. The illustrations show what African Americans had to do back then such as hard labor and how they were treated. For example, the illustration on one page shows the boy and his grandfather working when the sun came up and the next page shows the grandfather working hard but the illustrations also show them having fun such as fishing. The text help describes what is going on in the illustrations. the last page gives some helpful information on the time period of 1950 and 1960, saying that the civil rights movement helped dismantle the walls of racial segregation in the United States brick by brick. The last vestige of resistance in this struggle was voting rights. I really enjoyed this story because the boy in this story goes with his grandfather when he goes to vote and takes a picture of him with the ballot but when they got there they wouldn’t let him vote because he couldn’t read. The grandfather had passed away before laws allowed African Americans to vote. So, when it came to the boys turn to vote he took the picture with him and voted with the picture of his grandfather in his hand saying it was the grandfathers turn to vote. The message of this story is that even though someone isn’t with us, we can still have them in our hearts and our memories and be able to carry that with us when we get to do new things. ( )
  kmassa3 | Mar 12, 2017 |
This true-life story shares one boy's perspective as he accompanies his granddaddy to the voting booths for the first time. Through this beautifully illustrated book we learn about life in the segregated south and very quickly become emotionally invested in this boy's experience with his granddaddy. I will read this with my students of all grades, K-5. ( )
  Tessa.Johnson | Feb 4, 2017 |
Michael grew up with his grandparents and learned a lot from his grandfather. How to tend a farm, fish, but mostly, it was patience. Patience will always get you whats coming to you, but not always at the time you hope for. This is a powerful piece of literature that literally had me tearing up and would be and important staple in a classroom during a history lesson on civil rights era where desegregation was prominent. ( )
  rparks | Aug 25, 2016 |
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This was a historical true story, written from the perspective of the author as a young boy, at a time when civil rights had just granted African Americans the right to vote for the first time in the segregated South. I think this is a great classroom book, because it's important to be aware of cultural issues and remember historical events for future reference. It's important to learn about and try to understand the experiences of other people and cultures in order to broaden and reinforce concepts of humanity and equality.
  kitsunek8 | Mar 18, 2016 |
The writing team that gave us the book White Water about segregation in the Jim Crow era in the South returns with a look at voting rights in that era in this book subtitled: “A Journey to the Ballot Box.”

As the authors contend in an Afterword, voting rights were “the last vestige of resistance” in the struggle for civil rights for African Americans. Thus, “politically sanctioned nullification of voter rights was commonplace in Alabama and many other southern states.” [The authors aver that the worst of tactics to deter “undesirable” voters ended with the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act. Alas, they do not add that on June 25, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a key provision of the Voting Rights Act in its ruling on the voting rights case Shelby County v. Holder, with the Court removing a critical tool to combat racial discrimination in voting. Immediately afterwards, southern states implemented new restrictive laws that were previously blocked. You can read more about how Shelby County v. Holder has adversely affected voting patterns here.]

But this story at least gives you a view of what black citizens endured before the 1965 federal legislation.

A little boy named Michael, who is narrating, lives and works on a farm with his grandparents.

One morning Granddaddy got all dressed up and took the boy with him for a special occasion: the grandfather intended to vote for the first time.

The grandfather was prevented from voting however when he could not pass a literacy test; the white deputy overseeing the voting tore up the grandfather’s ballot and threw it on the ground.

The boy’s grandfather died before he ever got a chance to vote. But the grandson vowed to vote for him one day. In 1976 he got his chance, and as he put his ballot in the box, he smiled and said to himself:

“Now it’s Granddaddy’s turn.”

The grandfather’s patience, dignity, and optimism are contrasted with the cruelty and contempt of the whites not only in words, but also by virtue of the nuanced watercolors by talented illustrator James E. Ransome. Ransome's use of warm tones ably convey the love and warmth this family shares, with facial expressions that speak volumes. Ransome is also known for the amount of research he puts into his historical depictions, and once again does not disappoint in his evocation of this time period.

Evaluation: This is a very touching and inspirational story. It was marred for me only by the fact that the “happy ending” of the book no longer fully obtains in real life. ( )
  nbmars | Feb 14, 2016 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0763665932, Hardcover)

Based on the true story of one family’s struggle for voting rights in the civil rights–era South, this moving tale shines an emotional spotlight on a dark facet of U.S. history.

Life on the farm with Granddaddy is full of hard work, but despite all the chores, Granddaddy always makes time for play, especially fishing trips. Even when there isn’t a bite to catch, he reminds young Michael that it takes patience to get what’s coming to you. One morning, when Granddaddy heads into town in his fancy suit, Michael knows that something very special must be happening?—?and sure enough, everyone is lined up at the town hall! For the very first time, Granddaddy is allowed to vote, and he couldn’t be more proud. But can Michael be patient when it seems that justice just can’t come soon enough? This powerful and touching true-life story shares one boy’s perspective of growing up in the segregated South, while beautiful illustrations depict the rural setting in tender detail.

(retrieved from Amazon Wed, 29 Jul 2015 15:12:09 -0400)

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