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John Lewis in the Lead: A Story of the Civil…
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John Lewis in the Lead: A Story of the Civil Rights Movement

by Jim Haskins

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I never knew about John Lewis until I read this book, and I thought his story was very moving and inspirational. However, the bios of Jim Haskins and Kathleen Benson only mention that they have published numerous books and won a variety of awards. I would have liked these bios to include some information about their publications and list a few of the titles that they won awards for. Also, the book is organized in chronological fashion. It begins with John Lewis' childhood and ends when it discusses his election to the United States House of Representatives. It also includes an outline of his life at the end of the text, which I thought added an extra element of realism to this title because it features pictures of John Lewis throughout his life. Moreover, the tone and style of this book almost mimics poetry even though it is non fiction. I thought the line breaks in between passages like the other marchers at the front of the group took blows too, Those behind/
them turned to go back, but there were so many people on the bridge it was/ hard to move almost mimicked the rhythm of a gospel song that sang about struggles of John Lewis and other Civil rights activists. Lastly, I thought that the dramatic folk art illustrations of Benny Andrews were very beautiful and captured the pain, struggle, and triumph of John Lewis and Civil Rights protesters through their colorful figures, lines, and strange ethereal mask like faces and figures. ( )
  Ls54321 | Mar 2, 2016 |
I didn't like this one very much. The story is good, and, obviously, it speaks to an important figure in the Civil Right movement. However, for a picture book, it's ugly. I have seen other work by artist Benny Andrews, and it has all been pretty fantastic. His work in this children's book, on the other hand, seems rushed and... mushy, perhaps... With a few exceptions, all of the illustrations seem unclear and unfinished. This observation likely has more to do with my personal taste, but this is my review. Add to this strange artwork the fact that all of the text is formatted in an uninteresting font with enough total negative space throughout the book to fit a small vehicle, and you have a recipe for a visually jarring experience. I have seldom disliked a book so much for purely visual reasons. The audience for this book is likely late elementary school, as it is so full of text (as opposed to being less wordy for a younger audience); so I wouldn't have a real reason to include it in my class library. I wouldn't be very likely to suggest it to another teacher, either, and I would probably suggest they find another book about John Lewis. ( )
  jrnewman | Apr 28, 2015 |
John Lewis is a non-violent civil rights leader. He believed everyone should come together and be equal. He was inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and they would become close friends fighting for the same cause. John was attacked, arrested, and threatened, but he never gave up. I would talk about this book with my future students to prove if you work hard and believe in something anything is possible. Also, for the children to know that change is not easy, but it can be achieved by anyone. ( )
  SadieCooney | Apr 22, 2015 |
Coming up in a time where, in the South, being black was treated like being subhuman, John Lewis persevered through all sorts of violent, racist attacks to help secure rights for black people. Living through poverty, racism, segregation, and violence, he teamed up with many civil rights activists (famous, politicians, and citizens (including Dr. MLK)) to make sure that all Americans could safely have the right to vote. He nows serves as a representative for the state of Georgia.

I cannot imagine living through such horrific events and still remaining as persistent and courageous as he, and many others, did. It just goes to show of what the human spirit is capable.
This could be used to encourage students to fight for what is right. It is a great tool for showing them how far we have come, but also how far we need to go. ( )
  AdrienneWood | Sep 1, 2013 |
This is the story of a civil rights leader whom I had never known. The book depicts his struggle to overcome the injustice that African Americans were living in America. He fought for civil rights along side of Martin Luther King, Jr. The author includes a wonderful timeline at the end of the book. The best part of the timeline is the black and white photos. They give readers a look at the actual people who were depicted in the story. Teaching ideas included a civil rights unit, a social studies 4-6 grade class. ( )
  lalfonso | Jan 19, 2013 |
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"A biography of John Lewis, Georgia Congressman and one of the 'Big Six' civil rights leaders of the 1960s, focusing on his youth and culminating in the voter registration drives that sparked 'Bloody Sunday,' as hundreds of people walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. Includes a note by Congressman Lewis and a timeline"--Provided by publisher.… (more)

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Lee & Low Books

2 editions of this book were published by Lee & Low Books.

Editions: 158430250X, 1600608493

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