Review Detail

Young Adult Nonfiction 99
First You March, Then You Run
(Updated: December 11, 2021)
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Learning Value
What worked: Powerful recollections of Congressman John Lewis and his role in the civil rights movement. What I loved was how readers see what happened after President Johnson signed The Voter Rights Act in 1965 and how hard it still was for all, mostly Black Americans, to exercise their rights to vote. Readers also see how some continued to resist and did everything they could to quell all from voting. Lewis's story is one filled with courage, bravery, loss, and ultimately redemption.

The story is complex. Readers see that there was diversion within SNCC, that not all believed in non-violent approach to protest. Lewis gave all he had to SNCC and when he was ousted, he struggled with what to do next. At the back of the novel is a list of key figures during this time. Lewis lived his whole life pursuing voter rights for all. His message is one of not giving up and continuing the fight.

I loved the illustrations and strongly feel this graphic novel should be included in high school curriculums for discussion on civil rights and also equal access to vote for all. The timing of this series is perfect for what our country is dealing with after the Supreme Court's 2013 repeal of The Voter Rights Act. History is repeating itself again. Only when we know the past are we able to not repeat it.

Strong portrayal of not only a tumultuous time in our country's history, but the journey of Congressman John Lewis and his persistence to not give up even those around him continued to push back on letting all exercise their right to vote.
Good Points
1. Powerful description of the early 1960s and The Voter Right Act
2. Mostly though Congressman John Lewis's story
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