John Lewis in the Lead

By Booklist

Born in a sharecropper family in the segregated South in 1940, John Lewis grew up to lead many protests for civil rights, and he has served in Congress for the last 20 years. In this handsome picture book for older readers, the authors blend information on Lewis’ political contributions with the history of the civil rights struggle. At 15, he protested because he was denied a library card; at 23, he was the youngest speaker in the 1963 March on Washington; and during the long struggle to register to vote, climaxing on Bloody Sunday, he was seriously injured. Andrews’ dramatic, folk-art-style, color-saturated illustrations combine handsome individual portraits of Lewis with overviews of the horrific street violence by mobs of police and troopers. Without sensationalizing, this shows the bravery of the activists and the difficult fight they faced. A time line, a selection of black-and-white photos and a bibliography are appended.