Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the Voting Rights March
Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the Voting Rights March

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Annotation: Shares the story of the youngest person to complete the Selma to Montgomery March, describing her frequent imprisonments for her participation in nonviolent demonstrations and how she felt about her involvement in Civil Rights events.
Genre: Biographies
Catalog Number: #128468
Format: Perma-Bound Edition
All Formats: Search
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Publisher: Penguin
Copyright Date: 2016
Edition Date: 2016
Pages: 144
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-14-751216-6 Perma-Bound: 0-605-95448-8
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-14-751216-1 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-95448-9
Dewey: 921
Language: English
School Library Journal
Gr 5 Up-One of the youngest participants in the 1965 voting rights march in Alabama, Lowery provides a moving first-person account of her experience. Through this thought-provoking volume, the picture of an incredibly courageous young woman emerges. Lowery effectively conveys the enormity of the injustices in her world and the danger that those she knew encountered daily. Lowery shows what people, including children, are capable of when they stand together. Readers will appreciate what the author endured, including being jailed nine times before she turned 15. Lowery includes many intricate details, such as what the marchers ate and where they slept. The illustrations are a mix of photographs and cartoonish drawings, which bring a graphic novel-like feel to this memoir. A concluding chapter explains the fight for voting rights and contains short biographies of those who died for the cause. This is an honest, powerful historical work, straight from the source. Heather Acerro, Rochester Public Library, MN
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* "By the time I was fifteen years old, I had been in jail nine times." So opens Lowery's account of growing up in Selma, Alabama, during the troubled 1960s, as the African American community struggled for voting rights. At 13, Lynda and other students began slipping out of school to participate in marches. At 14, she was first arrested. After many peaceful protests, Lynda and others marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge into a violent attack by state troopers and sheriffs' deputies on what became known as Bloody Sunday. Though beaten on the head, she returned two weeks later for the march from Selma to Montgomery d the Voting Rights Act was passed later that year. The plain-spoken language of this memoir makes it all the more moving, while Lowery's detail-rich memories of her community, their shared purpose, and her own experiences make it particularly accessible to young readers. Illustrations include archival photos and original artwork that uses line and color expressively. A concluding page comments that the Supreme Court recently struck down part of the Voting Rights Act, and notes that "who has the right to vote is still being decided today." This inspiring personal story illuminates pivotal events in America's history.
Voice of Youth Advocates
The appeal of this memoir is the vividly illustrated chapter openings and interspersed photographs from the civil rights movement, rather than an inspiring story of a girl on the verge of adulthood contributing to the cause. Lynda wants to be a part of the march in Selma for voting rights after seeing her community denied this through unfair tests and scare tactics. So she joins the march, becoming the youngest fighter for justice in this trek from Selma to Montgomery in Alabama. Her fight is not without fear, hurt, and imprisonment but she pushes through and feels vindicated when, in 1965, Congress passes the Voting Rights Act, taking the children's movement and making history.The abrupt chapters and relaxed account of the marches, jail, and resistance work to Leacock and Buckley's disadvantage in relaying the story to an audience in need of powerful stories about survival during a time of great upheaval in the south. Rather than arouse passion, the lack of context that a more developed narrative would provide leaves readers uninspired, save for the rallying call in the last chapter for all youth to change history if there is something to fight for. The memoir has its place on the shelf but not as a keystone text.Alicia Abdul.
Word Count: 8,856
Reading Level: 5.1
Interest Level: 7-12
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.1 / points: 1.0 / quiz: 171644 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:4.7 / points:7.0 / quiz:Q65458
Lexile: 780L
Guided Reading Level: X
Fountas & Pinnell: X

Excerpted from Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the Selma Voting Rights March by Lynda Blackmon Lowery
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

A memoir of the Civil Rights Movement from one of its youngest heroes--now in paperback will an all-new discussion guide.

As the youngest marcher in the 1965 voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Albama, Lynda Blackmon Lowery proved that young adults can be heroes. Jailed eleven times before her fifteenth birthday, Lowery fought alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. for the rights of African-Americans. In this memoir, she shows today's young readers what it means to fight nonviolently (even when the police are using violence, as in the Bloody Sunday protest) and how it felt to be part of changing American history.

Straightforward and inspiring, this beautifully illustrated memoir brings readers into the middle of the Civil Rights Movement, complementing Common Core classroom learning and bringing history alive for young readers.

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