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March: Book One
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that March is a powerful look back at the early days of the civil rights movement in the American South. Both a history and a memoir of Congressman John Lewis' early life, this first of a planned trilogy emphasizes the power of nonviolent protest and shows how people can band together to effect social change. It contains some violence, including beatings by police and the murder of a 14-year-old boy, but these scenes are not graphic or lingered upon. Bigoted characters use the "N" word throughout the book, but there's no other objectionable language.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
MARCH follows real-life U.S. Representative John Lewis (D-Ga.) from his early days on his family's Alabama chicken farm, where he objected to the way his beloved birds were killed, through his education about the birth of the civil rights movement, up to his experiences as a nonviolent student protester. Much of this graphic novel focuses on the sit-ins at Nashville department-store lunch counters in 1960 and how they led to a confrontation on the steps of the town's city hall.
Is it any good?
March is a powerful testament to the courage and resourcefulness of those who fought and died for equal rights. By writing about his childhood and education, John Lewis, with the scripting assistance of Andrew Aydin, makes the tale personal, while offering glimpses of larger-than-life figures such as Martin Luther King, Jr.
Nate Powell's black-and-white artwork clearly illustrates the action and gives each character a mark of uniqueness. Highly recommended.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how the United States is different now compared with 50 years ago. How have attitudes about race changed over the course of those decades?
Is nonviolence more effective than other methods of protest? Why do you think Martin Luther King, Jr. told his followers to always be polite and to not fight back?
What role did religion play in the civil rights movement? What religious practices or beliefs foster social change?
- Authors: John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell
- Illustrator: Nate Powell
- Genre: History
- Topics: Friendship, Great Boy Role Models, History, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Non-Fiction
- Publisher: Top Shelf
- Publication date: August 13, 2013
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 12 - 17
- Number of pages: 128
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, iBooks, Kindle
- Awards: ALA Best and Notable Books, Coretta Scott King Medal and Honors
Themes & Topics
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For kids who love history and civil rights
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.