A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Run: Book One continues the comics biography of civil rights leader John Lewis. Set in the wake of the signing of the Voting Rights Act in 1965, the memoir focuses on differing opinions within the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), and how Lewis struggled with his fellow protestors. The book contains extensive notes and biographies of the civil rights movement.
Nonviolent protest can change public opinion and the law. By sticking together, young adults can effect great change.
Positive Role Models
John Lewis, an African American, put his life and freedom on the line many times by standing up to bigots and racists. He and fellow members of the multiracial SNCC fought against segregation when much of the United States was against them. Activists and protestors show they are willing to risk injury to stand up for equal rights, voting rights, and equal justice under the law.
Run depicts a tumultuous time after the signing of the Voting Rights Act. African Americans from all walks of life worked together to end segregation, along with allies of various races in the civil rights movement.
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Violence & Scariness
Black men and women are shown being shot, beaten, and terrorized. There lynchings and scenes of rioting.
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A handful of "damn" and "hell."
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Run: Book One continues the real-life story begun in the March trilogy, which chronicled the young life of civil rights leader John Lewis in graphic novel format. As this new series begins, the Voting Rights Act has just been passed, and Lewis thinks the hardest work is behind him. Lewis and co-author Andrew Aydin show what happened in its aftermath: riots in Los Angeles, power struggles within the SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee), and foreshadowing of Dr. Martin Luther King's ultimate fate. Some of the violent scenes are disturbing: Black men and women are shown being shot, beaten, terrorized. There are lynchings, and scenes of rioting. A tiny bit of swearing ("hell," "damn") fits the time and circumstances.
Is It Any Good?
Graphic novels can often strike right at the heart of a complex situation, and that's certainly the case with his hard-hitting memoir. Young John Lewis puts himself in the middle of history-making moments. In Run: Book One, Lewis and his collaborators tell a more subtle story, focusing on political maneuvering within the civil rights movement itself, and so may not hold the attention of younger readers. As the United States barrels toward the upheavals of 1968 and onward, Run shows Lewis at a crucial turning point, personally and professionally. Students of dramatic history will not want to miss this installment of an impassioned and important memoir.
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Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.