Because of You, John Lewis

Scholastic. Jun. 2022. 40p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781338759082.
Gr 1-5–Ten-year-old Tybre Faw wished to meet his hero Congressman John Lewis and shake his hand. Tybre Faw knew just about everything about Lewis, who championed voter’s rights. When he was younger, Lewis would preach sermons to the chickens on his family’s farm. Young John Lewis was as inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., just as Tybre Faw was inspired by Lewis. On a Sunday in 1965, peaceful protesters marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge for the right to vote, but sadly, before they were able to cross it, they were violently attacked and beaten by racists. Brown’s illustrations accurately portray details of the attack and the subsequent injuries may seem upsetting to some readers. After reading so much about Lewis, Tybre Faw convinced his grandmothers to take a road trip from Johnson City, TN, to Selma, AL, where John Lewis made a once-a-year memorial march. He met John, shook his hand, and was even invited to walk by his side across the bridge. This book celebrates heroes and the uncanny ripple effect of being inspired by them. Carrying on the legacies of King and Lewis, Tybre Faw marched for causes he believed in such as school safety, human rights, and immigrant equality. This acts as a helpful reminder to kids that they’re never too young to fight for what they believe in. The watercolor illustrations are a vivid and dramatic complement to this story of friendship, courage, and effecting change. Back matter includes a time line, photos, resources, and more.
VERDICT This inspirational tale about friendship, courage, and good trouble is an essential purchase for all collections.

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