The “informative, resounding,” (Booklist, starred review), and “inspiring” (The Horn Book, starred review) story of a groundbreaking civil rights leader, John Lewis, comes to life in this compelling and beautifully told nonfiction picture book by the award-winning team Lesa Cline-Ransome and James E. Ransome.
John Lewis left a cotton farm in Alabama to join the fight for civil rights when he was only a teenager. He soon became a leader of a movement that changed the nation. Walking at the side of his mentor, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Lewis was led by his belief in peaceful action and voting rights. Today and always his work and legacy live on.
Lesa Cline-Ransome is the author of numerous nonfiction and historical fiction titles for picture book, chapter book, middle grade, and young adult readers including Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams and The Power of Her Pen: The Story of Groundbreaking Journalist Ethel L. Payne. Her verse biography of Harriet Tubman, Before She Was Harriet was nominated for an NAACP Image Award and received a Jane Addams Children’s Book Honor, Christopher Award, and Coretta Scott King Honor for Illustration. Her debut middle grade novel, Finding Langston, won the Scott O’Dell Award for Historical Fiction and received the Coretta Scott King Award Author Honor. She lives in the Hudson Valley region of New York with her husband and frequent collaborator, James Ransome, and their family. Visit her at LesaClineRansome.com.
James E. Ransome’s highly acclaimed illustrations for Before She Was Harriet received the 2018 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor. His other award-winning titles include the Coretta Scott King winner The Creation; Coretta Scott King Honor Book Uncle Jed’s Barbershop; Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt; and Let My People Go, winner of the NAACP Image Award. James is also a recipient of the ALA Children’s Literature Legacy Award. He frequently collaborates with his wife, author Lesa Cline-Ransome, and their books include Game Changers: The Story of Venus and Serena Williams and Fighting with Love: The Legacy of John Lewis. James is a professor and coordinator of the MFA Illustration Graduate Program at Syracuse University. He lives in New York’s Hudson River Valley region with his family. Visit James at JamesRansome.com.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books (January 9, 2024)
*"Ransome’s distinctive illustrations, created with a combination of found, printed, and purchased paper with pencil drawings, perfectly match Cline-Ransome’s telling and dramatically radiate the magnitude of Lewis’s influence."
– The Horn Book, (starred review)
*"The creators offer a thoroughly contextualized account of the racial segregation Lewis experienced, his work in nonviolent resistance at the Nashville chapter of the NAACP, his involvement with the Freedom Riders, and his famously standing “for everyone who needed someone to stand up for what was right."
– Publishers Weekly, (starred review)
*"An informative, resonating entry point to learn about Lewis and his continuing impact. "
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More books from this author: Lesa Cline-Ransome
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