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The powerful poems in this poignant collection weave together multiple voices to tell the story of the March on Washington, DC, in 1963.
From the woman singing through a terrifying bus ride to DC, to the teenager who came partly because his father told him, "Don't you dare go to that march," to the young child riding above the crowd on her father's shoulders, each voice brings a unique perspective to this tale. As the characters tell their personal stories of this historic day, their chorus plunges readers into the experience of being at the march—walking shoulder-to-shoulder with strangers, hearing Martin Luther King Jr.'s famous speech, heading home inspired.
About the Author
J. Patrick Lewis is the 2011 winner of the NCTE Award for Excellence in Poetry for Children and is BMP's third Children's Poet Laureate. He has written more than sixty books for children and adults, including Face Bug (which is on the Texas Library Association's Bluebonnet Award master list); If You Were a Chocolate Mustache; Spot the Plot: A Riddle Book of Book Riddles; and Please Bury Me in the Library. He lives in Westerville, Ohio. jpatricklewis.com.
George Ella Lyon is the author of 45 books, ranging from poetry for children such as All the Water in the World (an ALA Notable book) to picture books such as The Pirate of Kindergarten to young adult novels such as her recent Holding On to Zoe to fiction and poetry for adults. In fall 2014, she has one picture book scheduled: What the Forest Knows (illustrated by August Hall, Atheneum). She lives in Lexington, Kentucky. georgeellalyon.com.
* "Lewis and Lyon join forces for a fictionalized account of one of the pivotal moments in US civil rights history. . . Through over 70 largely first-person poems, the poets rekindle the spirit of the fight for racial equality in the United States with imagined voices of young and old, black and white, educated and underprivileged, supporters and detractors and drive home the volume's theme of taking personal responsibility in helping this country 'steer toward justice together.' . . . A powerful yet accessible guide to 'one day in 1963 [that] [b]elongs to every age.'" -Kirkus Reviews, starred review
* "Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. called it 'the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.' . . . Now poets J. Patrick Lewis and George Ella Lyon have written their own chapter in this collection of original poems that examine and celebrate the occasion and its aftermath in a variety of voices both real and imagined . . . From an perspective, however, the march was history in the making and this collection is a fitting memorial to it." -Booklist, starred review
"In this collection of 70 short poems, Lewis and Lyon introduce the 1963 March on Washington through the perspectives of those who took part. . . This well-crafted introduction to the Civil Rights era deserves a wide audience, as these poems, with their plain-spoken, honest emotions, offer insight into the past, and inspiration to continue the struggle." -School Library Journal