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The Voice That Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights
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The Voice That Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights

3.94  ·  Rating Details ·  902 Ratings  ·  144 Reviews
Signed by Russell Freedman.
Satisfaction guaranteed.
Hardcover, 114 pages
Published May 25th 2004 by Clarion Books
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Littlefoot Peco
"You lose a lot of time, hating people." - Marian Anderson

Freedman has compiled a truly eye-opening book about a fabulous human being. It's no surprise he won the Newbery Honor, given that he'd already earned two Newbery distinctions prior to this book, with photobiographies about Abraham Lincoln and the Wright Brothers. Here, Mr. Freedman uses the same formula that has brought him success in the past, and to my delight it still works well.

I was aware of Marian Anderson but didn't think much abo
James Govednik
Nov 03, 2009 James Govednik rated it really liked it
(Audio CD). This is an amazing story, and a thorough biography of a remarkable woman. For high school readers, the level of detail covers every aspect of Marian Anderson's life from childhood to retirement. The details of contemporary society, politics and culture fill out the picture. For musicians, especially singers, the musical detail is also thorough. I recomend this highly for all readers interested in the advancement of civil rights. The audio CD is not very strong, but after listening to ...more
Mar 17, 2010 Carolyn rated it it was amazing
I love stories of people who overcome frustrations and challenges that stand in their way on the path to accomplishing their dreams and ambitions. I am even more impressed by those who are able to overcome hardships and achieve success and yet are humble, kind, and outward focused despite the accolades they receive for their endurance.

Such a person was Marian Anderson, a famous "vocalist who had been applauded by European royalty, welcomed at the White House, and adored by appreciative listener
Alexsandy Jimenez
Jan 19, 2015 Alexsandy Jimenez rated it really liked it
Marian Anderson biography is told through this book The Voice that Challenged A Nation. Besides this it intertwines with the fight for equal rights. Marian Anderson’s passion was to sing, she was a very talented singer as well, but because of her race she was held back from singing in certain places.
This is a great book to introduce students of a person that played a role during the civil rights movement. This book contains pictures of Marian, during her accomplishments and of great moments she
May 29, 2008 Jessica rated it it was amazing
Shelves: award-winners
This is an excellent biography of Marian Anderson, a phenomenal singer who sadly is not heard about much these days. She had a range any singer would kill for, and a career that matched it. I find the title of this book odd, because Marian really wasn't concerned with civil rights. She mostly just wanted to sing. She became a figurehead for the civil rights movement, however, when she was banned from singing at Carnegie Hall (I think?), and ended up singing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial a ...more
Mar 24, 2013 Nova rated it really liked it
Shelves: newbery
I think it's a good possibility I'm the only person who has Ever read my library's copy of this book. Are there kids who actually enjoy books like this? I will say that I loved it. It was beautifully written, moving, and now I feel like I've met Marian Anderson. What a beautiful soul, and a wonderful voice.
Nov 23, 2015 Nayira rated it liked it
Excellent story.
Lynette Caulkins
This is a sweet biography about a remarkable woman who sang her way into the hearts of people around the world and helped to move U.S. culture forward out of blatant discrimination. I am surprised that I was not formerly aware of Marian Anderson, considering her world-wide acclaim. I have a masters in History, and didn't know about her?? That's insane.

Freedman's writing is easy to read, and the many photographs serve both to lighten the material and to enhance the awareness that this woman was
Mary Joy
Dec 15, 2016 Mary Joy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reading-635
I love Russell Freedman's style of writing. He makes nonfiction reading very enjoyable as well as informational. I love that the chapters are short, not overwhelming with meaningless and contextless facts. I also like how he includes so many pictures throughout the book to keep the reader engaged.
Nicole Lamb
Oct 29, 2012 Nicole Lamb rated it really liked it
Junior Book Critique #9

The Voice that Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights
By: Russell Freedman

1. Junior Book Genre: Biography

2. Brief Summary: Russell Freedman tells the heartwarming story of Marian Anderson, a brilliant songstress whose success in Europe during the 1920s and 1930s made her strive to achieve the same success in the United States. As an African American singer during the struggle of the Civil Rights Movement Marian Anderson broke a number of raci
Laura Hoyler
Oct 08, 2016 Laura Hoyler rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It was the perfect mix of Marian's personal, professional, and social justice life. I had heard about Marian Anderson in a short little nin fiction piece years ago, and I was excited to learn more about her!
Dec 28, 2009 Josiah rated it liked it
As much as I've learned about black history from years of studying it every February in school, I was not familiar with the name Marian Anderson before reading this book. Now, I'm so glad to have finally found out about her life!

The Voice That Challenged a Nation isn't really a biography in the traditional sense. Instead, author Russell Freedman has used the life story of opera contralto singer Marian Anderson as a springboard to delve into the civil rights issues of the 1920s, '30s, and '40s,
I found this book on Goodreads on my recommendations page. I had honestly never even heard of Marian Anderson before I read this. This is an excellent informational text for young adults. It is a quick read and has numerous pictures that bring the topic to life.

I was very impressed by Marian Anderson! She had a work ethic and character that I wish was more common place in America today. Anderson’s song repertoire included over 200 songs and arias in German, Italian, English, French, Spanish, Po
Sep 02, 2012 Caitlin rated it it was ok
Citation: The Voice that Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights, by Russell Freedman. (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 2004). 92p. Biography.

Summary: Marian Anderson was a gifted African American contralto born at the turn of the 20th Century who gained her professional recognition during the 1920’s and 1930’s. Despite her worldwide fame, she was still forced to undergo the indignities of the Jim Crow laws in the South, and was turned away from some
Apr 08, 2009 Josie rated it really liked it
Voice that Challenged A Nation: Maria Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights
By Russell Freedman
Published by Clarion Books, New York
Non Fiction: Biography

Freedman writes a wonderful biography of Marian Anderson and her how her rise as an international performer correlated with events in the civil rights movement. The book begins by setting the scene of Anderson's 1939 Easter Sunday performance at the Lincoln Memorial. It is a wonderful way to begin a biography, knowing that the subject wi
Nov 07, 2013 Cristina rated it it was amazing
Shelves: libs-642, non-fiction
Assignment: Junior Book Log
Category: Informational
Recommending Source: Sibert Medal 2005

Review: Marian Anderson had always loved to sing. Despite coming from a poor family in which she had to help support, she never gave up her dream of obtaining a singing career. She sang with her church choir and they always worked to support her and her endeavors. Marian sang at social events to raise money to follow her dream, started to train and control her voice through vocal classes, and through it all,
Jun 11, 2012 Betty-Ann rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography
I am not a non-fiction fan but I thoroughly enjoyed the story of Marion Anderson. I had read the shorter biography of her called When Marian Sang by Pam M. Ryan and found her story to be so inspirational so I picked up this older title to learn more about this fascinating woman.
Marian Anderson was born in 1897 and grew up singing everywhere she could: at school, at church, in public. Growing up in America during the 1920s and 1930s, she encountered many incidents of racism as she had to cope wi
I had heard of Marian Anderson before, but never had the opportunity to read a biography of the singer. I had also heard that Russell Freedman books were quite good, not only because he had won so many awards but because his books are well-researched and on interesting topics, so I was excited that he had written this book. It had won a 2005 Newbery Honor award, as well as the Sibert Medal for that year (which honors great nonfiction books for children). It was a very personal biography of a fas ...more
Dec 21, 2008 Ashley rated it really liked it
Originally reviewed on my blog, Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing.

The Voice that Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights by Russell Freedman is an in depth look at the life and career of Marian Anderson, and what impact her career had on the 1960s Civil Rights movement.

Before picking this book up, I didn't really know who Marian Anderson was. The name sounded vaguely familiar, but I couldn't have told you who she was. When I think of the Civil Rights movement, I
Nov 06, 2013 Heather rated it it was amazing
Marian Anderson endured many struggles in her life growing up as a vocalist. From a young age Marian and her family became very involved in their church and she even became a member of the church junior choir at the age of six. From an early age Marian enjoyed singing and the members of the congregation loved to hear her sing. When Marian was in high school her principal recognized her beautiful voice and arranged for her to have an audition with Guiseppe Boghetti, a famous voice coach. A few ye ...more
Amy Robertson
Sep 23, 2016 Amy Robertson rated it really liked it
Recommended to Amy by: Newbery list
I love reading Russell Freedman's biographies for children. They are concise and always well written. In a brief period I became familiar with a brave, dignified woman I had never heard of and her influence and impact on our nation.
(This book was read as part of my Newbery Award project; it was an Honor Book in 2005.)

I must confess at the outset that I am not much of a biography reader, although I do make exceptions if the subject is especially interesting to me. Marian Anderson was very famous in my childhood and I still like to listen to her recordings. It seemed incredible to me that Russell Freedman, the author of this Newbery Honor Book, had not always known the story of Anderson's concert at the Lincoln Memorial in 1
Monica DeBlieck
Nov 02, 2010 Monica DeBlieck rated it liked it
This was a better read than I expected it to be! I didn't know who Marian Anderson was before I read this book. It was very informative without being boring and difficult to read. The order of facts and information was appropriately organized in a way that I could really understand the events of her life. Marian Anderson overcame so many struggles and fought for equality throughout her life. She made a real difference in the lives of African Americans, especially, because she gave them hope that ...more
Sep 12, 2010 Kristen rated it liked it
I thought “The Voice that Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights” was a very interesting and informative book. This book is a biography of Marian Anderson, who was a known vocal artist America and Europe during the 1920s and 1930s. As an African American, Marian faced many challenges, throughout the challenges, though, she was supported by a very prominent woman of the time: Eleanor Roosevelt. In order to take a stand against the controversy about her race, Marian ...more
Joan Innes
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 10, 2014 Amanda rated it liked it
Marian Anderson was a famous singer who was born in 1897; Freedman details her ascent in his biography that details her life from childhood to her death in 1993. Much of the biography centers around Anderson’s famous and social-scene altering concert at the Lincoln Memorial on Easter Sunday, April 9, 1939, a triumph of sorts for equal rights at the time.[return][return]Anderson always had a special talent for singing, and yet she struggled to find the funds for tutoring/schooling. Her church sup ...more
Nov 10, 2010 Derek rated it really liked it
Before reading this biography about Marian Anderson I didn't know exactly who she was. I knew that she was an African American and was a part in the civil rights movement. However, I didn't know what she did to help African Americans. After reading this book I would definitely use it in a social studies class because if I didn't know what Anderson did in the civil rights movement I would assume that most of my students also wouldn't know. When civil rights is being taught in a classroom the focu ...more
Nov 10, 2010 Rachel rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the book The Voice that Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights. I really enjoyed this book most in part because I enjoyed as leisure read but it also contains great details that could be shared in a classroom. The characteristics in this book could be used in a literature class as well as in a Social Studies class. In literature class this book would serve as a great example e of a biography novel. This book contains real information pertaining to ...more
Hillary Forrest
Dec 06, 2013 Hillary Forrest rated it it was amazing
Shelves: libs-642
I selected this book, The Voice That Challenged A Nation: Marian Anderson And The Struggle For Equal Rights by Russell Freedman, as one of my informational book selections. This particular non-fiction book was one of the 2005 Jefferson Cup Honor Books. I was immediately attracted to this book because of the personal connection I had to the fact she was a female who fought for her own rights but also her determination to conquer equal rights as an African-American woman.

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Russell Freedman is the award-winning author of 47 books, some of which have been translated into a diverse number of languages, including Japanese, Korean, German, Spanish, Flemish, Arabic and Bengali. But Freedman wasn't always a children's book writer.

He grew up in San Francisco and attended the University of California, Berkeley, and then worked as a reporter and editor for the Associated Pre
More about Russell Freedman...

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