Ronyell's Reviews > Yours for Justice, Ida B. Wells: The Daring Life of a Crusading Journalist

Yours for Justice, Ida B. Wells by Philip Dray
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Feb 25, 11

bookshelves: african-american, biography, goodreads-group-reads, racism
Recommended to Ronyell by: The Picture-Book Club
Read in February, 2011

“The way to right wrongs is to turn to light of truth upon them.”

That was one of the memorable quotes by Ida B. Wells herself and there are more quotes coming along in this review! “Yours for Justice, Ida B. Wells” is an inspirational children’s book by Philip Dray along with illustrations by Stephen Alcorn and it is about an African-American woman named Ida B. Wells who made history by exposing the horrors of lynching through the newspaper. “Yours for Justice, Ida B. Wells” is clearly one of the best books about Ida B. Wells ever written!

Whew! This book was a stretch to read, but it was worth it! Philip Dray has definitely done an excellent job at writing this inspirational story about an African-American woman’s struggles in promoting awareness to the mistreatment of African-Americans during the 1800s. I loved the way that Philip Dray made this biography extremely intense and uplifting at the same time as I truly felt pure passion for Ida’s pursuits in stopping segregation during that time and I was truly horrified at the mistreatment that blacks had to endured during that time, including being lynched for no reason and cutting them out of society. I also loved the various quotes from Ida B. Wells that Philip Dray provided in this book. Some of my quotes were:

“I had hoped for such great things from my suit for my people and just now if it were possible [I] would gather my race in my arms and fly away with them.”

Stephen Alcorn’s illustrations are truly creative and inspiring especially of Ida herself as she is shown to be a beautiful and independent woman and I really loved the illustrations of how they literally take the situation shown in the book, such as illustrating the school that Ida goes to as a huge opened book while Ida and her mother walk towards the huge book and how the situation about blacks being denied their freedom was shown as an image of a huge hand pushing a black man away while having a “whites only” sign on its arm and I also loved the way that Stephen Alcorn made Ida seem like she is flying across each page, which makes her seem like an angel and a savior to African-Americans.

Parents should know that this book is pretty lengthy and smaller children might be bored with this book in one day. Also, the heavy themes of racism in this book might be upsetting to smaller children, especially the scenes where African-American men are being lynched. Parents need to explain to their children about the terrible experiences that African-Americans had to go through during the 1800s and how they can also help in stopping racism and prejudice from spreading like Ida did.

Overall, “Yours for Justice, Ida B. Wells” is a truly brilliant and inspiring book that actually goes into the depths of racism and prejudice that every child should really enjoy. I would recommend this book for children ages six and up since the book is too long for smaller children and the racism themes might be too intense for smaller children.
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Dolly great review!


Ronyell Thanks Dolly!


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