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Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the Selma Voting Rights March
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Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the Selma Voting Rights March

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  2,707 ratings  ·  517 reviews
A memoir of the Civil Rights Movement from one of its youngest heroes

As the youngest marcher in the 1965 voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Albama, Lynda Blackmon Lowery proved that young adults can be heroes. Jailed nine times before her fifteenth birthday, Lowery fought alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. for the rights of African-Americans. In this memoir, she
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published January 8th 2015 by Dial Books
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Mar 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book... from the format (narrative nonfiction) to the content shared.. I just couldn't seem to put it down! I'm so glad I am reading such an engaging and accessible text with my students to truly bring the Civil Rights movement to light!
Irene McHugh
If you know a young person who's looking to learn more about or connect with the Civil Rights Movement, put this book in their hands.

Lynda Blackmon Lowery tells her story of her experience with Steady Loving Confrontation with passion. As a female protestor, her story nicely complements John Lewis's March trilogy.

The first line in the book grabs your attention: "By the time I was fifteen years old, I had been in jail nine times."

She explains matter-of-factly what it was like growing up as a
Jasmyn Oliveros
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
***Spoiler Alert***   Have you ever wondered about the youngest person to be part of the Selma march? In Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom this is a autobiography by Lynda Blackmon Lowery who was the youngest person to march in the Selma march. Turning 15 on the road is a really good book. I loved the determination she had even when people wanted to send her back home.

          The story takes place mostly in Selma, Alabama where "Bloody Sunday" takes place and where the Selma march begins. The
Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Booktalked this as part of my middle school sweep 2016.

Love the combination of primary source text with primary source photographs, lovely illustrations, and a narrative/novel-style layout. Kids were impressed by the idea of having to pass tests to be allowed to vote in elections (I brought some printouts of some of the tests). We talked about protesting, and I read a very short excerpt of the book.

Yes yes yes. Love love love.

Harold Titus
Feb 12, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: middle school students
I was 28 when courageous black Alabama citizens and white sympathizers set forth March 21, 1965, across Selmas Edmund Pettus Bridge to begin their successful march to Montgomery, the state capital, to demonstrate their determination to force the state of Alabama to allow all of its black citizens to register to vote. I, like many Americans, had watched on television the brutal acts committed by the local police and sheriffs deputies to end demonstrators attempt March 7 to cross the bridge and ...more
 Joel 조엘
This book was a little sad
Joyce Yattoni
This is a quick read. Abbreviated memoir of Lynda Blackmon's journey in Selma peacefully protesting for the legitimate right to vote March 1965. At the time she was 15 years old. I enjoyed it because it portrays a very specific moment in time from Bloody Sunday where hundreds of peaceful protesters were beaten, shot and injured to the subsequent Selma Voting Rights March on the capital to Montgomery, Alabama. I learned about the infamous Edmond Pettus Bridge and the senseless killing of Jimmie ...more
Extraordinary story of young Linda Blackman Lowery as she participated in the civil rights moment as a 15 year old. She endured arrest and imprisonment in jail with her fellow protestors countless times a protestor. She marched in Selma Alabama in the famous marches alongside Martin Luther King Jr. among others. I listened to the audiobook and was very impressed by the reading of the book. The author even sings. Wonderful. Powerful. Meaningful.
Katie Lalor
Feb 18, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir
Quick informational read about the young girl's journey growing up in Alabama and being a part of history. It is amazing what people had to endure during this time period. At the end, it gives some specific facts on people that are not well known.
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
What an inspiring and beautifully written book to start Martin Luther King day with. The strength of this young woman...what she witnessed, and maybe more importantly, what she experienced. It demonstrates a strength of character and fortitude that I know I do not possess. She did what had to be done, and even though she experienced fear and pain, she kept going.
Kristin Staaland
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is spectacular and really enthralling--I heard Lynda Blackmon Lowery speak at the Illinois Reading Conference and her story is so important. I was grateful that the book has such a good voice and easy readability so many of my students will have access to it and be able to read it.

Ryan Keefe
Nov 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
This book was well plotted and put out. It shares the conflict between whites and blacks, remarkably. The main character really stood out to me because she said " Chase your dreams even thought there wild." The only thing I think this book throws the reader off is it doesn't share the characters name or gender. Over all I think this is my fav riot book.
Feb 05, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2015
I thought the book was informative however I did not like that they put the reason that Lincoln declared war against the south was a question of whether slavery was right or wrong. Everyone by now should know that he really didn't care about slavery but the separation of the union (nation) and if slavery needed to be abolished to preserve it then so be it.
Jan 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was really good, I just wish it was longer. The story was amazing, but I wanted more of it.
"Every time I sang the line, 'We are not afraid,' I lied a little, but it was important to sing it."
Honest, inspiring, authentic - the first-person account of the youngest marcher.
Olivia S.
Feb 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO Good
Mar 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: caudill-2017
Amazing! I learned so much from this book. I forgot I was reading a book so many times. I felt like I was listening to Lynda Blackmon Lowery telling her story!
This story is a memoir of the youngest marcher on the Selma to Montgomery voting rights march. Ms. Lowery details her experiences protesting, going to jail, and being beaten during Bloody Sunday along with her history making march.

The narrative is very short, and I enjoyed following along with the hardcover edition. The inclusion of numerous photographs from the events really help to bring the author's story to life as do P.J. Loughran's illustrations.

I was surprised that the audiobook version
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom, mainly demonstrates the need for equal rights in Selma. This book vividly and creatively gives us a good representation of this. I believe this book wanted others to understand the struggles and the violence that Lynda had to go through while standing up for her rights. While reading the book I clearly understood her point of view during the stressful and scary events in her life. However, I would have liked some information at the end of the book to see how ...more
William Bloxom
What can I do Im just a kid? How many times have kids said this or students made this claim? This book tells the story of a 15 year old girl who decided to stand up for what was right and what she believed in and to fight for freedom and equality. This is a memoir by Lynda Blackmon Lowery on the fight for civil rights. She was jailed 9 times before her fifteenth birthday but that wouldnt stop her. She fought alongside Martin Luther King Jr for the rights of African Americans and she did it ...more
Erin Brunk
May 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom is the true memoir of Lynda Blackmon, one of the youngest participants in the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965. She was jailed nine times before her fifteenth birthday and fought beside Martin Luther King Jr. to gain the right to vote for African Americans. She tells her true story of nonviolent protest and changing history with action.

Middle school students tend to have, for lack of a better word, a lot of inner chaos. Everything is rapidly changing for them,
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a great introductory biography for young people to see the civil rights movement and the Selma March through the eyes of an adolescent at the time.

Broken into swift chapters with illustrations or photography, Lowery takes the reader through the events leading up to the cause of the march, which is helpful for young people to understand. Many teens know that a march occurred, but the catalyst remains a mystery.

What will appeal to many middle grade readers is the account of the treatment
Like John Lewis' March graphic novels this is a first hand account of the civil rights movement. The author takes readers through a multi genre experience to paint an intimate picture of the fear and determination shared by these young protesters. Her use of photography, lyrics and illustrations help to set the tone for the reader friendly text.

Other historical non-fiction works around civil rights using photography as the medium: Controversy of hope: The civil rights photographs of James
Aug 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Lowery shares her story of being part of the historic 1965 Voting Rights March in a way that is easily accessible to students. She shares her experiences and helps kiddos to see the emotions and thoughts that accompanied these experiences. The majority of the book is acceptable for my fourth graders, although I worry about the stories at the end of the book. These stories are an explanation of sorts of those that lost their lives as part of the Selma March movement and they are a bit too graphic ...more
Feb 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a great Civil Rights resource for younger readers. Lynda Blackmon Lowery tells her story in a way that kids will find accessible and interesting, and I like the information provided in addition to her story--lyrics to songs sung by the marchers and stories of the people who were murdered before and after Bloody Sunday.
Aug 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
A quick one-hour audiobook which shared one woman's memories of an important era in time. It was inspiring for what people were able to accomplish - especially as teenagers - when they came together. It gave me hope we can come together again for this kind of change.
Amalie Simper
This was an incredibly quick read about the 1965 Selma Voting Rights movement. It includes photographs of the events during the time, it contains all the actual events and the words from someone who lived through this movement and what they experienced. It's the perfect length story for a mid-grade book and an important part of American history. Everyone should read it.
Grant zimmerman
Nov 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I thought this boo was really good because it was all about how blacks were on a march cause the white cops wanted to kill the blacks so they decided to go on a march to Montgomery to show the president and/or the governor what all the white cops are doing to the blacks and she showed the governor or the president and everything went back to normal.
Aidan McPhillips
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Important, engaging, and totally appropriate and necessary for kids.
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