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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

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  3,167 ratings  ·  602 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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Average rating 4.15  · 
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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! ...more
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 blac
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 22, 2021 rated it really liked it
A short, simple look into Lynda Blackmon's experience as a child. Quite impactful for such a short read.

2021 challenge: a book about a social justice issue
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 Selma’s 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 sheriff’s deputies to end demonstrators’ attempt March 7 to cross the bridge and ...more
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.

 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 L ...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. ...more
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.
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.
Oct 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I rated this story 5 stars because it is a truly inspirational book. The story is about a young girl surviving things like Bloody Sunday and a long march to Montgomery. Its a march for voting rights. I believe it is a fun book for adults and children. it has real pictures and expertly drawn pictures. I would recommend for a class read for teachers or just a fun read. It is highly educational. I hope my review helped hopefully you enjoy the book.
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.
Jul 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Lynda Blackmon Lowry was one of the youngest participants in the Selma Voting Rights March. She tells of her experience getting arrested multiple times and of marching to Selma.
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. ...more
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. ...more
"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.
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!
Olivia S.
Feb 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SO Good
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 th ...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
Jan 10, 2021 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book. My rating was biased, having just finished Congressman John Lewis’ “March” trilogy.

Mrs. Lowery’s story is compelling and shows how children contributed to the Selma marches. The book doesn’t show as much violence as the March books illustrate, but Lowery discusses the violence that happened.

The context of these historic marches is explained in the final chapter of the book. I wish that chapter had appeared at the beginning. The March books weave so much of that context int
Barbara Nutting
Aug 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The death of John Lewis inspired me to take another look at the Civil Rights injustices. There he is marching with the 15 year old author of this book. To think that President Buffoon didn’t show him the respect he deserved is a national disgrace.

I learned something interesting - I recently read a reference to jelly beans in a jar during the recent black protests and didn’t know what it meant. This book describes how one of the voting requirement prior to 1965 was to be able to tell “ how many j
Jessica (justagirlwithabook)
I really loved Lynda Blackmon Lowery’s story. As a junior high librarian, this book is a wonderful pairing to John Lewis’ March for middle grade - junior high students to read about the March for Civil Rights from multiple perspectives, this one being from someone who was their age when she marched! Her story was inspiring and her message of being a history-maker would’ve resonated with me as a younger reader (as I hope it does with our younger readers today!). Highly recommend especially where ...more
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 Karal
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
Laura I.
A fantastic plain spoken, deceptively simple, and extremely moving & inspirational story from the youngest marcher on Montgomery in 1965.

A part that especially stuck with me was the part about all the children activists packing bologna sandwiches & penny candy every day to eat in jail (where they were sent nearly daily).

The photos and drawings are also fantastic.

Highly recommend to children, teens, and adults interested in a personal take on civil rights history.
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“There is nothing more precious walking on this earth than you are. You are a child of God. So hold up your head and believe in yourself.”
― Lynda Blackmon Lowery, Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March

I chose this quote because it has a saying and meaning to it.”
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