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Lillian's Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965
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Lillian's Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965

4.32  ·  Rating details ·  853 Ratings  ·  221 Reviews
An elderly African American woman, en route to vote, remembers her family’s tumultuous voting history in this picture book publishing in time for the fiftieth anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
As Lillian, a one-hundred-year-old African American woman, makes a “long haul up a steep hill” to her polling place, she sees more than trees and sky—she sees her fami
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published July 14th 2015 by Schwartz & Wade
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Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a great story about a black women's experience trying to vote. It went back through all the generations before her and the struggles and experiences they had trying to vote. It talked about white men first being the only ones allowed to vote. Then they allowed all men, but nonwhite men had to pay a tax and pass an extremely hard test to vote. Then women were allowed.

This book talked about the progress the US made and the regress we would make right after it.

This book lead to a lot of d
Henry Martin
Aug 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
An interesting book for young readers about the dark and recent period (and some might say ongoing) in American history and the controversial American policies pertaining to equal voting rights.

Through the metaphor of an old woman climbing up a hill to vote, pausing now and then to reflect upon a memory of her enslaved great-great grandparents, great grandparents, grandparents, and parents, and eventually her own, the writer emphasizes important (and failed) milestones in the equal rights movem
Alex (not a dude) Baugh
Feb 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Follow the long, uphill journey of 100 year-old African American Lillian as she goes to an Alabama courthouse to cast her vote In this picture book for older readers. As she climbs upward, Lillian recalls her family's history - from her enslaved great-great-grandparents and their baby Edmund being sold on the courthouse steps, to her enslaved great grandfather Edmund picking cotton from early morning to night and his later attempt to vote after the Fifteenth Amendment guaranteed him that right, ...more
Dec 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The combination of Lilian's story and the stunning illustrations make this a worthwhile purchase.

However, the fact that I was among 300 lucky souls chosen to recreate the march from Selma to Montgomery, made this very special book hit close to my heart.
Inspired by the true story of Lillian Allen, who at 100 years old voted and campaigned for President Obama, this overview of the history of Civil Rights uses Lillian's story as a metaphor to revisit key points in the history of African Americans getting the vote.

An author's note comments on the inspiration for this story as well as provisions to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 which serves to make voting more difficult for the poor and elderly in states with "voter ID laws."

Mixed media illustrati
Sara Grochowski
I just want to give this book a big hug. Warning: There's good chance that you'll be crying by the end of this one. This is a must for every collection.
Rachel Freeman
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 572-book-reviews
“Lillian’s Right to Vote” is told from the point-of-view of Lillian, an elderly African American woman who is going to vote on voting day. Jonah Winter provides a sad but beautiful retelling of this strong woman’s history and the struggles that African Americans have gone through over the years from slavery till today’s modern struggles. As Lillian walks up the hill to the voting house, she is reminded of all these struggles and she goes through flashbacks where she explains both the triumphs an ...more
Rachel Giddings
Feb 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: elm335
Historical Fiction:

This book is amazing. While the book follows the life of a women named Lillian it also goes back in time demonstrating the struggles African Americans faced regarding their right to vote. This children’s book has beautiful illustrations that bring the story to life. I believe this book could be used instructionally for grades 3-5 but also could be read aloud to younger grade levels.

I think this book is the perfect opportunity to integrate Language Arts and Social Studies les
Sam Grace
Read this to my 2 year old and I am convinced that the reason he was rapt, despite it being much longer than his average book, is that I was so totally into it. I cannot imagine NOT being filled with gratitude and strength and solidarity and pride and the anger of righteousness while reading this aloud. And the illustrations are great. This is a new favorite.
Camille De Zeeuw
This book is part of my diverse girls literature set.
1. Rationale: This book walks children through a timeline of United States history with the main character, Lillian. She talks about the struggle her family as well as other African Americans encountered as they tried to obtain the right to vote. It tells a wonderful story with fabulous illustrations. The book also serves as a nice introduction to historical fiction for young readers.
2. Text-to-text: This book made me think about the social st
Stephanie Sutter
Jan 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Narrative Introduction
“How many bubbles are in a bar of soap?” (quote from pg.10) [Wait for students’ guesses] What if that was a question you had to get right before you could vote? Would this be fair? [Students Response] This is just one of the unfair ways African-Americans were kept from voting. Today, we will read Lillian’s Right to Vote by Jonah Winter and Shane W. Evans as another way to celebrate all of the people who have fought to help African-Americans gain the right to vote. This goes
Amanda Vaughan
Oct 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: wow-books
A woman who has walked hundreds of miles over the course of a hundred years, is now about to take one of the most important steps in her life. Lillian has seen things that would break most, she has experienced pains that would wreck the strongest, and she has struggled and endured losses that would cause a normal women to have laid down to die. But, not Lillian, not this woman.

This is an amazing story of an African American women who shares with the reader her experiences, trials, and tribulati
Ms. Yingling
Jul 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Copy provided by the publisher

Told from the point of view of an elderly woman making her weary way to the polls, this picture book shows and discusses key events on the road to voting rights told through the memories of the woman. Her picture, and present day backgrounds are drawn in full color, while the events and people she is remembering are in faded monochrome, which is a nice touch. Covering events from the time of the Civil War to the present day, this book also includes notes with furthe
Feb 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Every child in elementary school should read this book as it shows in simplistic terms the long road for voting rights of African American people and other minorities and women, especially minority women.

This story is poignant, smart, heartwarming and I found myself rooting out loud for each of the achievements reached when Lillian remembered the struggle that took place to achieve them.

Lillian is brave, fierce in a quiet way and determined to make her vote count. She knows the value of a vote a
This is a compelling story that documents the uphill journey of Lillian Allen's right to vote. At the age of 100' the real Lillian cast her vote for the first time in 2008. This picture books documents each step Lillian takes towards the courthouse with a bit of history. From her great great grandparents, Elijah and Sara being sold on the auction block. To her being denied the right to vote because of the unfair testing given to Blacks.

This story is meant to inspire people to NOT take advantage
Ariel Cummins
Dec 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This gorgeous picture book tells the story of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 through the lens of Ms. Lillian - who has lived a hundred years and see how far we have come (and how far we still have to go). I feel like this is a look at voting history that doesn't flinch away from the really terrible things that were done to prevent people from voting, but does it in a way that is approachable and appropriate for kids.

The mixed-media illustrations are great - I loved the texture of the canvas peeki
Sep 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: juvenile-nf
I think this has huge potential and should be used with mature students who already have some U.S. history knowledge and can understand an overview presentation. I would be hesitant to use it at this time simply due to the negative image of police officers in our current events.
This needs a balance of historical understanding as to why people were killed or hurt in their efforts to vote.
It might be a good starting point for students to delve deeper into some of these events.
Use of color and shad
Jonah Winter has written a thought-provoking look back at the changes that have had to happen over the years in order for African-Americans to actually be able to vote. The symbolism in the journey that Lillian takes up the steep hill shines through in both the text and the illustrations. However, children may need a bit of help to fully appreciate what the author and illustrator are trying to say here by looking back and Lillian's family and the brief history of the civil rights era.
Kelly Carey
Oct 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Chronicle the difficult uphill battle of ensuring that everyone, including African Americans and women, has the right to vote in the United States. Includes examples of prejudice and unfairness, such as voting taxes and tests. Also, the author's note connects the story to current events today.
Carrie Charley Brown
A wonderful, well-written book for the older picture book audience, 7-10 and beyond, really. Marking history highlights of slavery and the right to vote, this story will be a handy curricular tool on up through high school.
Aliza Werner
At 100 years old Lillian voted for Barack Obama. This book revisits the "hill" she climbed to be able to do that.
Dec 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
Amazing. I cried.
Taylor Kundel-Gower
Dec 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This book have me goosebumps.

Lillian, an elderly African American woman, en route to vote, remembers her family’s tumultuous voting history in this picture book publishing in time for the fiftieth anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

As Lillian, a one-hundred-year-old African American woman, makes a “long haul up a steep hill” to her polling place, she sees more than trees and sky—she sees her family’s history. She sees the passage of the Fifteenth Amendment and her great-grandfather voting for the first time. She
Sierra Fresh
Dec 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Lillian is a fictional character who represents the African American community. Throughout this informational picture book, Lillian walks up a steep, steep, hill (which represents the hard and difficult road to equality), passing different hurdles that the African American community has had to jump over in order to obtain the right to vote. She sees images of poll taxes, voting tests, and screaming mobs. Finally, at the top of this steep hill, while her tired body is about to give out, she sees ...more
Michael Huscusson
Apr 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Summary: Lillian is a 100-year-old woman who knows a lot about her history. She is walking up a steep hill, looking at all the scenery, on her way up to the polling place to vote. She looks back on the first time her great grandfather was able to vote. She sees her parents, trying to vote for who they want and most of all, she sees the fifteenth amendment, which gave them the right to vote.

Classroom Use: This book would fit perfectly in a lesson about the history of African Americans and the cr
Ms. Arca
Dec 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love the art. I also can't help but love this book because my great grandmother's name was Lillian and I read this story in her voice and through her eyes in history. I love how this book walks you through some of the many barriers and changes in voting rights in the US. This book is as relevant as ever and I'm excited to use it in the classroom. I especially find that people don't always name the differences between voting rights moments-- for example the suffragettes versus the Voting Rights ...more
Amanda Vander hyde
Dec 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is remarkable because it examines a woman's individual life and her history and why it is so important that she gets to vote. Granted, it would be important for African Americans to get the right to vote anyway, but this made it highly personal and effective in a way to get children to engage. It is a good read-aloud book because it can show why each person might have slightly different histories and why they want to vote, but overall it is an important thing that was passed and became ...more
May 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the best children's books I've ever read! The stunning illustrations and the powerful message worked together to creating a very moving and timely book. I believe that all ages could learn a lot from this story of fighting for justice. Overall, the book is optimistic and hopeful in tone, but also acknowledges the struggles and sacrifices that thousands of people paid so that all people could have the right to vote. Also I recommend reading the author's note at the end because it m ...more
Sep 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: black-girl-magic
Lillian’s Right to Vote was chosen for my “Black Girl Magic” text set because although it is a fictional book it is rich in African American history and culture and would be a great representation of “magic” using Lilian (inspired by 100-year-old Lillian Allen who was able to vote for the first black president) to retell the story and perseverance of her ancestors. This story of an elderly woman who remembers the strength and courage of the many people and the battles they fought for her right t ...more
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Jonah Winter is the celebrated author of many picture book biographies, including Barack, which was a New York Times bestseller.
His books include Here Comes the Garbage Barge, Sonia Sotomayor, Roberto Clemente, and more.
A poet and a painter, Mr. Winter divides his time between Santa Fe and a small town in Pennsylvania.