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We Are the Change: Words of Inspiration from Civil Rights Leaders
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We Are the Change: Words of Inspiration from Civil Rights Leaders

4.41  ·  Rating details ·  184 ratings  ·  48 reviews
Sixteen award-winning children's book artists illustrate the civil rights quotations that inspire them in this stirring and beautiful book. Featuring an introduction by Harry Belafonte, words from Eleanor Roosevelt, Maya Angelou, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. among others, this inspirational collection sets a powerful example for generations of young leaders to come. It ...more
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published May 7th 2019 by Chronicle Books
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Average rating 4.41  · 
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Sep 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Simple but profound quotes reminding us to act; struggle to progress; vote; rise; bring light and love to darkness and hate; start at home; forge common bonds through business and harvesting; fix what is wrong; love and care for all humanity especially those who are different; be brave; diversify for strength and beauty; be free to believe; choose to protect your children’s rights as their guardian; work together; and look within to make the change.

I was introduced to the broad spectrum of music
Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
"If the system is broken, my inclination is to fix it rather than to fight it."
---Sonia Sotomayor

"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much."
---Helen Keller

"So long as we have enough people in this country willing to fight for their rights, we'll be called a democracy."
---American Civil Liberties Union Founder Roger Baldwin

Sixteen children's picture book artists illustrate key quotes of inspiration from famous civil rights leaders of the past. It's a beautiful and evocative book.
Maria Caplin
One of our weekly mantras is a quote of the week. I model for my learners first few weeks and then they take the role over and share each Friday. This will be an important addition for my quote basket. Power of words connected with the illustrations will be a new anchor text for next school year.
Jul 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful book to read on any day but especially the day before the 4th of July.
May 07, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Flat-out amazing; I thank these artists for choosing inspirational quotes, creating beautiful art, and including thoughtful reflections. An essential addition for school, classroom, public and home libraries.
Cindy Hudson
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
We Are the Change: Words of Inspiration from Civil Rights Leaders takes an innovative approach to introducing young readers to important figures in the fight for civil rights. Sixteen award-winning children’s book artists chose quotes from activists who fought for the rights of minorities, women, farm workers, and others from the past and present. This diverse group of activists included Helen Keller, Maya Angelou, Frederick Douglass, Eleanor Roosevelt, Dolores Huerta, Khalil Gibran, and more. T ...more
Apr 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“We Are the Change: Words of Inspiration from Civil Rights Leaders,” published by @chroniclebooks, belongs in every classroom and home. To honor the work of the American Civil Liberties Union, sixteen of the most amazing children’s books artists each created powerful and beautiful illustrations inspired by quotes of past and present civil rights leaders. Each artist also wrote a short piece explaining why and how their chosen quote moved them. This book will humble and inspire readers to follow, ...more
Sometimes all someone needs to keep up the good fight is an encouraging word of two. In this slim volume, readers will find quotes from various civil rights activists. Sixteen different artists lend their talents to the book, having chosen quotes that were meaningful to them and them illustrating them in their own unique fashion as well as providing a brief blurb about each one. Thus, there are 16 quotes that might make readers and young social activists think twice before giving up. Readers wil ...more
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a great collection of empowering quotes and a wonderful sampling of many different illustrators' artwork. I'm really glad we took the time to read this one.

". . . This very book you are holding will be assessed with a certain political view of its intentions some may love it, others may detest it, but no matter how you choose to exist in this nation, there is no right or wrong answer but the freedom to be vocal with your vote" (Dan Santat, p. 10).

"If there is no struggle there is no prog
Jun 27, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
One note; the EPUB version I read did no favors to the formatting which influenced the overall score.

This is a brief, middle-school targeted collection of quotes and related artwork.
The quotes are for the most part inspiring, and some of the artwork is beautiful, but overall I was left underwhelmed. The notes from the illustrators explaining why they chose the quotes they did were scattered in quality, and it would have been nice if there had been a brief biography of the people who said the quo
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“So long as we have enough people in this country willing to fight for their rights, we’ll be called a democracy.”

A book that starts with a quote from a person known for civil rights actions. Then there is a short description about that person’s impact or the importance of the quote itself written by the illustrator who created that person’s page.

In the back, there is a short bio on each illustrator.

Such a powerful book, full of hope, as well as the expectation that the next generation will con
Alana Young
This book contains 16 quotes from various civil rights activists. The quotes were chosen and illustrated by award-winning illustrators. I enjoyed getting to see the various styles and choices because each choice was impacted by personal experience. This could be used in a 5-7th grade classroom. Some of the ideas are complex and there is a lot of analysis of the quotes. It is not a quick read. I could see it being used as a launching pad resource for studying important people in history if childr ...more
Sandra Sy
"We are the Change" by Harry Belafonte was published in 2019. This is a great read-aloud book option for 3rd-5th graders and this would also be beneficial for 6th-8th graders to silently read to themselves. This book is about the beauty of diversity and addresses individuals who have made an impact in history. At the end of the book, there is a biography provided for the illustrators that were discussed. This is a great book to read to 3rd-5th graders to inform them of the individuals that have ...more
Stephanie Bange
Mar 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Harry Belafonte wrote the introduction for this book that is bound to be a classic.

What an inspiring collection of quotes from many walks of life, including Queen Lili'uokalani, Frederick Douglass, John Lewis, Maya Angelou, Eleanor Roosevelt, Gwendolyn Brooks, Sonia Sotomayor, Dolores Huerta, E.B. White, Khalil Gibran, Helen Keller, and Barack Obama. Each is illustrated beautifully by leading illustrators today using many different mediums, including Dan Santat, Sean Qualls, Brian Pinkney, Molly
We Are the Change: Words of Inspiration from Civil Rights Leaders, is less of a children's illustrated book as it is a collection of illustrations, sometimes merely a graphic, that serve to supplement a collection of thoughts from the likes of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Maya Angelou, Sonia Sotomayor, Frederick Douglass, Helen Keller, and Khalil Gibran, to name just a very few. Through the illustrations, the quotations are made simple for children, and as a collection they are very important to ...more
Marian P
Jul 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
We Are the Change: Words of Inspiration from Civil Rights Leaders (Chronicle Books, May 2019) is a beautifully illustrated children’s book combining quotes by civil rights leaders and activists and illustrations by award-winning children’s book artists. Leaders are both past and present such as W.E.B. Du Bois, Gwendolyn Brooks, Barack Obama and more. The moving quotes and stunning illustrations are a way to engage in civil liberties discussions with your child; however, the inspiring quotes high ...more
Beth Anderson
Jun 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
When I first came across this book, I loved it and ordered it immediately to pair with my then forthcoming book, Lizzie Demands a Seat. Such powerful and important quotes from a diverse group of people. Such an extraordinary collection of art from diverse illustrators. And such important connections expressed by the illustrators for the quotes they chose. This is one of those books that can be paired with others so easily, can inspire in hard times, and can connect all people—whether black or wh ...more
May 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books that leave you with goosebumps and your heart filled with hope. Each page features an important civil rights quotation and is exquisitely and smartly illustrated. Beyond the quotes the reader learns about real change makers in our world. Need some hope and inspiration to keep fighting the good fight? Want to inspire a young reader? This is an excellent gift book that both children and adults will treasure.
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Very powerful.

I loved the varied quotes and illustrations. Some illustrators were people I recognize, while others were new to me.

I think it's an important book in this time period where terrible things (shootings, etc. ) seem to be happening all the time and the political landscape is so divided.

I read an ebook version of this and I think the formatting was off a bit, which took away a little bit. I might consider getting a hardcopy at some point.
The Reading Countess
An absolute must in any library or classroom, WE ARE THE CHANGE pairs well-known illustrators with respected civil rights leaders, past and present. The illustrations and the accompanying quotes selected could be framed, they are so beautiful. Perfect as a read aloud, as a nonfiction resource, or as an independent reading selection, I cannot recommend this skinny book with big ideas more.
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book unfolds inside you as you read it. At first I was skeptically thinking 'who is this really for?' but before I knew it, it had me. As a children's librarian this blew me away. Who is it for? Everyone. The quotes pages are great for starting conversations with younger children and the larger passages from the illustrators are fantastic for older children and adults. A phenomenal project.
Mar 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Initially I was concerned this might be too much for kids, but the selected quotes are short, but then along the illustrations there is a blurb from the artists on what the quote means for them. That adds a nice personal touch, and the brevity of the quotes can make it a nice introduction for younger children.
Monique Nikolov
Jul 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
It’s fun to see what modern picture books are coming out now :) I felt like I loved the messages this book is putting out for kids these days, but I definitely think that kids reading this book would need an older sibling/teacher/parent to help guide them through understanding the context behind these quotes!
Dec 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
A lovely book to be sure, but I'm not sure who the audience is. The quotes are inspiring and the illustrations gorgeous, but it's not really a read-aloud. A solid meh from me.

I received a digital ARC from the publisher via Edelweiss+.
Jun 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
This book pairs inspirational quotes from civil rights leaders with illustrations by various artists and a few words from the artists about their work. This is a beautiful book that can be used to motivate.
Edward Sullivan
A stimulating and inspiring collection of quotations about activism, resistance, and social justice chosen by sixteen award-winning children's book artists who illustrated the quotations that inspire them.
Apr 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a wonderful book with inspiration and words about civil rights leaders. I loved taking one person each night to share with my children. Thus is a book to take your time with, not a one sitting book.
Note: I accessed a digital review copy of this book through Edelweiss.
May 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Just lovely!
May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
Words of wisdom and strength from Civil leaders (with awesome illustrations).
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