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Equality's Call: The Story of Voting Rights in America
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Equality's Call: The Story of Voting Rights in America

4.34  ·  Rating details ·  182 ratings  ·  47 reviews
Learn all about the history of voting rights in the United States—from our nation’s founding to the present day.

A right isn’t right
till it’s granted to all…

The founders of the United States declared that consent of the governed was a key part of their plan for the new nation. But for many years, only white men of means were allowed to vote. This history of voting rights
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published February 18th 2020 by Beach Lane Books
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Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
"Equality's call:
A right isn't right
Till it's granted to all."

From the very beginning of America, some people were allowed to vote on the things that concerned them. But many people were left out. This is the story, told in verse, of the movements, over time, to find legal ways to allow more and more Americans to vote in elections. It's a beautiful picture book for our youngest readers.

Ms. Meghan
Mar 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A right isn't right
Till it's granted to all

Through rhyming verse, this book provides a look at the history of voting rights in America. While representation was supposed to be a strength of our new nation, in truth only white men who owned property were initially able to vote. But over the years, through the struggles and efforts of many people, more and more Americans were able to vote and make their voice heard.

This wonderful book is a testament to the countless individuals who fought and marc
Rhyming text that makes for a read aloud that students will want to hear again and again as they explore/research the history of voting rights on their own. In the primary grades, the text and the illustrations can act as great conversation starters- "What are the author and illustrator trying to say?" Young students may enjoy reading aloud with you the repeated refrain, "Equality's call: A right isn't right Till it's granted to all." In the intermediate grades, this would make for a great launc ...more
Stacy Renee  (LazyDayLit)
This wonderful picture book shares the story of voting rights in America and reminds us that 'a right isn't right until it's granted to all!'

Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Equality’s Call: the story of voting rights in America by Deborah Diesen, illustrated by Magdalena Lora. NON-FICTION PICTURE BOOK. Beach Lane (Simon), 2020. $18. 9781534439580



Though America was founded on the principle of voting and representation, its was only white men of property who were actually allowed to do the voting. It took 1965 until The Voting Rights Act enforced the 15th Amendment, but even now the struggle for true voting
Easily grasped introductory title about how voting rights have evolved in the United States. In our current society a number of people, groups, and media could use a brief introduction or refresher regarding the evolution of U. S. Voting rights.
Good refrain used through out the book, “A right isn’t a right Till it is granted too all.
Best part of the book is the four page appendix. Two pages devoted to and alphabetical list of 59 activists, women and men, various races, and disabilities from the
Pam  Page
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I like this rhyming non-fiction book about the history of voting rights. While the book is simple, it is a great way to introduce voting inequities and changes over the years. The back matter includes amendments and legislation about voting and voting-rights activists.
I loved the illustrations and the information in the back, but the rhyming, oh no, the rhyming bumped me all around. Nope.
Ben Truong
Equality's Call: The Story of Voting Rights in America is a children's picture book written by Deborah Diesen and illustrated by Magdalena Mora. It is a poetic narrative that charts the history of voting rights in the United States from the founders to the present.

Diesen's text is rather simplistic, straightforward, and informative. The lyrical and poetic text admirably traces the history of voting rights from the birth of the United States to the present moment. Backmatter has a list of amendme
Lindsay Harper
Nov 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: wow-book-shelf
Equality's Call is an informational text about voting and how big changes were made to everyone in our country! This book is a a great choice to begin teaching your students or child about important facts about voting in our history! It tells the story about how change is possible, and change is a good thing! This book is good for grades Pre-school to Third Grade! You can use this book for Social Studies and have a wonderful history lesson where kiddos can dig deeper in past and present events, ...more
Linda Patchett
This beautifully written and illustrated picture book about the story of voting rights in America will prove an outstanding addition to public and school library collections. I was quite moved when I read it - both by the simple but powerful verse and the unique and poignant graphics. Diesen reminds the reader that as citizens our work is not done and that each time we vote we are in debt to those who fought and those who continue to fight for equal voting rights. The index is excellent, providi ...more
In easy to follow rhyming text, this picture book gives young readers a long view of the struggle for voting rights in the USA. While the right to vote was established when our country began, "In fact, through the years, this great founding ideal, was extended to some, and for others not real."
The repeated motif of equality's call, "A right isn't right till it's granted to all" summarizes the theme of the book.
Back matter expands on the history of voting rights legislation with a timeline of si
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
"A right isn't right till it's granted to all"
I feel like this is one of the most powerful lines of this book and one that extends beyond just voting.
I liked the layout of this book and the way it was written in verse. It has a good pace, but also a good beat when reading.
It is well written and easy to understand, and the illustrations complement the text nicely.
I really liked this book and I think it decribes voring rights very nicely in language that is easy for kids to understand.
I would
This book is both important and well-written. I am always skeptical of rhyming nonfiction books, but amazingly, this one did it perfectly. It would make a great classroom read-aloud.

The most important lines, I think: "The journey's not over. / The work hasn't ended. / Democracy's dream / must be constantly tended. / But where we are now / is a debt that we owe / to the work of more people / than ever we'll know."
Jul 30, 2020 rated it liked it
The topic and timing of this book is good - election year. However, the even-metered poem of this book still managed to focus on the same group always focused on in books about voting rights, leaving other such as Native Americans and Asian Americans, and successes against voter suppression tactics were all relegated to the illustrations and back matter. That might have helped tell a stronger story of equality.
Elaine Bearden
Feb 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: voting
Great read-aloud rhyme,. with a partially repeating refrain tells the story of how "Democracy's dream / Must be constantly tended," with concrete examples. The stanzas carry a lot of weight in a very accesible, and enticing illustrations for younger kids. The end has more information on voting rights acts, as well as heroes in the journey.
What a powerful introduction to the history of voting rights in the United States! It discusses the intent of democracy but then looks at the process of fighting for that equality among so many different groups of people throughout history. I will definitely be adding this one to my personal collection and look forward to sharing it with children...especially in such a big election year.
Julie Esanu
Jul 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
A helpful visual introduction to voting and a brief overview of the history voting rights in the US. Helpful back matter. Note: I disliked the depiction of a Native American women in "traditional" dress in the illustrations, but appreciated that inclusion of the Indian Citizenship Act, which is not typically found in children's non-fiction.
Ashley Adkins
Jul 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a great read about voting rights in America. The text is simple enough for young readers to understand and the illustrations are bold and bring to light the most important elements of this story. Repetitive text helps emphasis importance in the text. Great read for all ages. There is also additional information in the back of the book to promote research after the read.
Faith Tydings
Aug 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
A very simple book that echoes the sentiment that "A right isn't right/Till it's granted to all." The most informative part of this book are the back matter pages which discuss amendments, legislation, and activists who were influential in making changes as well as websites for further exploration. It ends by asking, "How will you answer equality's call?"
Sep 24, 2020 rated it liked it
I loved the refrain “equality’s call: a right isn’t a right till it’s granted to all.” I liked the concept of the book and how the illustrations showed the students learning about voting rights. I think the rhyming structure of the text was weird, especially because so many advanced vocabulary words were included. It’s like the author didn’t know her intended audience.
Feb 26, 2020 rated it really liked it
Diesen takes readers through the history of voting in the United States. She uses rhymed text to share information about voting rights. Beautiful illustrations support the text as Diesen introduces different voting movements. Informative text at the end of the book provides further insights.
Melissa Nikohl
Mar 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a great book that covers voting rights in America. Through rhyme, the reader will learn how slowly but surely voting rights have been extended to most. In the back of the book, the author included more information about each voting amendment that has given more people the right to vote.
Apr 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
A solid book, released at the right time--nearing a presidential election. I like how the author uses a picture book to talk about the slow passage of voting rights to all Americans. I can see a read aloud in my future!
Jacquelyn Coronado
Jun 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids
“A right isn’t a right, til it’s granted to all”

I love this book. It explains the path to our current voting laws in a way that a child could understand. I even learned some new things! It also adjusts that we have more work to do.
Jun 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
I like this book. Easy, rhythmic text with nice illustrations. A great introduction to booting history and voting rights, with back matter. I like that they state that the work isn’t over. Good read-aloud for 5-8 y/o.
I really appreciate that this emphasized how difficult it was to ensure marginalized people had voting rights, and that the system is something that needs to constantly be challenged. The ending inspires action for today and that's completely the energy we need.
Sep 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: f-and-g, requested
I thought this book did a great job of introducing injustices of the history of voting in the United States, showing progress, and demonstrating that there is still a long way to go. It's hard to strike the right balance, and I thought this book was spot-on.
Feb 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kids, beautiful-books
"The journey's not over.
The work hasn't ended.
Democracy's dream
Must be constantly tended."
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
Really lovely poetry, illustrations, etc. about history of voting rights!
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Deborah Diesen is the author of The Pout-Pout Fish, a rhyming children's picture book illustrated by Dan Hanna and published by Farrar Straus Giroux. Her book The Barefooted, Bad-Tempered Baby Brigade was published by Tricycle Press. She lives in Michigan. Visit her web site at and her blog at

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