“Respecting and embracing fear all at the same time…”

Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March

Written By: Lynda Blackmon Lowery

As Told By: Elspeth Leacock and Susan Buckley

Illustrated By: PJ Loughran

Genre: Nonfiction

Published: Dial Books and SPEAK, New York, NY, January 8th, 2015

Awards: Robert F. Sibert Informational Honor Book – 2016, A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year, Booklists Editors’ Choice, and A BCCB Blue Ribbon

Themes: The themes expressed in this nonfiction title are expressing and making note of the inequalities that African Americans faced in our country. As well, bringing to light their fight, struggle, and determination to end the injustices they were facing.

Summary: This nonfiction source is unlike any textbook – told from a real perspective of someone who marched along side Martin Luther King Jr. this work discusses the inequalities that African Americans faced in a predominantly white society. With illustrations, real pictures of events, and a narrative style the reader experiences the movement from the eyes of Lynda Lowery, she tells her story as she experiences jail, beatings, marching, and turning 15 as apart of the Civil Rights Movement

Response: How might you use this book in the social studies, science, or mathematics curriculum? Write about a specific activity you might do that relates to the content of this book.

This book is a fabulous way to integrate into any Social Studies lesson on the Civil Rights movement. For my own class, I see this book as being a focal point in a lesson about the aspect of voting rights for African Americans. With its narrative approach – the book is a very easy way to engage readers, and with the realistic illustrations and real photographs of the marches – readers are immediately drawn in by its appeal.

With all of that in mind, I would use this book when speaking on the voting rights and the ways African Americans had to fight to obtain the right to vote. With its various different medians used to tell the story – I would have my students take an aspect of the book (voting, marches, children involvement, MLKJ, women in marches, abuse etc.) and respond to one of those topics but using various text medians through a poster board, press, or power point format. Allowing students to dive deeper into a specific subject and accumulate more knowledge through various medians.


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