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Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom
Cover of Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom
Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom
My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March
A memoir of the Civil Rights Movement from one of its youngest heroes

A Sibert Informational Book Medal Honor Book
Kirkus 
Best Books of 2015

Booklist Editors' Choice 2015
BCCB Blue Ribbon 2015

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 shows today's young readers what it means to fight nonviolently (even when the police are using violence, as in the Bloody Sunday protest) and how it felt to be part of changing American history.

Straightforward and inspiring, this beautifully illustrated memoir brings readers into the middle of the Civil Rights Movement, complementing Common Core classroom learning and bringing history alive for young readers.
A memoir of the Civil Rights Movement from one of its youngest heroes

A Sibert Informational Book Medal Honor Book
Kirkus 
Best Books of 2015

Booklist Editors' Choice 2015
BCCB Blue Ribbon 2015

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 shows today's young readers what it means to fight nonviolently (even when the police are using violence, as in the Bloody Sunday protest) and how it felt to be part of changing American history.

Straightforward and inspiring, this beautifully illustrated memoir brings readers into the middle of the Civil Rights Movement, complementing Common Core classroom learning and bringing history alive for young readers.
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    0
  • Library copies:
    1
Levels-
  • ATOS:
    5.1
  • Lexile:
    780
  • Interest Level:
    MG
  • Text Difficulty:
    3 - 4

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  • From the book

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    November 24, 2014
    Lowery’s dogged participation as a teen in the fight for equal civil rights—as told to Leacock and Buckley (collaborators on Journeys for Freedom and other titles)—offers a gripping story told in conversational language. “We learned the drill real quick: We went to jail, we came back out, and then we went to jail again.... Pretty soon we knew to take our own little bologna sandwiches... because jail food just wasn’t good.” The matter-of-fact tone often belies the danger Lowery and other protesting teenagers faced. Enhancing the narrative’s appeal are Loughran’s dramatic comics–style illustrations, which accompany archival photos. As the 1965 march to Montgomery drew closer, Lowery found herself in increasingly dangerous situations (e.g., the sweatbox in jail or being tear-gassed). Undeterred by fear, she joined the historic march, offering her description of what it was like as the youngest participant on the wet, four-day journey. In time to mark the march’s 50th anniversary, this recounting informs and inspires. An afterword briefly explains U.S. segregation history and profiles people who lost their lives in connection with the march. Ages 12–up.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from November 1, 2014
    In 1965, Lynda Blackmon Lowery turned 15 during the three-day voting rights march from Selma to Montgomery. In this vibrant memoir, Lowery's conversational voice effectively relates her experiences in the civil rights movement on and before that march. The youngest person on the march, she'd already been jailed nine times as a protester, once for six days and once in a hot, windowless "sweatbox" where all the girls passed out. At a protest on "Bloody Sunday," earlier in 1965, a state trooper beat her so badly she needed 35 stitches in her head. The terror of that beating haunted her on the march to Montgomery, but she gained confidence from facing her fear and joining forces with so many, including whites whose concern amazed her after a childhood of segregation. Lowery's simple, chronological narrative opens and closes with lyrics of freedom songs. Appendices discuss voting rights and briefly profile people who died on or around "Bloody Sunday." Double-page spread color illustrations between chapters, smaller retro-style color pictures and black-and-white photographs set in generous white space will appeal even to reluctant readers. Vivid details and the immediacy of Lowery's voice make this a valuable primary document as well as a pleasure to read. (Memoir. 11-16)

    COPYRIGHT(2014) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    January 1, 2015

    Gr 5 Up-One of the youngest participants in the 1965 voting rights march in Alabama, Lowery provides a moving first-person account of her experience. Through this thought-provoking volume, the picture of an incredibly courageous young woman emerges. Lowery effectively conveys the enormity of the injustices in her world and the danger that those she knew encountered daily. Lowery shows what people, including children, are capable of when they stand together. Readers will appreciate what the author endured, including being jailed nine times before she turned 15. Lowery includes many intricate details, such as what the marchers ate and where they slept. The illustrations are a mix of photographs and cartoonish drawings, which bring a graphic novel-like feel to this memoir. A concluding chapter explains the fight for voting rights and contains short biographies of those who died for the cause. This is an honest, powerful historical work, straight from the source.-Heather Acerro, Rochester Public Library, MN

    Copyright 2015 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    Starred review from February 1, 2015
    Grades 7-12 *Starred Review* By the time I was fifteen years old, I had been in jail nine times. So opens Lowery's account of growing up in Selma, Alabama, during the troubled 1960s, as the African American community struggled for voting rights. At 13, Lynda and other students began slipping out of school to participate in marches. At 14, she was first arrested. After many peaceful protests, Lynda and others marched across the Edmund Pettus Bridge into a violent attack by state troopers and sheriffs' deputies on what became known as Bloody Sunday. Though beaten on the head, she returned two weeks later for the march from Selma to Montgomeryand the Voting Rights Act was passed later that year. The plain-spoken language of this memoir makes it all the more moving, while Lowery's detail-rich memories of her community, their shared purpose, and her own experiences make it particularly accessible to young readers. Illustrations include archival photos and original artwork that uses line and color expressively. A concluding page comments that the Supreme Court recently struck down part of the Voting Rights Act, and notes that who has the right to vote is still being decided today. This inspiring personal story illuminates pivotal events in America's history.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2015, American Library Association.)

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    Penguin Young Readers Group
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Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom
Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom
My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March
Lynda Blackmon Lowery
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