From School Library Journal
Gr 2-5–This attractive, accessible title uses the Lincoln Memorial as a vehicle to outline the history of the Civil Rights Movement from the Emancipation Proclamation to Dr. King's “I Have a Dream” speech to the 2008 presidential election. Other pivotal moments include world-renowned singer Marian Anderson's 1939 performance at the memorial when she was barred from singing at Constitution Hall. Slade explains in clear, descriptive prose how the memorial “was created from twenty-eight smaller pieces carved out of white marble.” Bootman's realistic watercolor spreads are striking; one of them features portraits of several accomplished African-Americans, including Toni Morrison, Mae Jemison, Colin Powell, and Oprah Winfrey. “Change. It happens slowly. One small step at a time,” is the refrain that echoes repeatedly along with the “Pitter-patter….Click, click, click….Clomp, clomp” of the children, women, and men who climb the steps of the iconic structure. An afterword asks youngsters, “Can you help make change happen?” and describes the steps taken by Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, Jackie Robinson, and Rosa Parks. A time line that begins with Douglass's escape from slavery highlights some African-American “firsts.”Barbara Auerbach, PS 217, Brooklyn, NY
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This handsome picture book outlines the history of the civil rights struggle and its leaders, beginning with Lincoln’s signing of the Emancipation Proclamation in 1863 and the building of the marble statue in his honor that was unveiled in 1922. Slade moves on to spotlight the landmark events that have been held at the Lincoln Memorial, from Marian Anderson’s performance after she was not allowed to perform at Constitution Hall to Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech, and finally, the visit there of President Obama and his family. The book’s title is a powerful metaphor, and the beautiful watercolor paintings feature stirring scenes of huge, mobilized crowds, as well as close-up portraits of inspiring leaders, including contemporary figures Toni Morrison, Mae Jameson, Oprah Winfrey, and Colin Powell. The back matter includes full-page portraits and brief biographies of trailblazers Sojourner Truth, Frederick Douglass, Jackie Robinson, and Rosa Parks, as well as a detailed time line. Grades 2-5. --Hazel Rochman