From School Library Journal
"An incredible accomplishment. It is the history of John Lewis, the civil rights movement and his role in it... a book that explains -- more deeply than anything else I've ever read -- the methods and the moral foundations of the civil rights movement, how civil rights activists did what they did and won what they won, and how they had the strength to do it in the most difficult circumstances imaginable." -- Rachel Maddow
"The closest American peer to Maus has arrived." -- The Washington Post
"I cannot recommend this book enough." -- Trevor Noah
"March may be the best civil rights story ever... I would even put it in the same hallowed category as Art Spiegelman's Pulitzer Prize-winning Maus." -- Mashable
BOOKLIST (STARRED) -- A stirring call to action that's particularly timely in this election year, and one that will resonate and empower young readers in particular. Essential reading.
KIRKUS (STARRED) -- A living icon of the civil rights movement brings his frank and stirring account of the movement's most tumultuous years (so far) to a climax.
As chairman of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee between 1963 and 1966, Lewis was directly involved in both public demonstrations and behind-the-scenes meetings with government officials and African-American leaders. He recalls both with unflinching honesty in this trilogy closer carrying his account from the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church to his eventual break with SNCC's increasingly radical elements. Alternating stomach-turning incidents of violence (mostly police violence)-including his own vicious clubbing on the Selma to Montgomery march's "Bloody Sunday"-with passages of impassioned rhetoric from many voices, he chronicles the growing fissures within the movement. Still, despite the wrenching realization that "we were in the middle of a war," he steadfastly holds to nonviolent principles. The passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act marks the end of his account, though he closes with a final look ahead to the night of Barack Obama's 2009 inauguration. Powell's high-contrast black-and-white images underscore the narrative's emotional intensity with a parade of hate-filled white faces and fearful but resolute black ones, facing off across a division that may not be as wide as it was then but is still as deep.
This memoir's unique eyewitness view of epochal events makes it essential reading for an understanding of those times-and these. (Graphic memoir. 11 & up)
SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL (STARRED) - Gr 8 Up-In the final installment in the trilogy, Congressman Lewis concludes his firsthand account of the civil rights era. Simultaneously epic and intimate, this dynamic work spotlights pivotal moments (the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, AL; the Freedom Summer murders; the 1964 Democratic National Convention; and the Selma to Montgomery marches) through the lens of one who was there from the beginning. Lewis's willingness to speak from the heart about moments of doubt and anguish imbues the book with emotional depth. Complex material is tackled but never oversimplified-many pages are positively crammed with text-and, as in previous volumes, discussion of tensions among the various factions of the movement adds nuance and should spark conversation among readers. Through images of steely-eyed police, motion lines, and the use of stark black backgrounds for particularly painful moments, Powell underscores Lewis's statement that he and his cohorts "were in the middle of a war." These vivid black-and-white visuals soar, conveying expressions of hope, scorn, and devastation and making storied figures such as Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and Fannie Lou Hamer feel three-dimensional and familiar. VERDICT This essential addition to graphic novel shelves, history curricula, and memoir collections will resonate with teens and adults alike.-Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal
The third volume continues where the second left off. Less than a month after Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) leader John Lewis led the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, four teenage girls are killed in a bombing at the 16th Street Baptist Church's Youth Day celebration in Birmingham, Ala. Members of Dr. King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and the SNCC are outraged and threaten to march on the Alabama capital to demand the resignation of Governor George Wallace. Before either group can take action, however, news comes of President Kennedy's assassination. While Lyndon B. Johnson ultimately champions their cause, he does so without changing the status quo. As the SNCC and SCLC continue their protests, their efforts incite further violent backlash from the police and surrounding communities, and fractious struggles within the SNCC threaten to derail the march from Selma to Montgomery.
There is a lot of tension and emotion with no sugarcoating of history here; Powell's drawings evoke a close-up black-and-white documentary atmosphere, recording the movement's major victories as well as the tumult that the young Lewis faced. Nevertheless, March: Book Three ends on a hopeful note. What better way to teach younger generations than by historical example of what is achievable when people are willing to sacrifice greatly for a worthy cause? --Nancy Powell , freelance writer and technical consultant
Discover: John Lewis and Martin Luther King make "good trouble... necessary trouble" by leading the history-changing march from Selma to Montgomery.