Thursday, February 21, 2008

Heroes for Civil Rights

Adler, David A. 2008. Heroes for Civil Rights. Ill. by Bill Farnsworth. Holiday House.

This is a compilation of short, one-page bios of many people involved in the Civil Rights movement of the 50s and 60s. Heroes includes well-known figures (MLK, Rosa Parks), as well as lesser-known figures (Fannie Lou Hamer who helped found the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party). One notable difference in this book from others of the same genre, is the inclusion of many Whites that also helped the Civil Rights cause (LBJ, Chief Justice Earl Warren). One of my favorite American heroes, Thurgood Marshall is also profiled.

Each bio is accompanied by a full-page colored painting of the subject in the foreground and a related event from Civil Rights history in the background. (e.g., The Greensboro Four with a background of picketers outside F.W. Woolworth Co.) Direct quotes from each of the subjects is also included. A Chronology, Source Notes, and a Bibliography coomplete this short, 32-page book.

Heroes for Civil Rights can serve as a great subject introduction, or the bios can be read individually, as needed, in conjunction with Black History month programs. Easy-to-read text makes it possible for younger readers to use this book for simple biography assignments.

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