March, Book One, Two and Three
Author: John Lewis
Author: Andrew Aydin
Illustrator: Nate Powell
Min/Max Grade level: Grade 8 and older
VOYA codes: 5Q, 3P, A/YA
Awards: Harvey Awards Nominee for Best Artist (for Nate Powell), Best Graphic Album-Original, Best Biographical, Historical, or Journalistic Presentation (for John Lewis, Andrew Aydin & Nate Powell) (2014), Coretta Scott King Award for Author Honor (2014), Lincoln Award Nominee (2018), Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards Nominee for Best Publication for Teens (ages 13-17), Best Reality-Based Work & Best Penciller/Inker or Penciller/Inker Team (for Nate Powell) (2014), Robert F. Kennedy Book Award for Special Recognition Honor (2014), Alabama Author Award – Young Adult (2016)
I read book one of John Lewis’ March earlier in the year, so I took this opportunity to finish reading the trilogy. The graphic novels follow the Civil Rights Movement, and John Lewis’ life, from his youth through the inauguration of President Barack Obama. I knew the basic timeline of civil rights in America, but did not know the details, or some of the less famous people and organizations involved. This trilogy is an important part of any teen library collection, as it is a critical part of American history, it is as relevant now as it was 50 years ago, and it reflects African-Americans in a realistic and positive way.
These books are originally written in the graphic novel format (not an adaptation), which is an effective way of showing the struggle and suffering of the Civil Rights Movement before, during, and after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was enacted.
Storyline: Autobiographical, historical
Tone: Dramatic, emotional, thought-provoking
Writing Style: Graphic novel, compelling
Read-alikes (from Novelist Plus)
The Silence of Our Friends
Authors: Mark Long and Jim Demonakos
Illustrator: Nate Powell
New York: First Second 2012
Publisher: This semi-autobiographical tale is set in 1967 Texas, against the backdrop of the fight for civil rights. A white family from a notoriously racist neighborhood in the suburbs and a black family from its poorest ward cross Houston’s color line, overcoming humiliation, degradation, and violence to win the freedom of five black college students unjustly charged with the murder of a policeman.
King: A Comic Book Biography
Author: Ho Che Anderson
Seattle, Wash.: Fantagraphics 2005
NovelistPlus: In comic book format, examines the life of the Baptist minister and civil rights leader who championed nonviolent protest and “had a dream” of equality for all.