lillianIt has been 50 years since the Voting Rights Act of 1965 passed. This book looks at the history of US voting rights through the lens of personal and family history. We follow a one-hundred year old woman, Lillian, as she walks up the hill to her polling place and thinks back to how her family was refused access and finally gained access to vote. Each page shows illustrations of both present-day Lillian and of the historical events she’s thinking of. The book doesn’t shy away from horrible moments in US history–there is a page about a cross burning in Lillian’s front yard–but the book is an uplifting celebration of the right to vote. I especially loved the details of what kinds of tests African Americans were required to pass before voting in the 1950s–“How many bubbles are in a bar of soap?” and Who are “all sixty-seven judges in the state of Alabama?”

The back matter talks about recent Supreme Court rulings that potentially threaten the right to vote, urging readers to not abandon the cause.

Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by Jonah Winter, illustrated by Shane w. Evans. Schwartz & Wade: 2015.