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March: Book Two Library Binding – January 20, 2015

4.9 out of 5 stars 1,570 ratings

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A must-read monument... As Rep. Lewis continues to carry the civil-rights flame, this graphic achievement is a firsthand beacon that burns ever relevant today." - The Washington Post
"This memoir puts a human face on a struggle that many students will primarily know from textbooks... Visually stunning, the black-and-white illustrations convey the emotions of this turbulent time... This insider's view of the civil rights movement should be required reading for young and old; not to be missed." - School Library Journal (starred review)
"Heroism and steadiness of purpose continue to light up Lewis's frank, harrowing account of the civil rights movement's climactic days... Powell's dark, monochrome ink-and-wash scenes add further drama to already-dramatic events." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)


"With March, Congressman John Lewis takes us behind the scenes of some of the most pivotal moments of the Civil Rights Movement. In graphic novel form, his first-hand account makes these historic events both accessible and relevant to an entire new generation of Americans." - LeVar Burton


"With "March," Congressman John Lewis takes us behind the scenes of some of the most pivotal moments of the Civil Rights Movement. In graphic novel form, his first-hand account makes these historic events both accessible and relevant to an entire new generation of Americans." - LeVar Burton

About the Author

Congressman John Lewis was a leader in the American Civil Rights Movement. He was chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and played a key role in the struggle to end segregation. Despite more than 40 arrests, physical attacks, and serious injuries, John Lewis remained a devoted advocate of the philosophy of nonviolence. He is co-author of the first comics work to ever win the National Book Award, the #1 New York Times bestselling graphic novel memoir trilogy MARCH, written with Andrew Aydin and illustrated by Nate Powell. He is also the recipient of numerous awards from national and international institutions including the Lincoln Medal, the John F. Kennedy "Profile in Courage" Lifetime Achievement Award, and the NAACP Spingarn Medal, among many others. He lives in Atlanta, GA.

Andrew Aydin is creator and co-author of the #1 New York Times best-selling graphic memoir series, MARCH. Co-authored with Rep. Lewis and illustrated by Nate Powell, MARCH is the first comics work to ever win the National Book Award, and is a recipient of the Will Eisner Comics Industry Award, the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award Special Recognition, and the Coretta Scott King Book Award Author Honor, among other honors. Aydin's other comics work includes writing the X-Files Annual 2016 (IDW), writing for the CBLDF Liberty Annual 2016 (Image), and writing an upcoming issue of Bitch Planet (Image).

Nate Powell is a New York Times best-selling graphic novelist born in Little Rock, Arkansas in 1978. He began self-publishing at age 14, and graduated from School of Visual Arts in 2000. His work includes MARCH, You Don't Say, Any Empire, Swallow Me Whole, The Silence Of Our Friends, The Year Of The Beasts, and Rick Riordan's The Lost Hero. Powell is the first and only cartoonist ever to win the National Book Award. Powell has discussed his work at the United Nations, as well as on MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show and CNN.


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Product details

  • Publisher : Perfection Learning (January 20, 2015)
  • Language : English
  • Library Binding : 192 pages
  • ISBN-10 : 1531194818
  • ISBN-13 : 978-1531194819
  • Reading age : 13 - 16 years
  • Lexile measure : GN850L
  • Item Weight : 1.25 pounds
  • Dimensions : 6.6 x 0.7 x 9.5 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.9 out of 5 stars 1,570 ratings

Customer reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5
1,570 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on August 10, 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars AN EDUCATION IN GRAPHIC NOVEL FORMAT
By DisneyDenizen on August 10, 2019
TRIGGER WARNING: Animals. Man’s inhumanity to man. Please see the bottom of this review for details.

March is a graphic novel trilogy which tells the story of the Civil Rights Movement from the perspective of John Lewis, a civil rights leader and U.S. congressman. It is a meticulously detailed account. The books are simply named:

- Book One (2013)
- Book Two (2015)
- Book Three (2016)

SOME GENERAL REMARKS
The artwork in these books is black-and-white, with an emphasis on black. It seems like the illustrator is frequently using black space instead of white space on the page. If this is meant to be a social commentary or simply to illustrate the dark and difficult times, I do not know.

A fundamental problem I noticed is that sometimes the speech bubbles are too small to read. This does not happen often, and I think it is largely for dramatic effect. I was reading with my reading glasses, but still there were illegible words. I called my kids in. Same thing. But when I took a photo of one such speech bubble and expanded it, most of the words became legible! I did it again on a different photo, but the contents of those speech bubbles were gibberish; they were just there for dramatic effect to illustrate a violent crowd. Given that this is for effect and not an actual error, my 5-star rating remains.

As March is told largely from John Lewis's perspective, John Lewis is very much the hero of his own story. Still, I don't dare give such a stunning account of the fight for civil rights anything less than 5 stars.

The photos I chose to include in this review either spoke to me or illustrated some aspect of this review.

BOOK ONE
The first book covers John Lewis’s childhood and early years in the movement, largely told as a flashback to young constituents visiting his office on the morning of President Obama’s inauguration. We learn about Emmett Till and Brown vs. Board of Education - and the effect these had on young John Lewis. We watch as John Lewis meets Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. We follow him to college and participate in sit-ins at lunch counters. The book concludes with the successful integration of lunch counters in Nashville, Tennessee.

There was one incident in the book which tickled my funny bone. John Lewis grew up on a farm and when it was time to plant, he was not permitted to go to school because his father required everyone’s assistance. So John Lewis would hide and then make a mad dash to the school bus, spend the day at school, then receive a scolding (but not any actual punishment) when he arrived back home. John Lewis insists that he had to take this path because it was a “life decision” he had made. As an onlooker and a parent, it occurs to me that his father may have set him on this particular path, making attending school appear to be a rebellious act. Furthermore, ditching farm work to attend school solidified the boy’s commitment to his own education. As a parent, I’m thinking bravo! Kudos to the dad - who incidentally could have driven to the school and pulled the boy out for the day but apparently never did.

BOOK TWO
The second book begins with efforts to integrate movie theaters in Nashville. From there, John Lewis goes on to become a Freedom Rider; discussion of that experience and the Freedom Riders in general takes up a significant portion of the book. After the briefest of detours into protesting for fair employment practices, John Lewis describes the splitting of the movement into two sections: direct action and voter registration.

At the age of 23, John Lewis is unexpectedly elected chairman of the important Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, which thrusts him into the spotlight as part of the national leadership. He becomes one of the “Big Six”. Next the August 28, 1963, March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom is covered. John Lewis is the only surviving speaker of that March. I believe his entire speech is included in the graphic novel, while an earlier disputed draft is included in text form at the end of the book. By contrast, Martin Luther King, Jr.'s speech is only alluded to, I suspect for copyright reasons. It is amusing to note that John Lewis and the other leaders were meeting with Congressional leaders when the March began and hence missed its start!

The book ends with the bombing of a church.

BOOK THREE
By far the longest of the three books, Book Three begins with the same church bombing we ended Book Two with. The focus of this book is squarely on the right to vote as voter registration of African-Americans is aggressively blocked throughout the South.

We accompany John Lewis on a 72-day trip to Africa where John Lewis learned the importance of Malcolm X to young revolutionaries on the continent. It is a weakness of the book that no context is given as to what is happening in Africa during those years, namely that country after country is throwing off the yolk of colonialism. While intense discussions of African history are clearly beyond the scope of the book, surely a page could have been devoted to those important happenings. It would have tied together the theme of how what was happening to Africans was connected to what was happening to African-Americans.

Another weakness is that only a page or two is devoted to the role of women in John Lewis's civil rights organization. The early to mid-1960s was a time of tremendous social upheaval in this country for multiple reasons. The sea change we witnessed in the role of women was an extremely significant outcome of this era. Again, I'm sure it was beyond the scope of the book, but it likely deserved more mention.

As always, the book focuses on John Lewis's efforts, but also touches on many other historical figures. Martin Luther King, Jr. comes across as perhaps less of a hero than we would expect; this might be unintentional. King missed a pivotal march, announcing that he would not be participating shortly before it was set to begin. Shortly thereafter, he started a march but then turned it around without giving prior notice to anyone.

Book Three culminates with the march from Selma to Montgomery, which began on March 21, 1965. Shortly thereafter, the 1965 Voting Rights Act was signed into law. With it, John Lewis ended his participation in the movement.

* * *

During the events depicted in these books, I was too young to be aware of them. I grew up in a lily white Western state. As a child in the 1960s, I recall a television commercial depicting a black child entreating us not to be racists. I was appalled. Why would there be an ad for that? I was quite indignant not only at the accusation of possible racism thrown my way but at the very idea that anyone would be prejudiced against a black child. I had never encountered that in my life; therefore, it did not exist. So ignorant.

Looking back over my subsequent 50 years, it is remarkable how little I learned about the Civil Rights Movement in high school, college, and grad school. This trilogy definitely expanded my knowledge and gave me a much-needed education in these events.

TRIGGER WARNING: Given the subject matter of these graphic novels, there is not much cause to mention human-on-human violence; its presence should be obvious. In fact, the series opens with violence against the peaceful protestors on the Edmund Pettus Bridge. But you should be aware that in Book One on pages 20-35, John Lewis tells of his time tending to the chickens on his family farm. As you might guess, those chickens were not primarily there to be pets.

My thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this book which in no way influenced my review.
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Top reviews from other countries

Amazon_Mammy
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved book 1 - so got him book 2&3
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 20, 2020
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Andrea M.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 3, 2017
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Jaime
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 15, 2017
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Kuschel17
5.0 out of 5 stars Spannend!
Reviewed in Germany on November 10, 2020
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Client d'Amazon
5.0 out of 5 stars March, la suite des aventures du congressman Lewis dans sa lutte non-violente contre la ségrégation aux U.S. ds les années 60
Reviewed in France on June 18, 2018
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