While I was back at my small home town a few weeks ago, my father and I went on a walk. As we passed certain locations, landmarks, and houses in my small town, memories of growing up there flooded me. They came over me and gave me a warm feeling, because it reminded me of the love and joy I shared there as a child. I had a good life, and a bright future lies ahead.
Though my steps brought joy and great memories, the same could not be said for Lillian, who, in her old age, is on her way to vote. Lillian’s way to voting booth brings back painful memories. Painful memories of when her grandparents were sold as slaves. Painful memories of different periods through time when African Americans did not share the same rights as white people.
Painful memories of being able to vote— but, unfortunately, not being able to pass the test to qualify.
Lillian does not let any of these memories stop her. She marches onward to the voting booth and pulls the lever. The pulling of the lever is so meaningful to her. All of the hardships of her lifetime have led up to this moment- to finally being able to exercise her right to vote as an American citizen.
In Jonah Winter and Shane W. Evans’ newest title, Lillian’s Right to Vote, we wonder how people could be so cruel. But all the way, we are cheering Lillian on as she heads to vote.
This book will not only give young readers the chance to reflect back on life before the Civil Rights movement, but also gives them the chance to appreciate their right to vote. It’s something that not everyone had, and it is something that certainly should not be taken for granted.
The endnotes offer deeper exploration into the struggles and celebrations people like Lillian faced in their lifetime, and allow us all to empathize with why voting— and rights, for that matter, are so important.