March: Book 1 — I loved this graphic novel and I recommend it for children (grade 3+) and adults alike. It features a great story, beautiful and compelling drawings, and honestly it’s pretty damn timely.
The story follows John from a young age to his late teenage years–a period when he experienced and witnessed injustices that showed him the dysfunction of our nation. He channeled his sadness and anger into productivity, and along with some classmates and other leaders in the civil rights movement, he became entrenched in the non-violent resistant movement and ultimately changed history.
The graphic novel alternates between his past and Inauguration Day 2009, and, through vivid illustrations, it takes us on a journey that is shocking and inspirational. I thought it was compelling and emotional—obviously as these stories are when we see the past and reflect on the present and possible future. I loved the illustrations and I will admit that at first it took me a while to settle in and figure out the sequence, but it didn’t take too long, so minimal embarrassment.
This biography’s narrative is mostly just a retelling of events, and I wish there was more emphasis on John Lewis’s feelings about those events. Although, it’s obviously easy to infer.
I picked up this book because I wanted something different and inspirational, and I’m glad that I did. It definitely delivered on what I wanted. I recommend it, and hopefully books 2 and 3 are as good or better.
March: Book 2 —This book picked up right were the first left off and took me on a journey like no other. I have so much respect for John Lewis and what he endured–I don’t think I’m half as strong. I won’t say I enjoyed seeing what he and others endured to get me to where I am today, because seeing everything was harrowing and heartbreaking. I needed to see it, though, in order to appreciate my present and to take care with my future.
I moved immediately to the third book after the explosive cliffhanger that ended this installment. I’m glad I can binge this, but I’ll be sure to review it all again to retain the details and experience the full impact. As with the first, I recommend.
March: Book 3 — This is absolutely a five star experience.
This final installment in the March trilogy is the best, a culmination of the terror and inspiration that’s experienced with books one and two. I’m leaving away from this trilogy with a deeper understanding of human nature and the resilience of people, and what we can endure if we simply refuse to quit fighting for what is right.
I loved this trilogy for many reasons, but mainly because I love history. It was eye-opening to see all it took to get millions of people in the US to actually live up to the standard set by the Constitution and its philosophical principles. It was both a devastating disillusionment and an endless inspiration. John Lewis and many others endured torture to force the establishment to enforce equality. As I’ve said before, I don’t know if I could’ve done it.
The writers and illustrators showcased some truly horrific moments to shed light on all sides of the Civil Rights movement, many sides that we’ve already forgotten about. I thought I knew, but I had no idea, and seeing the illustrations, seeing everything that was endured, in the stark black and white picture format sometimes took my breath away. I’ll never forget some of the images.
This final installment focused more on the behind the scenes chess moves of the Civil Rights Movement and the political machinery that pushed various agendas. I thought it was very interesting to learn some of the names and faces that were lost, the people who history forgot. There was so much death. But on an uplifting note, this is a great look into the lives of people who overcame the worst possible circumstances and ultimately changed the world. (I spent so much time on Google during this reading experience.)
I loved this series. All the books are fantastic and the series gets better as it goes along. For young readers, I think these books are necessary. I hope they become required reading. For adults, read it and recommend them to the young people in your lives. Show them that they can get shit done at a young age and nobody can stop them.
Book InfoMarch by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell
Series: , ,
Genres: Young Adult
Format: Graphic Novel
Source: Books & Books
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Congressman John Lewis (GA-5) is an American icon, one of the key figures of the civil rights movement. His commitment to justice and nonviolence has taken him from an Alabama sharecropper’s farm to the halls of Congress, from a segregated schoolroom to the 1963 March on Washington, and from receiving beatings from state troopers to receiving the Medal of Freedom from the first African-American president.
Now, to share his remarkable story with new generations, Lewis presents March, a graphic novel trilogy, in collaboration with co-writer Andrew Aydin and New York Times best-selling artist Nate Powell (winner of the Eisner Award and LA Times Book Prize finalist for Swallow Me Whole).
March is a vivid first-hand account of John Lewis’ lifelong struggle for civil and human rights, meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Rooted in Lewis’ personal story, it also reflects on the highs and lows of the broader civil rights movement.
Book One spans John Lewis’ youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., the birth of the Nashville Student Movement, and their battle to tear down segregation through nonviolent lunch counter sit-ins, building to a stunning climax on the steps of City Hall.
Many years ago, John Lewis and other student activists drew inspiration from the 1950s comic book "Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story." Now, his own comics bring those days to life for a new audience, testifying to a movement whose echoes will be heard for generations.