by Carole Boston Weatherford; illustrated by Ekua Holmes
Picture book biography
Interest level: grades 4-8
Reading level: 5.6
5 out of 5 stars
This is an incredibly powerful and beautiful picture book biography of Fannie Lou Hamer. The first person narrative is written in free verse poetry, incorporating quotes from Hamer. Fannie Lou Hamer is one of the lesser known civil rights activists, and this biography makes an important addition to civil rights literature for children.
Hamer’s story details what life was like in Mississippi during Jim Crow oppression, and relates the difficult battle to vote and have a voice. It seems that for every step forward on the road to civil rights and freedoms, there were enormous setbacks. Many times, Hamer’s voice would sing out with the spiritual songs she had learned as a child, giving people the strength and courage needed to carry on.
The illustrations by Ekua Holmes are wonderful and colorful collages that depict the vibrancy of Hamer as well as the light and dark moments that colored her life. This is a powerful and important book that should be included in all libraries to augment the civil rights literature for children.