On August 28, 1963 Martin Luther King, Jr stood in front of over 250,000 thousand marchers and delivered the famous “I Have a Dream” speech. He died long before I was born, but I can hear his voice in my head, the slow, careful delivery as if each word carried the weight of a million voices behind it. He spoke not only for himself, but for all those who dreamt of equality. His was one voice that contained the hopes, dreams, and fears of a nation. His words rang out loud and clear, so that fifty-one years later we can still feel the weight of his words on us, still share the same dream of equality, and still find a voice of our own to speak out against all forms of injustice and inequality.
That’s why this week’s young adult recommendations are about one voice that can learn to speak for the millions who share a dream of a future where all people are equal.
BECAUSE THEY MARCHED: THE PEOPLE’S CAMPAIGN FOR VOTING RIGHTS THAT CHANGED AMERICA by Russell Freedman
|“For the 50th anniversary of the 1965 march for voting right from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, Newberry Medalist Russell Freedman has written a riveting account of this pivotal event in the history of civil rights. Illustrated with more than forty photographs, this is an essential chronicle of events every American should know.”
BECAUSE THEY MARCHED is beautifully created to not only tell the personal stories of those who marched for their rights but to show the story through photographs. This is a fantastic non-fiction account for anyone interested in learning more about the history of civil rights in America.
THE ONLY THING TO FEAR by Caroline Tung Richmond
|What if Hitler had won the war?
80 years ago, Hitler’s genetically engineered super soldiers won the war. America has been divided with the East going to Germany, the West going to Japan, and a small section to the north going to Italy. Of Japanese and American decent, 16-year-old Zara is a mischling, mixed blood. She has no rights under the oppressive rule of the Nazi’s. Zara dreams of the free America she’s only read about in banned books.
With whispers of revolution growing, Zara is willing to risk everything to help a rebel group defeat the Nazi’s and rebuild America, but can Zara trust the rebels with her secrets, one that will mean her immediate execution if the wrong person finds out?
THE ONLY THING TO FEAR is fast-paced, emotionally charged, and imaginative. It’s a stunning look at what could have been, but it also shows the strength inside those who are willing to risk their lives for a better future. THE ONLY THING TO FEAR is suggested for readers 12 and up, but with the constant action and heroic super soldiers, younger readers (9 and up) will like Zara’s story and her struggle to find freedom for herself and everyone she loves.
FORGIVE ME, LEONARD PEACOCK by Matthew Quick
|It’s Leonard Peacock’s eighteenth birthday. It’s the day he will kill his former best friend and then himself. But before he does, there are four people he must say goodbye to.
FORGIVE ME, LEONARD PEACOCK is a brilliantly written account of a young man’s struggle to live with the injustices forced on him. The violence of his intentions towards himself and others is disturbing, but it’s his recognition of the value of life that makes Leonard Peacock a compelling character. FORGIVE ME, LEONARD PEACOCK addresses tough issues like school shootings, rape, abuse, suicide, and depression. It is not a light-hearted read and the ambiguous ending leaves room for the reader’s to really wonder what will happen next. I highly recommend FORGIVE ME, LEONARD PEACOCK but be prepared for heartache.