John wants to be a preacher when he grows up-a leader whose words stir hearts to change, minds to think, and bodies to take action. But why wait? When John is put in charge of the family farm's flock of chickens, he discovers that they make a wonderful congregation! So he preaches to his flock, and they listen, content under his watchful care, riveted by the rhythm of his voice.
Celebrating ingenuity and dreaming big, this inspirational story, featuring Jabari Asim's stirring prose and E. B. Lewis's stunning, light-filled impressionistic watercolor paintings, includes an author's note about John Lewis, who grew up to be a member of the Freedom Riders, chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, and demonstrator on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. John Lewis is now a Georgia congressman, who is still an activist today, recently holding a sit-in on the House floor of the U.S. Capitol to try to force a vote on gun violence.
"Before he became a congressman of Georgia, leader of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, Freedom Rider, and civil rights activist, John Lewis was a farm boy who loved spring and his flock of chickens. This picture-book biography recalls those early days when young John, inspired by the faith and camaraderie he felt at church, practiced instilling messages of gratitude, peace, and cooperation among his private congregation of chickens. Although the concept may appear comical at first glance, this book is wonderfully sincere. Asim and Lewis' words and images convey their respect and admiration for John Lewis, and readers will feel the same way. A tender narrative, paired with watercolors filled with light and movement, captures the heat of a Georgia day and the unmistakable bond John formed with his feathery followers. Young readers will appreciate the gentle messages about the importance of hard work, persistence, and patience that lay the foundations for John Lewis' activism as an adult, which is detailed in a final author's note.--Chaudhri, Amina Copyright 2016 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review:
"Asim (Fifty Cents and a Dream) draws on an anecdote from congressman John Lewis's 1998 memoir, Walking with the Wind, as he recounts the story of the future civil rights activist tending to a flock of chickens, both physically and-in a way-spiritually. On the Alabama farm of his childhood, Lewis was in charge of the chickens; inspired by church ministers, Lewis would preach to the birds, which "swayed to the rhythm of his voice." E.B. Lewis (The First Step) stages the scenes under the bright springtime light of Alabama mornings, giving a full sense of John Lewis's world, from the dusty henhouse to the sturdy wooden pews of his family's church, while always emphasizing the tender care he devoted to the chickens. It's a moving portrait of the power of small actions and "learn[ing] to speak up for those who can't speak for themselves." Ages 5-8. Author's agent: Joy Harris, Joy Harris Literary. (Oct.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
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