Peaceful Fights for Equal Rights, written by Rob Sanders, illustrated by Jared Andrew Schorr

Peaceful Fights for Equal Rights by Rob Sanders, illustrated by Jared Andrew Schorr
Purchased at Barnes & Noble

Peaceful Fights for Equal Rights is a standout among the growing number of books for kid's addressing equal rights and human rights. Rather than tell readers what to fight for, Sanders shows them the many ways to protest peacefully. Highly accessible and rich with conversation starters (supported by backmatter that includes a brief history of peaceful protests and a glossary of terms), Sanders's writes in short sentences that are often one word only, rich with action words. In fact, Peaceful Fights for Equal Rights is an ABC book, though not rigidly so. More of an organizing principal than concept, Sanders uses the alphabet and repetition of the letters to deepen and expand the theme. To demonstrate this, I included images of the first twelve pages. Schorr's illustrations are perfectly paired with Sanders's words. His papercut collages are as straightforward  and simple as the words. Diversity is everywhere on the page, from race, ethnicity, age and ability to and details are intricate. Schorr incorporates found items, like postage stamps, ticket stubs, patterned paper and fabrics. Moments from history, like the Delano grape strike, are recreated, while the Greensboro sit-ins and the words of Gandhi appear in books within this book. And, in a more timely instance, a woman can be seen knitting a pink hat as she watches a football game on t.v., where a player has taken a knee.

Sanders begins his book with this quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., "We must pursue peaceful ends through peaceful means." His dedication, which I found very moving and meaningful, reads, "In honor of those who lost their lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and those who found their voices." From start to finish, there is a poetic flow to Sanders's words and Schorr's illustrations - and so much to unpack. This is a book you will return to often over time.

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