ENOUGH! 20 Protesters Who Changed America written by Emily Easton, illustrated by Ziyue Chen
ENOUGH! 20 Protesters Who Changed America
by Emily Easton, illustrated by Ziyue Chen
Purchased for my school library with grant funding
With a single sentence on each two page spread, Enough! 20 Protesters Who Changed America introduces readers to the powerful ways Americans have fought for change, starting with Samuel Adams and the Boston Tea Party in 1773. Easton and Chen continue with Harriet leading the way, Susan casting her vote, Rosa keeping her seat, Ruby going to school, Martin having a dream and Cesar and Dolores declaring, "No grapes!" Woody sang, Rachel wrote a book and John and Yoko honeymooned in bed while Gilbert sewed a flag. Muhammed Ali refused to fight and "Tommie and John raised their fists" at the 1968 Olympics.
Chen's illustrations are gentle - faces are smooth, eyes are big and round and the more intense emotions activists may have felt at the time are not evident. As an introduction to Americans fighting for acceptance and equality and basic human rights, this is a book you can read to the youngest listeners, but it is also a book that demands discussion and further reading. Easton starts the process with back matter that includes a paragraph of information about the twenty featured protesters and quotes, again, presenting their stories in a way that is accessible for younger children. Easton makes clear the sacrifices made by these protestors
What I especially appreciate about Easton's book are the contemporary figures she includes. Jazz Jennings and Colin Kaepernick end the book along with America Ferrara saying, "Time's up," and Parkland demanding, "Never again!" An author's note from Easton, who is the vice president and co-publisher of Crown Books for Young Readers, is also the cousin of students who survived the shooting at Parkland. Having visited them a few weeks before the shooting, Easton was grateful they were safe and in awe of and moved by the teens who organized the March for Our Lives, including her cousins, now graduates of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, including one who took a leave of absence from college to return home and help the movement. Easton's cousin, Ryan Deitsch, was a senior at Parkland on February 14, 2018, and is now leader of a movement to change gun control laws. Deitsch contributed the foreword to Enough! 20 Protesters Who Changed America, writing:
There's no telling how our actions will impact this world, but we are determined to continue our efforts to protect other communities from the horrors we faced. Anyone is able to join this fight; all you need is passion in your heart and a way to share it: online, in a crow with a memorable sign, with something as small as a crayon or a pen. Anyone can help bring change. You can, too.
A great companion to Enough! 20 Protesters Who Changed America is Peaceful Fights for Equal Rights by Rob Sanders, illustrated by Jared Andrew Schorr. The dedication to Sanders' book reads:
In honor of those who lost their lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, and those who found their voices.