Here’s an essential picture book for everyone—black and brown and white, young and old, now and forever. A beautiful and powerful collection.
Title: We Are the Change, Words of Inspiration from Civil Rights Leaders
Written by: Harry Belafonte (introduction)
Illustrated by: Selina Alko, Alina Chau, Lisa Congdon, Emily Hughes, Molly Idle, Juana Medina, Innosanto Nagara, Christopher Silas Neal, John Parra, Brian Pinkney, Greg Pizzoli, Sean Qualls, Dan Santat, Shadra Strickland, Melissa Sweet, and Raúl the Third
Suitable for ages: 5-120
Themes/topics: civil rights, change, diversity
This book was inspired by the continuing work of the American Civil Liberties Union, which guards the rights of all Americans under law.
“So long as we have enough people in this country willing to fight for their rights, we’ll be called a democracy.”
~ACLU Founder Roger Baldwin
Sixteen award-winning children’s book artists illustrate the civil rights quotations that inspire them in this stirring and beautiful book. Featuring an introduction by Harry Belafonte, words from Eleanor Roosevelt, Maya Angelou, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. among others, this inspirational collection sets a powerful example for generations of young leaders to come. It includes illustrations by Selina Alko, Alina Chau, Lisa Congdon, Emily Hughes, Molly Idle, Juana Medina, Innosanto Nagara, Christopher Silas Neal, John Parra, Brian Pinkney, Greg Pizzoli, Sean Qualls, Dan Santat, Shadra Strickland, Melissa Sweet, and Raúl the Third.
Activities and Resources:
Use this book alongside any story with a focus on civil rights. Choose several quotes that resonate with the story, and explain why. How do those quotes fit your life story?
Choose a favorite quote and then learn more about the author. Make a poster with the quote, illustrate it in your own way, and hang it where it can inspire you.
Choose a favorite illustration for a quote in the book. Read what the illustrator wrote about the quote they illustrated. How does the illustration fit the quote? Learn more about the illustrator.
Individually, with friends, or a class, create a compilation of more favorite and powerful quotes that inspire you. Include diverse illustrations. Share your book with others!
Why I like this book:
When I first came across this book, I loved it and ordered it immediately to pair with my then forthcoming book, Lizzie Demands a Seat. Such powerful and important quotes from a diverse group of people. Such an extraordinary collection of art from diverse illustrators. And such important connections expressed by the illustrators for the quotes they chose. This is one of those books that can be paired with others so easily, can inspire in hard times, and can connect all people—whether black or white or brown, young or old.
AND…the winner of The Brave Cyclist by Amalia Hoffman is….Jolene Gutierrez!!
Visit author Susanna Hill’s Perfect Picture Books for a plethora of picture books listed by title and topic/theme, each with teacher/parent activities and resources.