When Thunder Comes

Poems for Civil Rights Leaders (2013)
When Thunder Comes


"I was a typist, nothing more. I loved my life, I hated war.

But it was war that stole from me my job, my life, serenity."

This poem, "The Captive", is about Mitsuye Endo, a woman who protested the removal of her civil rights during World War II when all Japanese-Americans were moved into relocation camps.   All of the poems in J. Patrick Lewis' book are about civil rights activists, and are illustrated by five different illustrators.  Most of the illustrations consist of muted tones, but a few are bright and colorful. People honored with poems include Josh Gibson, Emmett Till's mother, Harvey Milk, Nelson Mandela, and Jackie Robinson.   Author's notes at the end of the book fill in details about who each person is and how they made a difference. 

Publisher's Weekly and Booklist gave this book starred reviews, and I give it high praise as well.

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