NONFICTION

We Are Power: How Nonviolent Activism Changed the World

Abrams. Apr. 2020. 320p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781419741111.
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Gr 6 Up–Hasak-Lowy profiles six past and present leaders of nonviolent resistance from Gandhi to Greta Thunberg. Gandhi’s methods of protest (disobeying the law, being arrested, marching with groups of followers along historical routes) proved to be so effective that other leaders modeled their tactics on his techniques. The book focuses on activists of the 20th century: Alice Paul went on a hunger strike in prison to advocate for women’s suffrage, Martin Luther King Jr. and thousands of children went to jail in Birmingham to protest segregation, and Cesar Chavez led a grape boycott that resulted in the United Farm Workers gaining decent pay and working conditions. Photographs provide context. Gandhi is shown dressed in a three-piece suit with trimmed hair when he was a practicing lawyer from 1893 until 1913. Later he’s shown barefoot and wearing homemade clothes suitable for the Salt March in 1930. The author describes the suffering inherent in the work of these brave men and women and captures the joy of victory. Readers will learn about others equally important and worthy of mention: Bayard Rustin, James Bevel, and Dolores Huerta. The source notes and bibliography are excellent.
VERDICT Highly recommended for its outstanding treatment of the history of social justice. A good resource for student activists.

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