Your Voice Is Your Superpower: A Beginner’s Guide to Freedom of Speech (and the First ­Amendment)

City Point. Sept. 2020. 32p. Tr $13.99. ISBN 9781947951273; pap. $6.99. ISBN 9781947951280.
K-Gr 3–In this brief guide to the First Amendment for beginning readers, self-expression is presented as a superpower. Rhyming couplets explain how children can freely express themselves—or stay silent if that’s what they choose. The authors are lawyers with extensive First Amendment experience. The text includes the important (and sometimes forgotten) caveat: “Like all important things, free speech can be tricky. Freedom belongs to all—even when what we hear sounds icky.” Readers are advised that it might be hard to listen to things they disagree with. The Bohrers stress, “Raise your voice, open your ears, be part of the future we shape.” Photographs depict children and teens of different ethnicities and races; some are BIPOC. Digital art features cape-wearing cartoon characters. Sometimes there are metrical hiccups. Educators, parents, and caretakers who choose this title for a read-aloud may want to practice first, but the conversations this title might inspire will be worth it. The concept of freedom of speech can be abstract, but the examples will be familiar: raising a hand in a classroom, taking a knee, praying or singing, and marching with signs. Back matter includes the text of the First Amendment, an explanation of the Bill of Rights, and numerous web resources.
VERDICT The Bohrers showcase a powerful idea. There aren’t many books that discuss the First Amendment for young readers, so this title is a recommended addition to school and public libraries.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing