Your Freedom, Your Power: A Kid’s Guide to the First Amendment

Running Pr. Jul. 2023. 192p. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780762478385.
Gr 6 Up–Lawyers Matulli and Castro-Malaspina take readers on a tour through the Bill of Rights and Constitution with an extended layover in the First Amendment. Breaking down the First Amendment’s five guarantees, the authors offer thorough explanations of what those freedoms mean and where gray areas still leave them open to interpretation. What makes this guide so powerful is that while most books about the First Amendment provide examples of landmark cases brought before the courts in defense of adult rights, all the cases here are brought on behalf of minors. Students’ Freedom of Religion and Freedom of Speech include such well-known examples as prayer at school-sponsored events, forced creationist curriculum, and dress codes. The Freedom of Assembly section, too, encourages readers to embrace their power as activists like the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and the 1963 Children’s Crusade. There’s a helpful primer to how the U.S. court system functions, which curiously never indicates that minors cannot file lawsuits. Other than that small oversight, this is a thoughtfully crafted book.
VERDICT A useful addition to most libraries.

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