Wednesday, August 28, 2013


On this day in 1963 was the historic March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, where Martin Luther King, Jr delivered is iconic "I Have a Dream" speech. On this day in 1968, protestors outside the Chicago Democratic National Convention were beaten as the world watched on TV. To mark both events, today we look at books about protest.

We looked at books about Dr. King on Martin Luther King Day and books about the Civil Rights movement during February.


The Revolution of Evelyn Serrano by Sonia Manzano. In 1969, The Young Lords create in uprising in Evelyn's Spanish Harlem neighborhood. The fight spills into her own home, as Evelyn's grandmother supports the Puerto-Rican Young Lords, but her mother does not, with Evelyn caught in the middle.

Plastic by Sarah N. Harvey. When his best friend decides to get a boob for her 16th birthday, Jack does some research into plastic surgery and is horrified by what he finds. He starts a movement protesting plastic surgery on young people, but as the movement grows, it turns violent and Jack no longer has control of it.

Climbing the Stairs by Padma Venkatraman. Set during WWII and the independence movement, Vidya's father is badly beaten by the British during an independence rally. He lives, but his brain is damaged. The family is forced to move in with their conservative grandfather. There, Vidya's aunts make life even harder for Vidya and her mother. Vidya's only solace is the library, which is located upstairs in the male part of the house, and therefore forbidden to her.


The Beginning of the American Fall: A Comics Journalist Inside the Occupy Wall Street Movement by Stephanie McMillan. This book chronicles the first several months of the Occupy Wall Street protests with cartoons, interviews, and thoughts.

Zahra's Paradise by Amir and Khalil. Mehdi was arrested and disappears during the protests following Iran's 2009 elections, but his mother and brother (a blogger) won't let his memory die and are determined to find him, or the truth about what happened to him.

Bread and Roses, Too by Katherine Patterson. When the millworkers in Lawrence, Mass. go on strike, Rosa is confused. Her teacher says the strikers are good-for-nothing rabble rousers, but Rosa's mother and sister on the picket lines. Then she's sent away with the other children, to stay safe until the strike is over.


33 Revolutions per Minute: A History of Protest Songs, from Billie Holiday to Green Day by Dorian Lynskey. Lynskey looks at 33 different songs from the 20th century and the events they were protesting and actions they inspired.

Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan. When her father is murdered, Esperanza and her mother flee to from Mexico to the US. Esperanza is used to an upper class life, not her new life as a migrant worker worker during the depression.

Uprising by Margaret Peterson Haddix. Three girls from different backgrounds become friends at the Triangle Shirtwaist factory. Told in each voice, this does more than focus on the tragic fire, but also covers an earlier strike against unfair labor conditions.

What are your must-reads about protesting?

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