Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers (#QP2023) Featured Review of And We Rise by Erica Martin

And We Rise
by Erica Martin
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers
Release date: February 1, 2022
ISBN: 9780593352526

Poignant and educational poems chronicling the Civil Rights Movement and the important people involved. Divided up into different sections each chapter highlights a major timeframe in the history of the movement. From Rosa Parks, to the Supreme Court decision of Brown vs. Board of Education, to Martin Luther King’s march on Washington, these poems give a visual and sensual look at these events. The poems take some creative license in depicting the real life people and their emotions at the time, but the other important facts are accurate.  

These short powerful poems convey a lot in a small amount of text. They are easy to read but cram a fair amount of information about the Civil Rights Movement into each page. Reluctant readers will appreciate the white space on the page and the simple vocabulary chosen to tell the stories, but will still feel an emotional connection to the history. 

Teens who are interested in poetry or want to learn more about the Civil Rights Movement without reading a lengthy, nonfiction book will appreciate the short format. The poems reflect the current Black Lives Matter movement, and readers looking for more inspiration for the cause will find it through these true stories. Readers who enjoy Mahogany L. Browne and Jason Reynolds will find a similar writing style in this collection of narrative poems.

– Rachel Adams

Other Nominated Titles:

  • The Bone Spindle by Leslie Vedder (January 11, 2022)
  • One For All by Lillie Lainoff (March 3, 2022)

The Selected Lists teams read throughout the year in search of the best titles published in their respective categories. Once a book is suggested (either internally or through the title suggestion form), it must pass through a review process to be designated an official nomination.

Each week, the teams feature a review of one of the officially nominated titles. Additional titles to receive this designation are listed as well. At year’s end, the team will curate a final list from all nominated titles and select a Top Ten.

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Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers Blogging Team @ YALSA's The Hub.