The MY HERO Project | Library

Granddaddy’s Turn: A Journey to the Ballot Box

By Michael S. Bandy & Eric Stein

Publisher: Candlewick
ISBN: 978-0763665937
MY HERO recommends this book to children readers.

Gr 1–3—This beautiful picture book focuses on a special day. Granddaddy is wearing his suit, and Michael has agreed to put on a tie. Michael thinks they might be going to the county fair, but Granddaddy tells him that their destination is even better. African Americans have been granted the right to vote, and Granddaddy is going to the polls for the first time. Michael snaps a picture of his grandfather beaming with pride as he holds his first ballot, but the pair's happiness is short-lived: after Granddaddy is forced to admit that he can't read, a deputy sends him away. Granddaddy leaves in silent tears as Michael vows to vote for him someday. The narrative shifts to the years ahead as Michael grows and waits; when his own turn to vote finally comes, he brings his grandfather's picture along. The vocabulary and sentence structure will be accessible to readers of early chapter books, and the style evokes stories told in the oral tradition. Ransome's watercolors have a folksy quality reminiscent of Patricia Polacco's artwork. Occasional backlit silhouettes accent the bond between grandfather and grandson, and details like farm scenery, period clothing and hairstyles, and a decorative tablecloth create authenticity and atmosphere. Perhaps the most notable image comes toward the end, when a college-age Michael, immersed in school work, glances backward at the old photo of his grandfather that adorns his study space. A note at the end provides historical context about voting and the civil rights movement. VERDICT A visually detailed tale of patience and delayed triumph that highlights an important aspect of history.—Jill Ratzan, I.L. Peretz Community Jewish School,

MY HERO Review:

This seemingly simple read-aloud to introduce young readers to the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act achieves complexity in its images. —Kirkus Reviews

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