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March - A trilogy - John Lewis {REVIEW}

 

I have been a fan of John Lewis for quite some time now. When I first heard that he had put together a comic book/graphic novel detailing the civil rights movement, I was fascinated. I needed to get my hands on these books!! I added them to my wish list, and thankfully, I received them as a gift for the holidays. I started reading the first book in the beginning of the month - it's the smaller of the three, but I was busy with other things so it took me a few days to get through it. Really though, if I'm honest, what really gave me momentum to read through the trilogy was the recent criticism Lewis has received for what I see as, his honesty. After spending some time on social media venting my feelings on the subject, I took to finishing book one. Then I read book two that same day... and started on book three... I finished book three today and I immediately sat down to share my thoughts on the triology.





There really isn't anything negative to say about these books. First off, I received the slipcase trilogy version and the set is absolutely stunning. They're the kind of books that you want to display, rather than leaving tucked away behind other books. The artwork inside the books is also fantastic. I struggled while reading the books between two emotions: wanting to fly through reading, and wanting to slow down to really savor the artwork gracing the pages. I did a bit of both. Some pages I lingered on a little while longer than others.



March tells not just the story of the fight for civil rights, but it also details much of John Lewis's earlier life. Lewis tells his story and shows the reader what the fight for civil rights was like through his eyes. This is not your typical history retelling. This is not the story found in a textbook. Although, it should be. Recently, I was on Twitter and saw how author Rainbow Rowell had mentioned that Barnes & Noble had shelved March in the historical section, rather than simply with other comics/graphic novels, which I think is exactly where this book belongs. I think every child should read this trilogy. It should be a required reading in schools.

Not only is March an amazing recount of such an important moment in history, but it also tells the story in such a creative way. By telling the story in a graphic novel format it allows the reader to really absorb the story, in a way that a more traditional book would not allow. While reading, you are able to really immerse yourself in the struggle that Americans were experiencing as they fought for their basic rights. The violence is illustrated right in front of you, and cannot be glossed over as easily as it might be through other formats.

The trilogy is also a great read for people who might not be very heavy, or avid readers. The graphic novel format allows the reader to get through the books rather quickly and might be an encouraging reader for those who struggle to find time to read, or who are in a reading slump. It happens to all of us!

2016 was a rather rough year and despite all the progress this country has seen over the years, 2017 and the following years might be another one of our great challenges. The March trilogy is a great series to read to remind ourselves of how much people have struggled in our past, how much we have to lose, and how much we still have to fight for. It feels right now, like there is a lot that hangs in the balance, because there is. March is a great series to energize us for the fights we face in the future.



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