Nonfiction Picture Book Wednesday is hosted by Kid Lit Frenzy and was started to help promote the reading of nonfiction texts. Most Wednesdays, we will be participating and will review a nonfiction text (though it may not always be a picture book).
Be sure to visit Kid Lit Frenzy and see what other nonfiction books are shared this week!
Blood Brothers: Jonathan Daniels and His Sacrifice for Civil Rights
Author: Rich Wallace and Sandra Neil Wallace
Published September 13th, 2016 by Calkins Creek
Goodreads Summary: Jonathan Daniels, a white seminary student from New Hampshire, traveled to Selma, Alabama, in 1965 to help with voter registration of black residents. After the voting rights marches, he remained in Alabama, in the area known as “Bloody Lowndes,” an extremely dangerous area for white freedom fighters, to assist civil rights workers. Five months later, Jonathan Daniels was shot and killed while saving the life of Ruby Sales, a black teenager. Through Daniels’s poignant letters, papers, photographs, and taped interviews, authors Rich Wallace and Sandra Neil Wallace explore what led Daniels to the moment of his death, the trial of his murderer, and how these events helped reshape both the legal and political climate of Lowndes County and the nation.
Blood Brother has received two starred reviews so far from Kirkus and Booklist, and a very strong review from School Library Journal:
*”This powerful biography of a little-known figure underscores the fact that civil rights workers in the 1960s South knowingly put their lives on the line for the cause…. The authors deftly convey Daniels’ complex personality, drawing from letters and interviews, including 18 they conducted. Numerous photographs, relatively large print, and an open design invite readers in… An unusually inspiring story skillfully told.”—Kirkus Reviews, starred review
*”Outside of his hometown (Keene, New Hampshire), the name Jonathan Daniels isn’t well known, but it should be… a thoroughly researched, meticulously documented biography, which is interesting from the start, but increasingly absorbing… The many well-chosen photos show up beautifully on the large, glossy pages. The riveting story of one individual among the many working for Civil Rights during the 1960s.”—Booklist, starred review
“In a masterly demonstration of scholarly research and nonfiction writing, the Wallaces have crafted a powerful biographical narrative of civil rights activist Jonathan Daniels…. careful annotations and thorough indexing help readers keep track of the many players and scenes in this true-life drama. The authors have created a biography that brings to light the life and legacy of a lesser-known civil rights activist… this visually stunning and morally significant history is highly recommended…” —School Library Journal
About the Authors: Sandra Neil Wallace had a lengthy career as a news anchor and ESPN sportscaster before writing realistic fiction and nonfiction for young readers. A pioneer in the journalism field, she was the first woman to cover the National Hockey League on network TV. Selected as a promising new voice in children’s literature by The Horn Book, Wallace’s titles have been named to state and national awards lists including Bank Street College’s Best Children’s Book of the Year, ALA-YALSA Quick Picks, and Booklist’s Top 10 Sports Books for Youth. Visit sandraneilwallace.com.
Rich has been writing since he was a little boy, when he wrote and illustrated his own comic books. He has since published more than 25 novels for kids and teenagers. Many of those books have been award winners. Rich has an extensive background as a writer and editor, having served for many years as a senior editor at Highlights for Children magazine. He still writes the monthly “Timbertoes” feature for that venerable publication. Writing about sports and athletes comes naturally to him, as he has competed in athletics his entire life. He was a champion runner in high school and college, and still competes in Masters track and field. He’s also played a lot of basketball and soccer. For several years he was a newspaper sportswriter.
These days, Rich continues to pen a wide range of novels in addition to writing about human nutrition and other health issues for the adult market. Rich and his wife Sandra recently moved to New England with their dog Lucy. He is the father of two sons.
Review: This book is not just an important book for young adults to read, it is an important book PERIOD. The story of Jonathan Daniels and his impact within the Civil Rights Movement shows how rights for equality is a fight for all people, not just those who are being discriminated against. Daniels had the guts to stand up for what he believed in. The connection between Jonathan Daniels’s story and the current racial tension is scary yet hopeful because it shows how differences can be made by those who believe in equity, equality, kindness, and love.
Teachers’ Tools for Navigation: This is a text that needs to be in social studies and language arts classrooms in middle and high school. It needs to be shared. View the publisher’s Educator’s Guide, Blood Brother Educator’s Guide, to view some suggestions on how to use the text in your classroom.
Discussion Questions: How does the Civil Rights Movement compare to the Black Lives Matter movement?; Jonathan Daniels did what he knew was right even though there were dangers. What does this tell you about Daniels?; What did Daniels sacrifice for the Civil Rights Movement?; How did the structure of the text impact the central idea and theme of the text?
Read This If You Love: Learning about the Civil Rights Movement
**Thank you to Kerry at Boyds Mills Press for having me be part of the blog tour!**