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  • Equality's Call: The Story of Voting Rights in America by Deborah Diesen
  • Elizabeth Bush

Diesen, Deborah Equality's Call: The Story of Voting Rights in America; illus. by Magdalena Mora. Beach Lane/Simon, 2020 [42p] Trade ed. ISBN 978-1-5344-3958-0 $17.99 E-book ed. ISBN 978-1-5344-3959-7 $10.99 Reviewed from galleys R 5-8 yrs

Respectful of the progress made to extend voting rights to citizens over the course of U.S. history yet mindful that voter suppression has not been fully laid to rest, this verse history of enfranchisement is an engaging kickoff to the upcoming election. Diesen takes listeners from the time when "white men with property/Went to the polls,/But the rest of the people/Were left off the rolls," through Civil War and post-Reconstruction ("Now more men could vote—/At least so the law said,/Yet denial through taxes/And tests was widespread"). Women's suffrage came next, followed by legislation that enforced Constitutional ideals. Mora's mixed-media paintings underscore the content of each advancement and also portray a literal march toward progress as each newly enfranchised group swells the ranks of voters to Diesen's italicized refrain invoking "Equality's call" ("A right isn't a right/Till it's granted to all"). The book concludes with brief paragraphs on voting-related amendments and legislation, as well as a particularly useful list of voting rights activists that goes well beyond a typical roster of Big Names, with thumbnail portraits of many featured activists to send viewers back for a closer look. [End Page 205]



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