|Amazing age of John Roy Lynch|
Author: Barton, Chris
A picture book biography of John Roy Lynch, one of the first African-Americans elected into the United States Congress.
Download a Teacher's Guide
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: LG
Reading Level: 5.70
Points: .5 Quiz: 179150
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 6.40
Points: 3.0 Quiz: 66182
Common Core Standards
Grade 4 → Reading → RI Informational Text → 4.RI Key Ideas & Details
Grade 4 → Reading → RI Informational Text → 4.RI Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 4 → Reading → RI Informational Text → Texts Illustrating the Complexity, Quality, & Rang
Kirkus Reviews (02/15/15)
School Library Journal (04/01/15)
Booklist (+) (04/01/15)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (06/15)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 04/01/2015 Gr 2–5—In this inspiring picture book biography, Barton recounts how John Roy Lynch went from teenage slave to state representative in just 10 years during Reconstruction. The author describes how Lynch was born to an Irish father and an enslaved mother, making him "half Irish and all slave." Lynch learned to read and write and developed into an eloquent speaker, eventually becoming a justice of the peace and being elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives. The vocabulary-rich text may be difficult for younger students, but Tate's illustrations, rendered in mixed media, ink, and gouache on watercolor paper, are extraordinary and carry the lengthy story well. The excellent cartoon-style paintings soften potentially disturbing details, such as the Ku Klux Klan burning a church. The book concludes with a thorough historical note. VERDICT Teachers will find this remarkable story of hope and perseverance a valuable supplement to social studies lessons on the Civil War and Black History Month.—Jennifer Simmons, Anderson County Library, SC - Copyright 2015 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 04/01/2015 *Starred Review* The fascinating story of John Roy Lynch’s life from slavery to his election to the U.S. House of Representatives at age 25, gets a stirring treatment here. Barton has a lot of territory to cover, from slavery to the Civil War to Reconstruction and beyond, along with Lynch’s personal journey. Because of this, the information at times seems clipped, though it’s consistently incisive. The complete time line at the end of the book helps fill in the gaps, and the story generates interest that will encourage additional research. Tate’s often expansive illustrations emphasize important incidents in the text. A reference to harsh laws passed by whites is coupled with a dramatic two-page spread of whipping, a potential lynching, and lots of angry white faces in the foreground, fists clenched. A small African American boy covers his eyes at the scene. A scene of the horrors of a school burning shows praying figures overshadowed by masked attackers with burning torches. The emphasis in other illustrations is on faces, full of emotion, which adds to the power of the telling, and the rich, soft tones of Tate’s palette welcome the eye to linger. Pair with Mumbet’s Declaration of Independence, by Gretchen Woelfle (2014), for another story of a unique and relatively unknown figure in African American history. - Copyright 2015 Booklist.
Bulletin for the Center... - 06/01/2015 John Roy Lynch, son of an Irish overseer and a slave, lost his first shot at emancipation when his father died and the man to whom he’d entrusted his wishes failed to manumit John Roy and his family. Nor did John Roy consider the end of the Civil War as the beginning of his personal freedom: “It came instead when he sold a chicken for a dime to a Yankee soldier and bought himself a boat ride across the river back to Natchez.” There the sixteen-year-old would quickly improve his fortune, expand his meager education, and assume a role in Reconstruction politics. In 1868 he became a justice of the peace at twenty-one; a year later he was elected to the Mississippi House of Representatives, becoming Speaker two years later. Then it was on to the U.S. House, where he served for two terms, championing a civil rights bill that became law but wasn’t enforced. As the title implies and Barton’s closing note affirms, this is as much about the era of Reconstruction as the remarkable man who experienced both its promise and its ultimate dissolution. Readers, however, are bound to be somewhat disappointed that Barton’s account stops abruptly after Reconstruction, with only the sketchiest of information included in an appended timeline to describe the subsequent life of a very interesting subject. Nonetheless, the storytelling is spirited and Tate’s line and watercolor illustrations are lighthearted yet respectful. This title makes a useful contribution to a period of American history largely unexplored in picture-book format, and it might pair well with Nelson’s Bad News for Outlaws (BCCB 1/10), another story of a former slave’s rise to lawman. EB - Copyright 2015 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.