Tag Archives: civil rights movement

Lillian’s Right to Vote

Written by: Jonah Winter

Illustrated by: Shane W. Evans

For ages: 5-9 years

Language: English

Topics Covered: History, Voting Rights, Civil Rights, Modern Black Freedom Struggle, Black Culture & Identity, Activism, Historical Figure. 


Happy Saturday!  For this round of #sweetsandsocialjustice we decided to make a classic amaretto almond Bundt cake to go with this fantastic library book we had taken pictures of before it closed. Swipe to see the cake we made, we weren’t able to photograph them together.  If you’re also making delicious treats and pairing them with books, don’t forget to use the hashtag and tag us!

Right now with the current state of the world, voting and elections are an important topic right now.  Lillian’s Right to Vote reminds readers that voting rights of marginalized populations are always under attack, and we need to remain vigilant.

Lillian is a very old woman, and she is at the bottom of a hill.  Beginning to walk up, she is steeped in memories of her family and how they had been enslaved in the area where she now walks, and had no rights.  The hill is both real in the story-her polling location is at the top-and it is also a metaphor for the struggle for her right to vote.  With the dignity and pride of her ancestors giving her strength, Lillian walks on.  The reader is privy to these memories or struggle before freedom, and learns about the unfair treatment that Black voters went through to be able to exercise their rights.  Answering inane questions like how many bubbles a bar of soap has to getting shot for peacefully protesting, Lillian’s ancestors paved the way for her on this voting day.

This book was made as a commemoration for the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, and Lillian is a symbol for the integrity and grit that marginalized populations like Black Americans and Indigenous peoples that were denied exercising their rights for so long.  Lillian in the story is based on Lillian Allen, who at the age of one hundred was campaigning for Obama on foot!  An Author’s Note talks about the struggles that some folks still encounter today, such as Voter ID laws that can be used to deny voting rights today.

Recipe: Amaretto Almond Bundt Cake

* We found this recipe originally on bakeorbreak.com and have adapted it slightly for our tastes!


2.5c all purpose flour (I usually use Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 gf flour)

1/2c almond flour

1t salt

1t baking powder

1t baking soda

1c  softened butter

1c maple sugar (granulated is fine if you don’t have maple)

1c dark brown sugar

4 eggs

3T amaretto

1t vanilla extract

2t almond extract

1c milk (we usually use soy or almond because that’s what we keep on hand)


Whisk together dry ingredients and set aside. Cream butter and sugars together. Add eggs one at a time, beating in between, then add extracts.  Mix in dries alternating with milk, until just combined. Bake at 350 degrees in a Bundt pan 50-60 minutes. Cool before glazing! I usually make an orange flavored glaze, but you can use whatever you prefer! Just make it thick but pourable.

About the Author & the Illustrator:

Jonah-WinterJonah Winter is a children’s book author and writes mainly picture book biographies.  Jonah Winter has illustrated two of his own books and writes poetry for adults in addition to children’s books. Jonah Winter likes to be referred to by his full name, at all times, even by his friends.  He  likes to visit schools and talk to children about his books and other things, too. Jonah Winter is not a fan of the internet, which is why it took him so long to have a website.  These facts we got from his website, where he also has a page with myths about himself.  They are in fact quite hilarious and you should definitely check them out!

Shane-Evans-via-google-imagesShane Evans has spoken at many schools and events all over the country. Speaking to people of ALL AGES about his art, books and inspiration. As a book illustrator Shane has found a natural audience in children from ages 5 and up. Audiences find themselves on a journey through slides that take them around the world from Japan to Africa and all adventures in between. Shane shows viewers how he creates his books and works wonderfully with youth, sharing the business of art and the techniques of organizing ideas to create illustrations. Evans has also conducted art workshops with students and adults, helping them to hone in on their own special talents through his professional guidance.

Pies From Nowhere: How Georgia Gilmore Sustained the Montgomery Bus Boycott

Written by: Dee Romito

Illustrated by: Laura Freeman

For ages: 5-9 years

Language: English

Topics Covered: Modern Black Freedom Struggle, Segregation, Historical Figures, Historical Narratives, POC-Centric Narratives, Black Culture & Identity, Activism, Community Organizing. 

Summary: Georgia Gilmore is both a mother of 6 and a cook at a lunch counter during the Montgomery Bus Boycott.  She is inspired to do more fundraising for the boycott, and for the community organizing and activism surrounding segregation.  Georgia spearheaded efforts of local women who cooked secretly in their homes and then sold it to others in the local community.  The profits were then used in the fundraising efforts and donated to the cause.  Georgia operated under the utmost secrecy and through her efforts she was able to donate huge amounts of money, always saying that “it came from nowhere” in order to not implicate herself or anyone else.  However, when her job finds out she’s involved with the organization efforts, she is fired.  MLK Jr. helps Georgia update her kitchen and open a home restaurant, where she is able to continue the fundraising and hold meetings for key Civil Rights leaders!

Georgia Gilmore is a lovely example of how a person can partake in solid on the ground  organization efforts and create incredible ripples of change throughout a community.  So many organizers and activists have been erased from retellings in favor of uplifting a few key individuals in a simplified narrative.  Having these stories told showcase how intricate community efforts are, and how everyone can become involved in making change.  This is a crucial message to get across in times of political and social change, we have much to learn now about the efforts of those before us.  Students today are incredibly lucky to have children’s books like this to learn about heroes such as Georgia.  After reading this book, we have hope that young people will have better access to these stories instead of learning about organizers like Georgia Gilmore as adults.

This book was sent to us by little bee books but all opinions are our own!

About the Author & the Illustrator:

sleeves_2_origDee Romito is an author of books for young readers and a former elementary school teacher. She’s also an active PTA parent, Co-founder of the Buffalo-Niagara Children’s Writer’s and Illustrators (BNCWI), and the PAL Coordinator (for published members) of West/Central NY SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators).

​Dee has lived in Buffalo, NY for most of her life and loves it there. (There’s a lot more to this place than winter snow and it truly is The City of Good Neighbors.) She’s had her share of travels around the world and short stints elsewhere, including a semester in London, a summer waitressing near the beach in North Carolina, and a first year of teaching in Atlanta.

Freeman-headshot-G54sml_800Laura Freeman is originally from New York City, but now lives in Atlanta with her husband and two children. Laura received a BFA from the School of Visual Arts and began her career working for various editorial clients. Laura has illustrated over thirty children’s books, including Hidden Figures written by Margot Lee Shetterly, the Nikki & Deja series by Karen English and Fancy Party Gowns by Deborah Blumenthal. In addition to illustrating books and editorial content, her art can be found on a wide range of products, from dishes and textiles to greeting cards.