2016 in [Book] Review Books Non-fiction Wednesday Nonfiction Picture Books Reading Themes

[Nonfiction Wednesday] The Makings Of An Activist in “Preaching to the Chickens”

Myra here.

We are delighted to join the Nonfiction Picture Book meme 2017 hosted by Alyson Beecher @ Kid Lit Frenzy. We would also be linking our nonfiction choices with our reading themes throughout the year.


A few weeks back, John Lewis was featured prominently in the news, as he is now perceived as leading the charge against current US President Donald Trump. I thought it is quite timely to share this beautiful picturebook biography that showed the makings of a civil rights leader.


Preaching To The Chickens: The Story Of Young John Lewis

Written by: Jabari Asim lllustrated by: E. B. Lewis
Published by: Nancy Paulsen Books, 2016
ISBN: 0399168567 (ISBN13: 9780399168567)
Bought a copy of the book. Book photos taken by me.

This title has been receiving a great deal of book love and for good reason. While I have yet to read the graphic novels March 1-3 and I know very little about John Lewis, I thought that this book was a good introduction to the man and his life.


I like how his impoverished background was neither romanticized nor made as the focal point of the story – it was perceived as a given and presented in a matter-of-fact fashion. The simplicity of life in a farm with the seemingly-never-ending chores are tempered with the young Lewis’ capacity to go beyond the here and now as he envisions a life beyond the farm, as he preaches about God’s work and his miracles to his flock, the chickens.


Clearly, a young boy who preaches with such a steadfast heart and a booming voice would eventually grow up to be a Congressman who would continue to fight injustice until the present time. Here is a Youtube link of John Lewis talking about his boyhood, which is exactly the snapshot from his life that Asim and Lewis tried to capture in this picturebook biography. Enjoy!

7 comments on “[Nonfiction Wednesday] The Makings Of An Activist in “Preaching to the Chickens”

  1. It is a wonderful introduction, I agree, Myra. Everyone at all ages should know about John Lewis. Thanks!


  2. This looks wonderful. I also have not yet had a chance to read the March trilogy, but this looks like an incredibly well done book. Thanks for sharing!


  3. I love that March can be for as young as 4th graders. This would be great for younger readers so the whole family can learn about a living hero.


  4. annettepimentel

    The art in this book was so beautiful. Such a wonderful kids-eye view of a civil rights hero!


  5. Just checked this out of the library! Have it in my stack for this weekend!


  6. I NEED this book. I want my students and my son to know his story!


  7. Great review! I like the aspect of this book! 🙂


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