Because of You, John Lewis

by Andrea Davis Pinkney (Author) Keith Henry Brown (Illustrator)

Because of You, John Lewis
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

An inspiring story of a friendship between Congressman John Lewis and 10-year-old activist Tybre Faw by New York Times bestselling and Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Andrea Davis Pinkney!

Ten-year-old Tybre Faw is obsessed with history and the civil rights movement, and he devours every book he can find on the subject. When he learns of Congressman John Lewis's harrowing and heroic march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in the fight for the right to vote, Tybre is determined to meet him.

Tybre's two grandmothers take him on the seven-hour drive to Selma. And as the two meet and become fast friends, Tybre joins Lewis for the annual walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge!

When John Lewis is laid to rest, Tybre is invited to read Lewis's favorite poem, Invictus, at the funeral service. Pinkney weaves this story of a boy with a dream--with the story of a true-life hero (who himself was inspired by Martin Luther King when he was a boy). Both John Lewis and Martin Luther King, Jr. have left indelible marks on future generations. Will Tybre be next to rise up and turn the page on history?

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Starred Review
This eloquent tribute is a must-read.

Review quotes

Distinctions and Praise for Martin Rising: Requiem for a King:

A Washington Post Best Book of the Year

A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year

A New York Public Library Best Book of the Year

A School Library Journal Best Book of the Year

A Chicago Public Library Best Book of the Year

Envisioned for young readers but sure to be appreciated more widely, Martin Rising depicts King as a source of warmth and brightness on its radiant front cover. [The Pinkneys] sustain and develop this idea throughout their book, paying stirring tribute to King's personal warmth, spiritual strength and leadership. The book's vivid poetry bursts with information as well as feeling, and the watercolor images are grounded in reality but feel elevated, on a higher plane. — The Washington Post

* Spiritually vital. — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

* Unique and remarkable. — Publishers Weekly, starred review

* Each poem trembles under the weight of the story it tells... Martin Rising packs an emotional wallop and, in perfect homage, soars when read aloud. — Booklist, starred review

* A powerful celebration of Martin Luther King Jr... As the last moments of King's life tick away, the narrative zooms in, detailing the emotional beats of his final public speeches, the feverish exhaustion of long days and nights away from home... Throughout, the crowds filling churches seeking inspiration and bravely marching in the face of violence are as much a part of the story as King himself... Beautifully illustrated and begging to be read aloud, this poetry collection is an exceptional classroom tool for civil rights lessons and offers much for individual readers to linger over. — School Library Journal, starred review

* A creative poetic celebration of the contributions of Martin Luther King Jr. that also, as a song for the dead, includes a meticulous explanation of how and why he died... Accompanying the varied and intense poetry, Brian Pinkney's swirling watercolor, gouache, and India ink illustrations give life and movement to King's story and reflect the complex emotions that surface throughout this biography. — The Horn Book, starred review

This genre-bending work uses poetry to document the last months of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life... This well-researched, thorough tribute captures the details that make each section vividly memorable... The often alliterative and sometimes rhyming poetry, full of simile and metaphor, begs for re-reading and performing. Brian Pinkney's... luminescent illustrations epitomize the essence of King's life as a beacon of light and creates hope, even during troubling times... The back matter includes a retelling of the events of King's last months in straight-forward text accompanied by black-and-white photographs, a timeline, and a bibliography. Martin Rising is an inspiring joy to read and a genuinely unique accolade. — VOYA

Andrea Davis Pinkney
Andrea Davis Pinkney( is the New York Timesbestselling and award-winning author of numerous books for children and young adults, and has been recognized by the Coretta Scott King Author Award committee with an honor for Let It Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fightersand a medal for Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America. She is a four-time nominee for the NAACP Image Award. In addition to her work as an author, Ms. Pinkney is a publishing executive. She has been named one of the "25 Most Influential Black Women in Business" by The Network Journal, and is among Children's Health magazine's "25 Most Influential People in Our Children's Lives." You can follow her on Twitter @AndreaDavisPink.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Scholastic Press
Publication date
January 20, 2022
BISAC categories
JNF018010 - Juvenile Nonfiction | People & Places | United States - African-American
JNF053140 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Social Topics | Prejudice & Racism
JNF007020 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Biography & Autobiography | Historical
Library of Congress categories
African American civil rights workers
Lewis, John
African American legislators
Faw, Tybre

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