The Voice that Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights
by Russell Freedman
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication Date: January, 2011
List Price: $10.99
Review: I very much enjoyed this story of a person who overcame frustrations and challenges that stood in their way on the path to accomplishing their dreams and ambitions. I also enjoyed the fact that some people are able to overcome hard times and achieve so much success and yet are humble, kind, and outward focused despite the doubtfulness they receive for their hard work they do. Such a person is Marian Anderson, a famous "vocalist who had been applauded by European royalty, welcomed at the White House, and adored by appreciative listeners in concert halls across the United States. But because of her race, she was denied the right to sing at Constitution Hall, Washington's largest and finest auditorium." Her story is told in the Newberry Honor book, The Voice that Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights by Russell Freedman. There is no series, but this isn't the first book from Russell Freedman, nor is it by far the first book about the struggles for equal rights. The main person in this book is Marian Anderson, and what amazing accomplishments she made for equal rights.
Marian Anderson not only had to face many problems herself, but astonishingly she helped other people with their racial related problems. She had to overcome people doubting her ability to make all rights equal. But little did everybody else know, Marian was one day going to make at least something happen. The way she helps others with their racial related problems was by actually fighting for equal rights. However, in the end, Marian Anderson made a huge movement towards equal rights for all citizens.
I was very impressed with the strength of Marian's character in the face of injustice. She quietly asserted herself while remaining dignified and charitable to others. This book contains many quotes and pictures that vividly illustrate the kind of person Marian were. I liked how she incorporated her singing into the equal rights moment. I think this author really did get into how he and Marian would feel if they were in the same situations. I also liked how the author specifically added every aspect of her life to the story. I would definitely recommend this uplifting book filled with hope, strength, and exciting moments, to older and younger readers. It will surely fill you with hope as you see how much one person can really make a huge difference, and maybe it would inspire someone else to do something to make a difference, if they just believe and try hard enough to achieve their goal.
Review written by Bianca (6th grade student).
We would like to thank Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for providing a copy of The Voice that Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights for this review.
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