Book One

Graphic Novel - 2013
Average Rating:
Rate this:
A first-hand account of the author's lifelong struggle for civil and human rights spans his youth in rural Alabama, his life-changing meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., and the birth of the Nashville Student Movement.
Publisher: Marietta, GA : Top Shelf Productions, 2013
ISBN: 9781603093002
Characteristics: 121 p. : ill. ; 25 cm
Additional Contributors: Aydin, Andrew
Powell, Nate
Alternative Title: March 1


From Library Staff

March Book One (2013); March Book Two (2015); March Book Three (2016)

From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Mar 03, 2018

This was such an emotional, thrilling read.

I thought it was a little slow to start, but it feels like a great primer to the Civil Rights Movement, with Lewis name-dropping important figures left and right. It also feels like an interesting teaching tool for middle school students.

I enjoyed the artwork -- I thought Powell's artwork was interesting and his choice of lettering really added to the mood of the overall book. I love that graphic novel artists can add details and convey without having to interrupt the flow of the story-telling.

I love Lewis' story and desperately want to read more and learn more about his life. Lewis had me question my own involvement with activism in general, and how much active participation I have in activism. How many petitions do I sign? How many sit-ins do I attend? How many times a day do I use my white privilege to better the lives of others?

I think, as a white woman, it's super important for me to always ask these questions and constantly be trying to improve, do better, be more compassionate and take more initiative.

There is light where there is darkness, and there is love where there is hatred. That love has a name, and that name is John Lewis.

GeeksInTheLibrary Oct 17, 2017

A powerful memoir by Congressman Lewis about his experiences as a young man in the midst of the civil rights movement. Good for history buffs and budding activists.

rtalps Oct 10, 2017

A must-read. Lewis' life story is amazing and inspiring. A great perspective on Civil Rights-era America.

Aug 27, 2017

American politician John Lewis narrates the fascinating story about his life and the role that he played, along with Martin Luther King, in establishing the early American civil rights movement.

ArapahoeLesley Aug 06, 2017

An important graphic novel to support and inspire the next generation of activists. Personal and beautiful.

JCLCourtneyS May 30, 2017

I'll readily admit to being utterly terrible at History class in school. The names and dates and battles and court decisions overwhelmed me--I wanted to remember them, and I did care about them, but I could never quite hold on to my lessons after the tests. Books like this are a gift for brains like mine. The engaging art and powerful storytelling brought the civil rights struggle to life in a way that will stick with me for a long, long time.

May 28, 2017

The graphic memoir format is particular suitable for illustrating the abuses faced by early civil rights activists, and Nate Powell powerfully captures the fear and tension in his art. The decision to illustrate the book in black and white renders these events in all their stark ugliness. The violence is not sugar-coated, but nor is it gratuitous. Notably, part of John Lewis’ introduction to the civil rights movement was the 1956 comic Martin Luther King Jr. and the Montgomery Story, which was an educational comic designed to teach the principles of non-violent resistance. March carries on in that tradition.

Full review:

forbesrachel Apr 21, 2017

Outstanding! The March trilogy provides a moving and engaging account of the civil rights movement through the eyes of a man who was there. John Lewis, now a congressman in the United States government, was one of the "big six", six individuals who played a key role in changing policy and practice regarding African-Americans. Each of these graphic novels is narrated from his perspective, and although he often refers to other persons and aspects of the movement, it is his experiences which form the core of the narrative. He begins his account from his initiation into the movement, and steadily moves through his involvement in the Freedom Rides, the march on Washington, Bloody Sunday, and more. While the facts are informative and interesting, it is John Lewis' candid discussion of his feelings, reasons, and reactions to events that really pulls us in. These parts just call out to the humanity in us all. Artist Powell walks a fine line with his dramatic black and white illustrations: he uses shadow and light to build tension and capitalize on emotional notes; without reducing people into complete caricatures, they can be "read" at a glance; and, moments of violence are brisk and don't pull their punches, but they are never especially bloody. John Lewis as a person is conveyed in both word and art. He is passionate about equal rights for all, is committed to a philosophy of nonviolence, and he is an intelligent and decent man. He tries to avoid painting any one person in black or white, pointing to a flawed system that has perpetuated the creation of flawed individuals. Even people from the movement, people with good intentions, took roads that he didn't agree with. March is not meant to be a definitive, unbiased look at the civil rights movement, but it does something that a history textbook cannot. It draws you into events past, it makes you feel the struggle, the determination, the solidarity, the need to have their rights affirmed. For that reason, and its overall excellence in quality, this should be required reading in school, and a must read for everyone else.

Chapel_Hill_KrystalB Mar 02, 2017

I loved this. It would've been a great story regardless of format and style but I think it was especially effective because of those things. Would've preferred colored illustrations but that's a minor quibble. Looking forward to reading the others in this series.

kmscows Mar 01, 2017

I am not a big graphic novel reader; however, when I read March: Book One, I was immediately drawn into the story of Congressman John Lewis' struggle for equality. The words and the illustrations team beautifully together to strike the urgency, somberness and hope of the civil rights movement. March: Book One, March: Book Two and March: Book Three are very good introductions to the civil rights movement and the struggle for equality.

View All Comments


Add a Summary

May 28, 2017

March opens on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, as the march from Selma is about to be confronted by troopers armed for a riot, then flashes forward to Inauguration Day 2009, when Barack Obama is about to be sworn in as the first African American president of the United States. The frame narrative takes place in Congressman Lewis’ Washington D.C. office when a black woman from Atlanta arrives with her two sons to see the office of their representative. The congressman begins to tell the boys about his early life, and the beginnings of the civil rights movement, and continues through the desegregation of Nashville’s lunch counters in 1960.


Add a Quote

May 28, 2017

The thing is, when I was young, there wasn’t much of a civil rights movement. I wanted to work at something, but growing up in rural Alabama, my parents knew it could be dangerous to make any waves.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at CALS

To Top