When Thunder Comes

Poems for Civil Rights Leaders

By J. Patrick Lewis; Jim Burke (Illustrator); R. Gregory Christie (Illustrator); Tonya Engel (Illustrator); John Parra (Illustrator); Meilo So (Illustrator)
(Chronicle Books, Hardcover, 9781452101194, 44pp.)

Publication Date: December 2012

Shop Local
Enter your zip code below to find indies closest to you.



In moving verse, Children's Poet Laureate J. Patrick Lewis gives new voice to seventeen heroes of civil rights. Exquisitely illustrated by five extraordinary artists, this commanding collection of poems invites the reader to hear in each verse the thunder that lies in every voice, no matter how small. Featuring civil rights luminaries Coretta Scott King, Harvey Milk, Mohandas Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Sylvia Mendez, Aung San Suu Kyi, Mamie Carthan Till, Helen Zia, Josh Gibson, Dennis James Banks, Mitsuye Endo, Ellison Onizuka, Jackie Robinson, Muhammad Yunus, James Chaney, Andrew Goodman, and Michael Schwerner.

About the Author

J. Patrick Lewis is the Poetry Foundation's 2011-2013 Children's Poet Laureate. He is the award-winning author of more than 75 books for young people and lives in Westerville, Ohio.

R. Gregory Christie lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Meilo So lives in the Shetland Islands, United Kingdom.

John Parra lives in Queens, New York.

Jim Burke lives in Beacon, New York.

Tonya Engel lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Praise For When Thunder Comes

"An unusual introduction to groundbreaking activists and to the profound impact of individuals standing together."-- Book Links, 2013 Lasting Connections

"Must-have literary treasure" - Reading Today

"Lewis's surprising and welcome integration of lesser-known individuals provides a holistic and enlightening look at an always pertinent topic." - Publishers Weekly , starred review

"Lewis isn't phoning this one in. These poems are straight up honest-to-god works of poetry." - Elizabeth Bird, A Fuse#8 Production, a School Library Journal Blog

"J. Patrick Lewis has done justice to this list of heroes-and make no mistake, these are heroes. " - The Book Aunt

"Inspirational" - Kirkus Reviews

"Offers readers a profound understanding of both what it takes to stand up and what happens when we stand together." - Booklist, Starred Review

New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing 2013

Indie Bookstore Finder

Indie Bestsellers

We Were Liars
E. Lockhart
Delacorte Press
Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Bees
Laline Paull
Ecco Press
All the Light We Cannot See
Anthony Doerr
Scribner Book Company

Make Your Own Wishlist

Update Profile