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Cover for When Thunder Comes

When Thunder Comes

Poems for Civil Rights Leaders

J. Patrick Lewis, Jim Burke (Illustrator), R. Gregory Christie (Illustrator), Tonya Engel (Illustrator), John Parra (Illustrator), Meilo So (Illustrator)


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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.

Praise For When Thunder Comes: Poems for Civil Rights Leaders

New York Public Library 100 Titles for Reading and Sharing 2013

"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

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

"Must-have literary treasure" - Reading Today

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

"Lewis's outstanding collection of 15 poems highlighting national and international civil rights leaders is sobering and inspiring."--Language Arts

"Inspirational" - Kirkus Reviews

"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

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

Chronicle Books, 9781452101194, 44pp.

Publication Date: December 26, 2012

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.