Saturday, August 15, 2020

Book Review | Enough! 20 Protesters Who Changed America

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Rating ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I am pretty torn on this one and keep going back and forth between four and five stars. I ultimately settled on four because they are some exclusions that I simply can not abide.

First, the positives. Each protester/s are given a full two page color spread with a statement about how they protested. For example, Kaep's page says, "Colin took a knee" and that is what his illustration shows. I think keeping that simple for very young readers is very important. There are a couple pages at the back that g into greater details (more on those later) but I feel like this simple text is great for creating curiosity in the child's mind for why that person did what they did, and how that means they were protesting.

The illustrations are gorgeous and fit well with the text.

Eleanor had tons of great questions about so many of the people and groups featured in this book and we looked up more information about many of them on kid/age-appropriate websites that would explain in a way she would best understand.

I appreciated that the author showed different kinds of protests - sitting down on a bus, going to school, raising a fist, singing, and so. Teaching children active and passive resistance and protesting is so crucial.

I appreciate that the author chose a variety of people and issues that have been at the heart of so many protests since the founding of our country. I do want to note that in some cases, those featured are not all necessarily protesters. There is a deep sense of activism and action across the entire book, but not all would be what we consider traditional protests. I think it is important to make that distinction for kiddos to help them better understand these complex issues. I also like that

With that in mind, while there is great representation of many races, not all are presented and that part is problematic for me. There is no inclusion of Indigenous people. The DAPL protests would have been perfect for this, but were no where to be found. Neither were there depictions of those who protest and rally for the untold numbers of missing Indigenous women. Given that so little attention is paid to these women in the media, this would have been a great platform and that is definitely a missed opportunity.

Aside from the absence of Indigenous protests/activism, Black Lives Matter itself was excluded. Now, with Kaep's protest actions being included, I can see why because the protests are largely the same in their end-goal. However, the protesting itself comes in many different and I think those distinctions are important to show.

Another reason for four stars instead of five is related to the addition material at the end of the book. I thought that would be a great resource, but found some of the information inaccurate or misleading. Parents will definitely want to look elsewhere to get further information about some of those featured in the book.

Even with the issues I have with the text, I still would recommend it as a great starting-off point for kiddos. It is simple for young readers, and older readers like Eleanor (age seven) will likely have plenty of questions to keep the conversations going long after the book is finished.


  1. after all, where would we be if protesters in 1776 just went home to watch TV?

  2. One of the parts I liked in the James Baldwin biography was how James got to know many of the protesters from the 50s and then the more violent in the later 60s and came to terms with all that. In A People's History of the United States, Howard Zinn covers seemingly every protest in American history. Protesting IS how we preserve any ideals our country is supposed to hold dear.

    1. Zinn's book is also on my TBR and has been for ages. The Baldwin bio is available but not check-out-able at my library and I don't know whyyyyyy.

      I hope I am doing enough to instill this in Eleanor, that we protest to fix things that need fixing, and we protest against things that go against what those ideals stand for.


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