One Person, No Vote: How Not All Voters Are Treated Equally

Bloomsbury. Sept. 2019. 288p. index. notes. photos. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781547601073.
Gr 6 Up–This very readable teen adaptation of Anderson’s New York Times best seller covers the systematic, racially motivated legal, physical, and psychological tactics used since the end of Reconstruction to suppress black, poor, and/or otherwise marginalized voters. In a chatty voice, Anderson explains poll taxes, literacy tests, intimidation, gerrymandering, and voter ID laws. The text is conversational but occasionally uses vocabulary and cultural references most likely to be unfamiliar to teens. Anderson also discusses the recent technological methods used to disenfranchise voters—gerrymandering databases, Russian interference via social media, and blanket voter roll purges. Her case is strongly supported by numerous examples drawn from both Northern but mostly Southern states. Because of the seriousness of the subject, the first three-fourths of the book is disheartening and discouraging. Racially motivated suppression has a long, dark history in the United States. However, the final quarter details the Alabamian resistance to voter suppression and the defeat of Roy Moore in his 2017 bid for the U.S. Senate seat. The author concludes by emphasizing how this trend of purposeful voter education and activism must continue in order to preserve democracy in the United States.
VERDICT This highly recommended book arrives just in time to educate newly eligible voters for the 2020 election.

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