Granddaddy's Turn: A Journey to the Ballot Box

by Michael S. Bandy, Eric Stein, and James Ransome

A young African American boy who idolizes his grandfather walks with him from their... read more

A young African American boy who idolizes his grandfather walks with him from their farm to town so his granddaddy can vote for the first time in his life. The little boy snaps a photo of Granddaddy proudly holding his ballot. Then his grandfather is given a difficult text and asked if he can read it aloud. When he can’t, he is told he can’t vote. Fast forward to the little boy now grown and old enough to vote for the very first time in 1976. He takes the photo of his granddaddy proudly holding the ballot he was never allowed to cast with him to the polls. The bond between the grandson and grandfather is strongly established in the first part of the story, and the moment when the grandfather is turned away from the polls is heartbreaking. The fine narrative is matched with illustrations that underscore the bond between the two and the emotional depth of this story that humanizes the struggle for voting rights. A note at story’s end provides more information about the voting rights struggle in the 1950s and 1960s. (Ages 6–9)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2016

show less