Strong Voices Fifteen American Speeches Worth Knowing


Strong Voices: Fifteen American Speeches Worth Knowing is a collection of significant speeches, made both by those who held the reins of power and those who didn’t, at significant times in American history. Read the original words—sometimes abridged and sometimes in their entirety—that have shaped our cultural fabric.

Introductions by acclaimed writer Tonya Bolden provide historical context and critical insights to the meaning and impact of every speech. Illustrations by award-winning artist Eric Velasquez illuminate what it was really like at each moment in history. This collection includes the following:

  • Patrick Henry, “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death”
  • George Washington, Farewell Address
  • Red Jacket, “We Never Quarrel about Religion”
  • Frederick Douglass, “What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?”
  • Sojourner Truth, “I Am a Woman’s Rights”
  • Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address
  • Theodore Roosevelt, “Citizenship in a Republic”
  • Franklin Delano Roosevelt, “The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself”
  • Lou Gehrig, “Farewell to Baseball”
  • Langston Hughes, “On the Blacklist All Our Lives”
  • John Fitzgerald Kennedy, “We Choose to Go to the Moon”
  • Martin Luther King, Jr., “I Have a Dream”
  • Fannie Lou Hamer, “I Question America”
  • Cesar Chavez, Address to the Commonwealth Club of California, 1984
  • Hillary Rodham Clinton, “Women’s Rights Are Human Rights”

Strong Voices includes a foreword by #1 New York Times bestselling author and celebrated journalist Cokie Roberts, as well as a timeline in the back of the book, along with letters to the reader from Tonya Bolden and Eric Velasquez.

Strong Voices is a tremendous introduction to the extraordinary words spoken in history.--from the publisher

128 pages                                      978-0062572042                   Ages 9-14


Do you ever hear someone quoting a great voice from history and wish you held those quotes and that wisdom in your own memory?  The words of individuals have made a difference in the world we live in and they are so relevant and so worth knowing today.

Here is an amazing collection of speeches that were gathered and selected by Tonya Bolden.  Here is an amazing collection of illustrations by Eric Velasquez. Again and again, Tonya Bolden does the research and chooses history as a powerful weapon to fight for our children.

Each speech she has chosen takes the reader to a time and a place when change needed to happen.  Each speech delivers the emotion and the vision that were needed to inform and connect each listener/reader to the issue at hand.

This book is a doorway.  It's a wonderful lighthouse beacon inviting children to the safety of knowledge and understanding that can guide us away from making the same mistakes and can offer us courage and confidence to find our own voices.

Past is Prologue.  Our kids need to know these speeches, to discover these voices, and to see the wrongs that had to be righted for centuries.  Hope waits there for our does empowerment and the truth that anyone of us can be a hero....just like Tonya Bolden.

128 pages                                      978-0062572042                   Ages 10-14

Keywords: speeches, history, American history, heroes, standing up for yourself, social activists, finding your voice, prejudice, space, courage, risk, grit, resilience, racism, values, slavery, women, religion, freedom, 10 year old, 11 year old, 12 year old, 13 year old, 14 year old, nonfiction

Recommended by:  Barb Langridge,


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