Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Delivering Justice: W.W. Law and the Fight for Civil Rights

Delivering Justice: W.W. Law and the Fight for Civil Rights

Jim Haskins
Illustrator:  Benny Andrews 
Nonfiction Picture Book
For ages 6 to 9
Candlewick, 2005   ISBN: 978-0763625924

Westley knew from an early age that he and his people were not being fairly treated. Often the racism he experienced and saw angered him. Westley’s grandmother, who mostly raised him, did her best to sooth and comfort her grandson. She also encouraged him to turn his frustration and anger into something constructive, something that would help the people living in his community. When he was still a boy Westley did just this, encouraging his fellow “black folk” to register to vote.

When he grew up Westley became a postman, even though he was qualified enough to become a teacher. Still the job suited him as it gave him the opportunity to get to know people. In his spare time Westley worked in the NAACP office and then he became the leader of a very special movement. Westley coached and supported the young people who organized sit-ins at the segregated lunch counters in their town. When the participants of the sit-ins were arrested Westley got to work encouraging the people in his community to protest the segregation laws peacefully. He talked to blacks and whites alike and because of his leadership his city of Savannah became the first southern city to “declare all its citizens equal.”

This very special book describes the life and work of one of America’s true heroes. The story of Westley Wallace Law is often forgotten and this often moving and beautifully written book serves as a wonderful tribute to his courage, his determination, and his wisdom.

Using oils and collage Benny Andrews has created unique spare illustrations which perfectly reflect and compliment the subject matter of this picture book biography.