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The Voice that Won the Vote

How One Woman's Words Made History

In August of 1920, women's suffrage in America came down to the vote in Tennessee. If the Tennessee legislature approved the 19th amendment it would be ratified, giving all American women the right to vote. The historic moment came down to a single vote and the voter who tipped the scale toward equality did so because of a powerful letter his mother, Febb Burn, had written him urging him to "Vote for suffrage and don't forget to be a good boy." The Voice That Won the Vote is the story of Febb, her son Harry, and the letter than gave all American women a voice.

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Interest Level Grade 2 - Grade 5
Reading Level Grade 3
Dewey 324.6/230973
Lexile 570
ATOS Reading Level
Guided Reading Level S
Language English
Publisher Sleeping Bear Press
Available Formats Hardcover (9781534110496), PDF (9781534166738), Hosted ebook (9781534166875)
Copyright 2020
Number of Pages 32
Dimensions 9 x 11
Graphics Full-color illustrations

School Library Journal - The Voice That Won the Vote: How One Woman’s Words Made History

Gr 1-5–Engaging cartoon illustrations and snappy text make this story about women’s suffrage perfect for very young children. The familiar heroines of the movement (Susan B. Anthony, Alice Paul) are included only in a time line, as the book’s main characters are Harry Burn, a little-known lawmaker, and Febb Burn, his mother. In August of 1920, American women looked to Tennessee, hoping it would become the necessary 36th state to ratify the 19th amendment. But the first round of voting resulted in a tie. When Representative Burn changed his vote, he changed history. Although Burn knew that breaking the tie would jeopardize his chance at state reelection, he was determined to follow his conscience (and the advice of his mother). VERDICT A most suitable lesson for our time. Author Boxer and illustrator Mildenberger offer a concise look at a lesser-known player who contributed to a significant part of American history.

Kirkus Reviews - The Voice That Won the Vote

Boxer tells the story succinctly, clearly drawing the political lines so that young readers will understand the dynamics. Mildenberger’s inclusion of a few black women among those demonstrating for the vote reflects the historical reality that black women were part of the suffrage movement, but it also implies greater equality than truly existed.

The Voice That Won the Vote - Teaching Guide

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Author: Elisa Boxer

Elisa Boxer is an Emmy-winning journalist and columnist whose work has appeared in publications including The New York Times, Inc., and Fast Company. She has always been passionate about children’s literature, and finds herself especially drawn to stories of unsung heroes like Febb and Harry Burn. The Voice That Won the Vote is her first book, and she hopes it inspires children to give voice to what matters to them. Elisa lives in Maine with her family. Elisaboxer.com.

Illustrator: Vivien Mildenberger

Vivien Mildenberger lives on a farm outside of Nashville, Tennessee. There she works on her illustrations, pottery, and other general magic-making. She especially loves illustrating for children.

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