Book Review – Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution.

Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution.
written by Rob Sanders
illustrated by Jamey Christoph
(Random House Books for Young Readers, 2019)

At a Glance

Category/Genre(s):

Nonfiction Picture Book

Age Range:

5-8 (but excellent for older children as well)

Plot Summary:

“In the early-morning hours of June 28, 1969, the Stonewall Inn was raided by police in New York City. Though the inn had been raided before, that night would be different. It would be the night when empowered members of the LGBTQ+ community–in and around the Stonewall Inn–began to protest and demand their equal rights as citizens of the United States. Movingly narrated by the Stonewall Inn itself, and featuring stirring and dynamic illustrations, Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution is an essential and empowering civil rights story that every child deserves to hear” (source).

Strengths:

  • Excellent Nonfiction with rich back matter
  • Gorgeous illustrations
  • LGBTQ+ topic
  • Beautifully written

Full Review

I. Love. This. Book.

I am not going to lie: nonfiction has historically been a hard sell for me. But I am so glad for the recent boom of engaging narrative nonfiction picture books. Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution. is so chock full of rich and accurate history.

I had never heard of the Stonewall riots before hearing about this book, so I especially enjoyed reading all of the back matter. There are lots of photos and a detailed accounting of the riots and results over the years.

The story is actually told from the perspective of the building, which the reader sees transform over the decades. It is a creative and beautiful way to tell the story, and I loved the feeling that the building cared for the people that were inside it.

Jamey Christoph’s illustrations are gorgeous as well. I was really happy that I got to meet him at the book launch as well and I learned that he graduated from Ringling College, which my husband now works. I love the color palette that Christoph uses and the diversity he shows in the book.

This Friday marks the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots. I will definitely be sitting down and rereading this picture book with my children. Highly recommend.

Final Verdict

This is a gorgeous picture book that is both empowering and informative. An absolute must read for everyone.

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