A nonpartisan, unbiased look at the First Amendment and how it informs our daily lives, this book clearly explains the fundamentals of American politics to middle grade readers.
A Junior Library Guild Selection! Chicago Public Library’s BEST BOOKS OF 2023!
The First Amendment grants kids and every other citizen five monster privileges: freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of assembly, and the right to petition the government. If the First Amendment is everywhere in their lives, shouldn’t kids know more about it? Yes!
In Your Freedom, Your Power, middle grade readers get a focused look at their freedoms and rights through the lens of this all-powerful First Amendment. The book engages children in learning more about their country and their rights and responsibilities. Each section will answer key questions readers may have thought about like: Do I have the right to protest at school? Can I be punished at school for something I say on social media? Why can’t I wear whatever I want? Can I text whatever I want? While answering these questions and explaining fundamental legal concepts every kid should know, Your Freedom, Your Power shares the fascinating stories behind some of the most important legal cases and social movements that have affected kids’ lives and rights.
About the Author
Allison Matulli is a former attorney and educator, now Founder of The Little Lawyers, an organization promoting legal awareness for children. The mother of two and a certified American Montessori lead teacher, Allison is well aware that children are empowered when they have access to all the tools they need. Knowing their rights and respecting others' rights must be among these instruments guiding children to be conscious citizens. Allison is an educational reform activist who consults with schools worldwide on how to provide those tools by introducing and teaching educators and kids to address issues of race, systemic racism, prejudice, legal literacy, diversity, and inclusion. She continues to use her voice to speak up for children’s rights, whether as a keynote speaker on Tuesday Times (a round table sponsored by The New York Times) or as a contributing writer for journals such as Education Week. Allison holds a B.A. in Economics from St. Joseph’s University, a Master’s in Education from Endicott College, and a J.D. from Howard University School of Law. She is based in Miami where she lives with her husband and two children, Santo Max and Eva Skye. You can learn more about Allison at www.thelittlelawyers.com.
Clelia Castro-Malaspina is a former attorney whose goal is to make the law more accessible to kids. She received her bachelor’s degrees in English and Communications from Boston College, her law degree from American University Washington College of Law and her Master’s in Publishing and Writing from Emerson College.
“This offering's subtitle includes the words ‘A Kid's Guide,’ and here those words are especially apt. Readers are addressed directly, kids' rights and relatable issues are kept at the forefront of every discussion, and heady topics, such as the federal court system, are introduced in an informal, conversational manner. Manageable paragraphs, accessible text, lists, charts, and insets help explain, citing court cases that directly affect students: evolution in science courses, religious-related clothing, the effect of school bathroom policies on transgender kids. Every chapter offers fresh perspectives and interactive activities, including tips on how to petition for change. Students, parents, and teachers will appreciate the generous back matter and direct approach, and this works equally well as leisure reading for young activists, a homework helper, or a classroom supplement. Most important, this book empowers kids, telling them how to use their voices and defend their rights.” —Booklist, starred review
"Current, insightful, and savvy."—Kirkus Reviews
“Matulli and Castro-Malaspina break down the functions of the First Amendment in this handy guide to American politics. Through their conversational approach, the authors demystify the document to present a primer for young people.”—Publisher's Weekly
“An ideal and unreservedly recommended addition to middle school and community library Political Science collections for young readers.”—Midwest Book Review
"What makes this guide so powerful is that while most books about the First Amendment provide examples of landmark cases brought before the courts in defense of adult rights, all the cases here are brought on behalf of minors. A useful addition to most libraries."—School Library Journal
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