An inspiring story... She Stood for Freedom: The Untold Story of a Civil Rights Hero, Joan Trumpauer Mulholland by Loki Mulholland (Review)

She Stood for Freedom: The Untold Story of a Civil Rights Hero, Joan Trumpauer MulhollandShe Stood for Freedom:
The Untold Story of a Civil Rights Hero, Joan Trumpauer Mulholland
by Loki Mulholland
Artwork by Charlotta Janssen
Nonfiction, Civil Rights
Hardcover & ebook, 56 Pages
August 2nd 2016 by Shadow Mountain


Joan Trumpauer Mulholland grew up in Virginia in the 1950s and witnessed the injustice of segregation firsthand. As a teenager, she joined the Civil Rights Movement, attending demonstrations and sit-ins. Because of her passionate belief in the cause, she was involved in several important and historically significant events, including

• The Freedom Rides of 1961
• The Woolworth’s lunch counter sit-ins in Jackson, Mississippi in 1963
• The March on Washington with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963
• The Selma to Montgomery March in 1965

Joan says, “Anyone can make a difference. It doesn’t matter how old or young you are. Find a problem, get some friends together, and go fix it. Remember, you don’t have to change the world . . . just change your world.”

Filled with original photography, images of historical documents, and breathtaking original artwork, She Stood for Freedom is a celebration of the effect a single life can have on the world.

(Affiliate links included.)

Advanced Praise

“Evocative mixed-media collages tap into the turbulence of the events discussed; aqua, rust, and drab greens provide the only color, melding with photographs, drawings, maps, newspaper headlines, diary entries, and official documents. The clear, direct narrative contextualizes Joan’s actions within the larger movement while explaining words like segregation for young audiences." – Publishers Weekly 

“Mulholland’s courage and determination are stressed and explained in terms that young readers can understand. The colorful cut-paper-collage illustrations by Charlotta Janssen feature photographs and scenes that should be familiar to those studying the time period. Joan Trumpauer Mulholland is not a name that is familiar in children's books; this is an excellent opportunity to correct an oversight." – Kirkus 

"Unheralded heroes walk among us-and in Loki Mulholland's case, in his own family. His mother, Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, was an early civil rights activist who took Christian tenets to heart as a child. Evocative illustrations alongside shocking historic documents… Euduring message.” – Booklist

My Review

SHE STOOD FOR FREEDOM was a heartbreaking and inspiring story about a woman who stood up for what was right when at risk to herself and those around her. A quick read with engaging true stories,  art, and historical documents. A great read for those interested in Joan's story and as a tool to help teach children about the Civil Rights Movement. A book that is well worth the read!

I really liked the format of the book with short stories or experiences and various documents or artwork to break them up. It made for an easy read and held my interest. It also makes this book perfect to read with teens as well as younger children. The stories were sad and some of the documents quite shocking, under the circumstances, but very inspiring. My only criticism would be that it would have been nice for there to be better lead-in or transitions between stories and a few stories felt unfinished (i.e. I really wanted to know how Joan and her friends made it out safely when a mob surrounded their car in May 1964, but all I know is that they made it).

In the end, was it what I wished for? Yes. This a book that I am happy to have read an will definitely be sharing with others.

Content: References to violence, but clean.

Source: Received a complimentary copy from the publisher, which did not affect my review in any way.

Images from Inside the Book

She Stood for Freedom

She Stood for Freedom

She Stood for Freedom

She Stood for Freedom

Images from Deseret Book.

Other Editions

She Stood for Freedom: The Untold Story of a Civil Rights Hero, Joan Trumpauer Mulholland

You can also find a fully illustrated children's picture book that "is a perfect way to introduce early readers to an amazing woman."

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About the Author

Loki Mulholland is an award-winning filmmaker. His film, An Ordinary Hero, tells his mother's story and is featured at the National Civil Rights Museum and at He is the Execute Director of the Joan Trumpauer Mulholland Foundation.

I rarely state a political or social opinion on here, but when the publisher contacted me about reviewing this, I jumped right on board. I think sometimes we forget the mistakes and struggles of our past and the racism that was prevalent in this country's past isn't something I ever want repeated. Yet, you do see it off and on.

Racism doesn't seem to be picky. It doesn't come from just white people or black people or any other variation of skin. In my life I've seen a black women be more racist than any of the white people I know and a black woman be so unconditionally loving in contrast. I've seen white people be racist towards those from Mexico because of where I live. It doesn't come from one religion or another. It doesn't come from just the poor or the rich. To me the various ways that human beings act and react regardless of what they look like or how they worship just proves that there really is no segregation. We are alike in our struggles, love, mistakes...

However, racism is generally passed on from one generation to another or by minority groups who pull others in with them. It most recently has appeared in police shootings and some strong unrest in my country. So, it seems like this book was released at the perfect time. I'm happy for the opportunity to use it as a tool to open up discussions with my kids. To teach them about others' experiences. To teach them to never hate, but to love and be willing to stand up for what's right. We should never breed hate. Regardless of skin color, religion, race, or difference of opinion. I hope you agree. 

Let's all make this world a better place and learn from our past.

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