The Voting Booth | Brandy Colbert | Book Review

The Voting Booth is a quick young adult read. It takes place all in one day and focuses on two young Black youths voting for the first time. The first, Marva, is very politically focused and has waited for this day for a long time. The second, Duke, recently lost his politically activist older brother and is voting to honor is memory. When Duke is not allowed to vote at a voting location, Marva steps into help him, and the two start off on an adventure to help find a voting booth where he can vote.

The Voting Booth is such a topical read for right now. As I had recently finished Lifting As We Climb, I have a strong empathy for the struggles which Black men and women have had to go through in order to get the right to vote and then to vote in elections. Examples of what they are still going through are spread throughout this book. Brandy Colbert provides such great context for the experiences which Marva, Duke, and the other voters are going through. Experiences such as voting locations closing, limited transportation for voters, long voting lines, and running out of ballots. All of these give felt so real and got my blood pumping with anger and empathy for the characters.

I liked both of the characters of Marva and Duke. Marva is so passionate about voting and helping create change but, she is also vulnerable because she is aware of her limitations within society as a Black woman. Duke and his family are still reeling from the death of his older brother. It hasn’t been the easiest thing for them to process and there is the realistic feeling of fear knowing that what happened to him could happen to any of them as well. Marva and Duke come from two different angles of the world but yet, there is something there that seems to connect them. There is an understanding which some of the others in their world do not seem to get due to being unaware of their privileged state, or from not having experienced the types of struggles which these characters and their families have. Having this sort of a connection is eye opening for both Marva and Duke.

The Voting Booth really is one of those books that everyone should read. It gives an empowering message about the importance of voting while also being realistic about the current struggles out there to accomplish this goal. This is also empowering because it encourage the reader to try and fight the system and work for change like Marva does. And that it is acceptable to get upset and want to challenge the things around you that seem unfair and/or wrong. It really is a great message for all!

Rating: 4 Stars

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