CCBC Choices 2016
Publishers Weekly (STARRED review)
"Barton offers an immersive, engaging, and unflinching portrait of the difficulties of the Reconstruction era, while Tate's cartoonlike artwork softens moments of cruelty and prejudice without diminishing them."
"Published while the United States has its first African-American president, this story of John Roy Lynch, the first African-American speaker of the Mississippi House of Representatives, lays bare the long and arduous path black Americans have walked to obtain equality. The title's first three words'The Amazing Age'emphasize how many more freedoms African-Americans had during Reconstruction than for decades afterward. . . . A picture book worth reading about a historical figure worth remembering."
"This beautiful biography should be in every library frequented by young readers and introduced to them by parents and teachers who will also be amazed by the time and the man introduced to them in these pages."
Mississippi Library Commission
"A great introduction to some hard subjects slavery and Reconstruction for upper elementary and middle school readers. . . . Highly recommended."
Reading While White(blog)
"I can't recall when I've seen a book for children that is so deliberate about calling out racism for what it is. And [Chris Barton] does it with such clear, simple language, making this complex period in history accessible to young readers, just as Don Tate's clear stylized illustrations do. Even though the illustrations use a cartoon style, there are no happy, smiling slaves here. What we see instead is the pain and suffering they endured and later, the look of pride and determination on the face of John Roy Lynch, a free man. . . . Chris Barton's book can serve as a model for White authors who choose to write about African American history for children."
"Chris Barton has penned another fascinating picture-book biography. . . . With its timeline and engaging mixed-media illustrations by Don Tate, this book helps to fill the big gap for books about the Reconstruction Era."