Celebrating John Lewis: Books & Resources for All Ages

By NYPL Staff
July 23, 2020
photo portrait of John Lewis

John Lewis was a Congressman for Georgia’s 5th Congressional district, as well as an activist and leader in the Civil Rights Movement. Lewis died on July 17, 2020 after working tirelessly for over 50 years in the fight for civil and human rights.  He worked alongside Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders and helped organize and participated in many sit-ins, Freedom Rides, and marches. In 2010, he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for his amazing and selfless contributions to the Civil Rights Movement. His legacy will continue to live on in the hearts of those who believe in justice and equality, and who aspire to enact positive change in the world. 

This guide from The New York Public Library's School Outreach department showcases books, digital resources, and media that celebrate Lewis’s life and accomplishments. It was compiled by Ariel Birdoff, Shauntee Burns, Amber Certain, Elizabeth Devora, Tessa Hamilton, Tiffany James, Thomas Knowlton, and Kaitlin Weinstein.

Book covers
One man, one vote button

One man, one vote: SNCC, BU.X.644. NYPL Digital Collections, Image ID: 57281857

Digital Resources from NYPL

African American Experience

This database features reference articles about different aspects of the Civil Rights Movement. Search “John Lewis” for a variety of photos, as well as other articles and primary sources related to his life.

American Government

Learn more about American government, including the House of Representatives, where John Lewis served as a Representative for the state of Georgia. Explore the “Rights and Liberties” theme to learn more about civil rights.

Biography in Context 

Read an overview of John Lewis’s life available here.


Read an interview with John Lewis in Time magazine. 


Access over 2,000 U.S and international titles on PressReader. Search for “John Lewis” to access the periodicals.

U.S. History in Context

Use this database to research more about the Civil Rights Movement, as well as other aspects of American history. This resource also features a biographical article of John Lewis here


Emotional Lewis Accepts National Book Award

Lewis wins the National Book Award for his graphic memoir series March

John Lewis Fast Facts from CNN

Take a look at Lewis’s life at a glance.

The March on Washington: John Lewis’s Speech

Lewis remembers his speech during the March on Washington.

Presidential Medal of Freedom Recipient - Congressman John Lewis

Lewis discusses what the Presidential Medal of Freedom means to him.

Reflecting on the Legacy of John Lewis

Politicians, activists, and others reflect on Lewis's impact and legacy. 

Read, My Child, Read: Remembering John Lewis

School Library Journal remembers Lewis’s dedication to literacy.

Emotional Lewis Accepts National Book Award

From 2016, Lewis tears up while accepting the National Book Award for MARCH.

John Lewis's Appearances on C-Span

Explains how to access hundreds of hours of footage of Lewis from the C-Span Video Library.