Illustrated by Steffi Walthall

Kirkus Reviews: “Readers will be inspired by one man’s guiding ethic: forward ever, backward never.”

Booklist: “[A]n important narrative deserving of a wide audience. The illustrations are especially effective, and there’s a helpful time line and explanatory back matter. Use this as a read-aloud and conversation starter.”

Citizen Times: “[T]he tale of a warrior, a man full of heart and resolve. … a fantastic addition to Black History Month lessons for young readers.”

Cracking the Cover: “Moving Forward offers readers a unique juxtaposition — great advances in science and technology happening at the same time of Jim Crow laws. … Author Chris Barton presents Alton’s story through fascinating but accessible text.”

Meet activist Alton Yates, an Air Force veteran who dedicated his life to propelling America forward—from space travel to the Civil Rights Movement and beyond—in this inspiring nonfiction picture book. 

As a child growing up in Jacksonville, Florida, Alton Yates watched Black veterans return home from fighting for their country, only to have that country turn its back on them. After Alton joined the Air Force and risked his life to make spacecraft and airplane flight safer, he returned home to the same Jim Crow laws. 

Alton now had a new mission: To make a stand against Jim Crow. 

Based on author Chris Barton’s extensive interviews, witness Alton Yates’s lifelong commitment to his country, as he put his life on the line time and again for science, for civil rights, and for America’s progress. 

48 pages
Ages 6 and up
January 2022

Beach Lane Books/Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9781534473652

Moving Forward