Illustrated by Steffi Walthall

Named one of the best children’s books of 2022 by School Library Journal!

School Library Journal *Starred Review*: “To open any discussion of civil rights, this is a great title to have on hand. … No matter how many books are already in the collection, this is a solid and groundbreaking addition.”

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.”

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