Skip to main content
Displaying 1 of 1
The voting booth
Where is it?
Fiction/Biography Profile
Marva Sheridan (Female), Votes in her first election; wants to make a difference in the world
Duke Crenshaw (Male), Wants voting to be over; wants to focus on his band; turned away from their polling place
Young adult
Missing pets
Large Cover Image
Trade Reviews
Publishers Weekly Review
This timely, politically charged novel sees black first-time voters Marva Sheridan and Duke Crenshaw fulfilling their civic duty. Marva, passionate about politics, has been working to get out the vote. When Duke is unable to vote at their mutual polling place due to a registration mix-up, she makes it her mission to ensure he can cast his ballot. Still grieving the death of his political activist brother, biracial Duke knows exactly what's at stake. As Election Day progresses toward its results, neither teen counts on the whirlwind journey that takes them from being strangers at the polls to confidantes on the road, discussing Marva's white boyfriend's refusal to vote, Duke's fractured family's grief, and Marva's missing internet-famous cat. Colbert (The Only Black Girls in Town) aptly discusses matters of civil disobedience and social justice--including police brutality and voter suppression--without sacrificing the delicate, lighthearted relationship at the story's center. Readers will find abundant food for thought in this vital fictional account of two teens intent on using their voices and engaging in a political system that makes it difficult for them to participate. Ages 12--up. Agent: Tina Dubois, ICM Partners. (July)
Booklist Review
Marva Sheridan believes political activism can make a difference. She's been helping to register voters all year, and she's been looking forward to the day when she can cast her first vote in an election. Now that the day is finally here, even her boyfriend's sudden lack of interest in voting at all can't totally dampen her spirits. For Duke Crenshaw, voting isn't just a social obligation, it's a familial one; he wants to get it over with, but he knows how important it was to his late activist brother. But when Marva sees Duke turned away at the polling place, her social-justice gears start working overtime. Over the course of a single day, the two hop between precincts trying to find a way to get Duke to vote. Along the way, they discuss race (both Marva and Duke are Black, while Marva faces barriers with her white boyfriend), privilege (Marva attends a private school, Duke public), and their different family dynamics. Though they start the day as strangers, a deeper connection slowly begins to bloom. Through their distinct alternating perspectives and without ever becoming didactic, Colbert warmly and appealingly addresses issues that many teens, especially those considering how their own first vote may play out, are facing. Strong characterizations within the one-day scope make this a feat of storytelling, too.
Horn Book Review
Marva Sheridan is an eighteen-year-old activist who cant wait to vote in her first election. Fellow high school senior Duke Crenshaw also plans to vote, though hes more lukewarm. When Duke is turned away at the polling station, bystanding Marva convinces him to join her on a mission for democracy, in an effort to have Duke cast his vote before the polls close -- and before his bands first paying gig. Having canvassed neighborhoods and helped people register to vote, Marva, whose hero is Fannie Lou Hamer, is poised to follow the necessary steps on Dukes behalf -- steps that become increasingly convoluted. What follows is a whirlwind of activity (the pacing can be frenetic at times), presented in alternating first-person narration, involving familial and romantic relationships, womens rights, race relations (Marva is Black; Duke is biracial), lost pets, and guilty secrets. While the ballot is described as an important one, the brief references to issues including immigration reform, prison reform, and gun violence -- which is of personal importance to Dukes family -- dont identify (or limit) the story to one specific election. Colbert has created a work that highlights both the methods and the stark effects of voter suppression, particularly for people of color. Eboni Njoku July/August 2020 p.136(c) Copyright 2020. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Kirkus Review
An African American teen activist is drawn to a young man she meets accidentally. Marva Sheridan was passionate about politics long before she was able to vote herself. It was not enough to anticipate voting for the first time, she's also worked to make sure that others did so as well. When she witnesses Duke Crenshaw, another teen, being turned away on Election Day, she springs into action. The two spend the day together as Duke attempts to work out his registration issues and get to his drumming gig. As they get to know each other, bits of their stories are shared: Marva's tensions with Alec, her white boyfriend who has decided not to vote, and Duke's family, who is still trying to cope following the death of his older brother. Duke's white mother and black father have divorced, and both parents are extremely protective of him and his younger sister. In addition, Marva's cat Selma, an internet star known as Eartha Kitty, has gone missing. Colbert skillfully manages both serious and playful elements throughout the novel. Marva has an infectious personality, and her politics and identity are realistically portrayed. Duke's grief, still raw, is palpable and will engage readers' empathy. The chapters feature alternating first-person narration, giving the novel an intimate feel. Secondary characters add rich texture to and understanding of the primary characters. A warmly entertaining story at the nexus of teen relationships and activism. (Fiction. 12-18) Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.
Marva was born ready for this day. She's always been driven to make a difference in the world, and what better way than to vote in her first election? Duke is so done with this election. He just wants to get voting over with so he can prepare for his band's first paying gig tonight. Only problem? Duke can t vote. When Marva sees Duke turned away from their polling place, she takes it upon herself to make sure his vote is counted. Romantic and triumphant, The Voting Booth is proof that you can't sit around waiting for the world to change... but some things are just meant to be.
Librarian's View
Displaying 1 of 1