Posted by: Kathy Temean | February 20, 2020

Book Giveaway: Free for You and Me: What Our First Amendment Means

Christy Mihaly Boxer has written a new picture book titled, FREE FOR YOU AND ME: What Our First Amendment Means, Illustrated by Manu Montoya and published by Albert Whitman. Christy has agreed to share a copy with one lucky winner. All you have to do to get in the running is to leave a comment. Reblog, tweet, or talk about it on Facebook with a link and you will get additional chances to win. Just let me know the other things you do to share the good news, so I can put in the right amount of tickets in my basket for you.

Sharing on Facebook, Twitter, reblogging really helps spread the word for a new book. Thanks for helping Christy and Manu!

If you have signed up to follow my blog and it is delivered to you everyday, please let me know when you leave a comment and I will give you an extra ticket. Thanks!


A picture book about the First Amendment? You bet! American kids know that we live in “a free country,” but do they know what that means? Find out the five liberties protected by the First Amendment.  Free for You and Me provides brief, accessible descriptions of some of the most fundamental freedoms set forth in the U.S. Constitution. This timely book (releasing March 1, 2020) introduces young readers to the rights guaranteed by the First Amendment: freedom of religion, of speech, and of the press, and the rights to assemble peacefully and to petition the government.

Free for You and Me features short poems paired with vivid, colorful, kid-friendly illustrations by Manu Montoya provide examples from history and everyday life demonstrate the meaning of freedom of religion, speech, and the press, and the rights to assemble peacefully and to petition the government. It also includes historical vignettes about the development of the First Amendment, plus a contemporary story told in dialog bubbles, showing young people exercising their rights to engage in community issues.

And of course there’s back matter – a glossary and additional explanation of the historical background and legal concepts.


Listening to many discussions in the United States over the last several years, I’ve been struck by how many people—including those in public life—have misconceptions about some of the fundamental principles of American government, from the importance of freedom of assembly to the role of a free press in our society. I wanted to start addressing this by helping the youngest learners gain a solid appreciation of how our democracy works.

After many false starts, I opted to focus on the First Amendment. Looking at the five basic freedoms enshrined there, I thought short poems about each one might introduce these concepts well. I love writing poetry and find that it can be an effective way to distill big concepts into a small number of words. After a bit of experimentation, and collaboration with my wonderful editor Wendy McClure at Albert Whitman, we ended up adding some poems and combining them with historical sketches and a comic-book-style story. I felt the historical background was important, and also wanted to illustrate for young readers how they could use their First Amendment freedoms. And I think the art by Manu Montoya really brings it all to life.

My hope is that this little book provides children and adults a starting point for rich discussions about what it means to live in a free country, and how we can best to exercise our freedoms to strengthen our communities and our nation.


Christy Mihaly was a lawyer for twenty years, until she decided writing for kids was more fun. Her favorite class in law school was constitutional law. Now she exercises her First Amendment freedoms writing books for children. In addition to Free for You and Me, she has published more than twenty educational books. Her 6-book middle grade series about current political issues (“Shaping the Debate” with Rourke Educational Media, 2019) includes titles on Freedom of Speech and Freedom of the Press. Another recent series, “Governing the United States,” explains the different roles of government officials, from mayors to governors to attorneys general and judges, for elementary school readers.

In 2018, Christy also published Diet for a Changing Climate: Food for Thought, a young adult book co-written with Sue Heavenrich and short-listed for the Green Earth Book Awards; and Hey, Hey, Hay! (A Tale of Bales and the Machines That Make Them), illustrated by Joe Cepeda. Christy’s most memorable reading of Hey, Hey, Hay! was with a group of hardy kids in an unheated hay barn on a below-freezing November day. She lives with her family in rural Vermont where she writes by the fire, under the supervision of her dog and cat.


Manu was born in Medellín, Colombia in 1990. She studied Graphic Design and Advertising at the University of Medellín in her home town and Art Direction in ELISAVA in Barcelona. She has worked for advertising agencies such as DDB and McCann Erickson.

Manu grew up both in the city and the country, and spent most of her childhood playing with plants, animals, and exploring the woods. She is a cat person and a dog person, and draws every single day of her life. She has worked for SM editorial and wants to focus on children’s books and adult books.

She usually works with gouache, colored pencils, ink, and digital media. She really enjoys the technique of collage. Her favorite piece from her portfolio is “Beauty.”

Thank you Christy and Manu for sharing your book and it’s journey with us. It looks like a fun way to teach our children about the first amendment. I expect this will be a big hit with teachers and kids. Good luck!

Talk tomorrow,



  1. Need this now more than ever.


    • Thanks, Natasha, that’s pretty much what I was thinking … Hope you like the book!


  2. I love the way you structured this and how the illustrations give so much more context.


    • Yes, I love Manu’s art! Thank you for your comment; we really wanted to make this information accessible to kids.


  3. What a great idea for a book. To educate our kids on the first amendment. Thank you!!


    • Thanks, Jodie — then maybe the kids can explain it to some adults they know, right?


  4. I am so excited about this book. Children need to know what it means to live in a free society and how special that is. Thank you for introducing children to the first amendment, Christy!

    I enjoy reading your blog every day, Kathy. Thank you for sharing this book with it’s delightful illustrations by Manu.


    • Pamela, Thanks so much!


  5. […] via Book Giveaway: Free for You and Me: What Our First Amendment Means […]


  6. What a wonderful picture book! Great job Christy and Manu! Tweeted!


    • Thanks, Holly!


  7. This something my oldest would enjoy reading. The text and illustrations look easy to follow along. It looks amazing. I can’t wait to read it. Congratulations!


    • Thanks, Ashley! Yes, it’s good for older PB readers, around 4th graders or so. Hope you enjoy it.


  8. This is such a great book that makes the 1st amendments fun for kids! Congrats, Chris!


    • Thanks so much, Tina! I’m hoping kids and their parents will have fun with it …


  9. Christy, you’ve presented the 1st Amendment in a relatable and interesting way for kids (and adults!). Congratulations to you and Manu on your fabulous book!


    • Kathy, I shared on twitter and follow your blog!


    • Thanks, Judy! I’m looking forward to sharing it with lots of kids and their adults, soon.


  10. What a great book! Look forward to reading it. We could all use a refresher. 🙂 Congratulations!

    Kathy, I follow your blog by email and will tweet about this post.


    • Yay! I hope you’ll enjoy it. It’s finally out in the world!

      Liked by 1 person

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