Parents' Guide to

Let the Children March

By Regan McMahon, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 6+

Powerful art amplifies inspiring civil rights protest tale.

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In simple, dramatic scenes and spare text, a young girl walks readers through the momentous events of the historic Birmingham Children's Crusade of 1963. Let the Children March shows kids overcoming fear and risking danger and imprisonment to stand up for what's right -- and to protect their parents, who feared losing their jobs if they protested. Through her young narrator, author Monica Clark-Robinson brings readers close to how it felt to be one of those marchers. And Frank Morrison's vivid oil paintings feature many close-ups that drive home the emotions of the child participants and the white townspeople and police who opposed them.

Back matter gives more historical information, with three archival photographs of the marchers. And superb end papers highlight significant historical moments cleverly displayed on signs held by children -- from Alabama Gov. George Wallace's Jan. 14, 1963, declaration of "segregation forever" to the passage of the Voting Rights Act on Aug. 6, 1965, which "ended practices that had barred African Americans from their right to vote."

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