A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Recounts the history of the Birmingham Children's Crusade -- the protest march that helped end government-sanctioned segregation in Alabama. Back matter gives more historical information, with three archival photographs of the marchers. End papers trace significant historical moments, from Alabama Gov. George Wallace declaring "segregation forever" in his inaugural speech Jan. 14, 1963, through the day the national Voting Rights Act was passed, Aug. 6, 1965, which ended practices that had kept African Americans from exercising their right to vote.
Stand up for what's right. Peaceful protests can be a successful way to accomplish positive change. Segregation is wrong. All Americans are equal under the law. Even if you're young, you're not too young to want your freedom. Children can be leaders.
Positive Role Models
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., organizes the march, inspires and stands by the protesters, and negotiates with white city leaders to end segregation. The young narrator and her brother are brave and strong, as are their fellow protesters. Their parents are loving and appreciative of their kids' sacrifice.
Violence & Scariness
Image of kids having water shot at them from hoses as police dogs tear at their clothing. Image on TV of a girl being blasted by water. Image of a cop grabbing/pushing our narrator by the back of her neck as she sings a freedom song in jail. Picture of a woman reaching out to protesters in a police wagon as a cop with a billy club aggressively holds her back. Scene of white townspeople yelling at the kid marchers, with one marching girl crying as she goes by them. Photo of protesters huddling against a wall as water cannon sprays them.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Let the Children March, by Monica Clark-Robinson and illustrated by Frank Morrison, won a 2019 Coretta Scott King (Illustrator ) Honor. It's the story of the Children's Crusade, which began May 2, 1963, in Birmingham, Alabama, when kids and teens marched to protest discriminatory Jim Crow laws. There are images of police shooting water from hoses at marchers (in both illustrations and archival photos) and police dogs tearing kid protesters' clothing.
Is It Any Good?
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."
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.