The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage

Book review by
Carrie Kingsley, Common Sense Media
The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage Book Poster Image
Clear, emotional story of landmark marriage equality case.

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The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

True story of a historical Supreme Court case for equality.

Positive Messages

Fight for what you believe in. Equality is a legal right. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

The Lovings risked their lives in the fight for their love to be seen as equal to that of two White people who want to marry.

Violence & Scariness

The Lovings are arrested and jailed, and told they're not worth the same as a White couple.

Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage, by Selina Alko, is a powerful true story about justice and racial equality told in terms simple enough for young readers to understand. This landmark court case is an essential part of understanding the history of race in the United States. The 1967 decision is not in the distant past, and the images of modern cars and cities help keep that in mind. The language is clear and matter-of-fact, which makes the story easy to understand and gives great talking points for discussing racism in everyday life. The Author's Notes at the end of the book offer current insights into marriage equality and more books on the topic.

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What's the story?

In THE CASE FOR LOVING, author Selina Alko tells the true story of Richard and Mildred Loving, the couple who won the landmark 1967 civil rights case that ruled laws banning interracial marriage were illegal. After Richard, a White man, and Mildred, a Black woman, got married, police arrested and jailed them for unlawful cohabitation. To stay together, they moved to Washington, D.C., but missed their home in Virginia, so fought for the right to be married regardless of their skin color. The book includes Author Notes and a list of additional resources on the topic.

Is it any good?

A sensitive take on a painful topic, this civil rights story unfolds with a gentleness that also acknowledges the real hurt caused by marriage inequality. The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage speaks to young readers in clear language that lets young readers discover their own emotions and thoughts on the topic of racism and marriage inequality while not shying away from the pain and injustice in the not-too-recent past. The soft illustrations have a seriousness that perfectly fit the topic, and the Author's Notes at the end of the book are helpful and thought-provoking.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how they would feel if they were told they couldn't live with the person they love, like Mildred and Richard in The Case for Loving. Is that fair? How did that kind of thinking start?

  • Can you think of any ways racism affects us all today?

  • What other books have you read where people are treated unequally?

Book details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love picture books and stories of racism and social justice

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