An American Girl Story - Melody, 1963: Love Has to Win

Movie review by Emily Ashby, Common Sense Media
An American Girl Story - Melody, 1963: Love Has to Win Poster Image

Common Sense says

age 7+

Indomitable girl speaks up for civil rights in sweet story.

NR 2016 48 minutes

Parents say

age 8+

Based on 5 reviews

Kids say

age 10+

Based on 1 review

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Community Reviews

age 7+

Good movie as a standalone but nothing like the book

We watched the movie before we read the book. It does a really good job of showing racism and the Birmingham bombing in a way that children can process. We loved the strong girl character who has curiosity and intelligence but is not the like the rest. The white teacher is an interesting choice, she is not a hero but tries to do the right thing tho is not entirely successful. Having said all that, we then moved to the book which is wonderful and NOTHING like the movie. They got rid of most of the family including the father. The book takes a long time to develop the relationships within the family and the community. The only time white people are present are when members of the family have to leave their community and experience the racism that was prevalent. Almost no time is given to white people in the book including the school and that is how it should be. This makes me question the choice of the white teacher and children even more in the movie. They also highlighted Melody's mother more in the movie over Melody's personal struggle as does the book. I agree with other reviewers that this should have had a different name because it does not reflect the book at all which is a shame.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models
age 8+

Great, but intense

So happy my girls (8 and 5) watched this. An important part of history that can bring up crucial questions of racism from the past and present. They do talk about the Birmingham church bombing, so my 5-year-old was a little shocked. Well-made and acted.

This title has:

Great messages
Great role models

Movie Details

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