December 11, 2017

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Let the Children March by Monica Clark-Robinson | SLJ Review

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redstarCLARK-ROBINSON, Monica. Let the Children March. illus. by Frank Morrison. 40p. bibliog. chron. notes. HMH. Jan. 2018. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780544704527.

K-Gr 3 –The youth of the Birmingham civil rights movement take center stage in this historical picture book. Clark-Robinson narrates from the voice of an unnamed girl, using simple language to tell the story of the momentous events surrounding the arrest and jailing of hundreds of children protesting racial segregation. The narrator states bluntly, “There were so many things I couldn’t do.” Much of the text will provoke questions and important conversations between children and adult readers. The experiences of segregation are sensitively depicted by Morrison. A playground behind a tall sharp fence sets the stage, while portrait-quality oil paintings of the children and civil rights leaders such as Martin Luther King Jr. fill the rest of the pages. The defiance, determination, and passion comes through clearly on the faces of the figures. An afterword and author’s and illustrator’s notes provide additional information, as does a cleverly illustrated time line on the endpapers. VERDICT A highly readable historical account which deserves a place on picture book and nonfiction shelves alike.–Clara Hendricks, Cambridge Public Library, MA

This review was published in the School Library Journal November 2017 issue.

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