Sometimes People March

Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins/. Sept. 2020. 32p. Tr $17.99. ISBN 9780062991188.
K-Gr 4–Debut author-illustrator Allen illuminates the motivations for protest marches. Contemporary issues are highlighted (systemic racism and police brutality, climate change, Black Lives Matter, the March for Our Lives) as well as historical protests (the women’s suffrage movement, the Delano grape boycott). The watercolor drawings depict a diverse group of people, not only in terms of racial, ethnic, and visible religious diversity but also in sexual orientation and ability. One double-page spread highlights how people resist, including call-and-response chants, an Ida B. Wells quote rising out of a typewriter, Pete Seeger sailing on the sloop Clearwater, and young artists painting a mural. Allen shows that advocacy does not have an age limit. Children are portrayed as activists, protesting together or with their families. The text notes, “Sometimes from feelings of fear or anger or injustice comes the hope for change.” The nuanced and varied facial expressions on every page make for a powerful focus for social and emotional learning lessons. A final double-page spread features a city street filled with protesters, using light and colors that project hope and power. A “Movements, Marches & Key Figures in the Art” section identifies the individuals and movements pictured throughout the book, which includes page numbers.
VERDICT A must-have for any collection looking for age-appropriate books to answer questions about current events and social justice issues.

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