Let the Children March
Let the Children March

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Annotation: Under the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., children and teenagers march against segregation in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963.
Catalog Number: #150345
Format: Perma-Bound Edition from Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Illustrator: Morrison, Frank,
Pages: 40
Availability: Available
ISBN: Publisher: 0-544-70452-5 Perma-Bound: 0-605-99604-0
ISBN 13: Publisher: 978-0-544-70452-7 Perma-Bound: 978-0-605-99604-5
Dewey: E
LCCN: 2016014699
Dimensions: 28 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Nearly 55 years ago, an antisegregation march that came to be known as the Children's Crusade was instrumental in pushing President Kennedy and Congress to adopt the Voting Rights Act. That historic event is chronicled here in a semifictional narrative from the perspective of one of the young participants in Birmingham in 1963. Bolstered by Dr. King's assurances, the children endure snarling dogs, water hoses, and jail, emerging exhausted but undefeated. Morrison's lush oil paintings illustrate Clark-Robinson's terse descriptions, bringing to life the determination of the marchers, the brutality of the police, and the stifling heat of the packed jail cells without sugarcoating the reality. This remarkable story remains relevant today as young readers think about their roles in the ongoing struggle for justice. Teachers who use this book might scaffold it with additional resources that teach about the intensive planning and organization that went into this and other activist campaigns.
Horn Book
In a picture book based on the 1963 Children's Crusade in racially charged Birmingham, Alabama, an unnamed young African American girl narrates her experiences. She marches in the nonviolent protests against segregation, witnesses her fellow marchers being attacked by dogs, and is jailed. A strong, poetic text is accompanied by remarkable oil paintings that capture the emotions on the faces of protesters and counter-protesters alike. Timeline. Bib.
Publishers Weekly
Clark-Robinson-s stirring debut unfolds through the resolute voice of a (fictional) African-American girl participating in the 1963 Children-s Crusade, during which young residents of Birmingham, Ala., marched to protest segregation. -Dr. King told us the time had come to march,- the girl explains. Her parents can-t risk losing their jobs, so she, her brother, and thousands of their peers volunteer to serve as -Dr. King-s army- (-This burden, this time, did not have to be theirs to bear-). Morrison-s dynamic oil paintings viscerally expose the protesters- courage and fear, as well as the anger of white onlookers and police who sic dogs on the marchers and blast them with hoses before locking many in jail. The children-s refrains (-Singing the songs of freedom, one thousand strong we came-) are displayed like banners across the pages, emphasizing collective strength in the face of brutal violence. The narrator-s conclusion, -Our march made the difference,- serves as a powerful reminder for today-s readers about their own ability to fight for justice and equality. Ages 6-9. Author-s agent: Natalie Lakosil, Bradford Literary. Illustrator-s agent: Lori Nowicki, Painted Words. (Jan.)
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews
A vibrantly illustrated account of the Birmingham Children's Crusade through the eyes of a young girl who volunteers to participate.Morrison's signature style depicts each black child throughout the book as a distinct individual; on the endpapers, children hold signs that collectively create a "Civil Rights and the Children's Crusade" timeline, placing the events of the book in the context of the greater movement. When Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. comes to speak at her church, a girl and her brother volunteer to march in their parents' stead. The narrative succinctly explains why the Children's Crusade was a necessary logistical move, one that children and parents made with careful consideration and despite fear. Lines of text ("Let the children march. / They will lead the way // The path may be long and / troubled, but I'm gonna walk on!") are placed within the illustrations in bold swoops for emphasis. Morrison's powerful use of perspective makes his beautiful oil paintings even more dynamic and conveys the intensity of the situations depicted, including the children's being arrested, hosed, and jailed. The child crusaders, regardless of how badly they're treated, never lose their dignity, which the art conveys flawlessly. While the children win the day, such details as the Confederate flag subtly connect the struggle to the current day. A powerful retrospective glimpse at a key event. (timeline, afterword, artist's statement, quote sources, bibliography) (Picture book. 5-9)
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references.
Word Count: 868
Reading Level: 3.8
Interest Level: 2-5
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 3.8 / points: 0.5 / quiz: 192336 / grade: Lower Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.7 / points:3.0 / quiz:Q71070
Lexile: 650L

Told from a child's point of view, this moving picture book focuses on a monumental moment in the civil rights movement: the Children's Crusade of 1963. Thousands of African-American children and teens marched through the streets of Birmingham, Alabama, to end segregation and to inspire change and hope for the future. Full color.

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