Another picture book review by Jean Matthew Hall.
Last week I reviewed one of the cutest picture books I’ve seen. It was delightful!
This week’s picture book could not be any more different from that.
Let the Children March is about the 1963 Children’s Crusade for de-segregation in Birmingham, Alabama. It was written by Monica Clark-Robinson and illustrated by Frank Morrison. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt published it in 2018.
Clark-Robinson tells the story of this march for freedom through two main characters, a brother and sister. Dr. Martin Luther King held a rally to organize peaceful protests of the segregation policies of the state of Alabama. Adults felt they could not march because they were sure they would lose their jobs and be unable to support their families.
So, their children volunteered to march in their place. More than 1,000 children under the age of eighteen marched and silently protested for seven days. Most of them ended up in jail.
But their protest was more than effective. It was the catalyst for state-wide, and national changes in segregation.
Let the Children March includes a time line on the inside cover sheets, and extra information about the Children’s Crusade provided by the author.
The illustrator says:
I hope my efforts honor the past – the Birmingham Children’s Crusade of 1963 – and will inspire, influence, and intrigue the future – the next generation. I hope to encourage them to become the very best they can be, not just in February, Black History Month, but every day.
You can watch a short documentary about the 1063 Children’s Crusade here.