akibird

A Blog of Children's Literature

Marching For Freedom: Walk Together Children and Don’t You Grow Weary March 21, 2011

Marching For Freedom: Walk Together Children and Don't You Grow WearyMarching For Freedom: Walk Together Children and Don’t You Grow Weary by Elizabeth Partridge
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Marching for Freedom by Elizabeth Partridge (2009)

Information, 80 pages

Marching for Freedom captures the tale of the African Americans in Selma, Alabama who struggled for the right to vote in the civil rights movement in 1965. Elizabeth Partridge shares the events in Selma leading up to the march to Montgomery which eventually involved over 30,000 African Americans and other civil rights activists. Using storytelling to reawaken the time period and events, Partridge creates an emotional story full of fear, hope, and the belief in standing up for what is right. Her narration is particularly moving because it shares the experiences of the children and teenagers who defied authorities, were jailed, risked their lives, and cut school to help their parents get the right to vote. An entire community came together in Selma to carry out the existing law that allowed all to vote. In this rendition, legends like Martin Luther King Jr., Coretta Scott King, Rosa Parks, and President Johnson are equals to the average citizens who risked being beaten, shot with teargas, fired from their jobs, arrested, visited from the KKK, and killed. Adding to the narrative’s impact are the vivid black and white images, sometimes full spreads, capturing the up-close and immense terror and hardship of racism. Through all this pain, come the personal quotes from marchers and the freedom songs’ lyrics, scattered throughout the book eliciting promise and pride within the reader. While the book only covers a short amount of time, Partridge drives home the importance of change in the face of adversity through unification for a righteous cause. One closes this book reflecting on this amazing time in American history and the courageous people who were brave enough to stand for justice.

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