Let the Children March by Monica Clark-Robison is a poetic look at the Children’s March of 1963. The adults knew it was time to fight for their rights. But they were afraid of the repercussions. The children decided, it was their rights too, and decided to march. A poetic introduction that is accented by Frank Morrison’s illusions of a time of history that many might not know of.
Told from a child’s view, what happened to the children and teens of the march is powerful. Those who were sent to stop marchers treated them as adults: the hate words thrown at them, the hoses and taken to jail. The march might have been in Birmingham, Alabama, but the change it inspired would be seen, heard and felt nation (and world) wide.
However, while this book is a great way to tell the story of civil rights and what one child (or thousands) can do is amazing, I preferred The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist by Cynthia Levinson (illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton). Telling the story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, she knew she wanted to fight for the rights of herself and her family. She would fill the jails if that was what it takes! This story is also poetic, but more details. The longer story helps fill in more information allowing the reader to get a bigger picture of the events.
Both stories are great to have in a personal or school or library collection. They might not be a “multiple reread” kind of story, but it something that you will want your child to have. Especially since, even today, we are still fighting for civil rights for many minorities.