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Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case
     

Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case

by Patricia Hruby Powell, Shadra Strickland (Illustrator)
 

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From acclaimed author Patricia Hruby Powell comes the story of a landmark civil rights case, told in spare and gorgeous verse. In 1955, in Caroline County, Virginia, amidst segregation and prejudice, injustice and cruelty, two teenagers fell in love. Their life together broke the law, but their determination would change it. Richard and Mildred Loving were at the

Overview

From acclaimed author Patricia Hruby Powell comes the story of a landmark civil rights case, told in spare and gorgeous verse. In 1955, in Caroline County, Virginia, amidst segregation and prejudice, injustice and cruelty, two teenagers fell in love. Their life together broke the law, but their determination would change it. Richard and Mildred Loving were at the heart of a Supreme Court case that legalized marriage between races, and a story of the devoted couple who faced discrimination, fought it, and won.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
11/14/2016
Powell (Josephine) delivers a well-researched novel in verse, set over 15 years, about Mildred and Richard Loving, the interracial couple whose marriage led to the United States Supreme Court decision to overturn Virginia’s anti-miscegenation statute. Amid photographs, interludes that touch on relevant topics (school segregation, the Freedom Riders, etc.), and Strickland’s editorial-style two-color artwork, Powell explores the personal and emotional story of a young couple whose only desire is to raise a healthy and happy family in the state where they were both born. Powell’s verse alternates between Mildred and Richard’s perspectives, concisely revealing their fears and mutual dedication, particularly after Mildred becomes pregnant, they marry, and are arrested (“From high school/ to wedding/ to prison./ After two days/ my mama comes to visit./ I try not to cry, but I cry real easy/ these days”). This is an excellent starter book for those interested in learning the basics of the civil rights movement as Powell thoughtfully traces the events leading up to the Lovings’ case. Ages 12–up. Agent: Anna Olswanger, Olswanger Literary. (Jan.)
From the Publisher
"A challenging, poignant read about an important civil rights case."—ForeWord Reviews

"This handsome oversized volume... tells a quiet yet powerful story."—Baltimore Sun

"Spellbinding free verse, illustrations, photos and more, it's a must for teens and adults alike."—Brit+Co.

"Presented through the alternating voices of Mildred and Richard Loving, the reader enters the lives of two people in a tight-knit community who fall in love and are forced to leave the world they have known. We grow up with them and understand their quiet strength. Patricia Hruby Powell sets the Loving's story within the historical context of the Civil Rights Movement thereby allowing readers to gain a greater understanding of the fight for equal rights, at both the personal and societal level." -Jennifer Kelley Reed, Teacher Librarian and blogger at Reederama"

Powerful and riveting."—Kirkus Reviews, starred review"

Offers insights into the couple who never imagined they would make civil-rights history."—Austin American-Statesman

"Immediately relevant today. a rich opportunity for students and adults to discuss urgent and perennial questions."-School Library Journal"

Fine, dramatic storytelling in a memorable verse format."-Booklist, starred review"

Excellent starter book for those interested in learning the basics of the civil rights movement."-Publishers Weekly

"Compelling and heartrending, this true story personalizes the civil rights movement."—Common Sense Media"

An impressive level of detail, and vivid depiction of the social environment."-The Horn Book Magazine"

A compelling, heartbreaking but ultimately triumphant tale."—The Cleveland Plain Dealer

School Library Journal
12/01/2016
Gr 8 Up—This title, depicting the individuals and events surrounding a watershed moment in U.S. civil rights history, is immediately relevant today. In 1950s Virginia, Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter fell in love and wanted to marry and raise their family where they were brought up. This was a problem: Loving was white, Jeter was considered "colored," and there was a law prohibiting interracial marriage. Still, the couple married in DC anyway, and after returning to Virginia, they served jail time. After years of separation and fighting the ruling, they connected with ACLU lawyers, and in 1967 their case was heard by the Supreme Court, which unanimously overturned the previous judgment against the Lovings in a landmark ruling. Written in free verse, this docu-novel alternates perspectives between Richard and Mildred. News clippings, maps, and archival photos add immediacy and context, as do Strickland's moving illustrations, in the style of "visual journalism," which she explains in an appended note. The volume also features a time line of relevant events and an appended summary of the Lovings' lives after the case. The bibliography displays the author's extensive research, which included interviews with those who were connected to the couple, and the free-verse style personalizes the historical events, which reach directly into today's headlines. No single book can tell the whole story, of course, and this offers a rich opportunity for students and adults to discuss urgent and perennial questions: In any retelling of history, what has been left out? Is every story an open subject for every author? VERDICT A natural addition to any school or public library. With the new film Loving and the upcoming 50th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court case, there will be increased attention on the Lovings' story.—Kristin Anderson, Bloomingdale Public Library, IL
Kirkus Reviews
★ 2016-10-19
A powerful and riveting account of an American couple in love when that love was ruled illegal in many American states.In the early 1950s a boy and a girl in rural Virginia fell in love and got married. Her family was "descended / from African slaves. / And their owners." He was white. Their love was scorned and against the law in their state. The couple, Mildred and Richard Loving, alternate and sometimes join together to tell their stories in beautifully rendered free verse. Love, children, marriage, jail, flight to Washington, D.C., long court battles, and final unanimous vindication in 1967 from the Warren Supreme Court fill the pages, detailing every particle of their strong feelings for each other and the equally strong bigotry of the local sheriff and state judicial system. Full-page photographs of school segregation and civil rights demonstrations clearly set the time frame. Excerpts from court decisions, period headlines, and quotations from Dr. King strengthen the learning curve for readers. Strickland's blue-, gray-, and yellow-toned illustrations have a strong retro feel and tenderly reinforce the written words. A song of love vs. a cacophony of hate—all in a beautiful model of bookmaking. (timeline, bibliography, credits and sources) (Historical verse fiction. 11-18)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781452125909
Publisher:
Chronicle Books LLC
Publication date:
01/31/2017
Pages:
260
Sales rank:
49,634
Product dimensions:
7.50(w) x 10.00(h) x 1.10(d)
Lexile:
HL720L (what's this?)
Age Range:
12 - 18 Years

Meet the Author

Patricia Hruby Powell's previous book, Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker, won a Sibert Honor for Nonfiction, a Coretta Scott King Honor, and five starred reviews. She lives in Illinois.

Shadra Strickland is an illustrator whose work has won an Ezra Jack Keats Award, a Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent, and an NAACP Image Award. She lives in Maryland.

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