Marching for Freedom: Walk Together, Children, and Don't You Grow Weary

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An inspiring look at the fight for the vote, by an award-winning author

Only 44 years ago in the U.S., Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was leading a fight to win blacks the right to vote. Ground zero for the movement became Selma, Alabama.

Award-winning author Elizabeth Partridge leads you straight into the chaotic, passionate, and deadly three months of protests that culminated in the landmark march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965. Focusing on the...

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Marching for Freedom: Walk Together, Children, and Don't You Grow Weary

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An inspiring look at the fight for the vote, by an award-winning author

Only 44 years ago in the U.S., Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was leading a fight to win blacks the right to vote. Ground zero for the movement became Selma, Alabama.

Award-winning author Elizabeth Partridge leads you straight into the chaotic, passionate, and deadly three months of protests that culminated in the landmark march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965. Focusing on the courageous children who faced terrifying violence in order to march alongside King, this is an inspiring look at their fight for the vote. Stunningly emotional black-and-white photos accompany the text.

Winner of the 2010 Boston Globe-Horn Book Award for Nonfiction

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“Gripping profiles of young people who made a difference.” Booklist, starred review

“A perfect balance of energetic prose and well-selected, breathtaking photographs.” Kirkus, starred review

“An excellent addition to any library.” School Library Journal, starred review

“A dramatic and a memorable statement.” VOYA, starred review

“A captivating, personal account.” Publishers Weekly, starred review

“A sharply focused historical narrative for a younger audience.” Horn Book, starred review

Leonard S. Marcus
Elizabeth Partridge takes the past off its pedestal and shows how ordinary people, children among them, can sometimes tip the balance and help determine the outcome of events…The story of Southern black youngsters' participation in the civil rights movement has been told before for young readers, notably in Ellen Levine's wide-ranging oral history compilation Freedom's Children. Partridge's more tightly focused account offers a complementary perspective that gains in impact from an album's worth of black-and-white documentary photographs, most of them the work of two photographers—Matt Herron and John F. Phillip
—The New York Times
Publishers Weekly
Partridge (This Land Was Made for You and Me: The Life and Songs of Woody Guthrie) tells the unsettling but uplifting story of the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965, using the voices of men and women who participated as children and teenagers. Their stories unfold over 10 chapters that detail voter discrimination and the subsequent meetings and protests that culminated in the famous march. Quotations from Joanne Blackmon Bland (first jailed at age 10), Charles Mauldin (a high school student) and other youths arrested and attacked make for a captivating, personal account. The chronological format builds suspense, while the narrative places readers at church meetings, in jail cells and at the march itself. Italicized lyrics to “freedom songs” are woven throughout, emphasizing the power drawn from music, particularly in the wake of the violence of Bloody Sunday (“They were willing to go out again and face state troopers and mounted posses with whips and tear gas and clubs. The music made them bigger than their defeat, bigger than their fear”). Powerful duotone photographs, which range from disturbing to triumphal, showcase the determination of these civil rights pioneers. Ages 10–up. (Oct.)
Horn Book
Partridge once again demonstrates why she is almost peerless in her photo selection.
. . . [A] stirring photo essay . . . Today's teen activists will want to talk about these gripping profiles of young people who made a difference . . . , starred review
Children's Literature - Jennifer Lehmann
In Partridge's "Author's Note," she describes seeing photographs from a civil rights march to Montgomery, feeling driven to learn more about this event, and becoming completely enthralled by it. The book she has created produces this same effect. For five days in March of 1965, marchers walked from Selma, Alabama to the state capital in Montgomery to protest the outrageous actions of the state and local governments in keeping blacks from voting. The number of marchers swelled to more than 30,000 when they reached Montgomery and included people of many races and of all ages, from children who had already been beaten and jailed to an eighty-five-year-old man who had lost his grandson in the struggle for Civil Rights. Martin Luther King, Jr. led the march until he was called away; he rejoined it later alongside Coretta Scott King and Rosa Parks. They were rewarded by the passage of the Voting Rights Act just five months later. This book brings honor to those involved with the march. To make the fascinating tale of the march and the events leading up to it even more gripping, Partridge focuses on the children and students who made it possible. Their courage and determination shine from every page and in every picture. In the face of incredible violence and discrimination, they stood firm in their principles of nonviolence. The photographs that originally captured Partridge's attention are the perfect complement to her words. She includes quotes from interviews she conducted with march participants, as well as song lyrics that practically sing themselves off the page. She also gives extensive sources and suggestions for further reading, and her website includes audio files (past andpresent), videos of current events, and curriculum ideas for those hungry to learn more. Reviewer: Jennifer Lehmann
VOYA - Barbara Johnston
This pictorial history highlights the role youth played in the freedom marches for voting rights in Alabama. Although every registered citizen could vote, payment of back poll taxes and rigged literacy tests made it almost impossible for blacks to register. In 1963, Joanne Blackmon was ten when she accompanied her grandmother to register and ended up in jail. Over the next two years, Joanne and her older sister Lynda would be jailed twenty times. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Freedom Fighters orchestrated the protest marches that began in Selma on January 2, 1965. Participating with Joanne and Lynda were eight-year-old Sheyann Webb and Rachel West, and high schoolers Charles Maudlin and Bobby Simmons. Despite inclement weather, beatings, and time in jail, they courageously persevered. Emotional songs and a strict code of non-violence guided their steps. Bloody Sunday, March 7, 1965, brought a sense of defeat, but the marchers rallied and walked again. National media coverage, President Johnson's impassioned speech to end "illegal barriers to the right to vote," and the grueling five-day walk from Selma to Montgomery culminated in the passing of the Voting Rights Act on August 6, 1965. Straightforward narration and searing black-and-white photographs of those tumultuous times—Sheriff Clark's posse ruthlessly swinging billy clubs, determined black-andwhite marchers linking hands—make a dramatic and memorable statement. Coupled with an inspiring message of how ordinary kids were instrumental in righting civil injustices, this stirring nonfiction belongs in all school libraries. Reviewer: Barbara Johnston
School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up—Much has been written about the Civil Rights Movement, but what has not been documented as well is the role that children played in propelling the movement forward. This book does just that as the Selma, AL, voting rights protests are examined through the eyes of its youngest demonstrators, whose spirit, humor, and grit are clearly exhibited. The book begins by introducing Joanne Blackmon, who at 10 years old was arrested for the first of many times as a result of her participation in freedom marches. The stories of several other young participants are also acknowledged. Through moving prose, their bravery in the face of uncertainty and danger is demonstrated to have clearly inspired and motivated the adults in their lives, including their teachers, parents, and grandparents, to join the fight for civil rights. Effective and meaningful archival photographs, quotes, poems, and songs are woven throughout the narrative, giving readers a real sense of the children's mindset and experiences. The bibliography, source notes, photo credits, and resources for further discussion and research are exemplary. An excellent addition to any library.—Margaret Auguste, Franklin Middle School, Somerset, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
With this photo-essay on the 54-mile civil-rights march from Selma to Montgomery, Partridge proves once again that nonfiction can be every bit as dramatic as the best fiction. In the spring of 1965, a racist sheriff and a bigoted governor were pitted against demonstrators trained in Martin Luther King's philosophy of nonviolence. The Civil Rights Act signed by President Johnson in 1964 had outlawed segregation in schools, workplaces and public areas. Now, demonstrators in Selma, joined by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and King's organization, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, demanded the right to vote. This is history told from the bottom up, through the words, pictures and actions of the parents and children of Selma. With a perfect balance of energetic prose and well-selected, breathtaking photographs, the volume portrays the fight for the heart of America, concluding with a touching photograph of a pair of hands, one signing a voter registration form. This well-designed and impeccably documented volume is a good match with Phillip Hoose's Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice (2009). (author's note, source notes, bibliography) (Nonfiction. 10 & up)
School Library Journal
Gr 6 Up—After the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964 outlawed segregation in public places, civil rights leaders turned their attention to removing the barriers put in place to keep African Americans from voting in the South. Selma, Alabama, became the focal point for this important fight, and Elizabeth Partridge's book (Viking, 2009) details the rallies, protests, arrests, and violence that occurred there in early 1965—including the horrific Bloody Sunday in which state troopers brutally attacked peaceful marchers. The protestors regrouped and set off on a five-day march to Montgomery where they were joined by thousands of supporters. The focus Partridge places on the children and teens who demonstrated remarkable bravery and who were integral to the success of the protests will resonate with listeners. Alan Bomar Jones narrates the taut prose with an even, measured pace interspersed with a rich rendition of the excerpts of the freedom songs and spirituals that were so inspirational to the participants. The text is filled with quotes, and Jones's unembellished reading lets listeners appreciate the individuals' words. A bonus CD includes the book's powerful photographs as well as the source notes and bibliography. A poignant author's note gives more insight into Partridge's motivation for writing the book. The superior text, narration, and bonus materials make this a worthy addition to non-fiction audiobook collections.—Amanda Raklovits, Champaign Public Library, IL
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780670011896
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 10/15/2009
  • Pages: 80
  • Sales rank: 365,047
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 960L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.90 (w) x 9.60 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Partridge is a National Book Award finalist and the author of several nonfiction books for children, including Restless Spirit: The Life and Work of Dorothea Lange; This Land Was Made for You and Me: The Life and Songs of Woody Guthrie; and the Printz Honor-winning John Lennon: All I Want Is the Truth. She lives in the San Francisco Bay area.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2012


    This book is very boring

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 3, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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