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We March

We March

4.5 2
by Shane W. Evans

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On August 28, 1963, a remarkable event took place--more than 250,000 people gathered in our nation's capital to participate in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The march began at the Washington Monument and ended with a rally at the Lincoln Memorial, where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his historic "I Have a Dream" speech, advocating racial harmony


On August 28, 1963, a remarkable event took place--more than 250,000 people gathered in our nation's capital to participate in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The march began at the Washington Monument and ended with a rally at the Lincoln Memorial, where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his historic "I Have a Dream" speech, advocating racial harmony. Many words have been written about that day, but few so delicate and powerful as those presented here by award-winning author and illustrator Shane W. Evans. When combined with his simple yet compelling illustrations, the thrill of the day is brought to life for even the youngest reader to experience.

We March is one of Kirkus Reviews' Best Children's Books of 2012

Editorial Reviews

Kristi Jemtegaard
Shown from the perspective of the children who participated in this historic event, Evans's account emphasizes the determination, strength and optimism of ordinary people swept up in an extraordinary era, participating in an extraordinary event.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
Written in the same spare style as Evans’s Underground, this account of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom—identified only in a concluding note—drives home the emotion and the drama of that event. Brief, blunt sentences propel the narrative and place readers on the scene: “We follow our leaders. We walk together. We sing.” Evans spotlights a family of four, first pictured rising with the sun and creating placards with their church congregation. Buses bring them to the Washington Monument, where they join others in the march that culminates in Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Though the day unfolds through the family’s perspective, what emerges is a communal voice that conveys a strong sense of solidarity and purpose (“We lean on each other as we march to justice, to freedom, to our dreams”). Similarly minimalist, Evans’s art features angular characters whose expressions capture their passion and commitment. Evans’s predominantly cool palette is warmed by the diffuse light of the sun, which appears in full blaze behind a closeup image of King. A moving introduction to a historic day. Ages 4–8. Agent: Writers House. (Jan.)
From the Publisher

"[A] well-told and superbly rendered book.” —School Library Journal, starred review

“This makes a pivotal event in our nation's history accessible to our youngest citizens without compromising any of its power.” —Booklist

“There's an iconic flavor to the scenes, their streamlined compositions and simplified human figures standing in for the experience of many.” —The Bulletin

“Share with readers of all ages as a beautiful message about peaceful protest and purposeful action.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Many young children know there was a march on Washington a long time ago and that Martin Luther King Jr. gave a famous speech that day. Some know why the march took place; fewer still know how it happened. Using a minimalist text (no more than ten words per page) as he employed in Underground, Evans covers the last two points.” —Horn Book Magazine

“A moving introduction to a historic day.” —Publishers Weekly

Children's Literature - Marilyn Courtot
The issue of discrimination, lack of voting rights and access to jobs may be a hard concept for today's children. They don't have segregated facilities, schools and lives where they have little interaction with people of other races. The simple text describes an event that took place on August 28, 1963 when more than 250,000 people gathered at the nation's capital to participate in the march on Washington. It was predominately African Americans, but they were joined by others as the pictures clearly show. It was the day that Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his most famous speech, "I Have a Dream." He was promoting racial harmony and freedom for all. The text is straight forward and the illustrations are equally simple, but eloquently deliver the message. Young readers and those who have the text read to them should be able to understand the significance of that important day. An endnote by the author/illustrator explains what happened afterward—the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the National Voting Rights Act of 1965 which together opened up public facilities and made discriminatory voting practices illegal. Those practices had been successful in denying African Americans the right to vote. After the hard won struggles, young children should and young adults should be reminded of the importance of voting and how peaceful action can indeed change the world. Reviewer: Marilyn Courtot
School Library Journal
PreS-Gr 3—It is the remarkable simplicity of this book that makes it so outstanding. The members of an African-American family rise and set off to church to pray and then take part in a march for freedom. But this is not just any march; it is the historic March on Washington in 1963. Readers follow this family as Evans's palette shifts from morning grays and blues to lighter and more hopeful hues of yellow and bright green as Dr. King delivers his magnificent "I Have a Dream" speech. The contrast between the conciseness of the writing and the grandness of the story gives the book a powerful punch. Young readers will now have a book celebrating the March on Washington that they can read, while older readers will be drawn to the beauty of this well-told and superbly rendered book. A must for every collection.—Joan Kindig, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA
Kirkus Reviews
An African-American family awakens before dawn to prepare for the historic March on Washington in August, 1963. In this stirring companion to Underground (2011), Evans captures a pivotal event in the struggle for equality and civil rights in America. The family joins neighbors to pray at their church, paint signs and travel by bus to Washington. They walk and sing and grow tired but "are filled with hope" as they stand together at the Washington Monument to listen to Dr. King speak of dreams and freedom. With just one line per page, Evans' text is spare but forceful. The March has become synonymous with Dr. King's grandiloquent speech, but Evans reminds readers that ordinary folk were his determined and courageous audience. The full-page paintings depict a rainbow of people holding hands and striding purposefully. One illustration in particular, of the father holding his son high on his shoulders, echoes a painting in Underground, in which a father holds his newborn child high up toward the sky. The strong vertical lines used for the arms of the marchers mirror the intensity of the day. Share with readers of all ages as a beautiful message about peaceful protest and purposeful action. (author's note) (Picture book. 4-8)

Product Details

Roaring Brook Press
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File size:
15 MB
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Age Range:
4 - 8 Years

Meet the Author

Shane W. Evans has illustrated numerous books for children, including Black Jack: The Ballad of Jack Johnson and Underground, recipient of four starred reviews, both for Roaring Brook Press. He lives with his family in Kansas City, Missouri.

Shane Evans studied at Syracuse University School of Visual and Performing Arts and graduated in 1993 and began traveling the world. In addition to contract work in illustration, graphic design and web design for major companies, Evans has conceptualized and illustrated numerous children’s books.  Many of the books have been featured in the media such as The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show, NBA Inside Stuff, Reading Rainbow and Late Night with David Letterman. Shane has received much acclaim within the children’s literary field for his work on children’s books such as "Osceola," "The Way The Door Closes," "Shaq and the Beanstalk" and "Take It To The Hoop Magic Johnson." His accolades range from being honored by First Lady Laura Bush at the 2002 National Book Festival, The Boston Globe-Horn Book Award and The Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Non-Fiction for Children.

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We March 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
EGHunter01 More than 1 year ago
*A simple and plain storyline and illustrations make this a good book for read-aloud story-time for pre-K until first grade. *Appropriate for multicultural studies in the classroom or at home, and for learning about the Civil Rights Movement of the 20th century.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago