Reviews for Marching for Freedom : Walk Together, Children, and Don't You Grow Weary
Booklist Reviews 2009 August #1
*Starred Review* The subtitle of this stirring photo-essay, drawn from an African American spiritual that was often quoted by Martin Luther King, Jr., points to the book's focus: the essential role that young people played in the Civil Rights movement. Of course, the movement's adult leaders are represented, including Dr. King, John Lewis, Rosa Parks, and President Lyndon Johnson. Segregationist Governor George Wallace and his followers are also mentioned. But this overview, which zeros in on the Alabama protests in Selma and the March to Montgomery in 1965, emphasizes the essential impact that ordinary children and teens had on the movement. The vivid text is filled with quotes collected from Partridge's personal interviews with adults who remember their youthful experiences, including their terrifying confrontations with state troopers, during which marchers were attacked with whips, tear gas, and clubs. Filled with large black-and-white photos, every spread brings readers up close to the dramatic, often violent action. Recurring throughout the volume is the freedom fighters' credo that nonviolence did not mean passivity. Today's teen activists will want to talk about these gripping profiles of young people who made a difference; and for those who want to continue their research, the extensive back matter includes long notes and a bibliography of books, films, articles, and online sources. Copyright 2009 Booklist Reviews.
Horn Book Guide Reviews 2010 Spring
Partridge writes about the civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery from the viewpoint of children and teenagers who participated. Their recollections, culled largely from author interviews, perfectly balance and complement the contributions of the adults--Martin Luther King, George Wallace, Lyndon Johnson--that typically dominate historical accounts. The accompanying archival photographs have a moral impact as well as a visual one. Bib., ind. Copyright 2010 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.
Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2009 #6
Partridge segues nicely from a series of young adult biographies (Restless Spirit, rev. 3/99; This Land Was Made for You and Me, rev. 3/02; John Lennon, rev. 9/05) to a sharply focused historical narrative for a younger audience. "There are moments in history that grab me tight and don't let go," she writes about her inspiration to chronicle the historic civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery -- and do so from the viewpoint of a half-dozen children and teenagers who participated. Their recollections, culled largely from interviews conducted by the author, perfectly balance and complement the contributions of the adult figures -- Martin Luther King, George Wallace, Lyndon Johnson -- that typically dominate the historical accounts of this event. Partridge provides just enough context of the Jim Crow South to orient readers before plunging readers into the dramatic and harrowing events of the march. Partridge once again demonstrates why she is almost peerless in her photo selection. The photographs have a moral impact as well as a visual one: the stirring cover depicting two high school students, one with an American flag draped over his shoulder, the other with the word VOTE written on his forehead; a four-image sequence in which a young boy is confronted and arrested for holding up a voting rights sign; black men filling out applications to vote in front of a sign enumerating the offensively ridiculous obstacles placed in their way. Author's note, source notes, bibliography, and index are appended. Copyright 2009 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2009 September #2
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) Copyright Kirkus 2009 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2009 October #2
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.) [Page 52]. Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.
School Library Journal Reviews 2009 October
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 [Page 150]. Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
VOYA Reviews 2009 October
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.--Barbara Johnston. Index. Photos. Biblio. Source Notes. Further Reading. 5Q 4P M J S Copyright 2009 Voya Reviews.