Wednesday, August 26, 2015
"FIRST COMES LOVE, THEN COMES MARRIAGE"
...So begins The Case for Loving, a moving nonfiction picture book centered on the Loving v. Virginia supreme court case and the fight for interracial marriage. Only the year is 1958 and Richard Loving, a white man, and Mildred Jeter, part black and part Cherokee, live in the state of Virginia, where it was against the law for people of different races to marry. Though they must relocate to Washington, DC, in order to live together and raise their family, they keep fighting a lengthy legal battle to make sure families like theirs may be allowed to live in all fifty states by 1967.
Accompanied by the gentle yet evocotive paint-and-collage art by Sean Qualls and the book's author Selina Alko, Alko's text is powerful in its simplicity. It might be hard for young readers to imagine a time in America where interracial marriage could land people in jail, and this nonfiction picture book manages to deftly examine the historical injustice through the experience of one family in a straightforward, age-appropriate, and relatably poignant way.
An author's note, words about the art, sources, and suggestions for further reading are included so that parents or teachers might expand on the discussion, but this story of love, family, and standing up for what's right will resonate with young readers in its own right.
Recommend for 3rd grade and up.