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The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist Hardcover – January 17, 2017
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From School Library Journal
K-Gr 4—Levinson's We've Got a Job followed nine-year-old Audrey Faye Hendricks and three other youths who were among the thousands of children and teens who marched for freedom in Birmingham, AL, in 1963. Here, she pulls from that material, including personal interviews, to highlight Hendricks's story for younger audiences, telling it from her subject's perspective. The author introduces the Hendricks family's frequent dinner guests, Mike, Fred, and Jim—the ministers Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Frederick Shuttlesworth, and James Bevel, respectively. She also describes the indignities of African American life in Alabama at the time. When Mike's campaign to protest segregation and "fill the jails" doesn't work, young Audrey eagerly volunteers for Jim's new idea—getting children to march. Digital collage illustrations show a young, pigtailed Audrey and her family mostly smiling and happy leading up to the march—she even brings a new board game to pass the time. Pictures and words combine to depict the discomfort of Hendricks's actual experience: loneliness, unpalatable food, angry white interrogators, and even solitary confinement. Like young Audrey, readers will be relieved when her weeklong sentence is up and she goes home to "hot rolls, baptized in butter," and the promise of a brighter future. VERDICT Simplified and sweetened, but still a significant portrayal of Audrey Faye Hendricks and the Children's March. For collections in need of history materials for the younger set.—Kathleen Isaacs, Children's Literature Specialist, Pasadena, MD
"A significant portrayal of Audrey Faye Hendricks and the Children’s March." (School Library Journal, November 2016)
"Levinson returns to the subject of We’ve Got a Job as she recounts, for a younger audience, the story of Audrey Faye Hendricks and her role in the 1963 Children’s March in Birmingham, Ala. Moving briskly through events, Levinson explains how the young Hendricks was eager to stand up to segregation, marching alongside thousands of fellow students, who were subsequently arrested. Newton’s bright, digitally assembled collages adeptly highlight the danger of the situation—grim cells, barbed-wire fences, children blasted with fire hoses—while emphasizing the power of the marchers’ collective efforts to push back against injustice." (Publishers Weekly, December 2016)
"Audrey’s third-person perspective is well represented and storytold, with short, punchy sentences especially vivid in conveying individual testimony and movement goals." (The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, February 2017)
"It's one of the more shocking and little-known stories of the civil rights movement: In 1963, the City of Birmingham jailed hundreds of kids for joining the Children's March. Among them was 7-year-old Audrey Faye Hendricks, taken from her family to spend a week behind bars, eating "oily grits" and sleeping on a bare mattress. Levinson and Newton keep her story bright and snappy, emphasizing the girl's eagerness to make a difference and her proud place in her community." (The New York Times Book Review, February 12, 2017)
"[This book] can introduce even the youngest children to the idea of rebellion in an age-appropriate and inspiring way. Give the princesses and pirates a rest and try these inspiring reads—just don’t be surprised if bedtime negotiations rise to a new level. Every activist has to start somewhere!.... The book tells the true story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, who was arrested at a civil rights protest in Birmingham, Ala., when she was 9 years old. In it, Audrey is introduced to stories about the Ku Klux Klan and police brutality, and she decides to join the protest. The compelling story about white supremacy and the civil rights era illustrates the courage and personal sacrifice that activism requires, and teaches kids why it matters." (The Washington Post, "The best books for raising activist kids," March 10, 2017)
"Levinson tells the true story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, the youngest participant in the 1963 Birmingham Children's March.... The well-paced text captures a child's voice and presents time and place realistically. Brightly colored digital collages clearly depict both the hopeful spirit and the rawer emotions of one community involved in the civil rights struggle; a double-page spread of Audrey curled up on a bare mattress in her jail cell is particularly effective." (The Horn Book Magazine, May/June 2017)
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I really liked this book because Audrey was the youngest kid in jail, and it must have been really hard for her to go through.Read more