We March

We March written and illustrated by Shane W. Evans.  A Neal Porter Book.  Roaring Brook Press 2012.  32 pages.  Publisher recommends for ages 4-8.  ISBN:9781596435391.

In August of 1963 250,000 marched on Washington to protest the unjust treatment of blacks in the United States. It was at the rally following the March that Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I Have A Dream” speech.

The book follows a boy and a girl and their parents as they rise early, go to church to pray and make protest signs, take buses to Washington DC and march together, then stand with each other in a crowd of people and listen to a man talking about dreams.

The spare text and rich, simple drawings capture the excitement of the day without ever making clear that this day is the March on Washington.  In fact, a child who has not yet learned about the March on Washington from his or her parents or teachers will be drawn in by the excitement, and they will begin to understand the meaning of the day.

There’s a discussion of the day and its significance on the last page.  This seems to be meant for parents and teachers rather than for the kids who are reading the book.

“We March” captures the power of people working together with a only few words and a few pictures.

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