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Reviewed by:
  • The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist by Cynthia Levinson
  • Deborah Stevenson, Editor
Levinson, Cynthia The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist; illus. by Vanessa Brantley Newton. Atheneum, 201740p
Trade ed. ISBN 978-1-4814-0070-1 $17.99
E-book ed. ISBN 978-1-4814-0071-8 $10.99 R 6-9 yrs

As described in this nonfiction picture book, Audrey Faye Hendricks was only nine when Birmingham began jailing African Americans for fighting segregation and the Reverend James Bevel called for young people to pack the jails so full that no more protesters could be added. Audrey leapt to join the effort, so off she went for a protest march and a subsequent uncomfortable week in juvenile hall, but after only five days the Birmingham jails were full, and Audrey was thrilled when the television in the detention dayroom showed her “black people stroll[ing] straight into stores and restaurants like they belonged there.” This is, perhaps of necessity, an oversimplified summation of the event that will leave kids with questions, but Audrey’s third-person perspective is well represented and storytold, with short, punchy sentences especially vivid in conveying individual testimony and movement goals. Newton’s digital illustrations combine hand-drawn lines with patterned elements and smooth saturated colors. The focus on the protesters’ polish and presentability is effective, but it’s implausible that the kids’ clothes still looked quite so perky after several days in jail. Levinson’s older title We’ve Got a Job is a more thorough look at the historic event, but this could be an introduction to a more in-depth look or a youth-aimed note in a discussion of the civil rights movement. An author’s note provides more detail about Audrey Faye Hendricks, and a timeline is appended, along with a recipe for Audrey’s mother’s “Hot Rolls Baptized in Butter”



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p. 272
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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