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- ISBN-13: 9781452125909
- ISBN-10: 1452125902
- Publisher: Chronicle Books
- Publish Date: January 2017
- Page Count: 260
- Reading Level: Ages 12-17
- Dimensions: 10 x 7.6 x 1.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.03 pounds
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-11-14
- Reviewer: Staff
Powell (Josephine) delivers a well-researched novel in verse, set over 15 years, about Mildred and Richard Loving, the interracial couple whose marriage led to the United States Supreme Court decision to overturn Virginias anti-miscegenation statute. Amid photographs, interludes that touch on relevant topics (school segregation, the Freedom Riders, etc.), and Stricklands editorial-style two-color artwork, Powell explores the personal and emotional story of a young couple whose only desire is to raise a healthy and happy family in the state where they were both born. Powells verse alternates between Mildred and Richards perspectives, concisely revealing their fears and mutual dedication, particularly after Mildred becomes pregnant, they marry, and are arrested (From high school/ to wedding/ to prison./ After two days/ my mama comes to visit./ I try not to cry, but I cry real easy/ these days). This is an excellent starter book for those interested in learning the basics of the civil rights movement as Powell thoughtfully traces the events leading up to the Lovings case. Ages 12up. Agent: Anna Olswanger, Olswanger Literary. (Jan.)
Meet the Lovings
Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter just want to hold hands without drawing stares, be married and raise their children in their home state of Virginia. “What is so difficult about that?” Richard asks in Loving vs. Virginia, Patricia Hruby Powell’s novel about the real-life couple’s groundbreaking civil rights case. Told in free verse, it alternates between the voices of Mildred, who is black and Native American, and Richard, who is white.
Their story opens in 1952, when the two youths and their families shared meals in Central Point, a rural town that was more integrated than the rest of the state of Virginia, where miscegenation laws still ruled. While Mildred and Richard’s affection for one another came easily, their courtship met with racism. And when pregnancy prompted the pair to marry in 1958, they were forced to drive to Washington, D.C., where they could be legally wed.
After returning to Virginia, the newlyweds were arrested and sentenced to expulsion from Virginia for 25 years. The heartfelt novel describes the sadness, fear and prejudice that invaded their lives until their case went before the Supreme Court and was overturned unanimously in 1967.
Interspersed period photographs, quotes and historical facts add greater impact to the Lovings’ personal story and legal challenges, which paved the way for interracial marriage throughout the country. Above all, the Lovings live up to their name as Powell describes their romance and dedication as much as their role in history.