The idea for Marching for Freedom came in like a huge wave, picked me up and carried me to the internet, the library, museums, and photographers’ archives. In early November 2008, I headed to Selma, Alabama to interview people who’d been kids and young adults during the march. Day after day in 1965, they’d protested, sung, and marched. They were threatened and bullied, jailed and beaten, then got up the next morning and headed out again. I was awed by their courage and determination.
The march was such a perfect microcosm of the whole civil rights movement. I wanted to jump up on my roof and yell: have you heard about this? Instead, I wove together the marchers’ stories and more than 50 photos that captured the turbulent three months in Selma and the heroic, celebratory march to Montgomery.
I hope this book will inspire kids and young adults to realize they can make a difference. Check out www.serve.gov, Obama’s clearinghouse of volunteer opportunities.
If a group of kids armed only with songs and determination could change history, so can we.
Marching For Freedom:
Walk Together Children and Don't You Grow Weary
It's been selected for International Reading Association's list,
2010 Notable Books for a Global Society
The New York Times Sunday Book Review:
Drawing on archival photographs and interviews with marchers who were as young as 10 at the time, Partridge swiftly sets the stage for the political war of nerves that culminated in the walk from Selma to Montgomery.
Partridge shows eloquently how a season of protest educated and transformed Selma’s children... Meanwhile, Partridge's stirring history poses another, more immediate question for the thoughtful reader: Where are today's Selmas and what might a young person do about them?
Read the whole review on The New York Times Book Review site.
Marching for Freedom: Walk Together, Children, and Don't You Grow Weary tells the unsettling but uplifting story of the Selma to Montgomery March in 1965, using the voices of men and women who participated as children and teenagers... Italicized lyrics to “freedom songs” are woven throughout, emphasizing the power drawn from music. Powerful duotone photographs, which range from disturbing to triumphal, showcase the determination of these civil rights pioneers. Publishers Weekly, starred review
Partridge provides just enough context of the Jim Crow South to orient readers before plunging readers into the dramatic and harrowing events of the march. Partridge once again demonstrates why she is almost peerless in her photo selection. Horn Book, starred review
Effective and meaningful archival photographs, quotes, poems, and songs are woven throughout the narrative, giving readers a real sense of the children’s mindset and experiences. The bibliography, source notes, photo credits, and resources for further discussion and research are exemplary. An excellent addition to any library. School Library Journal, starred review
Partridge proves once again that nonfiction can be every bit as dramatic as the best fiction. … With a perfect balance of energetic prose and well-selected, breathtaking photographs, the volume portrays the fight for the heart of America. Kirkus Reviews, starred review
The vivid text is filled with quotes collected from Partridge’s personal interviews with adults who remember their youthful experiences, including their terrifying confrontations with state troopers, during which marchers were attacked with whips, tear gas, and clubs. Filled with large black-and-white photos, every spread brings readers up close to the dramatic, often violent action. Booklist, starred review
A dramatic and a memorable statement. VOYA, starred review
I don’t care that you already have a zillion books on the Civil Rights Movement. You need this one the minute it publishes. Readers will breathe in the atmosphere of tension and fear and gain a heartfelt appreciation of the courage, sacrifice and immense commitment of these young people - teens like themselves. Bookends, A Booklist Blog
Marching for Freedom does a stellar job -- visually and textually -- of helping make sense of what was taking place in those troubled times.
Publisher: Viking Juvenile
80 Pages, ages 10 and up.
Hardcover ISBN-13: 978-0670011896
I love researching and writing books, both fiction and nonfiction. I'm fascinated by courageous, artistic people, and ordinary people who do something extraordinary and make a difference.
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New York Times Review