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WE MARCH by Shane W.  Evans Kirkus Star


by Shane W. Evans, illustrated by Shane W. Evans

Age Range: 4 - 8

Pub Date: Jan. 17th, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-59643-539-1
Publisher: Neal Porter/Roaring Brook

An African-American family awakens before dawn to prepare for the historic March on Washington in August, 1963.

In this stirring companion to Underground (2011), Evans captures a pivotal event in the struggle for equality and civil rights in America. The family joins neighbors to pray at their church, paint signs and travel by bus to Washington. They walk and sing and grow tired but “are filled with hope” as they stand together at the Washington Monument to listen to Dr. King speak of dreams and freedom. With just one line per page, Evans’ text is spare but forceful. The March has become synonymous with Dr. King’s grandiloquent speech, but Evans reminds readers that ordinary folk were his determined and courageous audience. The full-page paintings depict a rainbow of people holding hands and striding purposefully. One illustration in particular, of the father holding his son high on his shoulders, echoes a painting in Underground, in which a father holds his newborn child high up toward the sky. The strong vertical lines used for the arms of the marchers mirror the intensity of the day.

Share with readers of all ages as a beautiful message about peaceful protest and purposeful action. (author’s note) (Picture book. 4-8)