Ask a bookseller

'A powerful story, simply told': When children marched

'Let the Children March' by Monica Clark-Robinson
'Let the Children March' by Monica Clark-Robinson.
Courtesy of publisher

Every week, The Thread checks in with booksellers around the country about their favorite books of the moment. This week, we spoke with Lia Lent of WordsWorth Books in Little Rock, Ark.

The 1963 Children's Crusade in Birmingham, Ala., was a key moment in the fight for civil rights — but not everyone knows the story.

To bring a younger generation in on the history, bookseller Lia Lent recommends Monica Clark-Robinson's children's book, "Let the Children March."

"The book is about when the adults in Birmingham were worried about losing their jobs if they marched against segregation practices," Lent explained. "So their children volunteered, and with the blessing of Martin Luther King, they started marching. They marched for a week."

"They faced angry citizens and police wielding hoses and dogs, which is incredible to think about right now. Thousands of children were jailed. And the images of the children's march helped drive the public opinion for political acceptance of desegregation," Lent said. "It's really a remarkable story." Though the book deals with difficult issues, "the language is simple and straightforward; accessible for children, five to eight."

The illustrator, Frank Morris, "has a way of evoking actions and strong emotions with really unexpected perspectives. The illustrations are really magnificent."

"The remarkable thing is how simple it is, yet how telling it is about this period of history that maybe we don't all know about. ... People who read it go: 'Wow. This is a powerful story, simply told.'"

Let the Children March Let the Children March

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