The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, A Young Civil Rights Activist by Cynthia Levinson, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley Newton

The Youngest Marcher

Rating: ★★★★★

Genre: Nonfiction, Children’s lit

Medium: Hardback

Synopsis: This is the story of Audrey Faye Hendricks.  Audrey is a young girl and a young activist.  It’s the 1960s, and she knows that things aren’t right.  Why isn’t she or her family treated like the other families?  After being influenced by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., she knows what she has to do in order to make a difference: go to jail!

Review: I had the immense pleasure of reading this book to my mom’s class of kindergarteners.  Some of the topics were a little too difficult for them, but they all understood the same things: people were treated differently due to their skin color, this wasn’t fair, and Audrey Faye Hendricks was incredibly brave.  That’s what I call a success.

The story itself was easy to follow, and just descriptive enough to show these kindergarteners just how scary this time period was.  It was also brightly illustrated, and the ending was framed positively in order to inspire these youngsters.  It was the perfect balance of seriousness and optimism.

The kids were all enamored by her story, and I was glad as a classroom volunteer that I could connect it to their Martin Luther King Jr. unit a few months prior.  And, as an adult who enjoyed reading this book, I was glad to notice that in the back are additional books for young readers, a recipe, and a timeline of events about the Civil Rights movement.  If I were a parent, this would have provided me with many more resources to share with my child and to teach them about the horrible things that happened not so long ago.  All in all, this book left me feeling satisfied and inspired.


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