Marching For Freedom

Title:   Marching For Freedom: Walk Together Children and Don’t You Grow Weary

Author:  Elizabeth Partridge

Publisher: Penguin Group, 2009

ISBN: 9780670011896

 About the author:  from

Elizabeth Partridge graduated with a degree in Women’s Studies from the University of California at Berkeley, and later studied traditional Chinese medicine. She was an acupuncturist for more than twenty years before closing her medical practice to write full-time.

Elizabeth is the acclaimed author of more than a dozen books, including Marching to Freedom: Walk Together, Children, and Don’t You Grow Weary, as well as biographies of Dorothea Lange, Woody Guthrie, and John Lennon. Her books have received many honors, including National Book Award Finalist, Boston Globe-Horn Book Award, Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Michael L. Printz Honor, SCBWI Golden Kite Award, SLJ’s Battle of the Books, and the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award.

Elizabeth is on the core  faculty at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, MFA in Writing for Children & Young Adults.

 Plot:  A historical non-fiction book about the struggle of black communities in the south to gain the right to vote. This struggle included the children who marched with their parents during this time.

Critical Evaluation:

 A moving non-fiction book about the struggle of black communities in the south to claim their right to vote.  The march started in Selma, Alabama and ended five days later in Montgomery, Alabama.  This march included the children who marched with their parents during this time. This book shares their stories from that painful chapter in U.S history.

Blacks in the south were denied their constitutional rights, and this fight drew national attention. With moving photographs, the books takes on a suspenseful tone. Ultimately, it is inspiring  what the human spirit can withstand, endure, and overcome.

Reader’s Annotation: American people were denied their right to vote. It took a five-day march to draw national attention to this injustice.

Genre: non-fiction

Curriculum Ties: history, civil rights, diversity

Booktalking Ideas: Pass out handouts with information about the march. Talk about it.

Reading Level/Interest Age:12+

Challenge Issues: violence, graphic photographs

Challenge Resources 

  • Library Selection Policy
  • Rationale explaining why the item was chosen for the collection
  • Active listening skills
  • Awards
  • Reconsideration form (as a last resort)
  • National Council of Teachers of English “Right to Read”
  • Positive and negative reviews: expert, parent, student
  • ALA Strategies and Tips for Dealing with Challenges to Library Materials
  • ALA Bill of Rights on Intellectual Freedom
  • Books and other library resources should be provided for the interest, information, and enlightenment of all people of the community the library serves. Materials should not be excluded because of the origin, background, or views of those contributing to their creation.
  • Libraries should provide materials and information presenting all points of view on current and historical issues. Materials should not be proscribed or removed because of partisan or doctrinal disapproval.

Why did you pick this for your collection?  

  • Booklist Editors’ Choice – Books for Youth – Older Readers Category: 2009
  • Common Core Connections: Civil Rights Movement
  • Los Angeles Times Book Prizes: Young Adult Literature
  • Notable Books for a Global Society: 2010
  • School Library Journal Best Books: 2009
  • YALSA Best Books for Young Adults: 2010