Kids on the March: 15 Stories of SPEAKING OUT, PROTESTING, and FIGHTING for JUSTICE – Michael G. Long

    Kids on the March: 15 Stories of  SPEAKING OUT, PROTESTING, and FIGHTING for JUSTICE – Michael G. Long, Algonquin Young Readers, 9781643751009, 2021

Format: Softcover 

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or starred review) 5

 What did you like about the book? Calling all young revolutionaries and historians! This book is for you. Prior to this book I was familiar with some of these marches and protest movements. However, this book first puts each march/protest on a timeline starting with 1903 and ending in 2020. Initially upon opening the book there is a timeline which tells the reader that you do not necessarily need to read the book from front cover to back cover. However, I would suggest reading it from front to back because it is intriguing to see how so many things have not changed in terms of how young people are organizing and creating change in our nation. Additionally, it is also intriguing to see how supportive law enforcement were with some of these marches i.e. making sure those protesting did not get hurt but they still maintained the safety of the city. The book carefully details each march/protest in its own individual chapter. The chapters explore the problem that the children were marching for and also what end result came out of the march. This is actually beneficial for a young person reading this book. I think it is important that we do not romanticize the actual outcomes of protest and marches. Like in the Mill Marches nothing changed for the mill children. However, in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom chapter we learned about the different outcomes from that march which are not all policy changes. For example, from seeing the protests in Birmingham, Bayard Rustin and Phillip Randolph were inspired to include freedom and jobs in their demands. They brought in many student and adult organizations and thus combining generational resources as well as knowledge from those who participated in other marches and protests. The book includes as many first person accounts as they can which is very helpful for those of us who love to read primary sources. There are many photos in the book that are all black and white shots from the different protests. Lastly, in true activists spirit, the book includes some tips at the end of the book. There are tips for the organizers and those who are just looking to participate in marches and protests. 

Anything you did not like about the book? Nothing I would change. At first I was worried that this book would only center on marches of the past. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see the inclusion of the woman’s march, the marches for climate change and especially the protests after the murder of George Floyd. 

 To whom would you recommend this book? This book would be great for young readers ages 11 and up. I think since we have been stuck in our homes due to the global pandemic children much younger have been watching as the world has taken to the streets to protest against injustices. They are asking questions of their parents and their educators at much younger ages. I would suggest for the students on the younger side to read one chapter at a time and then to engage in some deeper research on the specific protests. 

Who should buy this book?  Parents of children ages 11 and older, middle schools and high schools 

Where would you shelve it?  320.083

 Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes

 Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Rose Metayer, Boston Latin School, Boston MA

Date of review: 03/11/2021

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