The Youngest Marcher (Hardcover)


Meet the youngest known child to be arrested for a civil rights protest in Birmingham, Alabama, 1963, in this moving picture book that proves you’re never too little to make a difference.

Nine-year-old Audrey Faye Hendricks intended to go places and do things like anybody else.

So when she heard grown-ups talk about wiping out Birmingham’s segregation laws, she spoke up. As she listened to the preacher’s words, smooth as glass, she sat up tall. And when she heard the plan—picket those white stores! March to protest those unfair laws! Fill the jails!—she stepped right up and said, I’ll do it! She was going to j-a-a-il!

Audrey Faye Hendricks was confident and bold and brave as can be, and hers is the remarkable and inspiring story of one child’s role in the Civil Rights Movement.


From School Library Journal

K-Gr 4—Levinson’s We’ve Got a Job followed nine-year-old Audrey Faye Hendricks and three other youths who were among the thousands of children and teens who marched for freedom in Birmingham, AL, in 1963. Here, she pulls from that material, including personal interviews, to highlight Hendricks’s story for younger audiences, telling it from her subject’s perspective. The author introduces the Hendricks family’s frequent dinner guests, Mike, Fred, and Jim—the ministers Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Frederick Shuttlesworth, and James Bevel, respectively. She also describes the indignities of African American life in Alabama at the time. When Mike’s campaign to protest segregation and “fill the jails” doesn’t work, young Audrey eagerly volunteers for Jim’s new idea—getting children to march. Digital collage illustrations show a young, pigtailed Audrey and her family mostly smiling and happy leading up to the march—she even brings a new board game to pass the time. Pictures and words combine to depict the discomfort of Hendricks’s actual experience: loneliness, unpalatable food, angry white interrogators, and even solitary confinement. Like young Audrey, readers will be relieved when her weeklong sentence is up and she goes home to “hot rolls, baptized in butter,” and the promise of a brighter future. VERDICT Simplified and sweetened, but still a significant portrayal of Audrey Faye Hendricks and the Children’s March. For collections in need of history materials for the younger set.—Kathleen Isaacs, Children’s Literature Specialist, Pasadena, MD
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