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The Youngest Marcher is a story of a girl I'd never heard of before -- Audrey Faye Hendricks, who at nine years old was the youngest known marcher to go to jail for protesting segregation during the Civil Rights Movement. 

I thought this book did a good job of balancing its tone between serious and lighthearted. Reading about a young girl being kept for a week in a dirty jail cell is sad and disturbing, but also important. But the story keeps its eye on the prize, and focuses on young Audrey's determination, sense of justice and, at the end, pride at having helped to accomplish the removal of segregation laws. 

She was fortunate in that Martin Luther King, Jr. was a family friend who ate at their table and spoke at their church. He said that an "unjust law is no law at all," and called on people to fill the jails in protest. When there weren't enough people filling the jails, he declared that they should fill the jails with children, and that is what happened. 

I think this book has potential to communicate the before-and-after picture of segregation very well, in a way that children can understand. Of course, parents/teachers should use discretion as to children's age/maturity levels, but I think Audrey Hendricks' ability to put a child's face on the Civil Rights Movement is very important.

Format: Hardcover
Author: Cynthia Levinson
Illustrator: Vanessa Brantley Newton
Pages: 40
Content Advisory: As mentioned, a little girl spends a week in jail, and protestors describe being sprayed by water hoses and chased by the KKK.

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