Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case (Books about Love for Kids, Civil Rights History Book)

by Patricia Hruby Powell

Other authorsShadra Strickland (Illustrator)
Hardcover, 2017




Chronicle Books (2017), Edition: Illustrated, 260 pages


Suspense. Historical Fiction. Young Adult Fiction. Young Adult Literature. From acclaimed author Patricia Hruby Powell comes the story of a landmark civil rights case, told in spare and gorgeous verse. In 1955, in Caroline County, Virginia, amidst segregation and prejudice, injustice and cruelty, two teenagers fell in love. Their life together broke the law, but their determination would change it. Richard and Mildred Loving were at the heart of a Supreme Court case that legalized marriage between races, and a story of the devoted couple who faced discrimination, fought it, and won.


(47 ratings; 4.4)

User reviews

LibraryThing member jruss
I don't know what I was expecting from this book, but it sure wasn't this. It is the story, written in prose about Richard and Mildred Loving and their illegal marriage. The writing is beautiful and depicts the heart ache, struggle and determination to change the law. The illustrations were also
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very beautiful. A very informative account of the interracial marriage of a very brave couple. Loved it! Thank you Library Thing and Chronicle Books for the honor of reviewing this book.
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LibraryThing member LynnB
What a powerful and unforgettable story. Mildred Jeter, a "colored" person and Richard Loving who was white, fell in love at teenagers in the 1950s in Virginia. They married in nearby Washington, DC, because inter-racial marriage, at least between black and white people, was illegal in Virginia at
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the time. In fact, such marriages remained illegal in Alabama until 2000. This book tells the story of Mildred and Richard, who just wanted to live together and raise their family in their home county. Instead, they were arrested, separated from their extended families and became involved in a long series of court cases, culminating in a judgement from the US Supreme Court.

In telling this story, Ms. Powell uses a very sparse, poetic style which allows the brutal reality of what happened to the Lovings to come through clearly with a strong impact. There isn't a lot of description or back-story to detract from Mildred's and Richard's reality. The text is accompanied by illustrations. I loved the way the illustrations showed Mildred and Richard always so happy in each others' presence. The book also includes actual excerpts from court cases, speeches and other documents which set the mood of the times.

This book would be suitable for older children as well as for adults.
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LibraryThing member Karen59
Loving Vs Virginia: A Documentary Novel is my favorite historical fiction book for middle schoolers and Young Adults this year. The book grabbed me immediately and it is the best kind of book for readers who might feel intimidated by verse and rhyme. I learned so much, even though I know their
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story well. Loving vs. Virginia's is lyrically beautiful yet doesn't cover the harsh realities and the injustice with its words. The words and pictures reinforce each other; the pictures are sometime in color, sometimes in sepia and they are perfectly placed. Both words and pictures allow us to know and feel how much this couple loved each other, how much support they received by their families (and the risks that they took too) and how far the sheriff and other politicians went to keep anti-miscegenation laws from changing. We see the Loving's being hunted down and jailed and forced to flee. We see their suffering and how they tried to quietly live their lives whether separated or not. And we know that injustice still takes place here and in other countries and can be used to teach students about this fact. It is an outstanding book.

Thank you to NetGalley for allowing me to review this book for an honest opinion.
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LibraryThing member Schmerguls
5434. Loving vs. Virginia A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case, by Patricia Hruby Powell (read 22 Dec 2015) This juvenile book written in free verse form I found moving and accurate in its discussion of the famed case involving interracial marriage. The citation for that case is
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388 U.S. 1 (1967) and while the text of the opinion by Chief Justice Warren is not set out int eh book the book does give the citation and anyone can read the opinion on line.. I well remember after the Supreme Court decision in Brown v. Board of Education, decided when I was in law school at Georgetown, talking to a classmate and rejoicing about the result in Brown and he said next the ban on interracial marriage must go. I did not expect that to happen and it was 13 years before it did happen. This book quotes the racist language of the Virginia courts--which today sounds so obnoxious--and one is appalled that in the 20th century courts could say what they said. Fortunately the U. S. Supreme Court was unanimous .in reversing the Virginia courts. This is a moving and poignant book even if it is written for children, and I much appreciated it.
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LibraryThing member LouisNosko
"Loving vs. Virginia" Nowadays, it's almost impossible to comprehend the realities of this case. In 1958, Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving were arrested in Caroline County, Virginia and charged with violation of the state's anti-miscegenation laws. Mildred was black. Richard was white. In 1963,
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represented by the American Civil Liberties Union, they filed a motion of appeal in the District Court of Caroline County Virginia. After repeated denials of their appeal to overturn the conviction, their case made it to the United States Supreme Court. On June 12, 1967, by an unanimous verdict, the judgment in their case was reversed.
In this book by Patricia Hruby Powell the path to that judgment is laid out in a stimulating free verse pattern, consisting of diary-like monologues from Mildred and Richard alternating with a dialogue between the two. It traces the history of their relationship: growing up in Caroline County, not far from Fredericksburg, meeting as teenagers to falling in love and marrying out of state in Washington, D.C. This engaging style propels the reader quickly along the life's path of the aptly-named Loving couple through the pitfalls of prejudice around them, and the fear they feel for themselves and their children.
In addition Ms. Powell includes text and photos of the major civil rights events of the time, as well as tracing the path of "Jim Crow" from the Plessy vs. Ferguson decision onwards. This book will be a wonderful tool for students, especially high school students, to understand these aspects of racial prejudice, segregation and the violation of a person's constitutional rights. It does so by bringing Mildred and Richard immediately into your heart and mind. As Mildred stated after their arrest and then the birth of the first baby:: "This child is the very reason they don't want us married." And it concludes with the startling realization that the last state to reverse its stand on miscegenation was Alabama in 2000.
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LibraryThing member SheilaCornelisse
Mildred and Richard wanted only one simple thing - the right to marry and raise their family in their hometown in Virginia. However, at this point in American history, and in this particular state, such a marriage was illegal - Richard was white and Millie was black. Written in a unique style and
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illustrated with photos and drawings reminiscent of the time period, this is a true and touching tale of perseverance, resilience, and love which resulted in a landmark win for human equality. Highly recommended for youth and adults.
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LibraryThing member jessibud2
I was thrilled to receive a copy of this ER book last month.
This lovely hard cover book was, despite it physical weight, a quick read. The style used by author Patricia Hruby Powell was an interesting mix of graphic novel (combining illustrations with text), journal entry narrative in free-verse
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poetry, as well as actual photos and reproductions of court documents, and a timeline of events, at the end of the book. There was much about this landmark case that I had not known and, as often happens to me when reading such things, it inspired me to google or try to learn more. Loving Vs. Virginia is a story not only of 2 people who loved one another and just wanted to be married and live their lives, but it is as much a story of human rights as it is of civil rights in the United States in the 50s. Richard and Mildred Loving were not militants, they were not loud protesters; in fact, they were rather quiet, ordinary young people who tried to obey the laws and just live with dignity, but were treated as if they were criminals. Which, under the barbaric laws of their time, in their home state of Virginia, they actually were, for it was against that state's law for two people of different races to marry. For 9 years, they are forced to live outside of their state, and were not permitted to enter Virginia together as husband and wife. Today, this sounds crazy but I think what horrified me almost as much as anything else, was to read in the timeline at the end of the book that the state of Alabama was the last of the states to reverse the anti-miscegenstion law, in the year 2000!!!

On another note, I saw the film *Loving* just a few days before reading the book. The film was well done, I thought; the acting quiet, understated. But after reading the book, I realized that there was much about the background of the actual case, and their lives, to some extent, that was missing in the film. I think reading the book first would have enriched the watching of the film, and I wonder if film-goers who went in not knowing anything about the case, would have got as much out of it. I am really happy that I was able to read this important book and learn more.
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LibraryThing member lindamamak
Great insight to a great story of interracial injustice
LibraryThing member Tishd123
Loving vs. Virginia is a look into the life and love of Richard and Mildred Loving. The couple fell in love and married during the height of the fight for civil rights in America. The book is written in prose and styled as a graphic novel. It shares the events that led to the couple's love,
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marriage, and fight to be recognized as a married couple in their home state. The illustrations of the couple convey some of the joys and pains of their life together. There are photos throughout that highlight key events in the fight for racial equality and each chapter begins with a brief snippet of key events of the time. Overall, this was an excellent read. I highly recommend this book for both adults and teens. Loving vs. Virginia is a captivating history lesson and social commentary for readers. But most of all it is a lovely depiction of a love that defied the odds and changed history.
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LibraryThing member rgruberexcel
RGG: Such compelling verse that the reader understands why these two people married and fought to return home to Virginia to live. Creates empathy, anger, and fear about the perpetration of such injustice. Reading Interest: 14-YA.
LibraryThing member rgruberhighschool
RGG: Such compelling verse that the reader understands why these two people married and fought to return home to Virginia to live. Creates empathy, anger, and fear about the perpetration of such injustice. Reading Interest: 14-YA.
LibraryThing member bookworm12
This is the true story behind the landmark case Loving vs. Virginia. The Lovings were an interracial married couple convicted of the crime of marrying each other. They were exiled from their state and family until their case was overturned by a higher court. This account shares not only the facts,
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but the heartbreaking reality of their situation and the pain it caused.
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LibraryThing member ewyatt
In sparse verse tells the story of Mildred and Richard Loving, an interracial couple from Virginia. Their marriage is deemed illegal and they are not allowed to live together in the state. The book is interspersed with other events related to civil rights on the timeline of their relationship. This
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work is historical fiction.
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LibraryThing member readingbeader
If you have people who are interested in the history of the Loving family but don't want to read a nonfiction account this book in verse fills in the details quite nicely. Told from the perspective of Mildred and Richard, with lovely illustrations along the way, it is heart breaking to read about
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the trials and trouble they had to go through just to be together as man and wife. Interspersed throughout the book are legal documents, quotations, and historical photos showing what the family was up against. I'm glad I bought this one for my library.
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LibraryThing member LibroLindsay
Overall, I liked the fictionalization of the Lovings' plight, though there were a few instances in the writing that seemed poorly executed. I wasn't a huge fan of the woman's voice in the audio...it was a bit too over-the-top, but otherwise a good, quick listen. Great way to put kids into the shoes
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of these historic figures.
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Original language


Physical description

260 p.; 10.25 x 7.63 inches


1452125902 / 9781452125909
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