We March

Shane W. Evans, Illustrator
Shane W. Evans. Roaring Brook/Porter, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-1-59643-539-1
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Written in the same spare style as Evans’s Underground, this account of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom—identified only in a concluding note—drives home the emotion and the drama of that event. Brief, blunt sentences propel the narrative and place readers on the scene: “We follow our leaders. We walk together. We sing.” Evans spotlights a family of four, first pictured rising with the sun and creating placards with their church congregation. Buses bring them to the Washington Monument, where they join others in the march that culminates in Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Though the day unfolds through the family’s perspective, what emerges is a communal voice that conveys a strong sense of solidarity and purpose (“We lean on each other as we march to justice, to freedom, to our dreams”). Similarly minimalist, Evans’s art features angular characters whose expressions capture their passion and commitment. Evans’s predominantly cool palette is warmed by the diffuse light of the sun, which appears in full blaze behind a closeup image of King. A moving introduction to a historic day. Ages 4–8. Agent: Writers House. (Jan.)
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