cover image The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage

The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage

Selina Alko, illus. by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko. Scholastic/Levine, $16.99 (32p) ISBN 978-0-545-47853-3

In their first picture book together, the husband-and-wife team of Alko (B Is for Brooklyn) and Qualls (Freedom Song) skillfully chronicle a vital moment in the civil rights movement, telling the story of Richard and Mildred Loving. Because interracial marriage was illegal in their native Virginia in 1958, the couple married in Washington, D.C.; after returning to Virginia, they were jailed for “unlawful cohabitation.” The Lovings settled in D.C. and had three children before returning to Virginia in 1966, when “Brand-new ideas, like equal rights for people of all colors, were replacing old, fearful ways of thinking. Alko adeptly streamlines the legal logistics of the Lovings’ groundbreaking Supreme Court case, which found prohibitions on interracial marriage to be unconstitutional, emphasizing the ethical and emotional aspects of the story. Hearts, stars, flowers, and facsimile family photos dot the warm mixed-media illustrations, visually underscoring the love that kept the Lovings’ union strong. An author’s note provides added context (including the contributors’ closeness to the subject, as an interracial couple themselves), while drawing parallels to ongoing efforts to legalize same-sex marriage. Ages 4–8. Agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Jan.)