"I support the freedom to marry for all. That's what Loving, and loving, are all about." - Mildred Loving, June 12, 2007
For most children these days it would come as a great shock to know that before 1967, they could not marry a person of a race different from their own. That was the year that the Supreme Court issued its decision in Loving v. Virginia.
This is the story of one brave family: Mildred Loving, Richard Perry Loving, and their three children. It is the story of how Mildred and Richard fell in love, and got married in Washington, D.C. But when they moved back to their hometown in Virginia, they were arrested (in dramatic fashion) for violating that state's laws against interracial marriage. The Lovings refused to allow their children to get the message that their parents' love was wrong and so they fought the unfair law, taking their case all the way to the Supreme Court - and won!
Reviews and Awards
Society of Illustrators Original Art Show 2015 selection
NAIBA Carla Cohen Free Speech Award 2015
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book of 2015
A Book Links 2015 Lasting Connection
A New York Public Library Notable Book for Reading and Sharing
⋆ “Many children’s books tackle landmark events in U.S. history, but this one is an especially needed addition... An author's note grounds the Lovings’ story in the present as Alko recognizes that her own interracial marriage is part of the trajectory of change, which continues today in the fight for equality of the LGBTQ community. Inspirational, never heavy handed, and appropriate for just about everyone.” - Booklist, starred review
⋆ “In their first picture book together, the husband-and-wife team of Alko and Qualls skillfully chronicle a vital moment in the civil rights movement, telling the story of Richard and Mildred Loving…. 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.” - Publishers Weekly, starred review
⋆ "This story makes palatable for young readers a painful, personal and true story of the injustices interracial couples suffered as recently as 60 years ago. Alko and Qualls reveal the double-layered nature of this story with a photograph of themselves; this was the perfect story for a collaboration since their journey echoes the Lovings'…. Despite the gentle way this book unfolds, the language and images deal a blow to racist thinking and just might inspire the next generation of young civil rights activists." - Kirkus Reviews, starred review
"A much-needed work on a historical court case that made the ultimate difference on mixed race families that will resonate with contemporary civil rights battles." - School Library Journal
“Alko’s calm, fluid writing complements the simplicity of the Lovings’ wish - to be allowed to marry… An engaging and important story, one that invites young people to think about the connections between love, law and justice.” - New York Times Book Review
“While the book is honest about the obstacles the Lovings faced, its message and tone are optimistic, the feel-good atmosphere reinforced by the pencil, paint, and collage illustrations…” - Horn Book Magazine
Non-fiction Picture Book
Trim Size: 8 1/2" x 10"
Page Count: 40
Foreign Rights: Scholastic
Translation Rights: Scholastic
Rights Available? yes