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The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage
Contributor(s): Alko, Selina, Qualls, Sean (Illustrator)

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ISBN: 0545478537     ISBN-13: 9780545478533
Publisher: Arthur a Levine
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Binding Type: School And Library
Published: January 2015

Annotation: A tribute to the example of the Loving family describes how they were arrested in mid-twentieth-century Virginia for violating laws against interracial marriage and argued their case all the way to the Supreme Court, prompting a landmark civil rights triumph.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Interracial marriage; Juvenile literature.
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Nonfiction | People & Places | United States
- Juvenile Nonfiction | Biography & Autobiography | Social Activists
- Juvenile Nonfiction | Family | Marriage & Divorce
Dewey: 306.84/6
LCCN: 2014005329
Lexile Measure: 720
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 2-3, Age 7-8
Book type: Easy Non Fiction
Physical Information: 10.00" H x 8.80" W x 0.25" (0.86 lbs)
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 171643
Reading Level: 4.3   Interest Level: Lower Grades   Point Value: 0.5
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q64910
Reading Level: 3.4   Interest Level: Grades 3-5   Point Value: 3.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s):
Selina Alko's art brims with optimism, experimentation, and a deep commitment to multiculturalism and human rights. She is the author of The Case for Loving, which she illustrated with husband Sean Qualls, and the co-illustrator, also with Sean, of Two Friends by Dean Robbins. She has written and illustrated other acclaimed picture books, including Daddy Christmas & Hanukkah Mama and B Is for Brooklyn. She lives in Brooklyn, NY, with Sean Qualls and their two children. Learn more at selinaalko.com.

Sean Qualls weaves the world into his pictures and finds inspiration everywhere, from old buildings, nature, fairy tales, black memorabilia, and outsider art to cave paintings, African imagery, mythology, music, and his native Brooklyn. His rich oeuvre includes an array of subject matter connected by his playful use of color and composition, and fueled by his sense of curiosity, empathy, and social justice. He has illustrated many celebrated books for children, including Two Friends by Dean Robbins and The Case for Loving by his wife, Selina Alko, with whom he illustrated both books; Giant Steps to Change the World by Spike Lee and Tonya Lewis Lee, Little Cloud and Lady Wind by Toni Morrison and her son Slade, Dizzy by Jonah Winter, and Before John Was a Jazz Giant by Carole Boston Weatherford, for which Sean received a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with Selina Alko and their two children. Visit him online at www.seanqualls.com.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2015 Fall)
Richard Loving (white) and Mildred Jeter (black) fell in love and married, then were arrested for miscegenation. Their 1967 Supreme Court case legalized interracial marriage. Alko does a mostly admirable job of shaping the story (some terms are hazy) and the legal proceedings for a young audience. The book's optimistic message and tone are reinforced by mixed-media illustrations by Alko and Qualls (themselves partners in an interracial marriage). Reading list. Bib.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2015 #3)
The 1967 Supreme Court case that legalized interracial marriage throughout the country is here given a picture-book accounting. Richard Loving was white, Mildred Jeter's skin was a "creamy caramel"; despite their different racial backgrounds, they fell in love and married, only to be arrested for miscegenation when they returned to their Virginia hometown after the wedding. It's a story about adults and with potentially much legalese, but Alko does a mostly admirable job of shaping the love story and the legal proceedings for a young audience. There is, however, a haziness about skin color and racial identity throughout the book that can be unclear, with lyrical references to "people of every shade" bumping confusingly with "colored," and "black"; meanwhile, the term "interracial marriage" is used but not defined. 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 by Alko and Qualls (themselves partners in an interracial marriage). With soft, worn shades providing a gently old-timey aura, even a scene like the police busting in on the sleeping couple is sufficiently dramatic without being frightening. Frequent festoons of hearts and flowers, nice but overly decorative, help, too. Sources and a suggested reading list are appended. roger sutto Copyright 2014 Horn Book Magazine.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2014 November #1)

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.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2014 PWxyz LLC

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2014 December)

Gr 1–5—This debut picture book by husband and wife team Alko and Qualls gives the story of Mildred and Richard Loving its due. The couple first met and fell in love in Jim Crow Cedar Point, VA, in 1958, but because Richard was white and Mildred was African American and Cherokee, they were not permitted to marry under Virginia law. The pair did contract nuptials in Washington, DC and eventually had several children, but they weren't content to leave the discriminatory law uncontested. In legal proceedings that led to a Supreme Court case, their union was finally upheld as constitutional. The charming and cheerful mixed media illustrations are done in gouache and acrylic paint with collage and colored pencil, a perfect marriage of Alko and Qualls's art styles. While the text is uninspired in moments, it shines with a message that is universal: "They won the right to their love. They were free at last." Back matter includes an author and artist's note explaining the importance of this topic. 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. Put it on the shelves next to Duncan Tonatiuh's Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family's Fight for Desegregation (Abrams, 2014) and Joyce Carol Thomas's Linda Brown, You Are Not Alone: The Brown v. Board of Education Decision (Hyperion, 2003).—Shelley Diaz, School Library Journal

[Page 146]. (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
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