Review by Elizabeth Anderson
Audrey Faye Hendricks, a young African American girl who grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, wanted to “go places and do things like everybody else.” As a child, she recognized the injustices of racial oppression and segregation. She also recognized that nothing would change if no one took action. In May 1963, Audrey and 3,000 other children were arrested for marching for their rights. This picturebook, beautifully written and illustrated, gives a glimpse of the real-life story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, and in doing so, tells a much broader story of social justice movements and change.
Through great illustration, colors, and Audrey’s excitement, this picturebook brings Audrey to life. We meet Audrey as an energetic young girl who loves biscuits baptized in butter. Her story is told in proximity to great Civil Rights Movement leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who is nicknamed Mike in Audrey’s story. Even though Audrey is a child, she and many others join together to create a whole movement that is instrumental to social change. This story is about how we can inspire, organize, and be a part of change at every level. It teaches about social justice as collective social movement, and reminds us that we all can do our part to fight injustice everyday. This is a great message to inspire the next generation of young marchers.
The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist. (2017). By Cynthia Levinson. Illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton. Atheneum. 40 pgs.
Elizabeth is pursuing her M.Ed in English Education, has traveled a bunch, loves to swim and browse thrift stores when she can, and is passionate about social justice and education.