Our new BHM books are breaking my heart.

A pile of books arrived in yesterday’s Scholastic Book Order!


Above, our new books are: The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks; We March; Chasing King’s Killer; The Watsons Go to Birmingham–1963; Elijah of Buxton; Lies We Tell Ourselves; Hidden Figures (the junior reader edition); In the Shadow of Liberty: The Hidden History of Slavery, Four Presidents, and Five Black Lives; Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry; Feathers; Bud, Not Buddy; Chains; and The Underground Abductor from the Nathan Hale series. 

We started with The Youngest Marcher, the true story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, who, while just an elementary schooler, spent a week in a juvenile jail in Birmingham as part of the children’s march. In May 1963, the city arrested 3000 children for marching, filling the jails. Before little Audrey got out of jail, the city was already changing, and within two months, segregation laws were being repealed. Her sacrifice mattered.

My Kindergartner hung on every word. He recognized the drawing of Martin Luther King, Jr. He wondered at the cross on the robes of the Klansman. He asked how his school could have the word “Christian” in it and these people could also call themselves Christian. He got it.

But there was a part I couldn’t read to him. The dedication. Here it is:

Above, the author dedicates her work to Audrey Hendricks and Hendricks’ mother, plus the women and girls of the civil rights movement. The illustrator dedicates her work to the Charleston Nine and to the family of Sharonda Singleton Coleman, a mother killed by a young white nationalist in that Charleston shooting. 

The Youngest Marcher was published last year. Charleston was already almost 4 years ago. White supremacists have grown stronger and show their faces boldly on our campuses and at rallies across the US. Our politicians cater to them and craft gun laws to allow them to carry ever more powerful arms. The Trump administration has undermined National Institute of Justice work combating white supremacy. Domestic extremists walk free in Oregon. Congress will let every American child die before they dare take these evil forces on. And all over social media, all I hear is conservative gun fetishists saying that the problem is one of evil and of sin. And they are right, but I don’t think we mean it in the same way.


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