Cover image for Loving vs. Virginia : a documentary novel of the landmark civil rights case
Loving vs. Virginia : a documentary novel of the landmark civil rights case
Powell, Patricia Hruby, 1951- , author.
Publication Information:
San Francisco : Chronicle Books, [2017]
Physical Description:
260 pages : color illustrations ; 27 cm
Written in blank verse, the story of Mildred Loving, an African American girl, and Richard Loving, a Caucasian boy, who challenge the Viriginia law forbidding interracial marriages in the 1950s.
Added Author:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Central Library
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Young Adult
Y FICTION Young Adult Fiction Open Shelf

On Order



Richard and Mildred Loving were sentenced to a year in prison for marrying each other at a time when interracial marriage was prohibited by law in their home state of Virginia. Their determination to be together led them to bring this case all the way to the Supreme Court where, in a landmark decision, the court invalidated laws prohibiting interracial marriage. The decision was followed by an increase in interracial marriages in the U.S., and is remembered annually on Loving Day, June 12. This documentary novel vividly brings to life this inspiring story.

Author Notes

Patricia Hruby Powell's previous book, Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker , won a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor for Nonfiction, a Parents' Choice Gold Award for Poetry, and earned five starred reviews. You can visit Patricia online at She lives in Illinois.

Shadra Strickland studied design, writing, and illustration at Syracuse University and later went on to complete her M.F.A. at the School of Visual Arts in New York City. She won the Ezra Jack Keats New Illustrator Award, the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award for New Talent, and the NAACP Image Award. She lives in Maryland.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Readers meet sixth-grader Mildred Jeter, known to her family as String Bean, walking to school in 1952. Descended from African slaves and Indians, the kids in the Jeter family attend segregated schools, though in their small, racially mixed rural Virginia community, all enjoy music and square dancing together. Richard Loving enters her life as a white friend of her older brothers. As the years go by and Mildred grows up, the couple's story becomes one of love, courtship, marriage, tribulation, and triumph. The local sheriff hauls them off to jail in 1958 for violating a statute prohibiting interracial marriage. After court battles, the law is overturned in the landmark 1967 Supreme Court decision known as Loving v. Virginia. Written in free verse, Powell's novel unfolds in a series of concise, evocative first-person narratives alternating between Richard and Mildred. Placing their personal stories within the broader context of the major events of the civil rights movement happening at the time, occasional sections feature archival photos as well as significant quotes. Powell's thorough research includes 10 interviews. Not seen in final form, Strickland's expressive illustrations draw on a mid-twentieth-century style. Fine, dramatic storytelling in a memorable verse format.--Phelan, Carolyn Copyright 2016 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

Ojo and Andrews are such wonderful actors that listeners quickly come to care personally about the two protagonists in the audio edition of Powell's historical YA novel about Mildred and Richard Loving, the interracial couple whose marriage led to the United States Supreme Court decision to overturn Virginia's antimiscegenation statute. Ojo gives Mildred a friendly voice and pleasing Southern accent, and Andrews employs a lovely tenor to display Richard's low-key strength and tenderness. They elicit the listener's sympathy for their painful experiences with the local sheriff, their long years of hiding from the law and struggling for their rights, and their great 1967 victory for themselves and the nation in the Supreme Court of the United States. There are lovely moments when the two speak simultaneously, emphasizing the strength of their bond. And in their own offstage voices, Ojo and Andrews read interspersing quotations from people and documents such as George Wallace, Martin Luther King, Jr. and the U.S. Constitution. Ages 12-up. A Chronicle hardcover. (Jan.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

School Library Journal Review

Gr 8 Up-This title, depicting the individuals and events surrounding a watershed moment in U.S. civil rights history, is immediately relevant today. In 1950s Virginia, Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter fell in love and wanted to marry and raise their family where they were brought up. This was a problem: Loving was white, Jeter was considered "colored," and there was a law prohibiting interracial marriage. Still, the couple married in DC anyway, and after returning to Virginia, they served jail time. After years of separation and fighting the ruling, they connected with ACLU lawyers, and in 1967 their case was heard by the Supreme Court, which unanimously overturned the previous judgment against the Lovings in a landmark ruling. Written in free verse, this docu-novel alternates perspectives between Richard and Mildred. News clippings, maps, and archival photos add immediacy and context, as do Strickland's moving illustrations, in the style of "visual journalism," which she explains in an appended note. The volume also features a time line of relevant events and an appended summary of the Lovings' lives after the case. The bibliography displays the author's extensive research, which included interviews with those who were connected to the couple, and the free-verse style personalizes the historical events, which reach directly into today's headlines. No single book can tell the whole story, of course, and this offers a rich opportunity for students and adults to discuss urgent and perennial questions: In any retelling of history, what has been left out? Is every story an open subject for every author? VERDICT A natural addition to any school or public library. With the new film Loving and the upcoming 50th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court case, there will be increased attention on the Lovings' story.-Kristin Anderson, Bloomingdale Public Library, IL © Copyright 2016. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.