Reading/Interest Level: Preschool, Primary, Intermediate
Author: Selina Alko
Illustrator: Selina Alko and Sean Quails
Mildred and Richard's love is illegal. The year is 1958, and according to Virginia law, Mildred Jeter, a black woman, and Richard Loving, a white man, cannot marry. Their desire to be together takes them across state lines to Washington, D.C. where they are wed before returning to Virginia to begin their life together. One night, however, they are awoken by police in their home. Charged with unlawful cohabitation, the couple's case is eventually taken to the Supreme Court, which rules in favor of the Lovings and makes interracial marriage legal throughout the United States.
The illustrations in this book frequently serve to extend the text; for example, on the spread which mentions racial segregation, the illustrations depict “colored” and “white” water fountains. The illustrations’ scaffolding will be helpful to young children who may not have much background knowledge of legal processes or the racial history of the United States. There is somewhat of a disconnect between the book’s topic and the style in which it is written, however. The story deals with complex issues of race and marriage likely of interest to older readers, while the text itself, with its oversimplification of the story, somewhat excessive use of exclamation marks, and simple sentence structure, may feel cheesy to older readers.