Staff Pick: Loving vs. Virginia by Patricia Powell

Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel Based on a Landmark Civil Rights Case by Patricia Hruby Powell

FPLD Staff Rating:  4/5 rainbow

This one features star-crossed lovers based on a landmark true story. Richard is white.  Bean is black.  The two fall in love and in 1950’s Virginia they are not allowed to be together because of laws, called anti-miscegenation laws, that prohibit blacks and whites from having relationships.  This is the story of the two lovers fighting the system.  This is the story of them wanting to love and to live in 1950’s Virginia. This is the story of how their fight for their love took them all the way to the Supreme Court.

Loving Vs. Virginia presents history as novel-in-verse, is quick to read, and will be educational for readers who do not know much about  this case.  But it is also not boring! You could feel the love between the couple; it was believable love. There wasn’t much kissing or sex on screen (though they do have babies together), and the way Powell describes the feelings between Richard and Bean and the little behaviors between the two shows love.  Aside from all this, it is a clean enough romance for the right middle school student.

Overall, a timely book considering the strong disagreements in America right now. This fascinating historical fiction examines how long it took to get rid of anti-miscegenation laws through the lens of a real romance. A great story about the consequences of government interfering in a person’s right to love.   Recommended.  (Grades 7+). [YA FIC Powell, P.]

Ms. Sarah, Teen Librarian