Love is Loud

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There are so many stories of unsung heroes out there just waiting to be discovered! A great example is the story featured in author Sandra Neil Wallace's newest picture book, Love is Loud: How Diane Nash Led the Civil Rights Movement.

Love is Loud is the story Diane Nash, born on the south side of Chicago in 1938. Diane came into the world with two loving parents who were determined to keep her out of the south. They wanted Diane to know only love and acceptance, and for awhile, that is all she knew. But then she moved to her grandmother's home in Tennessee so she could attend Fisk University. Racism was EVERYWHERE, in the restrooms, at the water fountains. Even in places that promoted family fun, like county fairs.

Day by day, Diane's indignation grew. She wanted to help change the social climate, but she did not want to go to jail doing so. So, she took a few church classes during which she and a group of students "prayed and learned about change in a peaceful way." Taking that peace with her, Diane and a few friends stage a sit-in. And then they stage another, and another. Before Diane knows it, she and her few friends are not the only ones fighting for change. Soon there are "one hundred, two hundred, three hundred strong!"

Not long after the sit-in's, a bomb goes off in protest against blacks who yearn for change. This time Diane does not worry about going to jail. She only wants change. She quietly helps lead thousands of marchers who also want peace. The next year, she helps organize the Freedom Riders. She is involved in the 1963 freedom marches in Washington, DC. But it is when a bomb explodes in a Birmingham church and kills four little girls that Diane realizes it is time to march in Alabama.

This is an enlightening book about a quiet woman who learned to speak loudly to fight for equality. The prose is written in 2nd person so that the reader feels the author is speaking to him/her, and the thoughts and actions in the book are his/her own. The illustrations are rich, moving and informational. They also make the reader feel as if he/she is right in the middle of the action.

Use this book to discuss unsung heroes, citizenship, and civil rights.

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