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Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  3,658 ratings  ·  811 reviews
From acclaimed author Patricia Hruby Powell comes the story of a landmark civil rights case, told in spare and gorgeous verse. In 1955, in Caroline County, Virginia, amidst segregation and prejudice, injustice and cruelty, two teenagers fell in love. Their life together broke the law, but their determination would change it. Richard and Mildred Loving were at the heart of ...more
Hardcover, 260 pages
Published January 31st 2017 by Chronicle Books
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Gena Montgomery Loving vs. Virginia is a verse novel. It does tell the story of Richard and Mildred Loving, but there story is told through poems told from alternatin…moreLoving vs. Virginia is a verse novel. It does tell the story of Richard and Mildred Loving, but there story is told through poems told from alternating view points.(less)
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Apr 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loving vs. Virginia is a wonderful nonfiction novel that reads more like a narrative but written in verse with two voices. I can't believe I've never heard of this landmark case that made interracial marriage legal! This short poetical book is written for YA readers but I recommend it to all. It will stir strong emotions for you as it did for me. ...more
Jan 12, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a short, easy to read book regarding the landmark civil rights case of Mildred and Richard Loving vs. the state of Virginia.

Although the book is short, the subject is far from light. It pains me to think people had to endure this type of BS. It’s a shame and a tragedy that the Lovings had to fight for the right to be recognized as married and able to live together for NINE years - Almost a decade! Absolutely ridiculous. It’s also absolutely ridiculous (although I can’t say I’m surprised
4.5 stars Thanks to Library Thing and author Patricia Hruby Powell and CHRONICLE BOOKS for providing me with a hardcover copy of LOVING VS. VIRGINIA: A DOCUMENTARY NOVEL OF THE LANDMARK CIVIL RIGHTS CASE, which allowed me to read it and write my unbiased thoughts about it.
In addition to reading the beautiful hardcover edition of this novel, I also listened to the unabridged Dreamscape MP3 CD read by Adenrelet Ojo and MacLeod Andrews.
Two teenagers, Richard and Mildred, fell in love in 1955, in C
Dec 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Wow, what an eye-opening and moving account of the Lovings' struggle to live together as a married couple. It was especially interesting for me (and even more heartbreaking) to read because the locations mentioned are close to home. This is intended for an older audience than my elementary readers, so teachers of older students-- don't miss this! ...more
♥ Sandi ❣
4.5 stars

It took nine years to fight the establishment. A solid loving marriage, 3 children and a constant fight to be able to live in the state of their birth, along side family and friends. Having been arrested, twice, jailed once, banned from even visiting Virginia together as a couple, this miscegenate couple fought hard for the rights afforded to all men and took their case all the way to the Supreme Court for their justice. During this time of The Freedom Riders, lunch counter sit-ins and
Rachel Aranda
The reading of this story is absolutely AMAZING! Honestly, I've never been into a dual narrative like I have been with the reading by Adenrele Ojo and MacLeod Andrews. When they read together during the marriage ceremony of Richard and Mildred Loving... I got chills. I'm really hoping they read together again.

For those who don't know about this case, it's the one who made interracial marriage legal in the United States. This story takes us into the lives of Richard Loving and Mildred Jeter. They
Kathy MacMillan
Nov 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I received an Advance Reader's Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Accessible, relatable, and compelling, this book makes an important piece of history come alive. The description “documentary novel” perfectly describes this book. The bulk of the story is told in verse from the alternating points of view of Mildred and Richard Loving, with historical photographs, documents, and quotes seamlessly woven in, placing the very personal struggle of the Lovings in its larger historical c
Dec 29, 2016 rated it liked it

The story of desegregation and the civil rights movement in the US told by focusing in particular on the case of Loving vs Virgina which declared laws preventing interracial marriages unconstitutional. The book itself tells the story of Mildred and Richard loving in verse and through illustrations. It focuses on their back story and the trials they faced as an interracial couple in the South. There are also old photographs and details of other landmark points in the civil rights movement in
Trigger warnings: racism, police brutality, imprisonment.

I've been meaning to read this book for ages now, because it's a case I knew nothing about and I wanted to find out more about it. Basically, it's the story of an interracial couple who married in Washington DC in the late 1950s where interracial marriage was legal but who wanted to live in Virginia, where interracial marriage definitely wasn't legal. Their story and their legal battle went on for nearly a decade.

This book tells their sto
Kim. E.
"In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth,
I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the
feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow,
segregation forever."
- George Wallace, Governor of Alabama, 1959

I received an Advanced Readers Copy of "Loving vs. Virginia" from the publisher, Chronicle Books, written by Patricia Hruby Powell with illustration by Shadra Strickland and I'm grateful.

Described as a Documentary Novel and Young Adult
This verse/documentary novel explores the story of Loving vs. Virginia in a way that's accessible and engaging. The blank verse is the story of Richard and Millie falling in love and having children with one another in rural Virginia, where it was illegal for them to be married as a mixed-race couple. Throughout the book are well-designed pieces of legislation, of photographs, and of historical moments that give even more context to the fictionalized story of the real-life couple.

What made this
Beth Parmer
Jun 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
An incredible read for both audiences that are familiar with the Loving's case, and those that are not. Opening with Mildred and Richard as children, readers watch their love story develop and witness the initial acts of hatred toward their relationship. Photos, illustrations and other excerpts add depth. The use of two voices throughout the book conveys the unfaltering love Mildred and Richard share despite the obstacles. A powerful book that can be used to discuss the thoughts and laws about l ...more
Apr 04, 2017 rated it liked it
I bought a copy. Read it and wrote little notes in it to my boyfriend. Gave it to him for our one year anniversary.
mad mags
Dec 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
"Tell the Court I love my wife"

(Full disclosure: I received a free copy of this book for review through Library Thing's Early Reviewers program, as well as an e-ARC through NetGalley. Trigger warning for racism and an allusion to rape.)

Richard once said,
"It could be worse, Bean.
If you was the white one
and I was the colored one,
people saw us together?
They'd lynch me.
We can do this."

After waiting another year -
more like fourteen months -
they lost that case.
Is that four now?
They calle
Amanda - Cover2CoverMom
Mar 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, audiobooks
Loving Vs. Virginia is the Supreme Court case that legalized marriage between races.  In this book, we learn about Richard & Mildred Loving, the couple behind this infamous case.  Told in verse, Loving Vs. Virginia is very much the love story of Richard Loving, a white man, and Mildred, a biracial woman.   I was anticipating a little more historical content, but overall, this was a very well done YA book.  I must admit, I have never really read a book about interracial marriage before.  The chal ...more
Ashley Urquhart
Sep 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loving vs. Viriginia was the hallmark case that overturned years of laws that made interracial marriage illegal. The story of Milly Jeter and Richard Loving is told in verse from alternating perspectives and readers will be inspired by the courage and love shown by both narrators. Milly and Richard didn’t mean to change any laws, they just wanted to live as a married couple near their families in Virginia. Unfortunately, Milly was black and Richard was white and interracial marriages were illega ...more
What a great book for children to read alongside their parents. I especially recommend this book for parents and children who are in an interracial marriage. It tells the story of Richard and Mildred Loving, a white man and black woman, who challenged Virginia's anti-miscegenation laws that barred those of different races from marrying or intermixing. The story is written in poetic prose similar to Jacqueline Woodson's Brown Girl Dreaming, and it chronicles the story of how they met as children ...more
This is an excellent introduction to the Mildred & Richard Loving case, however I do think this would have been a lot stronger if it wasn't written in verse. It's difficult to convey powerful emotions & themes through that method & often leaves me underwhelmed. The prose is still beautiful, I just wish it wasn't in verse. The wonderful illustrations by Strickland are a lovely bonus; this feels to me it would be most suited for middle school, possibly freshman age. Overall recommended, especially ...more
Krista Regester
Apr 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
The landmark civil rights case of Mildred and Richard Loving vs. the state of Virginia. Need I say more ?
Richie Partington
Oct 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nonfiction
Richie’s Picks: LOVING VS. VIRGINIA: A DOCUMENTARY NOVEL OF THE LANDMARK CIVIL RIGHTS CASE by Patricia Hruby Powell and Shadra Strickland, ill., Chronicle, February 2017, 260p., ISBN: 978-1-4521-2590-9

“I see your true colors
And that’s why I love you.”
--Cyndi Lauper

“Mr. Cohen, tell the Court I love my wife, and it is just unfair that I can’t live with her in Virginia.”
--Richard Loving to his ACLU attorney

Patricia Hruby Powell’s emotionally powerful verse novel LOVING VS. VIRGINIA is a satisfying
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I listened to the audiobook on my library Hoopla account, and though I missed so much of Shadra's work, I loved this book, and look forward to reading the print copy.

I saw the HBO documentary The Loving Story a few years ago, and was very moved by this unforgettable portrait of a white man, Richard Loving, and a black woman , Mildred "Millie", who loved each other and went to great lengths to get and remain married to each other in segregated Virginia. The documentary, as well as this novel, ma
Ms. Yingling
Feb 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Copy provided by the publisher

This well-illustrated and photography filled novel in verse dramatizes the events of Mildred Jeter and Richard Loving's relationship in Virginia in the 1950s and 60s. Young readers of today will probably be surprised that the couple faced so many challenges, like being stalked by the local police officer who even came into their house to arrest them because they, as a married couple, were in bed together. This gives a very vivid reminder about how different things w
Adriane Powell
Sep 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Remarkable storytelling about history that we think we know but Powell-Hruby makes it accessible for all audiences. A must for all families to read aloud with children and grandparents.
Jul 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
I don't know why I've never heard the phrase "documentary novel" before. When I finished reading Loving vs. Virginia, I immediately looked it up and it turns out I'd read one previously (albeit a long time ago): Avi's Nothing But the Truth. Huh.

I liked this non-fiction example much better. The first two-thirds of the novel establishes historical context while depicting the relationship that develops between Mildred and Richard, a relationship that began when they were teens. It's a tender, sweet
Jan 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: african-studies

This is a lovely, simple little book written in verse, but the importance of the story it reflects and the basic human rights it embodies, are monumental in scope. I am not a big consumer and student of supreme court cases but this delightful book made it a joy to learn about the dismantling of the anti-miscegenation laws still in effect in much of the country only a little over 50 years ago. It breaks my heart to hear the story of two people who obviously loved each other so much and yet wer
ella ☆ any pronouns
Dec 21, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
I actually very much enjoyed this book. Written in verse with two different perspectives. I thought it did a really good job at showing us the differences in those two perspectives. There are also some illustrations throughout that I enjoyed as it helped paint the picture of the story better. I am into the whole historical fiction topic and I like verse & some illustrations, too, and the combination of the three worked. When you add in the multiple perspectives, too, it really worked for me. Wou ...more
Jul 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
Nine years. Nearly a decade of living in exile, unable to freely live near your own family or even go home for holidays because of bigotry and hatefulness.

It boggles my mind to think this was not that long ago. People speak so fondly of the fifties, and yet, it was such an ugly time in this nation.

And oh, Alabama. How can one state be on the wrong side of history so often? It took nearly half a century after Loving vs. Virginia for Alabama to abolish its anti-miscegenation law.

I’m so thankful
May 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“We each loved each other and got married.
We are not marrying the state.
The law should allow a person to marry
anyone he wants.”

I have a lot of emotions and thoughts when it comes to subjects like this. But this book was lovely and very well done
On the cover of Loving vs. Virginia we read the words “Documentary Novel.” This hybrid genera speaks to the imagined conversations and personal accounts of Richard and Mildred Loving, whose Washington D.C. marriage in 1958 violated Virginia’s anti-miscegenation laws forbidding interracial marriage. By formatting the alternating accounts of Mildred and Richard as verse, and interspersing historical photography and documents into the text, the author emphasizes the value of imagined events based o ...more
Dec 18, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoyed listening to this because I think it gave a great insight into a time that is not always explored. The transitioning years from slavery. How something has simple as wanting to build a family together with someone of a different race literally put you in jail.

Even though this book had a significant event to explore I felt that the characters were left in its shadows. They were only slightly memorable and therefore you only slightly felt for their particular situation. I felt more invest
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Patricia Hruby Powell is the author of Josephine: the Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker (Chronicle 2014), illustrated by Christian Robinson, (Sibert, CSK, Boston Globe Horn Book, Ragazzi International Honoree; Parent's Choice Gold, etc.) and Loving vs. Virginia (Chronicle 2017) illustrated by Shadra Strickland; Struttin' With Some Barbecue: Lil Hardin Armstrong Becomes the First Lady of Jazz (Charl ...more

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“Well, I guess that;s a good move,
you asking everyone
'cause I might not've come
if it were just you and me."
He takes his eyes off the road
when I take a look at him
and he's got
this big smirky smile
on his face.
I laugh and say,
"Maybe you had better watch the road.”
“Sometimes we don't hold hands
just so people don't stare.
But sometimes-
you just have to hold on.”
More quotes…