Book Review: Loving vs. Virginia by Patricia Hruby Powell, with artwork by Shadra Strickland

Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights CaseBook: Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case 
Author: Patricia Hruby Powell
Artist: Shadra Strickland
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Published: January 31, 2017
Number of Pages: 260
Format: ebook & Hardcover
Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review, though I also ended up checking a copy out from the library.
Rating: 5 Stars
Tags: YA, Love Story, Historical Fiction, Contemporary

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Synopsis: 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 a Supreme Court case that legalized marriage between races, and a story of the devoted couple who faced discrimination, fought it, and won.

I'm going to be honest, I was very hesitant going into this book. Mainly because I have an extremely bad track record with historical fiction, and because I don't really like books written in verse. But I wanted to give this one a chance because of it's premise. I have never read a novel about Loving vs. Virginia, and I didn't know all that much about it. So you can imagine how happy I was after finishing this one.

In this book we follow Richard and Mildred Loving as they fight for the right to be married in the state of Virginia. This book is based off of a real story, and captured me from page one.

As I stated before, I was a little apprehensive going into this one, but I loved it! The writing caught my attention right away, and was able to keep me engaged throughout the whole book. I thought that it told the story well, and it made the book fly by. But that's not saying that the book was any less impactful or that I don't remember anything about it.

The startling thing about this book was that the events that took place didn't happen all that long ago. The author was able to interview a lot of Mildred's friends and family, and Mildred herself died in 2008 at the age of sixty-eight. This book shows that we have a long way to go, but that the fight against racism is a necessary fight.

I also really liked the illustrations, though I do wish that there were more of them. I thought that they really went along with the story well, but there just weren't enough of them! I want more, I say! More!

So overall I loved this book. With beautiful pictures and powerful storytelling, this is a must read.


  1. Wow. That's crazy to think it didn't happen all that long ago! Great review!

  2. Nice review. And it is scary sometimes how recent some advances have been... kinda boggles the mind.

  3. I'm into illustrated books now and would like to check this one out! I love the premise and hopefully the fact that is written in verse will not bother me too much. Great review

    1. Thank you! And I think that you'll be fine. ;)


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