Loving vs. Virginia

Loving vs. Virginia book coverLoving vs. Virginia
January 2017 (Chronicle Books)

Junior Library Guild Selection 2017

Watch: “Loving Vs. Virginia” Virtual Program, Wednesday, May 3, 10:30 AM EDT

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.

LovingVsVirginia_INT_mechs-5“I can’t tell you what it means to me to have your book in my possession! I love all of the photographs and primary sources in it.

“And here is what I love most of all: showing my daughter the separate but equal classrooms and having her say, “But that’s not fair,” and the discussion that followed. I think about how in school I was encouraged to express myself in my writing and explore what interested me, and I think all of that is important and good. But you have done so much more with your books—you are writing a better world into being. Or, if that feels too grandiose to you, at least you are encouraging/affirming the vision for the world that kids already have, and encouraging them to hold onto it.”

– Kara Laughlin

Preorder at: Chronicle Books | Indie Bound | Barnes & Noble | Amazon

Awards & Honors


Junior Library Guild Selection 2017

Winter Kids’ Indie Next List Pick (click on “Teen Readers”)

Arnold Adoff Poetry Award Honor

Audie Award for History/Biography 2018

2018 CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People

2018 NCTE Notable Children’s Books in Language Arts

2018 International Literacy Association (ILA) Young Adult Choices

2017 Kirkus Reviews Best Teen Romances of the Year

2018 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults Nominee

State & Regional

2018 Texas Tayshas Reading List Top Ten

2018 Kansas NEA Reading Circle Catalog

Eureka Nonfiction Children’s Book Awards 2017

Great Lakes Great Books Reading List 2018-19

2017 Winter Okra Picks  from Southern Independent Book Stores (SIBA)

Curriculum Guide

Virtual Programs

“Loving Vs. Virginia” virtual program live at the Library of Congress, Wednesday, May 3, 10:30 AM EDT


“fine dramatic storytelling”

Booklist 11/15/2016 Starred Review Starred Review

“A powerful and riveting account of an American couple in love when that love was ruled illegal”

Kirkus Review 11/14/16 Starred Review Starred Review

“well-researched novel-in-verse…excellent starter book…Civil Rights Movement…”

Publishers Weekly 11/14/16

“Filled with small, quietly eloquent moments and honest emotion…this documentary novel brings the past to life.”

School Library Journal 2/14/17

“Interviews Powell conducted with family and friends of the Lovings add an impressive level of detail, and vivid depiction of the social environment is accomplished through ample primary source material…”

The Horn Book 1/24/17

“…emotionally powerful verse novel LOVING VS. VIRGINIA is a satisfying true love story, in which equality and Constitutional rights triumph over prejudice and hate…”

— Richie’s Picks

“…can’t think of a time when we have needed a profound book like this more than we do now.”

The Pirate Tree: Social Justice and Children’s Literature

“…poignant and personal…”

— Reading Style Guide 11/28/16

“A challenging, poignant read about an important civil rights case.”

— Foreword Reviews 12/12/16

“…powerful story…”

— Chicago Tribune 12/30/16

“The heartfelt novel describes the sadness, fear and prejudice that invaded their lives…”

—Book Page

Roundup of new children’s books

San Francisco Chronicle

Children’s book review: Historical tale engages reader through verse

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“…award-winning Ms. Powell’s conversational style is both natural and dramatic, and she completely won me over.”

Historical Novel Society

“This book would be a great resource for classrooms.”

Sense and Sensibility and Stories Blog 1/6/17

“compelling and heartrending”

Common Sense Media

“Accessible, relatable, and compelling, this book makes an important piece of history come alive.”

Kathy MacMillan

“With its still timely message of civil rights, equality and racial tolerance, Loving vs. Virginia should be required reading for every high school student.”

Good Reads With Ronna

“Timely and timeless, ‘Loving vs. Virginia’ is a book that can be used in reader’s theater, as a springboard for discussion, and appreciated as lovely poetry and illustration. Take time to look for this one.”


“Hruby Powell and Strickland bring the Loving’s struggle and victory to life.”

The News-Gazette

“a welcome addition…. The two perspectives allow the reader to better understand how both Richard and Mildred processed the events as they unfolded, and gives us some insight into what they thought and how they felt. “

A Teaching Life

“Ojo and Andrews are such wonderful actors that listeners quickly come to care personally about the two protagonists in the audio edition of Powell’s historical YA novel about Mildred and Richard Loving …”

Publisher’s Weekly

“Everyone needs to read this true story, especially people who didn’t live in a time when mixed marriages were illegal in most states. Excellent writing, great illustrations, informative reprints of history.

“I read this in one day and hated to put it down at meal times.

“Be sure to read this book yourself.”

Creative Loafing June 14, 2017


A Close Reading Example Featuring Passages from Loving vs. Virginia


Amazon Best YA Books of the Month, February 2017

100 Best Children’s Books for Black History Month

10 new children’s books for Black History Month

Alexander Prew Library Media Center Pick of the Week

7 Books That Will Inspire You to #Resist

African American Literature Book Club Best Seller List

Top 10 Tuesday: Middle Grade Episodes of the All The Wonders Podcast

King County, Washington Best Teen Books of 2017

Nerdy Book Club Best Poetry and Novels-in-Verse List 2017

Buzzfeed Books to Read to Escape the Freeze

Capitol Choices 2018 – Category: 10-14

WSRA Just One More Page! 2018 Nominees – Category: YA


Common Sense Media

Barnes & Noble

A Word Edgewise recommended middle grade books in verse

Learning History Through Story

A Mighty Girl


SLJ previews Loving vs. Virginia

Nonfiction Picture book Challenge: Text Set for Loving Vs. Virginia

Library of Congress event 5/3/17

A Landmark Occasion

Sandy Springs, MD – All School Community Read Project


“…be reminded of what freedom means.”

Loving Justice: YA Author Puts Readers Inside Fight For Interracial Marriage

Loving Vs. Virginia: An Interview With Patricia Hruby Powell

The Childrens Book Review

Q&A with Patricia Hruby Powell

Book Q&As with Deborah Kalb

Coffee & Conversation with Patricia Hruby Powell: From Dreaming to Doing Conference

As the Eraser Burns

Patricia Hruby Powell and Shadra Strickland: All The Wonders, Episode 322

All The Wonders

Mackin Books in Bloom, with Patricia, illustrator Shadra Strickland and editor Melissa Manlove

Mackin Books in Bloom

57th Street Books – How Books Will Save Us


Author of the Month Patricia Hruby Powell

School Library Connection

7th graders talking about Loving vs. Virginia

Book Club for Kids