Love Is Loud: How Diane Nash Led the Civil Rights Movement

by Sandra Neil Wallace (Author) Bryan Collier (Illustrator)

Love Is Loud: How Diane Nash Led the Civil Rights Movement
Reading Level: 2nd − 3rd Grade

Three starred reviews!

Meet Diane Nash, a civil rights leader who worked alongside Martin Luther King Jr. and John Lewis, in this "poignant and powerful" (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) nonfiction picture book that "highlights major moments in Nash's life" (The Horn Book, starred review).

Diane grew up in the southside of Chicago in the 1940s. As a university student, she visited the Tennessee State Fair in 1959. Shocked to see a bathroom sign that read For Colored Women, Diane learned that segregation in the South went beyond schools--it was part of daily life. She decided to fight back, not with anger or violence, but with strong words of truth and action.

Finding a group of like-minded students, including student preacher John Lewis, Diane took command of the Nashville Movement. They sat at the lunch counters where only white people were allowed and got arrested, day after day. Leading thousands of marchers to the courthouse, Diane convinced the mayor to integrate lunch counters. Then, she took on the Freedom Rides to integrate bus travel, garnering support from Martin Luther King Jr. and then the president himself--John F. Kennedy.

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Kirkus Reviews

Starred Review
A poignant and powerful portrayal of the life and work of an unsung civil rights activist. 

Publishers Weekly

Starred Review

Born in Chicago, civil rights activist Diane Nash (b. 1938) grows up in a diverse, integrated community until moving to Tennessee for college, where she first encounters segregation: "Two signs for bathrooms: WHITE and COLORED." Determined to "change wrong into right" through peaceful protest, Nash demonstrates against the ban on integrated seating at lunch counters, confronts Nashville's mayor, and participates in freedom rides, all along showing that "Love is fierce./ Love is strong./ Love is loud!" Wallace's emotive second-person text condenses Nash's extensive activism into an inspiring meditation on love as the heart of justice, while Collier's watercolor and collage illustrations bring artful dimension to Nash's nonviolent resistance. Back matter includes creators' notes and suggested reading material. Ages 4-8. (Jan.)

Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly, LLC Used with permission.


Starred Review
During the 1960s, Diane Nash was one of the most influential and effective leaders of the Civil Rights Movement, yet most people don’t know who she is.” Wallace’s latest picture-book collaboration with Collier seeks to correct that ....the book opens with images of Nash’s parents cradling her as a baby and then of Nash, as a small child, being hugged by her grandmother, highlighting the love that encouraged her activism.

Review quotes

Sandra Neil Wallace
Sandra Neil Wallace writes about people who break barriers and change the world. She is the author of several award-winning books for children, including Between the Lines: How Ernie Barnes Went from the Football Field to the Art Gallery, illustrated by Bryan Collier, which received the Orbis Pictus Book Award and was an ALA Notable Book. A former ESPN reporter and the first woman to host an NHL broadcast, she is the recipient of the Outstanding Women of New Hampshire Award and creates change as cofounder of The Daily Good, a nonprofit bringing twenty thousand free, culturally diverse foods to college students each year through its Global Foods Pantries. Visit Sandra at

Bryan Collier is a beloved illustrator known for his unique style combining watercolor and detailed collage. He is a four-time Caldecott Honor recipient for Trombone Shorty, Dave the Potter, Martin's Big Words, and Rosa. His books have won many other awards as well, including six Coretta Scott King Illustrator Awards. His recent books include By and By, Thurgood, The Five O'Clock Band, and Between the Lines. He lives in New York with his family.
Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books
Publication date
January 20, 2023
BISAC categories
JNF018010 - Juvenile Nonfiction | People & Places | United States - African-American
JNF007110 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Biography & Autobiography | Social Activists
JNF023000 - Juvenile Nonfiction | Girls & Women
Library of Congress categories
African Americans
African American women civil rights workers
Civil rights workers
United States
Civil rights movements
20th century
Civil rights
Race relations
Nash, Diane

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