Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

4.5 2
by David A. Adler, John Wallner, Colin Bootman

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature
Designated a Level 2 book in the "Holiday House Readers" series, this entry emphasizes Martin Luther King's strong character, which was partially instilled in him by a strong minister father who believed in the rights of all people. Adler enlivens the early pages with a few well-chosen anecdotes and moves readers through King's education and marriage to his involvement in civil rights, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, his speech at the March on Washington, and what he earned as a result—the Nobel Peace Prize, the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. His untimely death and the national holiday in his honor conclude the book. Text is arranged on the page to look inviting, and Bootman's dark watercolor illustrations lend a solemn dignity to the story. "Important dates" arranged sequentially but not in a timeline and a list of four sources end the book. There is no index. This is a useful addition to school libraries. 2001, Holiday House, $14.95. Ages 6 to 8. Reviewer: Susan Hepler
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
K-Gr 3-A succinct introduction to the civil rights leader's life. Adler presents short, moving vignettes about the people and events that influenced the child and man: young King's sorrow when his white friends were no longer allowed to play with him because of his color, his father's refusal to purchase shoes when he was told to wait in the back of the store, and King's involvement as an adult in boycotts and freedom marches. Adler demonstrates that a good writer can tell an interesting and emotionally powerful story using simple vocabulary and short sentences. Bootman's full- and double-page realistic paintings help to fill in the details for the author's spare but well-chosen words. A good companion to Frances Ruffin's easy-reader Martin Luther King, Jr. and the March on Washington (Grosset & Dunlap, 2001).-Eunice Weech, M. L. King Elementary School, Urbana, IL Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Martin Luther King Jr.'s life and his leadership in the Civil Rights Movement are more than adequately described in this well-written easy-reader biography from the prolific author of the Picture Book Biography series and the Cam Jansen mysteries (see below). The text is written at the 2.9 grade level, with short sentences and large type on pastel-colored backgrounds (considered by many reading experts to be easier for new readers than stark white backgrounds). The first two chapters focus on King's early life and the influence of his family, with some well-chosen, brief anecdotes that will be of particular interest to young readers. Subsequent chapters succinctly cover the Montgomery bus boycott and other civil rights marches and protests, leading to King's legendary "I Have a Dream" speech in 1963 and his assassination, presented in a matter-of-fact way with no motive attached to the shooting or discussion of the assassin beyond his name. Bootman's (The Music in Derrick's Heart, 2000, etc.) superb paintings add greatly to the title's merit, with excellent likenesses of King and other key figures. This biography will be welcomed in all libraries during Black History Month and for school reports, and it will also be useful for teen or adult beginning readers. (chronology, suggested reading) (Easy reader/biography. 7-9)

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Product Details

Holiday House, Inc.
Publication date:
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Product dimensions:
5.80(w) x 8.80(h) x 0.30(d)
Age Range:
5 - 8 Years

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