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M. L. K.: The Journey of a King


Coretta Scott King-Honor Winner Tonya Bolden focuses her critical eye on Martin Luther King, Jr.

In the tradition of her award-winning book Maritcha, Tonya Bolden brings words and pictures together to tell the life story of one of America's greatest figures: Martin Luther King, Jr.-or M.L.K. Central to the story is King's belief that agape-the selfless love for one's ...
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Coretta Scott King-Honor Winner Tonya Bolden focuses her critical eye on Martin Luther King, Jr.

In the tradition of her award-winning book Maritcha, Tonya Bolden brings words and pictures together to tell the life story of one of America's greatest figures: Martin Luther King, Jr.-or M.L.K. Central to the story is King's belief that agape-the selfless love for one's neighbor-is the rope that binds all peoples together. This philosophy came forward in his sermons, in his daily practice, and especially in his support of nonviolent protests.

More than 80 photographs of M.L.K. preaching, leading marches, being arrested, and overcoming the violence and prejudice around him are juxtaposed with images of his wife and family, of his fellow protestors, and of other leaders of the day. A tribute to a great human being, M.L.K. will surely inspire young readers.
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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Denise Daley
Today, Martin Luther King Jr. is remembered as a legendary, heroic man who peacefully led the movement that eventually brought an end to segregation. This book provides a fascinating look at Martin Luther King Jr., the man. He was a regular human being who worried, second-guessed himself, and even got scared. People threatened to kill his family, attempts were made on his life, and his home was bombed. M.L., as he was affectionately known, received abundant support from his friends, family, and followers. He also found inner strength from his religious faith. These gave him the motivation and determination to continue leading his followers in the peaceful protests that he hoped would ultimately lead to the creation of a "beloved community" for all people of the world. The many photographs in this book are as poignant and moving as the story. The book ends with M.L.'s assassination and does not provide any information about his murderer. Still, this well-written book does an excellent job of informing readers of the journey of this brave and charismatic leader.
VOYA - Dotsy Harland
Michael King was born on January 15, 1929. In 1934, his father renamed himself and Michael "Martin Luther" after the sixteenth-century theologian, calling his son "M. L.," a nickname that stuck for the rest of Martin Luther King Jr.'s life. M. L. was an exceptionally bright high school student who skipped two grades and entered Morehouse College at age fifteen. At first, the dapper, ambitious M. L. resisted his parents' wish that he enter the ministry. But he was later inspired by George Kelsey, head of the religion department, and Benjamin May, Morehouse's president, to follow an academic path that would eventually lead him to become pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1954, the year before the famous Montgomery bus boycott. M. L. urged his congregation to support the boycott, but as a dedicated family man, he did not intend to become a hardcore activist personally. His gift for powerful public speaking and his dedication to the cause, however, catapulted him, sometimes against his will, into the national spotlight where he endured criticism from many of his followers, threats against his family, and physical attacks, culminating in his tragic murder in 1968. Bolden offers a captivating, exceptionally well-researched portrait of Martin Luther King Jr., giving readers a tantalizing glimpse of the ordinary, flawed human behind the often worshipped public persona. The book overflows with striking black-and-white "on-the-scene" photographs, which complement the author's clear, flowing text. Bolden's book is a valuable addition to any library collection.
School Library Journal
Gr 5–8
Bolden looks past the public figure to bring the man, and his deeper vision of the "beloved community," into focus in this eloquent, handsomely designed profile. Familiarly calling him "M.L." (a nickname his father used) throughout, the author traces King's life from birth to death, pointing out how reluctantly he assumed the mantle of leadership, then came to espouse Gandhi's nonviolence as a guiding precept, and finally exhausted himself battling not only for civil rights, but also against the Civil Rights Movement's later tide of radicalism. Captions paired to the generous array of photos add further detail, and advanced readers will get fuller pictures of the man and his era from the appended multimedia resource list. Passing quickly over his public triumphs (the "I Have a Dream" speech, for instance, is largely relegated to a caption noting that he had used that refrain before), this portrait, rich in personal feeling and well endowed with direct, sometimes extended, quotes, will leave readers with a strong, and perhaps inspiring, sense of the passion and depth of Dr. King's commitment to peace with justice.
—John PetersCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Adding to the growing body of literature about Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement, Bolden attempts to portray the passion of a man for a cause when he could have lived a quiet life untouched by the troubles that would come his way. However, in striving to avoid treating King as an icon, Bolden goes to the other extreme and uses King's nickname "M.L." throughout the text, too informal for a serious biography. Though the volume is attractively packaged, not all of the photographs are of good quality, some sidebars are difficult to read and no sources for young readers are included. The writing is often awkward and wordy, and the story opens with rather unusual speculations on what King might have been thinking as he lay dying from a gunshot that shattered his jaw and severed his spinal cord. Still, an important, comprehensive look at a key figure in the Civil Rights Movement. (author's note, timeline, source notes, sources, index) (Nonfiction. 8-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780810954762
  • Publisher: Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/2007
  • Pages: 128
  • Age range: 10 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 1140L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 10.25 (h) x 0.75 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 17, 2011

    Amazing mrs3301

    M.L.K: Journey Of A King
    This book is so great, it tells the story of Martin Luther King Jr. who is such an inspiration to tons of people today. It gives good information, which people may already know, or may not know. This book will encourage people to be kinder to one another and to aspire to be like Martin Luther King Jr. He wanted everyone to love one another no matter what skin color we have.
    I think people can be so cruel, this book will open their eyes and let them understand it does not matter if we are different. Everyone should be treated equally, because not one person is better than another. This book is so motivating and tells the story of an amazing man, who wanted his children to be accepted in every way. Although his life came to an end far too soon, we can still live on his dream, by treating everyone fairly.


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