Martin Luther King Jr. made history in his struggle for civil rights. He was not only a great speaker and believer in a better world, but someone who believed all mankind could live in peace. He spent his life working for the betterment of all people. In her book, Lucia Raatma provides the young reader with a picture of this amazing man and his life. With photographs and simple language, Ms. Raatma can do what many have difficulty doing, explain the wonder and greatness of this man without confusing a young reader. Her simple explanations of his power and the moments surrounding this time in our history make the book a good choice for any classroom or media center collection. Through her words, Ms. Raatma is able to convey the reverence both supporters and detractors held for Martin Luther King Jr. She shows that he not only changed the minds of regular citizens but of Presidents and heads of state. While the book is written for younger children, Ms. Raatma does not sugar coat how blacks were treated during this time. Included in the book are a glossary and a timeline. "The Want to Know More" section is made up of books, web sites and places children can go to learn more about the struggle for civil rights. Part of the "Compass Point Early Biographies" series. 2002, Compass Point Books, $19.93. Ages 4 to 10. Reviewer: John D. Orsborn
School Library Journal
Gr 2-5-These biographies include all the basic facts that most students need for reports, but they do not bring the subjects to life. The writing is dry, and there is no more information here than can be found in a collective biography or encyclopedia. Also, the books do not give readers a sense of American life during the mid-20th century. Kennedy is worse than King. Once JFK has entered politics, the chronology jumps around and is difficult to follow. There are statements that are not quite right but not totally wrong-and it seems inappropriate to say that the president was murdered, instead of assassinated. On the other hand, King offers some sense of the man and his desire and hopes for an end to racism. Both books are full of mainly black-and-white photographs-many of them well known and representative of the men; others do not seem to have a point. The glossaries have an odd assortment of words-"college," "minister," "elected," "Peace Corps," etc. Barely serviceable additions.-Susan Lissim, Dwight School, New York City Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Lucia Raatma received her bachelor’s degree in English literature from the University of South Carolina and her master’s degree in cinema studies from New York University. She has written a wide range of books for young people. She lives with her family in Florida.