19 January 2009

Martin Luther King Jr.: The Books

Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King (Jean Marzollo)

This book is a very good introduction to the youngest students about Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life. I wasn't quite sure where to begin with my kindergartener, who really has no background knowledge of racial inequality or segregation, but this book seems like a good starting point. It explains in very simple terms the injustice experienced by African-Americans during the civil rights movement without being too graphic. Vocabulary: divinity school, laws, freedom, justice.

My Brother Martin: A sister remembers growing up with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Christine King Farris)

The unique perspective of this book gives readers a down-to-earth view of Martin Luther King as a child. We are able to see how his early experiences shaped his passion for an integrated nation of true equality. It's also a lot of fun to see MLK not just as a serious activist, but as a little mischief-maker at times! Vocabulary: prank, unsuspecting, obedient, Negroes, segregation, pulpit, nourishing.

I Have a Dream (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)

MLK's famous "I Have a Dream" speech makes up the text of this book and is accompanied by beautiful illustrations by 15 different artists, all of whom are recipients of the Coretta Scott King Award or the Coretta Scott King Honor Book citation." I don't think it would be age-appropriate to read this book to my daughter in its entirety, but I will definitely read selected passages. Not to discount the words of MLK, but the pictures convey such vivid messages in themselves that they alone make this book worthwhile for a kindergartener. Your child might notice picture by artist Brian Pinkney, who also illustrated Happy Birthday,Martin Luther King.

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