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My Uncle Martin's Words for America: Martin Luther King JR.'s Niece Tells How He Made a Differenceby Angela Farris Watkins
Synopses & Reviews
In this inspirational story about Martin Luther King Jr.and#8212;told from the perspective of his niece Angela Farris Watkinsand#8212;readers learn how King used his message of love and peace to effectively fight for African Americansand#8217; civil rights.
Focusing on important words and phrases from his speeches, such as justice, freedom, and equality, Watkins uses Kingand#8217;s language to expose young readers to important events during the civil rights era. The simple yet striking text, along with a timeline and glossary, makes this book an accessible tool for helping a young audience learn about the importance of Martin Luther King Jr.and#8217;s message of nonviolence and his contributions to American history.
"This companion to My Uncle Martin's Big Heart offers a more encompassing look at Martin Luther King Jr.'s life and accomplishments than the earlier, more personal book, which was drawn largely from Watkins's memories of her uncle. Focusing on King's public persona, Watkins (seen as an elementary school — aged girl in the opening spread) explains how her uncle 'used the power of words to help make America better.' Her language is direct yet lyrical, though at times verges on oversimplification ('Uncle Martin believed that the solution to changing Jim Crow laws was love'). The words Watkins highlights match tenets of King's philosophy — nonviolence, justice, freedom, equality, brotherhood — and tie into benchmark events in King's civil rights crusade, among them the Montgomery bus boycott, the Selma to Montgomery march, his 'I Have a Dream' speech, and the passage of the Civil Rights Act. With each word she introduces, Watkins emphasizes that when King spoke that word, 'people listened, and things changed!' Velasquez's rich portraits of King and his contemporaries capture the tensions of the era as well as King's passion, compassion, and efficacy. Ages 5 — 9. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Angela Farris Watkins, PhD, is Martin Luther King Jr.andrsquo;s niece. An associate professor of psychology at Spelman College, she lives in Atlanta.
Eric Velasquez, a recipient of the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe Award, among others, lives in Hartsdale, New York.
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