Synopses & Reviews
Martin Luther King Jr.andrsquo;s family comes together for the first time to share their reflections and memories of the great civil rights leader. Included are contributions from his sister (the only surviving member of his immediate family), his children, his in-laws, his nieces and nephews, and even his grandchildren, who, although they never met him, explain what his legacy means to them. Unlike the iconic persona normally associated with the man, the book presents a more personal, warm, and loving portrait: wrestling with his brother on the bed (despite their being in their thirties), sneaking naps during holiday meals, as well as playing games with his nieces and nephews. Alongside these tributes are never-before-published family photos of Dr. King, as well as new photographs of the memorial dedicated to him in August 2011 on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
Praise for Martin Luther King Jr.:
andldquo;In this large, handsome photo-essay filled with full-page portraits, family members across generations and a few close friends remember the man they knew as andlsquo;M. L.andrdquo; The combination of intimacy and politics will drive readers to find out more.andrdquo;andmdash;Booklist
The older sister of Dr. King relates how growing up in the segregated South of the 1920s taught her younger brother a bitter lesson. When an incident makes clear the fact that white children and black children are not to play together, young Martin realizes his calling in life, and sets out on a path that changes the course of American history. Full color.
Long before he became a world-famous dreamer, Martin Luther King Jr. was a little boy who played jokes and practiced the piano and made friends without considering race. But growing up in the segregated South of the 1920s forced a very young Martin to learn a bitter lesson -- little white children and little black children were not to play with one another. Martin decided then and there that something had to be done. And as a seven-year-old, he embarked on a journey that would change the course of American history.
Renowned educator Christine King Farris, older sister of the late Dr. King, joins with celebrated illustrator Chris Soentpiet to tell this inspirational story of how one boyhood experience inspired a movement. It's a tale that will touch the hearts of all people, and remind us all that if you believe hard enough, dreams can become reality.
About the Author
Christine King Farris is the older sister of the late civil rights leader, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. She is an associate professor of young adult education at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia, where she teaches courses in multiculturalism and elementary reading. This is her first book. She and her husband reside in Atlanta, Georgia.
Reading Group Guide
ABOUT THE BOOK
This book looks at the early life of Martin Luther King, Jr., as seen through the eyes of his older sister.
Biography; African Americans; Christine King Farris; King family; Race relations
€ What was young Martin Luther King, Jr.'s response when his mother told him about the world and the things some people believed?
€ Why did Martin and others want to end the laws that made life different for black people than it was for white people?
€ What makes a hero?
€ What did Dr. King want to change in the United States?
€ What can we do today to help make the world a better place?
€ Have students fill in the blanks in the following sentences:
o Martin Luther King, Jr.'s father was a ________.
o This book was written by his ________.
o We know this story about Martin is true because____.
€ Begin your lesson on the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., by assessing your students' prior knowledge using a K-W-L chart: List on a chart the facts that your students know about King. Next, ask them to tell you what they want to know about him. After reading the book, have students tell you what they have learned about him.
€ Research events of Dr. King's life and times and perform a classroom skit or play based on the information gathered.
€ As a class project, publish a little book on the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.
€ Have students work in cooperative groups of two or three to make a time line called "the life of Martin Luther King, Jr." Each group should use an 18" x 24" sheet of paper to depict one part of Dr. King's life and accomplishments.
€ Have students write a newspaper account of the march on Selma, Alabama, or any other significant event in the life of Dr. King.
€ Discuss the significance of the Nobel Peace Prize. Award each of your students a Peace prize for their work toward getting along well with others or finding peaceful solutions to conflicts.
€ Make or find an outline of Dr. King's silhouette. Cut it out of black paper. Let the students glue it onto white paper and then list the peaceful ways that students handle their problems. For example: To get along better with others I can...I can get along with my friends at school by...If someone treats me unfairly I can....To help a friend who is sad I could...
€ Point out to students that cities such as Atlanta, Georgia; Montgomery, Alabama; Memphis, Tennessee; and Washington, D.C., figured prominently in the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. Ask: What other places can you think of that are closely associated with Dr. King? Write the name of each important location on the chalkboard. Challenge students to research a variety of print and online resources to find information about each of those places. Tell students that as they locate each place of importance on a blank map, they should write a sentence or two of explanation about the importance of that place in Dr. King's life. When students complete their maps, provide a time for them to display their maps and share what they learned with their classmates.
€ Take a virtual tour of King's boyhood home via the official website: http://www.nps.gov/malu/BirthHomeTour/
This reading group guide is for classroom, library, and reading group use. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted for these purposes.
Prepared by Retta Eiland
© William Allen White Children's Book Award
Please visit http://www.emporia.edu/libsv/wawbookaward/ for more information about the awards and to see curriculum guides for other master list titles.
"This outstanding book belongs in every collection."
-- School Library Journal
"A very welcome addition to the King story."
-- Kirkus Reviews
"A delightful biography for children."
"This is a rare glimpse of the activist as a young boy."
"...glimpses of the home that nurtured King's dream."
"Vividly recounted anecdotes show children how this great hero was once a kid like them."
"Anyone -- especially kids -- can relate to the warm family scenes depicted in the book."
-- Teaching K-8