Bookshelf

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I Have a Dream 

 
Interest Level: Grades K-5
Hardback: 40

Publisher: Random House Children’s Books

“This beautiful and powerful illustrated edition brings my father’s inspiring messages of freedom, equality, and peace to the youngest among us- those who will one day carry his dream forward for everyone.” 

~Dr. Bernice A. King

Kadir Nelson does an extraordinary job painting life into the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King’s famous I Have a Dream speech. First given on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in August 1963, this historical speech is just as relevant a half century later. Nelson not only captures the profound quotes of Dr. King’s words, but through these16 beautiful paintings, he expresses the passion and sincerity that moved a nation during the Civil Rights Movement. The theme of this story is freedom for all and equality. Although this speech is reflective of one of the darkest moments in US history, Kadir Nelson created a bright and spirited artistic representation of what courage, faith and perseverance looked like during this time. This book is perfect for introducing, highlighting and reviewing this era.

There is one image of Dr. King’s face on a black background. He is quoting, “from every mountainside, let freedom ring.” I could feel the intensity and hear Martin’s words as I looked at this image. Powerful would be an understatement. The illustrations are so crisp, it was almost like the speech was playing while I read through the book. I loved it! Not only will the images pull in any reader, but the speech is also edited in a way that make it easy for younger children to follow and understand. 

This book also includes an audio recording of the speech on cd. 


~behind every GREAT man, is an EXTRAORDINARY woman.

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Coretta Scott

Written by Ntozake Shange 

 
Interest Level: Grades K-5
Hardback/Paperback: 32
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers 
 

Coretta Scott was born in Alabama on April 27, 1927. This story captures a glimpse into her childhood and touches on her experiences growing up in the south. It opens with her walking 5 miles through the dark, damp woods  in the dark to the “colored school” with her siblings while the school bus heading toward the “white’s only school” blows a funnel of dust on their faces. A story of quiet strength and perseverance, the author shares what brought Coretta and King together…  faith, prayer and a mutual sense of determination to overturn hate with peace and moral power. This story’s theme is one of determination and resilience…”ain’t gonna let nobody turn me round gonna keep on walkin’, keep on talkin’, walkin’ up to freedom land.”  It never mentions Coretta Scott’s greatest lost, instead it highlights how she never gave up on her faith. This picture book was also illustrated by Kadir Nelson, one of my FAVORITE illustrators!  The artwork is eye catching and life-like. His images almost look like photographs.