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 “M.L.” The editor is Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece, who wrote My Uncle Martin’s Big Heart (2010) for younger readers. Here, she shares the comments of those who knew her uncle, and she also draws on letters, interviews, and personal accounts. His sister remembers his childhood; as a boy, he was electrified by Gandhi’s teachings, and he started college at 15. A letter to his mother shows their family’s closeness, as does a photo of him with nephews and nieces. His daughter’s comment captures the tragedy: “People often make comparisons between my way of speaking and my father’s . . . . I was only five when Daddy was assassinated.” The accompanying photo of King buckling her shoe is heartbreaking. There are no suggested resources, but the combination of intimacy and politics will drive readers to find out more on their own. Grades 5-8. --Rochman, Hazel
About the Author
Angela Farris Watkins, PhD, is the niece of Martin Luther King Jr. She is an associate professor of psychology at Spelman College. Watkins is the author of two children’s books about her uncle published by Abrams Books for Young Readers. She lives in Atlanta.