From School Library Journal
Starred Review. Grade 1–4—How did the civil rights activist prepare what would become his most famous address? What was it like to be part of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, August 28, 1963? Dr. King's sister answers these questions, providing background about the organization of the march, a look at key events of the day, and insight into how King crafted the speech. Although he is depicted as older and more serious than the mischievous little boy portrayed in My Brother Martin
(S & S, 2003), Farris's unique perspective on her subject continues to be compelling. She concentrates on the march and the effects of the speech. Some phrases in the text are printed in a larger font and in color, emphasizing important aspects and establishing an appealing rhythm for reading aloud. Ladd's acrylic paintings are an excellent accompaniment to the text. His use of color and varying perspectives creates a great deal of visual energy, extending the excitement of the event. An informative addition.—Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA
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This handsome picture book, told from the viewpoint of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s older sister, is a personal, celebratory account of the 1963 March on Washington. Farris tracks back to childhood, when she and her brother were raised to do good but not to brag about it. She also tells about the night before the march, when Dr. King stayed up to work on his speech until the very last minute, and a beautiful close-up portrait shows him, pen in hand, in his hotel room. The book’s main focus, though, is on the march itself. The author stayed with the King family in Atlanta and watched the events on TV, cheering every step of the way, and she describes with powerful detail the thousands who came, the leaders, the rights they fought for, and the power of their words. In his debut picture book, Ladd beautifully shows the historic crowd scenes and the portraits of King, the Big Six civil rights leaders, and gospel singer Mahalia Jackson. A stirring, intimate view of a watershed moment. Grades 2-5. --Hazel Rochman