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Martin Luther King Jr.: A King Family Tribute Hardcover – January 8, 2013
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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.
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It is a touching spiritual and pictorial memorial to Martin Luther King Jr., through the eyes and words of those friends and extended family that knew of him and loved him; it will move even the most casual observer. Although he has become larger than life to most people, to those involved in his life, he was simply ML; he was human and reachable, fun, caring and kind. He was simply real! He knew who he was and where he was going with his life. He could be relied upon and trusted.
Through the personal memories and photos, he becomes a part of the reader's life. For me, the book felt personal. The book moved me to tears, at times, as it brought back memories of the day he was shot. I remember the disbelief at the sudden loss of such a personage, who was larger than life and continued to be, even in death. The sixties were a decade of shame, but this book brings ML back to life, warmly, with heartfelt emotion and affection.
The respectful, glowing testimonies to his goodness and peaceful, loving purposeful life, speak volumes in only a few words. The book is not long or thick, but it is a gift with which to cherish and remember the man who changed the world, for the better.
Truly, a picture is worth a thousand words. Although he did not fire a shot, and did not believe in violence, someone else did, and that someone robbed the world of a great man who could have done much more. Yet, his legacy is one of freedom and justice for all and with it, he lives on, as does his dream.
The book is written by the king family, in remembrance of their family member, with different family members recounting their experiences with "ML", as they affectionately called him. This approach gives a humanness of this great man and a look at the everyday "ML". The stories recounted help us get an inside look.
Some of the writing was by newer generations of the family, some who had not even been born when he was alive. These young people have a wonderful heritage to look up to. I especially liked the photos of the memorial in Washington, D.C.
I liked the format and layout of the book and it provided good reading. I highly recommend it, especially for young people. -- Valerie Lull, Author, Ten Healthy Teas