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My Uncle Martin's Words for America: Martin Luther King Jr.'s Niece Tells How He Made a Difference Hardcover – September 1, 2011
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About the Author
Angela Farris Watkins, PhD, is Martin Luther King Jr.’s niece. An associate professor of psychology at Spelman College, she lives in Atlanta. Eric Velasquez illustrated My Friend Maya Loves to Dance and received the Coretta Scott King–John Steptoe Award. He lives in Hartsdale, New York.
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My Uncle Martin's Words for America is a wonderful summary of the highlights of this extraordinary leader's journey to promote justice, freedom and equality for all Americans. Young readers are introduced to segregation, Jim Crow laws, King's incarceration, protests, speeches and the events the led up to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In the back of the book you'll find an excellent chart summarizing the protests MLK led, matched with the resulting changes in civil rights. There's also a helpful glossary. I respect the fact that this book does not focus on the assassination, but rather on his philosophies and accomplishments.
I have read and reviewed countless children's picture books, and only a few of them really stand out as momentous as far as the quality of the illustrations; this book is indeed one of them. To simply say that the Coretta Scott King award-winning illustrator, Eric Velasquez, is extremely talented is just not enough. Not often does one come across illustrations so realistic, vibrant and beautiful as these. He paints with oils on watercolor paper, and it is a glorious combination. Just take a look at the jacket cover - front and back - and you'll have no choice but to open this book and take it all in. It's obvious that Eric Velasquez has a calling in life, and he answers that call each every time he paints a picture. Oh how I'd love to have one of his paintings on my wall at home!
Once you read this book, I think you'll agree that it should be on the bookshelf in every elementary school classroom in America. (There's a second title too, Uncle Martin's Big Heart, written and illustrated by the same author and artist as this book.)