I received this book from #kidlitexchange to read in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.
Martin Rising: A Requiem for a King By Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pickney
(January 2nd 2018 ~ Scholastic Press)
I believe that some books come to us at the perfect moment. Martin Rising was one of those books for me. First, it felt serendipitous that February is Black History Month. Second, my third graders are writing their own poetry at the moment. This book was an excellent way of connecting those two bridges. Martin Rising is a book of poetry that documents the final days of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life. The book follows the sanitation workers’ strike in Memphis, Tennessee, where Martin is called in by ministers to come and lead a march for the workers. Andrea Davis Pinkney’s poetry is beautiful and lyrical, while leading up to Martin’s “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop” address. The next day he was assassinated while standing on the balcony of his hotel room.
I appreciated that this book focused on the final days of MLK’s life, rather than his well known “I Have A Dream Speech”. Despite the tragic ending, Pinkney does an exceptional job of allowing the reader to mourn and feel hope for the future. And the illustrations by Brian Pinkney are absolutely stunning. The watercolor backgrounds added even more life and loveliness to each poem.
While this is a middle grade novel, I highly recommend this to children and adults, alike.
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