Wednesday, November 20, 2019

A Place to Land by Barry Wittenstein - ADVISABLE

A Place to Land: Martin Luther King, Jr. and the Speech That Inspired a Nation by Barry Wittenstein, illustrated by Jerry Pinkney.  PICTURE BOOK/ NON-FICTION  Neal Porter Books (Holiday House), 2019.  $19.  



The day before the 1963 March on Washington, Martin Luther King, Jr. was still pouring over his speech for the march.  Other great Civil Rights Activists weighed in on what King should or should not include in his speech, but ultimately King took to writing and practicing his speech in his room all night.  When it came time to deliver his prepared words, he got to a point in the middle of his speech where he started preaching and his most powerful words were shared and later titled “I Have a Dream”.  The speech didn’t bring an end to racial discrimination, but it has continued to inspire the downtrodden ever since it was delivered.  

Pinkney’s illustrations evoke a tenderness and hope for King’s message of racial equality and a reflection of events leading up to the speech.  Wittenstein’s writing has a good cadence that makes the telling of this historical moment artistic.  The combination is moving and can be appreciated by all ages.  The back of the book also includes short biographies of other Civil Rights leaders.  

Reviewer, C. Peterson.

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