Friday, April 4, 2008

Remembering Dr. King

40 years ago today, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot and killed outside his Memphis hotel room. He died before I was born, and even though I never got to see him speak live, his powerful words, passion, and eloquence have always resonated with me and inspired me.

That's why of all the children's books written about Dr. King, I love Doreen Rappaport's Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. the best. In this pictoral biography, Ms. Rappaport weaves Dr. King's own words into the story of his life. This is one of the only books I've seen that really reaches out to young children and explains his story in a way that is easily understood and captivating.

Bryan Collier's illustrations are gorgeous. I particularly think the stained glass end papers in the back that represent the coming together of races and colors are stunning.

Each time I read the book, I am moved to tears by the tragedy at his loss but am also inspired at the book's message that inspires children to dream big. This book belongs in every family's library.

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