Martin’s Dream Day by Kitty Kelley, photographs by Stanley Tretick

Published by Atheneum Books for Young Readers


Summary:  Written to highlight photos by Look photographer and JFK favorite Stanley Tretick, this book focuses on Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.  King is showed on the first page, nervous as he prepares to address 250,000 people at the Lincoln Memorial.  From there, the text and photos go back to explain King’s role in Civil Rights movement.  He is shown with John F. Kennedy, along with quotes from Kennedy urging Congress to pass his civil rights bill.  When Congress did nothing, King began to organize the March on Washington.  Photos are shown of individuals and crowds at the march, culminating with quotes from Martin Luther King’s speech.  On the last page, the reader learns of the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Includes an author’s note and three websites with additional information.  40 pages; grades 1-5.

Pros:  A good introduction Martin Luther King, Jr.’s most important speech and the history behind it.  Seeing the author was Kitty Kelley–yes, that Kitty Kelley–I kept looking for gossipy passages about some King or Kennedy scandal, but don’t worry, you can safely read this to your first-grader.  The many photos bring an immediacy to the story and provide faces of real people instead of just the huge crowds.

Cons:  There could have been a lot more additional resources given.

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