I've Seen the Promised Land : The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
by Myers, Walter Dean; Jenkins, Leonard (ILT)

Provides readers with the biography of one of the most celebrated civil rights leaders, highlighting his teachings, peaceful protests, and other notable accomplishments before his untimely death at the hands of an assassin.

PreS-Gr. 3. Dr. Martin Luther King is perhaps the most frequently requested biography subject, so there's always room for another book about the heroic leader, especially when it's a picture-book biography as good as this one. The focus here is on his public image, and words and art combine the essentials of his life story with an overview of the civil rights movement. Jenkins' dramatic, double-page collage illustrations set close-up portraits of the leader against crowd scenes of political marches and violent conflict. Then, after the glory of the March on Washington, there's a double-page spread showing the horror of the Birmingham deaths. The book ends with King's assassination, but words and pictures show his strength and his enduring message against racism and for peace. This is for a younger audience than Myers and Jenkins' Malcolm X: A Fire Burning Brightly (2000). There's also much less here about the subject's personal struggle, but when read together, the two titles will stimulate debate about issues of protest and nonviolence. ((Reviewed December 15, 2003)) Copyright 2003 Booklist Reviews

Following up their portrait of Malcolm X (2000), Myers briefly traces Dr. King's career, and Jenkins adds kaleidoscopic collages that both depict major incidents and figures of the Civil Rights movement, and capture the time's turmoil. Dr. King certainly doesn't lack for biographers, but Myers is unusually even-handed, highlighting King's nonviolent philosophy while viewing the Movement's angrier, more violent outbursts with a certain degree of-not sympathy, exactly, but understanding. Though Jenkins's images are sometimes over the top, as when he outfits the four children killed in the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing with angel wings, and Myers frequently slips paraphrased lines from Dr. King's speeches into his narrative-"He said that he had been to the mountaintop and seen the promised land. He knew he might not reach that land . . . "-the balance of fact and feeling makes this a strong follow-up to Doreen Rappaport's Martin's Big Words (2002). (Picture book/biography. 5-8) Copyright Kirkus 2003 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Terms of Use   ©Copyright 2021 Follett School Solutions