Monday, January 19, 2015

A Picture Book a Day for a Year: Day 275

Picture Book: Young Martin’s Promise
Author: Walter Dean Myers
General Editor: Alex Haley
Illustrator: Barbara Higgins Bond
Summary: This picture book of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s boyhood is about how segregation affected him personally as a child. It includes his disappointment in not being able to attend school and later play ball with the white boys in his neighborhood. How MLK Jr.’s parents might have first explained racism and segregation to him is depicted here as well as an account of purchasing shoes with his father. When told to sit in the “colored” section of the store, his father refuses, and they leave the store. Conversations about the injustice of segregation continue in young Martin’s family, and he promises his father that he will fight against segregation.  
Hanna’s Comments: There are many other picture book biographies of Martin Luther King, Jr. I chose this one because it depicts him as a child, first learning of segregation, being detrimentally affected by it, and then being determined to work for social justice in his adulthood. I think children will be particularly drawn to this story. Be sure to ask your audience about the injustices they see now that might stir them toward working for change now and when they are adults. Point out that both MLK, Jr. and his father were ministers who were inspired by scripture to resist segregation in ways that were non-violent. This book includes an introductory note by Alex Haley and another note in the back about the MLK, Jr. holiday.

Publisher & Date of Publication: Steck-Vaughn, 1993
Age & Grade Appropriateness: 5 and up, K and up
# of Pages: 32
Available in Spanish? Not at present
Formats other than Book: None at present
PBT Category: Biography, Pre 2K
PBT Topics this Book Connects with:  abuse/abuse of power, America, aspirations/dreams, beginnings/morning, brokenness, bullying/martyrs/persecution/oppression, call/calling/vocation, civil rights, commitment, covenant/promises/vow, equality/inequality, fathers, growing up/growth, heroes, hope, injustice, integration, justice, legacies, neighbors, North America, prejudice, race relations/racism, segregation, social justice

Scripture Connections: What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with God (Micah 6:8); blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled (Matthew 5:6)
Idea(s) for Application: Read this book to children when doing a scripture-based lesson on justice, righteousness, or non-violence. 

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