Monday, June 10, 2019

Spring Reading 2019 Martin & Anne: The Kindred Spirits of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Anne Frank

Gr 3–7
-Churnin has reached into the past and pulled out amazing connections between two of the most celebrated figures of the twentieth century. Even though they were on separate continents, the author shows how their experiences paralleled each other in many ways. Born the same year and treated as inferior due to their race, both Martin and Anne dreamed of a world where equality and justice prevailed. By using key events from their lives to show the forces arrayed against them, the author makes the resilience and positive outlook of both figures even more evident. Illustrator Nayberg's paintings capture details such as the "Whites Only!" signs seen during the Civil Rights Movement in the Jim Crow South and the light coming through the attic window of Anne's hiding place. The final scene shows Martin and Anne looking up to the sky with these words reinforcing their legacies: "Love is stronger than hate. Kindness can heal the world." By showing the adversity in Martin's and Anne's lives and ending with their lasting message, the creators have made a book perfect for middle grade readers and for classrooms studying discrimination and injustice. VERDICT Highly recommended for middle grade readers and units on World War II, civil rights, and social justice.

(My review of this book was first published in April 2019 by School Library Journal.)

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