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Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old

*Meet Martin Luther King, Jr. (Landmark Books)* by James T. de Kay- young readers book review
Meet Martin Luther King, Jr. (Landmark Books)
by James T. de Kay
Ages 9-12 112 pages Random House January 2001 Paperback    

Meet Martin Luther King, Jr. by James T. De Kay was originally published by Random House in 1993 and recently revised and released by Landmark Books as a pocket-sized paperback. The book provides a brief essay on the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., and is written to appeal to young readers. Readers from grades four on up will particularly appreciate the large font employed in the book and the numerous black-and-white photos (I counted 36).

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968), is well known as a civil rights leader for blacks residing in the U.S. In his relatively short lifespan, King became a great symbol of what one proactive individual can do to help accomplish great change in the world. He was embraced for being a freedom “fighter” using nonviolent tools of “war” - words and creative thought. His life was spent seeking fair laws and reducing racial prejudice. When he was alive, hundreds of thousands of American citizens followed and supported his seemingly lofty goals, and millions continue to follow this great man’s example today. King was first influenced by Mahatma Ghandi’s nonviolent civil disobedience efforts, while Henry Thoreau influenced Ghandi. Together, these three individuals have influenced peaceful transitions of positive change in the world, and their work is continually referred to today.

King was born in 1929 and brought up as the son of the head pastor for the Ebenezer Baptist Church. It was here that he learned the power of words, and he grew to love the emotions and rhythms they evoked. At age five, he learned of the Civil War, which was the key to freeing the black people from slavery.

His father’s position on the Jim Crow laws (racial discrimination and segregation laws) and his mother’s actions towards anti-slavery were profound influences in King's early life. At the age of 15, he learned how to use words instead of fighting and won a speaking contest at Crozer College. He was an exceptional student who actually skipped grades 9 and 12.

As he learned of Ghandi’s lifework, he was further inspired to eradicate segregation in the US. His civil rights journey started with boycotting a bus service, and he ended up changing the face of the U.S. and inspiring peaceful change across the globe. Sadly, he was assassinated in 1968 on a hotel balcony. King has been acknowledged internationally for his work and was the only non-president to be honored with a nation holiday in his name.

Young readers book reviews for ages 8 to 12 years old

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