Martin’s Dream Day by Kitty Kelley


Martin’s Dream Day by Kitty Kelley, photographs by Stanley Tretick (9781481467667)

This nonfiction picture book uses photographs by legendary White House photographer Tretick to show the story of Martin Luther King, Jr’s historic speech for civil rights. There is an appropriate reverential tone about the day as a whole, the size of the crowds and the speech itself. The book also shows the struggles that led up to the protest, the barriers that stood in the way of racial equality, and the people who stood up for change. While the focus is Martin Luther King Jr., there is also a strong acknowledgement for all of those who fought for civil rights in the United States.

Kelley’s text is straight forward and captures the importance of the day with a laser-like focus. She does use terms and words one rarely sees in picture books and ones that children may need explained to them. Still, this is a picture book probably best shared with an adult who can offer even more of a historical and modern context for the event and the day.

The photographs are simply incredible. It is amazing that one photographer was able to capture so many of them with the density of the crowds and the heat. They tell the story though images, speaking across time. The clothing styles may be vintage but the struggle mirrors that of today, something made all the more evident by the quality of the photographs that capture that same passion and engagement.

A strong piece of nonfiction for children who are living in today’s political environment with other marches surrounding them. Appropriate for ages 7-9.

Reviewed from copy received from Atheneum Books for Young Readers.


2017 Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults

YALSA has released their list of the Best Fiction for Young Adults. From that larger list, a top ten list is created. Below are the books on the top ten:

Burn Baby Burn Cover The Female of the Species Cover

Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina

The Female of the Species by Mindy McGinnis

Ghost Cover The Lie Tree Cover

Ghost by Jason Reynolds

The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge

The Passion of Dolssa Cover The Reader Cover

The Passion of Dolssa by Julie Berry

The Reader by Traci Chee

Salt to the Sea Cover Scythe Cover

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

The Serpent King Cover The Sun Is Also a Star Cover

The Serpent King by Jeff Zentner

The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon