My grandfather was born in Hreljin in 1923, when it was Yugoslavia and in what is now Croatia. When I heard about Yugoslavian Ivo Andric’s 1945 novel The Bridge on the Drina, I had hoped for a glimpse of what life was like in my ancestor’s homeland during a tumultuous time. Although my grandfather’s home town is far from the Bosnia-Serbia border on which this novel takes place, it was still an interesting look at the complex history of the Balkans. I did not really enjoy reading the book, but it was somewhat interesting.Continue Reading
Martin and Mahalia: His Words, Her Song by Andrea Davis Pinkney and illustrated by Brian Pinkney (Little, Brown, August 2013) is a poetic biography of the two influential civil rights individuals who together shared a message during the March on Washington in 1963. Brian Pinkney’s illustrations are sweeping and colorful, bringing the reader in to the tale of two talented individuals.
Martin Luther King, Jr., is obviously the more well known of the two, but I loved how the lives of both were weaved together. Martin spoke and Mahalia sang. It is a vivid reminder that each has a talent, and both could use that talent to share the gospel of freedom and encourage Civil Rights. Ms Pinkney’s text throughout brings an added talent to the story: that of poetry. I loved the rhythm of the text as I read it.
The picture book culminates in the March on Washington, with the “I have a Dream” speech by Martin Luther King, Jr., and Mahalia Jackson’s performance at that historical day. I loved how powerful that moment felt as I read the picture book. I had to find the videos of the events to compare. Unfortunately, the audio recording is pretty poor for Mahalia’s song, but it must suffice.
I’m reviewing this now in anticipation of the fiftieth anniversary of the August March on Washington. What a special summer that was for Civil Rights!
Note: I received a complimentary review copy from the publisher of Martin and Mahalia for review consideration.
Many years ago, I read and reviewed Foster’s guide to reading literature. When I saw How to Read Literature like a Professor for Kids also by Thomas Foster (HarperCollins Children’s, 2013), I decided to read it get a little idea of how he adapts his ideas for kids. Continue Reading
Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain is a popular science look at the differences in personality type. She argues that introverts are just as necessary in leadership as the more outspoken extroverted power types.Continue Reading