My Brother Martin: A Sister Remembers Growing Up with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

by Christine King Farris and Chris K. Soentpiet

Christine King Farris, the older sister of Martin Luther King Jr., remembers what... read more

Christine King Farris, the older sister of Martin Luther King Jr., remembers what it was like to grow up with him in this sensitive account of their childhood. She writes about the pranks she pulled with her brother. M.L., as he was called by the family, and about his distaste for piano lessons, even though he was a talented musician, as well as about growing up in Atlanta, Georgia, under “unfair laws that said it was right to keep black people separate.” She describes firsthand an incident in young M.L.’s childhood that is frequently recounted in children’s biographies as a turning point in his life: two white friends told him they were no longer allowed to play together. When M.L. and his siblings asked their mother for an explanation, “[s]he answered simply, 'because they just don’t understand that everyone is the same but someday, it will be better.’ And my brother M.L. looked up into our mother’s face and said the words I remember to this day. He said, 'Mother Dear, one day I’m going to turn this world upside down.’” Farris’s intimate portrait of her brother not only offers a unique perspective, it also succeeds in introducing him to young readers in terms of what he accomplished in his life by using a single incident in his childhood to illustrate his lifelong commitment to equity and racial harmony. (Ages 4–8)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2004

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