A Place to Land

by Barry Wittenstein and Jerry Pinkney

“It’s terrible circling up there without a place to land.” Martin... read more

“It’s terrible circling up there without a place to land.” Martin Luther King, Jr.’s comment about knowing when and where to end when preaching begins this picture-book account of the crafting of his most famous speech. He met with advisors the night before the March on Washington and later wrote from rough drafts and scribbled notes. “Words crossed out three, four times, searching for the perfect meaning and rhythm,” noted Andrew Young. When he finally stepped up to the podium, “Martin’s rich baritone rang out across the ages” as he talked about the history of the nation, its core documents, and African American experience. Then he invoked “the passion of a Sunday morning sermon” to speak words that weren’t on paper but he knew in his heart: “I have a dream …” A narrative offering insight into King’s writing process while providing background for his comments is paired with illustrations offering additional historical context, including images of the day and those who advised and inspired King. An illustrator’s note, brief information about historical figures referenced, and bibliography close out the volume. (Ages 8–11)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2020

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