Reviews for March On! : The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World

Booklist Reviews 2008 August #1
This handsome picture book, told from the viewpoint of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s older sister, is a personal, celebratory account of the 1963 March on Washington. Farris tracks back to childhood, when she and her brother were raised to do good but not to brag about it. She also tells about the night before the march, when Dr. King stayed up to work on his speech until the very last minute, and a beautiful close-up portrait shows him, pen in hand, in his hotel room. The book's main focus, though, is on the march itself. The author stayed with the King family in Atlanta and watched the events on TV, cheering every step of the way, and she describes with powerful detail the thousands who came, the leaders, the rights they fought for, and the power of their words. In his debut picture book, Ladd beautifully shows the historic crowd scenes and the portraits of King, the Big Six civil rights leaders, and gospel singer Mahalia Jackson. A stirring, intimate view of a watershed moment. Copyright 2006 Booklist Reviews.

Horn Book Guide Reviews 2009 Spring
In this picture book biography, Dr. King's sister recounts events leading up to the day when her brother led the march on Washington, then describes that day in detail. Family pride is evident throughout the fluid narrative. Ladd's rich-hued paintings display the drama of the historic events. An author's note tells more about the civil rights movement. Copyright 2009 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Kirkus Reviews 2008 August #2
Farris, the sister of Martin Luther King Jr., offers her own singular perspective on the historic March on Washington and her brother's memorable "I Have a Dream" speech. More oral history than a strictly fact-based narrative, Farris's voice and that of her famous brother come through free, loud and clear. The impact is both inspiring and affecting. The book's ingenious design allows for double-duty: Each block of text includes one sentence that is set off in large, bold uppercase letters. These phrases (e.g.: "THE SEA OF MARCHERS PARTED FOR MARTIN AND HIS FRIENDS") facilitate easy group sharing while helping less confident readers manage the book on their own. Ladd, a talented figure painter and first-time picture-book illustrator, offers his own fresh and affecting take on these now familiar events; his images expand and enliven the well-known facts and ably expand on Farris's powerful family story. This is an essential addition to family, church, school and public-library collections. (Informational picture book. 7-12) Copyright Kirkus 2008 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Reviews 2008 August #2

Describing the 1963 March on Washington, Farris, the older sister of Martin Luther King Jr., maintains the deft touch and down-to-earth perspective that made My Brother Martin so moving. Where most books on King approach him with a sense of great occasion, Farris more effectively uses plain language and well-chosen facts to explain her brother's extraordinary achievements. Her description of his writing of the classic "I have a dream" speech typifies her style: Martin stays up all night, working and reworking his draft. "Not once did he stop to eat, or even lay his head down on his pillow.... Even if he'd wanted to sleep, he couldn't--the words of his speech kept him awake. His speech wouldn't let him rest." As she chronicles Martin's experiences of the march, Farris skillfully embeds facts about its goals, the participants and the period. Ladd, in his first picture book, demonstrates a rare talent for portraiture--even the faces in his crowd scenes are individuated. Like Farris, he resists the temptation to lionize his subject: instead of looking iconic, his King looks human--in other words, capable of inspiring the reader. Ages 9-12. (Sept.)

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School Library Journal Reviews 2008 October

Gr 1-4-- How did the civil rights activist prepare what would become his most famous address? What was it like to be part of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, August 28, 1963? Dr. King's sister answers these questions, providing background about the organization of the march, a look at key events of the day, and insight into how King crafted the speech. Although he is depicted as older and more serious than the mischievous little boy portrayed in My Brother Martin (S & S, 2003), Farris's unique perspective on her subject continues to be compelling. She concentrates on the march and the effects of the speech. Some phrases in the text are printed in a larger font and in color, emphasizing important aspects and establishing an appealing rhythm for reading aloud. Ladd's acrylic paintings are an excellent accompaniment to the text. His use of color and varying perspectives creates a great deal of visual energy, extending the excitement of the event. An informative addition.--Lucinda Snyder Whitehurst, St. Christopher's School, Richmond, VA

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