Perfect Picture Book Friday – A Place To Land: Martin Luther King, Jr. And The Speech That Inspired A Nation

Welcome to Perfect Picture Book Friday, Everyone!

It’s been a very busy week, so I’ll get right to today’s book without any chit chat.

(Shocking, I know, but yes, it really is me – I have not been taken over by aliens ๐Ÿ˜Š)

Today is the perfect Friday for this Perfect Picture Book about Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have A Dream Speech since we will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday.

A Place To Land

Title: A Place To Land: Martin Luther King Jr. And The Speech That Inspired A Nation

Written By: Barry Wittenstein

Illustrated By: Jerry Pinkney

Neal Porter Books, August 27 2019, nonfiction

I don’t normally include awards, but this one has won so many I thought I should mention them ๐Ÿ™‚

Selected for the Texas Bluebonnet Master List
Winner of the Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children

A 2019 Booklist Editors’ Choice
Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year
Kirkus Reviews Best Book of the Year
School Library Journal Best Book of the Year
Nominated for an NAACP Image Award

Suitable For Ages: 7-10

Themes/Topics: history, civil rights, following your dreams, inspiration and revision

Opening: “Martin Luther King Jr. was once asked if the hardest part of preaching was knowing where to begin.
‘No,’ he said.  ‘The hardest part is knowing where to end.
It’s terrible to be circling up there without a place to land.’

Brief Synopsis: (From the publisher)  “On the night before the historic March on Washington, Martin Luther King Jr. debated, worked, and wrote late into the night, trying to decide what to sayโ€” and how to say it. This little-known story celebrates not only the famed ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, but the influences of many other pioneering Civil Rights leaders who helped shape those famous words.”

text copyright Barry Wittenstein 2019, illustration copyright Jerry Pinkney 2019, Neal Porter Books

Links To Resources: the book itself is a resource, both in the true story it tells and in the substantial back matter which include both a note from the author and note from the illustrator along with short bios of the Willard Hotel Advisors, “Other Voices”, and “Who Spoke At The March On Washington.”

text copyright Barry Wittenstein 2019, illustration copyright Jerry Pinkney 2019, Neal Porter Books

Why I Like This Book: As a writer who often searches for the right words, the right way to say something, the right thing to say, I really appreciate this look at how Martin Luther King Jr. crafted his famous I Have A Dream Speech.  Not only will young readers learn about the facts surrounding the writing of this speech – the people whose thoughts contributed and the history of the moment – they will also learn something about the writing process – about considering, articulating, revising, perfecting (as much as possible), and finally delivering a finished piece.  About the uncertainty of wondering, have I said it right? Have I done the best job I can do?  I think it’s encouraging for children to know that adults also write and revise, wonder and doubt, struggle to get things right.  And in this case, not just an adult, but a famous, influential historical figure.  It’s also really interesting to hear about this famous speech from this perspective – the crafting of it – rather than just the finished words themselves.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do ๐Ÿ™‚

For the complete list of books with resources, please visit Perfect Picture Books.

PPBF folks, please add your titles and post-specific links (and any other info you feel like filling out ๐Ÿ™‚ ) to the form below so we can all come see what fabulous picture books you’ve chosen to share this week!

Have a wonderful (long!) weekend, everyone!!! ๐Ÿ˜Š

Welcome to Perfect Picture Book Friday, Everyone! It’s been a very busy week, so I’ll get right to today’s book without any chit chat. (Shocking, I know, but yes, it really is me – I have not been taken over by aliens ๐Ÿ˜Š) Today is the perfect Friday for this Perfect Picture Book about Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have A Dream Speech since we will celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday.

11 thoughts on “Perfect Picture Book Friday – A Place To Land: Martin Luther King, Jr. And The Speech That Inspired A Nation

  1. robincurrie1 says:

    As a preacher, too, Dr King is right – people hear the beginning and the end. Every word is chosen – and there are not too many! Thank you for highlighting this book.

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