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

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

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Overview

Renowned educator Christine King Farris, older sister of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., joins with celebrated illustrator Chris Soentpiet to tell this inspirational story of how one boyhood experience inspired a movement.

Mother Dear, one day I’m going to turn this world upside down.

Long before he became a world-famous dreamer, Martin Luther King Jr. was a little boy who played jokes and practiced the piano and made friends without considering race. But growing up in the segregated south of the 1930s taught young Martin a bitter lesson—little white children and little black children were not to play with one another. Martin decided then and there that something had to be done. And so he began the journey that would change the course of American history.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780689843884
Publisher: Aladdin
Publication date: 12/27/2005
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 40
Sales rank: 258,840
Product dimensions: 11.87(w) x 10.00(h) x 0.20(d)
Age Range: 6 - 11 Years

About the Author

Christine King Farris is the sister of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the only surviving member of the King family. She is the author of the children's book My Brother Martin and has been on the faculty of Spelman College since 1958. She lives with her husband in Atlanta.

Chris Soentpiet (pronounced: soon-peet) is a recipient of a gold medal from the Society of Illustrators; has received accolades from the International Reading Association, Parents magazine, the American Library Association, the School Library Journal, the Chicago Tribune, the San Francisco Chronicle, and the Smithsonian; and has been recognized by the American Society of Portrait Artists Foundation. When not painting, Chris visits schools across the country promoting the love of children's literature and the arts. An honor graduate from Pratt Institute of Art, he lives in New York City with his wife. To learn more about Chris, visit his Web site at Soentpiet.com.

Reading Group Guide

ABOUT THE BOOK

This book looks at the early life of Martin Luther King, Jr., as seen through the eyes of his older sister.

THEMES

Biography; African Americans; Christine King Farris; King family; Race relations

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

€ What was young Martin Luther King, Jr.'s response when his mother told him about the world and the things some people believed?

€ Why did Martin and others want to end the laws that made life different for black people than it was for white people?

€ What makes a hero?

€ What did Dr. King want to change in the United States?

€ What can we do today to help make the world a better place?

ACTIVITIES

€ Have students fill in the blanks in the following sentences:
o Martin Luther King, Jr.'s father was a ________.
o This book was written by his ________.
o We know this story about Martin is true because____.

€ Begin your lesson on the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., by assessing your students' prior knowledge using a K-W-L chart: List on a chart the facts that your students know about King. Next, ask them to tell you what they want to know about him. After reading the book, have students tell you what they have learned about him.

€ Research events of Dr. King's life and times and perform a classroom skit or play based on the information gathered.

€ As a class project, publish a little book on the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.

€ Have students work in cooperative groups of two or three to make a time line called "the life of Martin Luther King, Jr." Each group should use an 18" x 24" sheet of paper to depict one part of Dr. King's life and accomplishments.

€ Have students write a newspaper account of the march on Selma, Alabama, or any other significant event in the life of Dr. King.

€ Discuss the significance of the Nobel Peace Prize. Award each of your students a Peace prize for their work toward getting along well with others or finding peaceful solutions to conflicts.

€ Make or find an outline of Dr. King's silhouette. Cut it out of black paper. Let the students glue it onto white paper and then list the peaceful ways that students handle their problems. For example: To get along better with others I can...I can get along with my friends at school by...If someone treats me unfairly I can....To help a friend who is sad I could...

€ Point out to students that cities such as Atlanta, Georgia; Montgomery, Alabama; Memphis, Tennessee; and Washington, D.C., figured prominently in the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. Ask: What other places can you think of that are closely associated with Dr. King? Write the name of each important location on the chalkboard. Challenge students to research a variety of print and online resources to find information about each of those places. Tell students that as they locate each place of importance on a blank map, they should write a sentence or two of explanation about the importance of that place in Dr. King's life. When students complete their maps, provide a time for them to display their maps and share what they learned with their classmates.

€ Take a virtual tour of King's boyhood home via the official website: http://www.nps.gov/malu/BirthHomeTour/

This reading group guide is for classroom, library, and reading group use. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted for these purposes.

Prepared by Retta Eiland

© William Allen White Children's Book Award

Please visit http://www.emporia.edu/libsv/wawbookaward/ for more information about the awards and to see curriculum guides for other master list titles.

Interviews

Talking to Martin Luther King Jr.'s Sister

Barnes & Noble.com: What inspired you to write My Brother Martin? Why now, after all these years?

Christine King Farris: For a long time I realized that I wanted to write something about my brother's life, because I am the lone survivor in our nuclear family. As I moved around various places, I saw that many people don't seem to understand that Martin was more human than they realize. Often, he's portrayed as out of the ordinary, and though he was, in a sense, he's portrayed as not even human. I wanted children to know that he was.

I met Chris Soentpiet [the illustrator] through the International Reading Association. I was chairing a session he'd presented, and when I looked at the book he'd just completed, I thought, We need something like this for my book about Martin. We talked about it, and when I decided to do the book, I requested that he be the illustrator.

B&N.com: What did you like most about his illustrations for the book?

CKF: I was very interested in the way he did them. He came down to Georgia and took photographs of the areas surrounding my home. And he said he liked to work with live models, so I had to select the models he'd use, and he took photos of them. My daughter is one -- she portrayed my mother -- and my great-nephew portrayed both my brothers.

B&N.com: What do you hope this book will achieve? What do you want children to take away from it?

CKF: I want children to see that my brother was a real person and that just as he made contributions, they can, too. At the back of the book there's a poem, "You Can Be like Martin" -- someone sent it to me, and I hope it sends a message that all children can be like Martin, and make a difference.

B&N.com: There have been so many books written about your brother. Are there some that you liked? Any you thought were irresponsible?

CKF: A lot were irresponsible. That's one of reasons I must write even more about him -- a book for adults. Because people have a tendency to have an opinion of something in their mind and write accordingly, and I've seen some books about Martin that weren't true, not even partly. That's why I have to write and set the record straight.

Introduction

ABOUT THE BOOK

This book looks at the early life of Martin Luther King, Jr., as seen through the eyes of his older sister.

THEMES

Biography; African Americans; Christine King Farris; King family; Race relations

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS

? What was young Martin Luther King, Jr.'s response when his mother told him about the world and the things some people believed?

? Why did Martin and others want to end the laws that made life different for black people than it was for white people?

? What makes a hero?

? What did Dr. King want to change in the United States?

? What can we do today to help make the world a better place?

ACTIVITIES

? Have students fill in the blanks in the following sentences:

o Martin Luther King, Jr.'s father was a ________.

o This book was written by his ________.

o We know this story about Martin is true because____.

? Begin your lesson on the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., by assessing your students' prior knowledge using a K-W-L chart: List on a chart the facts that your students know about King. Next, ask them to tell you what they want to know about him. After reading the book, have students tell you what they have learned about him.

? Research events of Dr. King's life and times and perform a classroom skit or play based on the information gathered.

? As a class project, publish a little book on the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.

? Have students work in cooperative groups of two or three to make a time line called "the life of Martin Luther King, Jr." Each group should use an 18" x 24" sheet of paper to depict one part of Dr. King's life andaccomplishments.

? Have students write a newspaper account of the march on Selma, Alabama, or any other significant event in the life of Dr. King.

? Discuss the significance of the Nobel Peace Prize. Award each of your students a Peace prize for their work toward getting along well with others or finding peaceful solutions to conflicts.

? Make or find an outline of Dr. King's silhouette. Cut it out of black paper. Let the students glue it onto white paper and then list the peaceful ways that students handle their problems. For example: To get along better with others I can...I can get along with my friends at school by...If someone treats me unfairly I can....To help a friend who is sad I could...

? Point out to students that cities such as Atlanta, Georgia; Montgomery, Alabama; Memphis, Tennessee; and Washington, D.C., figured prominently in the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. Ask: What other places can you think of that are closely associated with Dr. King? Write the name of each important location on the chalkboard. Challenge students to research a variety of print and online resources to find information about each of those places. Tell students that as they locate each place of importance on a blank map, they should write a sentence or two of explanation about the importance of that place in Dr. King's life. When students complete their maps, provide a time for them to display their maps and share what they learned with their classmates.

? Take a virtual tour of King's boyhood home via the official website: http://www.nps.gov/malu/BirthHomeTour/

This reading group guide is for classroom, library, and reading group use. It may be reproduced in its entirety or excerpted for these purposes.

Prepared by Retta Eiland

© William Allen White Children's Book Award

Please visit http://www.emporia.edu/libsv/wawbookaward/ for more information about the awards and to see curriculum guides for other master list titles.

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