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|Memphis, Martin, and the mountaintop : the Sanitation Strike of 1968|
Author: Duncan, Alice Faye
The story of nine-year-old Lorraine Jackson, who in 1968 witnessed the Memphis sanitation strike-Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s final stand for justice before his assassination.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.90
Points: .5 Quiz: 197315
Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor, 2019
Kirkus Reviews (+) (07/15/18)
School Library Journal (+) (11/01/18)
Booklist (+) (08/01/18)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 08/01/2018 *Starred Review* In this impressive picture book, a character inspired by an African American family involved in the 1968 Memphis sanitation strike tells her first-person account of the experience in verse and prose. Nine-year-old Lorraine begins, “I remember Memphis and legions of noblemen. / I remember broken glass as the voice of a fallen King. / Fire, smoke, and ashes ravaged midnight cityscapes. / Black men marched for honor, and I must tell the story.” From her we learn about the strike’s impetus and its effect on the community, the dreams that kept it going, the state of emergency, and the excitement when Dr. King marched there in March, followed by the tragedy that occurred when he was back on April 4. Each full-page spread functions as a chapter with headings such as “Silver Rights,” “Trucks and Tanks,” “Black Widow,” and “Mountaintop.” The informative back matter, meanwhile, includes a time line and source notes. The excellent gouache art is typical of Christie’s distinctive and impactful style, with impressionistic images set on pages saturated with shades of blue, yellow, or orange. Most gratifyingly, the determination of the characters and the import of this part of history are imbued with dignity throughout. - Copyright 2018 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 11/01/2018 Gr 2–5—Duncan tells the story of the 1968 Memphis Sanitation Strike and the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. through the voice of Lorraine Jackson, an invented character who looks back on her childhood as the nine-year-old daughter of a sanitation worker. The book opens with a poem, beginning simply, "I remember Memphis," and continues mostly in prose, with several pages of poetry in different formats interspersed. The haiku "Omen" is striking amid the longer pages: "Yellow Daffodils. Sixteen inches under snow. King canceled his march." The language throughout is powerful. Christie's Acryla gouache paintings are breathtaking, from the wide white brush strokes in the snowy background of the aforementioned haiku, to the impeccable rendering of Coretta Scott King marching in a widow's veil four days after her husband's assassination. Lorraine is depicted earnestly with braids in bows, and bobby socks. Warm yellows and oranges and cool blues alternate as backgrounds to most full-bleed pages. The text is fully researched, with cited sources, and draws many details from interviews with a Memphis teacher who experienced this moment in history as a child. VERDICT A superbly written and illustrated work. A first purchase for public and school libraries.—Clara Hendricks, Cambridge Public Library, MA - Copyright 2018 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.