Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book • School Library Journal Best Book of the Year • Booklist Editors' Choice • Kirkus Reviews Best Children's Book • Booklist Top 10 Diverse Books for Middle Grade or Older Readers • Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Books This award-winning book will help kids understand the life and legacy of Civil Rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ★"(A) history that everyone should know: required and inspired." —Kirkus Reviews
This picture book tells the story of a nine-year-old girl who in 1968 witnessed the Memphis sanitation strike - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s final stand for justice before his assassination - when her father, a sanitation worker, participated in the protest. In February 1968, two African American sanitation workers were killed by unsafe equipment in Memphis, Tennessee. Outraged at the city's refusal to recognize a labor union that would fight for higher pay and safer working conditions, sanitation workers went on strike. The strike lasted two months, during which Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was called to help with the protests. While his presence was greatly inspiring to the community, this unfortunately would be his last stand for justice. He was assassinated in his Memphis hotel the day after delivering his "I've Been to the Mountaintop" sermon in Mason Temple Church. Inspired by the memories of a teacher who participated in the strike as a child, author Alice Faye Duncan reveals the story of the Memphis sanitation strike from the perspective of a young girl with a riveting combination of poetry and prose.