Books by Christine King Farris

BIOGRAPHY
Released: Sept. 1, 2008

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)Read full book review >
BIOGRAPHY
Released: Jan. 1, 2003

In the years since his death, too many biographers of Martin Luther King Jr. have made him so much larger than life that to the current generation of children he has become more of an idealized heroic icon than a real person. By sharing her memories of their childhood, Farris has opened a window to show Martin as a small boy in a loving extended family, a sometime prankster, protected for a while from the harsh reality of racism. When that reality became impossible to ignore, he and his brother and sister have the example of the strong faith, the encouragement, and the strength of their parents to guide them. Young Martin promises his mother that he will be an agent for change, that he will one day "turn this world upside down." Farris tells the story simply and gently, remembering Martin as her little brother and as the man who indeed turned the world upside down. Soenpiet's (Dear Santa, Please Come to the 19th Floor, p. 1628, etc.) watercolors are both meticulous in their detail and beautifully expressive of the family's emotions. Farris's afterword, graced by childhood photos of Martin, further explains her need to share these memories. A poem by Mildred D Johnson, written in 1968, is included as a reminder that all children have the potential for greatness. A very welcome addition to the King story. (illustrator note) (Picture book/biography. 6-10)Read full book review >