The Day King Died: Remembered Through Two Voices and a Choir

Reycraft. Apr. 2024. 32p. Tr $18.99. ISBN 9781478886426.
Gr 4 Up–This lyrical telling of Martin Luther King Jr.’s final days weaves three different texts together: the story of his trip to Memphis told by an omniscient narrator, King’s “Mountaintop” speech delivered the day before he was assassinated, and a gospel song by Thomas A. Dorsey that King requested before he was shot. The text is accompanied by bold illustrations and historical photographs of King, his Memphis hotel room, and Memphis protestors. The storytelling style is a bit obtuse and may be difficult for younger readers to comprehend. However, the book’s artwork is striking, blending its two elements into a cohesive and moving account of King’s last day.
VERDICT The book’s unique style comes at the expense of storytelling clarity, making this book a difficult recommendation for young readers, but a valuable historical record.

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