Mother Daughter Book Reviews is pleased to be taking part in the “Ordinary People Change the World” Blog Tour Today hosted by Penguin Younger Readers. Today, we are featuring the newest book in the series by Brad Meltzer & Christopher Eliopoulos: “I am Martin Luther King, Jr.” Be sure to scroll down to our giveaway for your chance to win the entire “Ordinary People Change the World” book series (US Only).
About the Book
Title: I am Martin Luther King, Jr. (Ordinary People Change the World) | Author: Brad Meltzer | Illustrator: Christopher Eliopoulos | Publication Date: January 5, 2016 | Publisher: Dial Books | Pages: 40 | Recommended Ages: 5 to 8
For more information about the book, the author, and the illustrator, please have a look at our recent Spotlight Post for “I am Martin Luther King, Jr.“
I am Martin Luther King, Jr. is the latest offering in the Ordinary People Change the World book series for children by New York Times bestselling author Brad Meltzer and illustrator Christopher Eliopoulos. Each book in the Ordinary People Change the World series features one notable American (with the exception of Albert Einstein who was born in Germany but lived in the United States until his death). The individuals featured in the series are all “famous” and the reason for the notoriety varies. Included in the series are activists (I am Rosa Parks, I am Martin Luther King, Jr., I am Helen Keller), an athlete (e.g., I am Jackie Robinson), an actress (I am Lucille Ball), a scientist (I am Albert Einstein), an American President (I am Abraham Lincoln), and that famous female pilot, I am Amelia Earhart. Each of these individuals has the potential to be a great role model for children, although arguably, from my perspective, they are not all in the same class.
I am Martin Luther King, Jr. introduces the reader to a young (mustachioed) Martin who, we learn, was a great lover of books. We see the world through Martin’s eyes at a time in American history when white children were told by their parents to not play with the “black children”; where white children went to the “good school” with beautiful playgrounds and a large library, and the black children went to the small, decrepit school with no desks; where black people wouldn’t be served in restaurants; where black people had to give up their seat on the bus to white people; and so on. This was a moving part of the book and very well done with respect to introducing racial discrimination to children.
As Martin grows up (amusingly, he is always depicted as a young boy with a mustache in a suit presumably so children can identify with him?), we learn about his peaceful methods of activism including protests, speeches, letters, publications, and more. There are even speech bubbles where lines from Martin Luther King, Jr.’s most famous speech are included:
“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream that one day … little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.”
Overall, the quality and depth of the information presented and the tone of the book (which could have been very dark given the facts associated with Martin Luther King, Jr.) were appropriate for children (albeit a bit older, 5 to 10). The messages of justice, peace, and love we associate with Martin Luther King, Jr. are what is presented throughout the book. King’s assassination (labelled “killed”) is only mentioned in the timeline at the end of the book.
The illustrations in the book are superb and use a graphic novel-style presentation combining text, cartoon depictions of individuals, and speech bubbles. This seems to be a very kid-friendly format giving children lots to look at as they flip through the pages. The book is half the size of a regular picture book though and it may make it harder to use in a classroom setting or library reading circle where someone is reading the book aloud to a larger audience of children. It would be difficult to read the text in the speech bubbles, for example.
I highly recommend this book and the Ordinary People Change the World book series for children ages 5 to 10.
* This book was provided to me by the publisher in exchange for my honest review. All opinions expressed are my own. *
Recipe: Southern Fried Chicken (Healthy-er)
Martin Luther King, Jr. was born in the Southern U.S. and when I think of Southern Food … well, I think of a few things such as corn bread, pecan pie, sweet potato, grits, and collard greens, but mostly I think of Fried Chicken. When I was a graduate student, I lived within one block of a KFC and my roommate and I used to go there some Sunday nights and devour their yummy chicken. Since then, I’ve eaten at KFC a handful of times. Lately, I’ve been seeing many commercials selling Kentucky Fried Chicken and I must admit, they have been effective. While it would be easy to go to a local KFC, I don’t want to think about the fat, sodium, and calories involved.
When I get a hankering for something (usually for food from a specific restaurant), I often turn to one website: Todd Wilbur’s Top Secret Recipes. I could seriously spend all day on that site! I knew Todd wouldn’t let me down and I was thrilled to find a recipe for a Low-Fat/Low-Calorie KFC Original Recipe Fried Chicken. Here is the recipe and the results!
KFC Original Recipe Fried Chicken (Low-Fat)
by Todd Wilbur
8 small pieces of chicken (breast, thigh, drumstick – skinned removed)
8 cups water
1/3 cup salt
2 tbsp premium MSG-free fish sauce
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 ¼ cup plain bread crumbs
4 ¼ tsp salt (I used 2 tsp salt – this is too salty!)
2 tsp granulated sugar
2 tsp finely ground pepper
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp ground savory
1/2 tsp ground sage
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground marjoram
1/4 tsp onion powder
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper
2 cups skim milk
Vegetable oil cooking spray
1. Dissolve 1/3 cup salt in 8 cups water. Stir in fish sauce. Add chicken and marinate for 2 hours. Remove chicken from brine, rinse (a long time) with water, and blot dry. Preheat oven to 375°F.
2. Make the breading by combining all ingredients in a large bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs and then stir in the milk. When the oven is hot, dip each piece of chicken in the egg and milk mixture and then press into the breading. Toss each chicken piece in the breading until well-coated. Let chicken sit for 2 minutes in the breading. Shake off the excess breading and arrange on a baking sheet that has been thoroughly sprayed with vegetable oil non-stick spray.
4. When all of the chicken has been breaded, spray each piece with the oil spray until the breading is completely moistened.
5. Bake chicken for 40 to 45 minutes or until it’s nicely browned.
Click HERE to grab a printer-friendly version of this recipe.
Blog Tour Schedule
During the month of February, bloggers will be sharing posts on two different books from the Ordinary People Change the World book series each week. For each figure featured, you will find book reviews PLUS an additional piece celebrating the character (activities, recipes, crafts, projects, etc.). You can follow the tour by using the hashtag BLAH
Feb 1-7: I Am Abraham Lincoln & I Am Lucille Ball
Feb 8-14: I Am Martin Luther King, Jr. & I Am Helen Keller
Feb 15-21: I Am Amelia Earhart & I Am Rosa Parks
Feb 22-29: I Am Jackie Robinson & I Am Albert Einstein
Blog Tour Giveaway
Prize: 5 winners will each receive the full collection of the Ordinary People Change the World Series
Contest closes: February 29, 11:59 pm, 2016
Open to: US Only
How to enter: Please enter using through the Rafflecopter widget below
This giveaway is organized, hosted, and sponsored by Penguin Young Readers.