A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
This memoir in verse tells the story of how Martin Luther King Jr. Day came to be. There's an author's note, glossary, and a "How to turn a bill into a law" diagram at the back of the book that furthers explains key points.
Stick to it until the end even when it's hard. You don't need to be famous to make a difference. Take up a charge that you're passionate about. Anyone can be an activist. Fight for change.
Positive Role Models
Kathlyn participated in protests in support of what she believed in even when it was scary and people got hurt. She and the many other foot soldiers like her, as well as prominent celebrities, played a valuable role in gaining awareness for Martin Luther King Jr. Day and getting the attention of Congress and lawmakers.
The author's a Black woman. She's telling the story of MLK day which honors Marting Luther King Jr. and his contributions to Black people and the civil rights movement. Many of the notable figures and celebrities mentioned, like Stevie Wonder and Rep. Katie Hall, are Black.
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Violence & Scariness
A peaceful march turns into a riot with looting, burning, firebombs, and trash fires. The police are called and use mace, tear gas, and nightsticks on the protesters. There isn't a prolonged description of the riot, but there's mention of a death, 60 injured and 280 arrested.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Ain't Gonna' Let Nobody Turn Me 'Round: My Story of the Making of Martin Luther King Day, by Kathlyn J. Kirkwood, is a memoir in verse that tells the story of how Martin Luther King Jr. Day became a holiday. At the same time, she shares her activism journey and her time as a foot soldier playing her part in the quest for MLK Day. There's an instance where she attended a protest in high school that became violent. The description of the riot isn't drawn out, but someone dies and many are injured. The protest was to support the Black sanitation workers whose unsafe work conditions lead to two workers being crushed to death.
Is It Any Good?
This beautifully written memoir-in-verse is both a history lesson and a personal activism journey. The verses are a great avenue to tell the history of MLK day in a way that is easy to understand. The images from Kathlyn's life and the other historical documents let the history lesson come alive. They also give readers an opportunity to build a personal connection with the author and her story. There are many valuable takeaways in Ain't Gonna' Let Nobody Turn Me 'Round: My Story of the Making of Martin Luther King Day to encourage readers to take the lead in their own fights for change.
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