Love Will See You Through: Martin Luther King Jr.'s Six Guiding Beliefs (As Told by His Niece)

Book review by
Kyle Jackson, Common Sense Media
Love Will See You Through: Martin Luther King Jr.'s Six Guiding Beliefs (As Told by His Niece) Book Poster Image
A heartfelt intro to King's peaceful protest movement.

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The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

A solid introduction to the nonviolent philosophy and legislative accomplishments of Martin Luther King Jr. Readers also learn about some key moments in civil rights history, including King's 1963 "Letter From Birmingham Jail" and the 1965 voting rights protest in Selma, Alabama. Kids will pick up political vocabulary such as "boycott" and learn that President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act, outlawing discrimination in voter registration, in 1965.

Positive Messages

Love Will See You Through emphasizes King's commitment to peaceful protest and the transformative and healing power of love and reconciliation.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The book is effusive in its praise of "Uncle Martin," but given his commitment to social justice and resilience in the face of opposition, Dr. King's status as an exemplary role model -- particularly for young men of color -- is well deserved.

Violence & Scariness

Depicts a few traumatic and violent moments, including King's home being bombed by those angered by his bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, but no physical confrontations of injuries are shown. (We see only police cars and and fire trucks outside his house in Montgomery, for example.) Mention of his being hit on the head with a rock at a 1966 protest against housing discrimination in Chicago and that he was "killed by an act of violence." 

Language

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Love Will See You Through: Martin Luther King Jr.'s Six Guiding Beliefs (As Told by His Niece) is a moving and informative introduction to the achievements and ideology of Martin Luther King Jr., whose nonviolent protests and boycotts were at the forefront of the African-American civil rights movement. Dynamic, colorful mixed-media illustrations by Sally Wern Comport help tell the story and engage young readers. There's mention of King's house being bombed in Montgomery, Alabama, of his being hit on the head with a rock at a protest in Chicago, and that he was "killed by an act of violence." Some sophisticated terms such as "boycott," "voter registration," and "housing discrimination" make this best for kids a bit older than the publisher's recommended age of 6. 

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What's the story?

LOVE WILL SEE YOU THROUGH traces the life and ideology of the greatest hero of the U.S. civil rights movement through the lens of his niece, Angela Farris Watkins, an associate professor of psychology at Spellman College in Atlanta, Georgia. Watkins presents six core beliefs: "Have Courage," "Love Your Enemies," "Fight the Problem, Not the Person Who Caused It,"  "When Innocent People Are Hurt, Others Are Inspired to Help,"  "Resist Violence of Any Kind," and "The Universe Honors Love." She offers concrete examples of the beliefs in action, from King's heroic bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama, to protests against segregation in Selma, Birmingham, and beyond. 

Is it any good?

Love Will See You Through is a great way to engage kids in a conversation about America's troubled past and the path toward a brighter future. The gorgeous and haunting mixed-media illustrations by Sally Wern Comport provide soulful and emotive accompaniment to the child-friendly text. Together they make a solid introduction to the life of one of 20th-century America's most influential men.

The book also offers excellent points of reference for those looking to learn more about Martin Luther King and the civil rights movement, giving concrete examples of political progress that King's work led to. The book's pro-peace-and-love message provides a nice context to understand the complex and divisive history of racial politics in America, showing how a man who stood up for his principles was able to inspire a nation in the depths of a moral crisis.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the legacy of Martin Luther King's struggle in America today. Has King's vision of equal rights and opportunity for all Americans, regardless of ethnicity, been achieved?

  • King believed in the power of peaceful protest to influence the hearts and minds of citizens and politicians. Have you seen news stories on TV showing sit-ins and marches? Do you think they can cause positive change? 

  • Why has King's story become such an inspiration? What heroes do you see changing things for the better? 

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For kids who love history and learning about civil rights

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