This is a remarkable, and hopeful children’s book about the struggle for civil rights in the 1960s. The book tells the story of two lives, in simple, clear text and powerful illustrations. The first biography is of a young black boy growing up in Atlanta. He is constantly confronted with painful reminders of the injustice and prejudice directed towards the members of his race. The second biography is of a young Jewish boy growing up in Poland. He too is constantly confronted with painful reminders of the injustice and prejudice directed towards the members of his race.
In the 1960s, the young boy from Atlanta had grown up to be a Baptist preacher like his father. He led a movement to end the injustices of racial segregation and prejudice. That story, too, is told in the book. When Martin organized a protest march in Alabama, his followers were confronted by police with dogs and clubs. Martin issued a national call for all God’s children to come to Alabama and join the march.
The Jewish boy from Poland, who had emigrated to America and become an influential rabbi, was among those who answered the call. On March 21, 1965, in Selma, Alabama, Abraham Joshua Heschel and Martin Luther King, Jr. prayed together. And then they marched together.
In January of 1968, Martin Luther King spoke at Abraham Heschel’s 61st birthday party. In April of 1968, Abraham Heschel spoke at Martin Luther King’s funeral.
This is a simple, yet powerful book with a message that parents should be encouraged to teach their children. Published in May of 2008, forty years after the death of Martin Luther King.
I grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. In early April of 1968, I turned thirteen years old. In late April, Martin Luther King was assassinated. It was, to say the least, a terrible year. In Atlanta, my family had been proud of Dr. King, and we mourned his death. We were proud that Atlanta had a reputation as “the city too busy to hate.” The ideals of the Declaration and Constitution have taken a long time to be fully realized. Teaching our children about the ideals and the struggle is an important part of their education.
The book is a hardback, 40 pages, full color throughout. The text is written on a 3rd-4th grade reading level, but the book will work very well read out loud to younger children as well. As Good as Anybody is available directly from Greenleaf Press for $16.99.