A Place to Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech That Inspired a Nation by Barry Wittenstein
A Place to Land reflects on Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech and the movement that it galvanized, told in glorious illustrations. Read more
Much has been written about Martin Luther King, Jr. and the 1963 March on Washington. But there's little on his legendary speech and how he came to write it. Martin Luther King, Jr. was once asked if the hardest part of preaching was knowing where to begin. No, he said. The hardest part is knowing where to end. "It's terrible to be circling up there without a place to land."
Finding this place to land was what Martin Luther King, Jr. struggled with, alongside advisors and fellow speech writers, in the Willard Hotel the night before the March on Washington, where he gave his historic "I Have a Dream" speech. But those famous words were never intended to be heard on that day, not even written down for that day, not even once.
Barry Wittenstein teams up with legendary illustrator Jerry Pinkney to tell the story of how, against all odds, Martin found his place to land. Hardcover 48 pgs
"Wittenstein's free-verse narrative perfectly captures the tension leading up to the speech as each adviser urged his own ideas while remaining a supportive community. Pinkney's trademark illustrations dramatize this and the speech, adding power and further illuminating the sense of historical importance. Gives readers a fresh and thrilling sense of what it took to make history." —Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
"The urgency of the text, underscored by boldface type marking the relentless passing of the hours, is complemented beautifully by Pinkney's more contemplative art. . . . This is essential American history, distilled into one of the most powerful picture books of the year." —The Horn Book, Starred Review