Name of Book: My Brother Martin
Author: Christine King Farris
Illustrator: Chris Soentpiet
Publisher: Aladdin Paperback
Audience: Age 10+
Summary: Christine, Martin’s sister, highlights some of the events she remembers while growing up with her younger brother. She talks about how close her siblings were while they were growing up on Auburn Street in Atlanta Georgia. They had integrated play with the neighborhood children. One day they were awakened to the reality of the cruelty of segregation when they could no longer play with the two boys whose parents owned the neighborhood store. Martin says to his mom: “One day I’m going to turn the world upside down”. Martin learned a lot of lessons about how to stand up for what he believed in from his father, who was the minister of Ebenezer Baptist church.
Literary elements at work in the story:
Genre: Picture book memoir biography featuring Martin Luther King
Setting: Early childhood of Martin Luther King growing up on Auburn Street in Atlanta Georgia during the period of segregation.
Characterization: Martin is characterized in the way his older sister remembers him. She recalls Martin telling his mom that one day I’m going to turn the world upside down.
Plot: Christine recalls events in the life of her brother Martin as they were growing up and how they came to the realization of what it means to grow up in a racially segregated society.
Theme: The central theme is centered on children recognizing the cruel injustice of segregation.
Point of View: Christine shares her point of view.
Style: Author uses block paragraph to represent individual events or memories in their childhood. She uses short simple sentences. Beautiful illustrations help to bring the story to life.
Gender: No gender stereotyping; Story is a partial biography of Martin Luther King.
Race: Story is about an African American boy growing up in the segregated south.
Culture: America in the south during the 1960’s.
Economic: Suppression of African American economics as a result of segregation
Ability: No representation of anyone being handicapped
Scripture : Judges 7:13
Theology talk: Prophetic speech/prophetic dreams
Faith Talk Questions:
1) Martin told his Mom “One day, I’m going to turn the world upside down.” What does this mean to you? Could this be considered prophetic speech?
2) Prophets were people who spoke up against conditions in society that were wrong. Can you name some of the prophets in the Bible?
Review prepared by Union Presbyterian Seminary student Dee Osbourne-Smart
My Brother Martin by Storypath is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.