Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop: 02/25/19
Memphis, Martin, and the Mountaintop by Alice Faye Duncan and R. Gregory Christie is a picture book history of the 1968 Sanitation Strike. It's presented as a picture book but the text is written for a middle grade audience.
The book begins with a death due to unsafe equipment. It then follows through with the strike, the city filling with trash, and the growing unrest. It ends with a brief summary of the Civil Rights Movement.
I'm rather split about this book. I agree that the subject is important. I agree that children need as full a picture of history as possible and not the white washed stuff I remember being taught.
But I'm not sure the method of telling this story fits the audience. Most picture books age out at third grade. This one is aimed at older readers. It's not that tweens or teens shouldn't be reading picture books, but they themselves might be put off by it or even overlook it, thinking it's for younger readers.
I think instead a graphic novel — basically more pictures, more story, more pages — would have better served this book. It could even have used the same artist and the same collage approach.