Martin & Anne: The Kindred Spirits of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Anne Frank
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About the Author
Nancy Churnin is the award-winning author of multiple picture book biographies. The former theater critic for the Dallas Morning News and Los Angeles Times San Diego Edition, she's now a full-time writer and peace negotiator between her dog and cats. She lives in North Texas.
Yevgenia Nayberg is an illustrator, painter, and theater designer whose books include Anya's Secret Society (Charlesbridge) and Mona Lisa in New York (Prestel Junior). Her illustrations for Drop by Drop (Kar-Ben) received a Sydney Taylor Silver Medal. Originally from Ukraine, she now lives in New York, where she makes delicious borsch. Follow her on Instagram @znayberg or visit her website at nayberg.org.
"The lives and legacies of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Anne Frank are drawn in parallel in this visually appealing picture book. Born in the same year on different continents, Martin and Anne both faced discrimination from the time they were school aged. Peers who were former friends fell in line with laws and policies made by privileged groups of which they were not a part. 'Whites only' signs and 'No Jews allowed' signs; a speech competition and a diary; beginning college at 15 and learning about Ghandi, and writing about dreams for a better world--these experiences are illustrated in matching form on opposite sides of each spread. Martin grows up to win the Nobel Peace Prize, and his assassination at age 35 cannot silence his message; Anne's life comes to an end at 15, but her legacy lives on when her diary is published and becomes a bestseller. While the ending is trite ('Love is stronger than hate. / Kindness can heal the world'), the journey through their lives and the effect of coupling their lasting impact are powerful. The art emphasizes the message of parallel experiences and changing worlds. With natural tones of green and brown and stylized faces and forms, the images don't fall back on King's iconic look, creating instead a fresh tapestry of landscapes and humanity. A surprisingly successful and enlightening combination strengthened by striking artwork."--Kirkus Reviews--Journal
"Churnin (Irving Berlin: The Immigrant Boy Who Made America Sing) adds to her repertoire of biographies for children with this side-by-side comparison of Martin Luther King Jr. and Anne Frank. Both born in 1929, though an ocean apart, each endured discrimination and, eventually, death because of who they were. A straightforward narrative points out that, while they never met, the contemporaries were connected by shared experiences: being shunned by their peers as children; experiencing injustices small and large ('Everywhere Martin went, he saw signs that said, 'Whites Only'... Every day, more signs blared, 'No Jews Allowed' '); and finally finding power in words and self-expression. Stylized illustrations by Nayberg (Anya's Secret Society) initially employ a muted color palette of tawny, brooding hues, while ending spreads in brighter greens and blues strike a hopeful note. As the teenage diarist and civil rights leader stand together, the timeless, powerful themes they heralded form the conclusion: 'Love is stronger than hate. Kindness can heal the world.' A timeline and selected bibliography are included. Ages 8-14."--Publishers Weekly--Journal