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Martin & Mahalia: His Words, Her Song
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Martin & Mahalia: His Words, Her Song

4.10  ·  Rating Details  ·  247 Ratings  ·  65 Reviews

They were each born with the gift of gospel.

Martin's voice kept people in their seats, but also sent their praises soaring.
Mahalia's voice was brass-and-butter - strong and smooth at the same time.

With Martin's sermons and Mahalia's songs, folks were free to shout, to sing their joy.

On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous "I Have a Dream" speech from t
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published July 30th 2013 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
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Juxtaposing the moving words of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the melodic tones of Mahalia Jackson, this book provides background information about the two while describing their involvement in the civil rights movement and their friendship. The book makes it clear that inspiration and motivation for change come from many sources. The author's pitch-perfect prose and the marvelous watercolor and India ink illustrations include snippets from both of their lives. The pairing of the two provides a f ...more
Jun 14, 2014 Joan rated it really liked it
This book depicts the relationship between the speech and music of the 1950s-1960s, in Louisiana. The watercolor art is done by New York Times bestselling Husband-and-wife team.
The ties of all three people are evident and well represent the African culture and Americans. It speaks well of the civil rights movement, but also the arts. Great for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
(2013). Publishers Weekly.
Wayne Public Library
1. What talents did Martin Luther King
Michelle Moore
Core Curricular Ties: Social Studies, Reading, Art

How Could Be Used:
This book could be used for learning about the Civil Rights and segregation. It gives a lot of information about two people that used their voices to speak up for change. They could also use compare and contrast to explain that even though they used their voices in different ways, they had the same goal for change. There are also some literary devices (his voice was steady as a train.) Brian Pinkney uses a lot of imagery and sym
Stephen Krawec
Jun 30, 2015 Stephen Krawec rated it really liked it
(Book #3 of Text Set)
Martin & Mahalia: His Words, Her Song, is written and illustrated by Andrea Davis Pickney and Brian Pickney and is the biography of both Martin Luther King and Mahalia Jackson. This book highlights the early life of MLK, which is a less-explored part of his life considering that most students only learn about his impact on the civil rights movement. However, it also ties in Mahalia Jackson, who is a lesser-known figure in the movement and someone about whom I knew nothin
Bill Hawthorne
Jun 27, 2015 Bill Hawthorne rated it really liked it
Text Set 7: Martin & Mahalia: His Words Her Song written and illustrated by Andrea Davis Pickney and Brian Pickney is an artful, dual-biography of Martin Luther King and Mahalia Jackson. This is an interesting text, because it briefly explores the early life of King, which is not always spoken of in school, and at the same time, it brings to life the story of Mahalia Jackson, a less well-known figure I the Civil Rights Movement. It explores how their lives paralleled each other in many ways, ...more
Andrew Upchurch
Dec 06, 2015 Andrew Upchurch rated it it was amazing
This book is about the relationship between Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahalia Jackson and how music and speech goes hand in hand with one another. The moving words from Martin and the inspiring tones from Mahalia’s voice really elevates this book. The book provides background information about the two while describing their involvement in the civil rights movement. The theme in the book can be described as an inspirational or a motivational movement for change and how it can come from a variety ...more
Daniel Markowski
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Melissa Berke
Apr 26, 2014 Melissa Berke marked it as to-read
Reflection on ONE: Text to text, text to self, text to world connection with the book
In 2005, I had the opportunity to tour the Birmingham Civil Rights institute. The museum's collection chronicle the civil rights movement and contain video, documents of events including recordings of MLK speeches and Mahalia Jackson singing.

Write six discussion questions using all six stages of Bloom’s Taxonomy
1. Knowledge:
When do the events of this book take place?

2. Comprehension:
Describe the method that Ma
Kaelyn O'Brien
Dec 08, 2015 Kaelyn O'Brien rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
This book is about the relationship between Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahalia Jackson and how music and speech goes hand in hand with one another. The moving words from Martin and the inspiring tones from Mahalia’s voice really elevates this book. The illustrations are what really made this book enjoyable for me. The colors are so vibrant and I liked the difference between pages with Martin on them and pages with Mahalia on them and then the blending of the color when they had been on the same ...more
Mar 27, 2014 Jess rated it really liked it
Colorful, vibrant, swirling, watercolor illustrations. Pinkney explains in her great artist note that she choose blues and greens for MLK Jr.s's pages, reds and oranges for Mahalia Jackson's, and magenta and purple for pages with both. Lovely.

"Mahalia's voice was brass and butter. Strong and smooth at the same time." Oh I like that.

Placing an emphasis on the importance of music in the civil rights movement is wonderful. That words and music together at powerful. True and a point perhaps not made
Crystal Sleeman
Text to Text: I've always been very moved by Martin Luther King's I Have A Dream speech. This text made reference to this speech by referring to the final lines of the speech.
Discussion Questions:
1. What is Martin Luther King known for?
2. What would you compare Martin and Mahalia?
3. What would have resulted if Mahalia had not sang at Martin's speech?
4. What is the relationship between Martin and Mahalia?
5. What would happen if the listeners to the speech had turned violent?
6. Can you assess the
Rachel Dalton
I give this book five starts, hands down. I am amazed by this book, including the illustrations by Caldecott winner Brian Pinkney and the beautiful way that a true, historical story is portrayed by Coretta Scott King Award winner Andrea Davis Pinkney. I really want to find more of their books! This story about Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahalia Jackson could be used in such a multitude of ways in the classroom for any age, including studies on the Civil Rights movement, a music appreciation stud ...more
A beautiful picture book that looks at the March on Washington and King’s “I Have a Dream” speech from a different angle. Andrea Pinkney has chosen a moment in history and examines the relationship and path that led up to it. Interestingly, she uses the idea of a path or journey in both a literal and metaphorical way. The book begins and ends with signposts and directions. Brian Pinkney’s illustrations illuminate this by showing a swirling path- sometimes an artistic flourish, sometimes a swath ...more
Mackenzie Beals
Jun 10, 2014 Mackenzie Beals rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ed-689
Andrea Davis Pinkney tells the story of Martin and Mahalia. They were both born with the gift of the gospel-one has the gift of speaking and one has the gift of singing. They were both partners in The Civil Rights Movement and fought segregation. They stood united on the March on Washington to fight for jobs and freedom. My favorite part about this book is the illustrations. The paintings are made of transparent water color and Indian ink.
Martin & Mahalia is a beautiful story about the civil rights movement and two leaders, Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahalia Jackson, and how they used their voices to promote the message of hope and peace. Together they shared their dreams for the crows at the March on Washington.

Martin & Mahalia promotes vocabulary, phonological awareness and print awareness.
Nov 24, 2014 Elizabeth rated it it was amazing
This is a very well done non-fiction book about Martin Luther King Jr and Mahalia Jackson and the Civil Rights movements. However, I think my favorite thing about this book is the illustrations. They are beautiful, and somehow manage to capture the energy that one imagines came from Martin Luther King Jr's speeches and Mahalia Jackson's music.
May 06, 2014 Naomi rated it really liked it
Everything about this book was beautiful and incredible. I loved the color emphasis on key words. The only thing that would have made this book a 5 star read and I honestly can't figure out why the author omited it, was the I HAVE A DREAM SPEECH. With the text choice of the author, it would have been a BAM moment.
Feb 02, 2014 Earl rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014, nonfiction
Talk about the power of words! Whether sung or spoken, the right words can inspire us to do great things. This was a great mash-up of two people who worked towards a more united world until their dying days. Biographies and a timeline follows. Brian Pinkney also shares his motivation and approaches with the book’s illustrations.
Meghan Hopp
Dec 13, 2014 Meghan Hopp rated it liked it
Shelves: tch-lrn-544
This was a good book to see about two major people Martin and Mahalia. I enjoyed this book all though it would be for a little older elementary then I teach since there are many words. It was neat to see their journeys separate and yet ending together.
This book is full of beautiful illustrations. The way the author weaved Martin Luther King Jr. and Mahalia's stories. A powerful introduction into two important people in the civil rights movement.
Side-by-side views of what Martin and Mahalia contributed to the Civil Rights Movement. Watercolor artwork depicts key moments such as the March on Washington.

I liked the way the page orientation changed to fit the content. The scene in which Martin looks out upon the crowd of thousands assembled at the Lincoln Memorial was stunning. By changing the page orientation for this scene readers get a better sense of the number of people who were witness to this historic moment.

Also included are auth
Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahalia Jackson were partners in the civil rights movement. They both used their voices to make changes, inspiring people by using their gifts - he with his moving speeches and she with her songs. I love the last couple page spreads when the book culminates like a gospel song, singing "Amen, Amen, Glory, Glory, Hallelujah, Glory Hallelujah!" Brian Pinkney's illustrations are energetic, full of movement. A dove is flying throughout the story, symbolizing peace, and exp ...more
Maggie Burgess
May 03, 2015 Maggie Burgess rated it really liked it
Gorgeous illustrations help tell this story! We all know Martin, but I must admit, I did not know Mahalia. Need to add this one to my classroom wish list!
May 18, 2014 Liz rated it really liked it
Mahalia's singing, Martin's preaching… Friends and leaders during the Civil Rights movement. The power of words and songs. A Pinkney collaboration.
Mary Ann
While Martin Luther King, Jr. spoke the gospel and led his people with his words, Mahalia Jackson sang the gospel and spread the word through her song. The Pinkneys show through inspiring words and pictures how these two pivotal figures in the Civil Rights Movement worked together to lead the American people with their voices. “Martin’s sermons and Mahalia’s spirituals told their listeners: YOU ARE HERE. On the path. Come along. Step proud. Stand strong. Be brave. Go with me. To a place, to a ti ...more
Laura Salas
What a gorgeous picture book, full of wonderful language. It's passionate, poetic, and rousing, with great backmatter!
Cambridge College
Jul 17, 2014 Cambridge College rated it it was amazing
4 - Middle School readers
Eliza would appreciate this (since she loves MLK and would love Mahalia)
May 26, 2014 Lfrashur rated it liked it
BES 14-15, very wordy for ES book, beautiful paintings, but I think will be lost on ES students
May 06, 2014 Dana rated it really liked it
A lyrical piece of nonfiction that tells the story of the March on Washington.
Apr 05, 2015 Jeimy rated it really liked it
The words are a 3, but the illustrations a 4. I took it home with me.
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Andrea Davis Pinkney is the New York Times bestselling author of more than 20 books for children, including the Caldecott Honor Book and Coretta Scott King Honor Book Duke Ellington, illustrated by Brian Pinkney; Let it Shine: Stories of Black Women Freedom Fighters, a Coretta Scott King Honor Book and winner of the Carter G. Woodson Award; and Alvin Ailey, a Parenting Publication Gold medal winne ...more
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