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Coretta Scott

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  990 ratings  ·  165 reviews
Walking many miles to school in the dusty road, young Coretta knew, too well, the unfairness of life in the segregated south.

A yearning for equality began to grow.

Together with Martin Luther King, Jr., she gave birth to a vision and a journey—with dreams of freedom for all.

This extraordinary union of poetic text by Ntozake Shange and monumental artwork by Kadir Nelson
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published January 6th 2009 by Katherine Tegen Books (first published 2008)
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Average rating 4.23  · 
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 ·  990 ratings  ·  165 reviews

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Lovely book. This is a simple telling of a big life. It makes me want to know more about this woman and what really made her tick. Ntozake uses poetry to tell his story. The artwork is also stunning. It feels overly simply and it it meant for young children K-3rd grade. It starts out with Coretta having to walk 5 miles to get to her school while the white kids had a bus. The injustice pops.

The kids were into this story. They have had several books on MLK so they put these two together quickly.

Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
Pictures by award-winning illustrator Kadir Nelson.

Text by poet Ntozake Shange.

Excellence. I anticipated excellence.

But perhaps poets are not the best authors of picture books. I had trouble following the text and I’m a grownup. I had to think too much about the words on the page and it wasn’t because they were so rich but because the writing wandered around so much. I’d hoped for powerful words, but I found them to be wobbly.

The children thought the pictures were very realistic. They were
Mar 23, 2012 rated it liked it
This lovely picture book (with illustrations by Kadir Nelson) putatively honors Coretta Scott, but I felt it was more about her husband, Martin Luther King, Jr. (An afterward for adults is, however, focused more on Coretta.) The book doesn’t cover at all the period after King’s assassination, when Coretta took on a leadership role, founding the Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change in Atlanta, becoming an anti-apartheid activist, campaigning against homophobia, and actively ...more
As always Kadir Nelson’s work is just fantastic.
In a poem, Shange shares the story of Coretta Scott's upbringing during the times of segregation. While reading this poem, students learn about Coretta Scott's story but they also are able to learn on build on background knowledge about this specific time period. I enjoyed reading a non-fiction text that tied in a piece of history as well as strong feelings about the meaning of the words freedom and determination. One stanza that connects the readers emotions is, "things nature never intended a ...more
Diana Hanke
Jan 06, 2011 rated it liked it
I would probably rate this book closer to a 3 and 1/2. The pictures absolutely carry the book. They are a five. Kadir Nelson carried it and without him, the book would lose its impact. Though I felt the verse strayed from its focus on Coretta Scott King several times. Though one does get a sense that she fought prejudice and was a champion of freedom, it lacks in creating a complete picture of her. The language is very mature, and the book is not one that can be left to children on their own. ...more
L-Angelica Herrera-Vest
Feb 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
I enjoyed, Coretta Scott, by Ntozke Shange. I found that the text did not read like poetry, it read like a story. I, personally, am not a fan of poetry. I enjoyed this book because it was about a person in history and I do like the historical fiction genre. I had never seen a book that was based on Coretta Scott, so it was interesting to read about the Civil Rights Movement, from a different perspective. The illustrations by Kadir Nelson are rich, realistic and colorful. Visually the book is ...more
Linda Lipko
This lovely illustrated book tells the story of a young girl, grown to woman, who always carried the possibility and light of freedom.

Walking to school with her siblings, while the buses carrying white children passed by, Coretta knew in her heart that there had to be a better day coming.

Meeting Martin Luther King, Jr. solidified that feeling. And both put words and feelings into actions.

Lush illustrations and lovely text render this a book I'll purchase and read to my grandchildren.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
Ok, I think I've found either next year's Caldecott or Coretta Scott King Award book, or both. Kadir Nelson's illustrations are breathtaking in this poetic account of the life of Coretta Scott King. The opening spread, with the moon "like an orange sliver by the treetops" is gorgeous. A page at the end of the book provides more facts and details of her life. This book has got to win something next year. Highly recommended!!
Mar 22, 2016 rated it it was ok
The text is awkward and difficult. My kids replied "huh?" Many times during this short book. Good for awareness about Coretta Scott, but focused more on the lyrical text than giving information.
Nov 08, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ita-s-books
The pictures are spectacular! The story is not as centered on Coretta as I had hoped, but it is absolutely worth getting your hands on.
Jan 14, 2018 rated it liked it
This is a lovely, artistic book with beautiful pictures, and beautiful words...but lacks punctuation. That made it tricky to read aloud; I was a bit put off by it. I also thought this was going to be a mini-biography of Coretta Scott King (as the title seems to imply), and while it sort of some really wasn't after all. More of: a snippet of Coretta's childhood...marrying Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr...some general civil rights events...and a song.

Lovely, but not a stand-alone
Oct 24, 2017 rated it liked it
In spite of being a female, mother of four, Coretta Scott decided to fight for the rights of African American people. Along side her husband, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Scott also lead marches, boycotts, and other peaceful demonstrations in an attempt to fight for the injustices of black people. During the beginning of her movements, Scott was not the average woman. Many women during that time stayed quiet, listened and submitted to their husbands, and wouldn't dare be on the forefront of and ...more
Sep 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Spike's Place
Martin Luther King is certainly deserving of all of the recognition he has received, but have you read about the life story of his wife, Coretta Scott King? This beautifully written and illustrated picture book biography allows Coretta Scott King to stand beside her husband on equal footing, celebrating her life not in relation to the life of Dr. King but as an individual who played a significant part in the civil rights movement.

Click here to place a hold on this book in the library catalog.
Raise your hand if you know who Dr. Martin Luther Kind Jr. was. What kind of things did he do/why is he someone we should know? Now raise your hand if you have heard of Coretta Scott King. Most of us have heard about Dr. Martin Luther King, but not many of us have heard of Corretta Scott King. She was MLK's wife. She did many things by herself and beside her husband that helped to fight for civil rights. Knowing just a little bit about Coretta Scott King now, what predictions do you have about ...more
Nov 07, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Older Picture Book-I knew I’d love the illustrations of the book, Coretta, because I am familiar with the illustrator, Kadir Nelson. I find all his pictures to be inspiring and realistic. I was right. I was truly touched by many of the illustrations, particularly the one of Coretta as a young child with her siblings seeing the white school kids pass them by. I felt as though Mr. Nelson captured the feelings of injustice through their eyes. I enjoyed how this story was told through poetry because ...more
(NS) Panagiota Angelos
Nov 08, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
Picture book in poetic form

Unflinching verse and elegant imagery combine in a powerful, evocative, picture-book portrait of Coretta Scott King. As stated on the cover, Shange uses poetry to recount Coretta Scott’s life, from her childhood to her marriage with Martin Luther King, Jr. On the final page, the author offers a linear, prose biography, adding context to her more abstract references in the poetry. Omitting punctuation and capitalization, Shange assembles her simple words into a whole
Melanie Abril
Dec 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Coretta Scott is an inspirational account of an incredible woman who worked and had a dream to bring change to America and it's civil injustices along with her husband Martin Luther King Jr. This poetic and song like biography brings the story of her childhood and her endearing determination into a new light. The book starts right off and reads like a poem as the first page describes a moon on a southern morning resembling an orange in the treetops and then goes on to further explain how at a ...more
Sep 20, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: verse-poetry
This children’s biography of Coetta Scott is written in verse. It tells the story of her childhood, her marriage, American history, hardships, dreams, and beliefs. Several key locations of the civil rights movement are woven into the text. The imagery and wording are poignant, fresh, and beautiful. The tone is reverent. The theme of nonviolent, determined protests for liberation from oppression and inequality is clear. The artwork is a large component of the book. The expressions portrayed in ...more
Cara Byrne
Dec 01, 2013 rated it liked it
A gorgeous and moving tribute to both Coretta Scott King and her husband, Martin Luther King Jr. The book begins following Coretta as she and her siblings walk 5 miles to "the nearest colored school" while underneath the moon and walking amiss the morning dew. Early on, the book transitions from Coretta's history to the story of those who fought for civil rights along her and her husband. While there are some beautifully poetic moments in the text ("things nature never intended a child to see ...more
May 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My personal reaction was wow she is one strong girl. For example when she walks to school for many miles for her rights and beliefs shows her true character. She is a true inspiration with her efforts to bring equality.

This would be a great read aloud to make a curricular connection about equality. The students live in a world where they do not have to worry about equality. In poem form we can break down as a class and interpret the civil rights movement.

For an independent reading this would be
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was an interesting story. This story sheds a light on how things used to be for certain races. This story is about freedom, prayer, and taking a long journey to your righteous path. This story is influenced by rights and movements and doing things in a peaceful way and hoping for the best. It was a great story with great information. I loved the illustrations in this book; they were bold and vibrant and brought the story to life. This biography book shows strength and empathy for race and ...more
Nov 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This story of Coretta Scoot tells a story of the beginning of a little African American girl's life and takes you on a journey through the tribulations and segregation she had to endure as a young child and how she stood by Martin Luther King Jr. during the Civil Rights Movement.

In this book the illustrator provides a darkness to the drawings through the beginning to bring about an emotion of depressing and trying time for Corretta and eventually as the book goes on the illustrations get more
Cierra Henderson
May 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a poem about a woman, who was Martin Luther Kings’ wife, who fought for civil rights alongside her husband. The story opens with her walking five miles to a “Negro” school and then later using her singing voice to put on concerts to spread awareness. The back of the book has a page going more in depth about her contributions and the happenings of the time period. The illustrations are amazing! The majority of the pages are up close paintings of faces that are so realistic and filled with ...more
Erika Graves
Oct 16, 2013 rated it it was ok
This book is a poem about the life of Coretta Scott King from when she was a little girl through her work in the Civil Rights Movement with her husband, Martin Luther King, Jr. I was expecting this book to be extremely informative and provide a wealth of information about the life and work of Coretta Scott King. However, because it is written as a poem, it makes it difficult to interpret or to add a lot of information. I got more information out of the author's note at the end than I did ...more
Wendy Fontenot
Oct 15, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Book Title: Coretta Scott by Ntozake Shange

Short description of the book: This tells the story of Coretta Scott’s life, the struggles she faced growing up, and her undying work in the Civil Rights Movement.

FOCUS: Information features I would use in a mini-lesson:

1) Shange uses many powerful metaphors and similes to properly convey meaning of these events to the audience.

2) There is also a wonderful timeline in the back of the book that would be an excellent reference for students and another
Oct 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Notes: goes through the life of Coretta Scott.

Book Review: Ntozake Shange does a great job and writing the poetry that is used throughout this book. Shange offers insight in the life of Coretta Scott and how she fought for the African-American Civil Rights. Shange also offers insight of Martin Luther King Jr.. Kadire Nelson, illustrator of the book did paintings that are amazing and the paintings really help the reader to realize key things that took place during Coretta Scotts fight for
Kellee Foster
Sep 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing
BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL......this story is told through poetry by the author, which gives periodic information about some events of coretta scott's life. It tells of her long walk to school with her sisters, meeting Martin Luther King, and other accounts of the time period. This is another book that has marvelous illustrations, the pictures are so realistic, and jump out at the reader. The cover of the book alone, just makes you stare. The illustrator uses oil paints on birch plywood to ...more
Jun 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
I wanted to read this book for a few reasons. First, I wanted to learn more about Coretta Scott King since I'm going to the Coretta Scott King Awards breakfast at ALA in New Orleans. Second, Kadir Nelson's illustrations are beautiful.

The book is written in verse and requires careful reading. This is definitely one that I would practice before I read it to a group of students. Shange also writes more about the Civil Rights Movement than Coretta Scott; it might be interesting to pair this with a
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Ntozake Shange (pronounced En-toe-ZAHK-kay SHONG-gay) was an African-American playwright, performance artist, and writer who is best known for her Obie Award winning play for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf.

Among her honors and awards are fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund, and a Pushcart Prize.