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A Place to Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech That Inspired a Nation
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A Place to Land: Martin Luther King Jr. and the Speech That Inspired a Nation

4.47  ·  Rating details ·  156 ratings  ·  47 reviews
Much has been written about Martin Luther King, Jr. and the 1963 March on Washington. But there's little on his legendary speech and how he came to write it. Find out more in this gripping book with illustrations by Caldecott Medalist Jerry Pinkney.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was once asked if the hardest part of preaching was knowing where to begin. No, he said. The hardest part is
Hardcover, 48 pages
Published August 27th 2019 by Neal Porter Books
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Average rating 4.47  · 
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 ·  156 ratings  ·  47 reviews

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Tina Hoggatt
Sep 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The history of Martin Luther King's speech on the National Mall during the March on Washington. A revelatory peek behind the historic speech and the many people who advised Dr. King on its content. Fabulous and adventuresome illustrations by Jerry Pinkney. The back matter includes an author's note and an illustrator's note as well as profiles of the civil rights workers who appear in the story and reference material.
Exceptional — read strike-offs at conference and cannot WAIT to see the final work.

Pinkney’s portraiture is urgent, and the blend of collage and original art brings the reader right into the conversations and place. Utterly brilliant picture book biography, a fresh snapshot of a critical 48-hours of the Civil Rights movement.
Oct 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book focuses on Martin Luther King, Jr’s “I Have a Dream” speech but in a fresh and unique way. It looks at the difficulty of writing such an important speech to be delivered before such a huge crowd. It offers glimpses of King working with a group of advisors and speech writers to come up with the right approach. Then King heads off with only one other person and works all night on his speech. He stands in front of America and gives the speech of his life, the entire thing not coming toget ...more
Panda Incognito
This is phenomenal. The lyrical writing and collage illustrations combine beautifully, sharing the story of how MLK composed the "I Have a Dream Speech" at the last minute and improvised its most essential part. This book lives up to its inspiring content in every way, and the author's attention to both textual rhythm and content is amazing. The book reads like poetry while remaining breathtakingly accurate to the historical record, and the notes in the back of the book provide support for the s ...more
Erin Buhr
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When two of your favorite children's book creators come together to make something you sit on the edge of your seat eager to open the cover - at least that's how I felt before reading A PLACE TO LAND. I am in awe of Wittenstein's story telling abilities and Pickney's illustrations are beautiful works of art. Both have separately made their mark on the children's books world and the hearts of children - together they do not disappoint.
This is the story of Martin Luther King Jr.'s I Have a Dream
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
“Martin stepped up to the lectern, and stepped down on the other side of history.”

A chronology of the night Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote his famous speech for the March on Washington through his delivery the next afternoon and into that night when he again met with his advisors.

After taking feedback from his advisors, “Part of Martin’s greatness — he knew the importance of listening.”, he went back to his hotel room to finish. “The speech was good. The crowd applauded where it shou
Nov 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
There are so many many books on Dr Martin, so i was expecting much of the same thing.
But this one surprised me!
This picture book is a beautiful and moving story on HOW Dr Martin's speech came to be. We all know the famous words spoken, we learnt them in school, read them elsewhere, heard them during Black History month, but how many of us know how the speech got written? How did Dr Martin prepare for it? This goes to the very essence of who he was to the people and where his strengths lie
I knew I'd love this because Jerry Pinkney but honestly, I cried when reading this beautiful story. To see all the leaders of the Civil Rights Movement represented, even those who had no voice at the time, was really powerful. Wittenstein does an amazing job of helping the reader try to understand what all is happening in Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s though process during the hours leading up to his most famous address. Very powerful.
Read for Mock Caldecott Awards voting. Beautifully every Jerry Pinkney book is. This book details the preparation and delivery of the "I Had a Dream" speech in 1963 at the March on Washington.
IT Librarian Indian Trail
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019
Absolutely fabulous. A must-have for my middle school library. I will be promoting the book for the yearly MLK project.
Oct 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
The back story of how the "I Have a Dream" speech came to fruition. Powerful illustrations by Jerry Pinkney.
Cheryl Gladfelter
Absolutely gorgeous book about Martin Luther King Jr. and how he came to write his speech for the March on Washington.
Lisa D
Sep 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
What an amazing and beautiful book about the origin øƒ the I have a dream speech. This will win multiple awards
Judy Ripke
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: previews
Beautiful illustrations. I learned much more about the background of Dr. King's "I have a dream" speech.
Kevin Comfort
Oct 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Great picture book. Love the message throughout the book. The pictures are amazing. Great educational book that tells how the "I have a Dream" came to be and moments after the speech.
Oct 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love that it only covers a 24 hour period!
Jul 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Keep an eye out for this book since you'll want to add it to your library. Many books have been written about Martin Luther King, Jr. but this one is a cut above the rest. It felt more detailed or all-encompassing somehow. And all the backmatter materials provides even more information without giving the reader a sense of being overloaded.
A gorgeous book that gives readers a behind-the-scenes look at how MLK's most famous speech came to be -- in fact, it almost didn't.
Oct 07, 2019 added it
Great recreation of the events that happened, artwork was amazing and engaging!
Teresa Bateman
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
We all know the "I have a dream" speech given by Martin Luther King, Jr. during the March on Washington. How did that speech come about? Barry Wittenstein examines the people who had the chance to speak with King the evening before the speech, and events at the speech itself that influence what King said. The text is lyrical and warm, taking a chronological approach as the excitement builds. Add in Jerry Pinkney's colored pencil, watercolor, and collage illustrations that not only show events, b ...more
Melissa Mcavoy
A great specific take on MLK Jr.’s most famous speech. Includes the fact he was advised NOT to talk about his dream and it wasn’t until Mahalia prompted him that he switched tack and extemporaneously deliver one of the most important speeches of all time. Also appreciate the realism of portrayal of JFK.
Sep 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful and different from many other books about this leader.
Lisa Swope
May 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I got goosebumps.

It's not just the story, MLK preparing the I Have a Dream speech, but the storytelling of it, the deliberate pacing, letting the experience unfold.  Add to that Jerry Pinkney's gorgeous watercolors. I especially appreciate that he labeled key people in his art that we might not know by face, the advisors and influencers, as well as those he carried in his heart because of what they had done, or in some cases had done to them.  Pinkney further collaged in the corners
Michelle Gray
This would a beautiful and moving book in an elementary or even middle school classroom. A read aloud to really make the students think.
Pegi Ferrell
This is another picture book that is so appropriate for adults.
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Let me say it was a feast for the eyes with additional information on a story that I knew but now have a new perspective on. It was a beautifully written and illustrated book with fantastic back matter! It has gorgeous and well developed illustrations. A strong selling point was how the people were labeled in the text and then flushed out in the back matter
Michele Knott
Wow. This is a powerful book. Just when you think you've read about and understood MLK Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech, you read this and learn even more. Between the powerful words and the illustrations that make a statement, this is a book you're going to want to have for Civil Rights discussions and for teaching Civil Rights time period and about MLK.
Michelle Kenneth -
This was an interesting tale of why King decided to do the "I Have a Dream" speech that day on the Mall. Apparently, it wasn't the speech he had prepared that day. Very interesting take.
Stephanie Bange
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A perfect marriage of powerful words and images retell the writing of the famous "I Have a Dream" speech made in August 1963 by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Wittenstein has chosen to write this story as free verse in the constraints of a timeline to frame this exceptional slice of history. There is not an excess word anywhere. The passion, the uncertainty, the confusion, the anger, the frustration and more felt by Dr. King and his colleagues are palpable in the text as they prepar
Youngsters and adults need not be blamed for thinking that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. polished and rewrote the speech he would give at the March on Washington back in 1963. You know the one--the one discussing the dream he had for this nation, right? But the truth of the matter is that those particular words that would become immortal--"I have a dream" were never meant to be part of that particular speech. Although he'd used them in other venues, they weren't part of the planned and written por ...more
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