Written by Debi Pearl
Illustrated by Michael & Debi Pearl
In December of 2009 the Pearls published the book Listen To My Dream, a children’s-level biography of Martin Luther King, junior. It is published by Pearl Books, LLC.
The book is written as a poem, covering the life of Martin Luther King from childhood through his death. It begins when Martin Luther King was a boy wondering why he was black and not treated the same as others. His teacher inspired him to dream big dreams and to influence others for good. He determined to do just that.
Since he was ‘colored’ as Negroes were called at that time, he and his people in the South did not have the freedoms the white people did. Thus, when Rosa Parks refused to give up her front bus seat for a white person, King organized a boycott of the Montgomery, Alabama bus system until colored people were treated equally. This eventually led to the Supreme Court ruling of 1956 that outlawed such discrimination.
The book is lilting in its poetic meter and, as far as it goes, does a good job of presenting the value of setting good goals and letting nothing hinder you from reaching them. The poem ends with King’s funeral following his murder in Memphis, April 4, 1968.
The 40 page soft covered book is written in two parts. As stated above, the first part is the poetic overview of King’s life emphasizing the good he did toward racial equality. The second part is a more detailed outline of the civil rights movement and King’s part in it, written in narrative form and without illustrations.
The first part of the book is fully illustrated with drawings made by the author and her husband. In places where the poem hints at influences in King’s life, a brief detail is given. For example, the one who encouraged him to dream big was his teacher, Miss Lemon, from Oglethorpe Elementary.
This book Listen To My Dream focuses on King’s part in bringing about social justice for the blacks. In this he is certainly worthy of recognition.