Friday, March 28, 2014

The Cart That Carried Martin

Bunting, Eve. 2013. THE CART THAT CARRIED MARTIN. Ill. by Don Tate. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge. ISBN 978150893879 [Suggested Grade Levels K-4]


Martin Luther King, Jr. preached equality.  At the core of his message was the idea that things like race, wealth, and background are not measures of a person.  This philosophy ran deep, and THE CART THAT CARRIED MARTIN brings home the message.

Rather than share this message through life events as the typical Martin Luther King, JR biography does, Bunting tells the story of King’s funeral, weaving together elements of his legacy and message. 

During preparations for the funeral parade, two men found and borrowed an unwanted old cart.  In King’s message is an embrace of the lowly, and the cart, which they painted green, held not only the man, but also the essence of his words.   Instead of majestic horses, two mules were chosen to pull his cart, as a symbol of freedom given to freed slaves.

The sorrow, pain, and resolve felt by mourners as they crowd the streets and the church fill page spreads.  The words and images share the emotion of the day.

“This humble cart that, not so long ago, carried greatness.” 

Many books share the message and story of Martin Luther King, Jr.  For students to begin to understand the power of his words and message they should be exposed to a variety of books from a variety of perspectives.  This book is one that is able to provide a unique look at his message.  Students could also match quotes from his speeches to the message of humbleness that prevails in THE CART THAT CARRIED MARTIN.

Martin Luther King Jr books with a unique perspective
Martin and Mahalia: his words, her song by Andrea Davis Pinkney
My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by King, Martin Luther, III
Marching to the Mountaintop by Bausum, Ann

By Emily Bredberg

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