Book Review

After putting up a bulletin board in our (elementary) school library for Black History Month I was prompted to read one of our newly purchased biographies on Martin Luther King, Jr. The book is entitled “M.L.K. Journey of a King” and was written by Tonya Bolden who has received numerous awards for her more than twenty books for children and adults. Under the author’s note she describes this book as her “soul’s journey to see, to feel the man…who gave thirteen years of his life marching, preaching, praying for a righteous America. All the while-a bull’s eye on his back.”

I was stirred as I learned of his rich spiritual heritage and personal faith that prepared him to play such a key leadership role in the civil rights movement of his time. The book also shows how this same faith gave him the courage and self sacrifice to persevere through the dangerous and often discouraging road that he traveled to make strides toward his dream of the “beloved community”. Bolden outlines his journey from school days to the pulpit and into the crucible that was to be his life’s work; striving for a society with racial harmony and equal opportunity for all of its citizens.

During his very first sermon at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama back in May 1954 he told the congregation ” I have no great pretense to being a great preacher or even a profound scholar. I certainly have no pretense to infallibility…I come to you only with the claim of being a servant of Christ, and a feeling of dependence on His grace for my leadership.” King strove to bring this servant leadership to his cause as he involved himself directly in sit-ins and marches that got the attention of a nation and proved that the agape way was an effective means of change.

There were many times when he was threatened and even beaten and jailed. At these times there would often be inward struggles and doubts, but Bolden points out how he would lean on the power of prayer. After one such prayer she quoted him as saying “It seemed as though I could hear the quiet assurance of an inner voice saying ‘Stand up for righteousness, stand up for truth, and God will be at your side forever.”King realized early on that there was a high probability of losing his life in this struggle and he was willing to lay down his. He paid the ultimate price for this cause.

I highly recommend this book. The lay out is appealing, the large black and white photos evocative, and the text lucid. I hope you will check out a copy from your local library. It may inspire and encourage you to heed God’s call for righteousness in your own sphere of influence.

Sara’s Note: Information to order from Amazon if you want your own copy

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M.L.K.: The Journey of a King by Tonya Bolden and Bob Adelman (Hardcover – Jan 1, 2007)
Buy new: $19.95 $13.57 39 Used & new from $4.45
In Stock
5.0 out of 5 stars (1)
“M.L.K.: JOURNEY OF A KING is a must-have and must-read biography for the twenty-first century.”

8 thoughts on “Book Review

  1. Thanks Mary for sharing this great book review. It certainly looks like a timely selection to recommend to my high school students for Black History Month. Welcome to The Daily Lily and hope to hear more from you!

  2. “I come to you only with the claim of being a servant of Christ, and a feeling of dependence on His grace for my leadership.” Romans 12:6-8….”In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others. be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibilty seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.” After reading this blog, one can see that Dr. King took his gift of leadership seriously, and he knew that God’s grace would be sufficient, for whatever trouble he would face. May we all be encouraged today, that no matter what we may be facing, God is still on the throne, Jesus is being an advocate for us, and His grace is sufficient. Thank you, Mary for sharing with us here on thedailylily.

  3. Thanks Mary for your book review @Mary’s critic corner. ‘Stand up for righteousness, stand up for truth, and God will be at your side forever.” Such encouraging words for all of us today. WOW, God will be at your side forever. As Needles says follow the gift and calling that God has given you and He will be on our side.

    I would like to share one of my favorite MLK quotes.

    “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.” Martin Luther King Jr.

    Looking forward to many book reviews. I love it…..

  4. Wow Polly, (Mary),I was very touched by your moving review of this biography of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s reality journey. This reminds me of another HERO that we love…Who said, ‘No greater love has any man but that he lay down his life for his friend.” Our lovely Jesus said that and He did that. Dr. King, followed the example of our Lord and Savior and his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and he, too, laid down his life for his friends and for a righteous cause.
    Thanks for an inspiring review and welcome among the LILIES!

  5. Dear Mary,
    Welcome to the dailylily. Thank you for sharing this wonder new book about a man who drew His strength from the Lord. What a role model for us and for all the students who will read the book. I wonder how many leaders out their draw their strength from the Lord?

  6. As I was reading this wonderful blog “COURAGE” came to my mind.
    1 Corinthians 16:13-14 Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong. 14 And do everything with love.”
    Dr. King was a wonderful example of 1 Cor. 16:13-14. His faith and obedience to God touch many lives and will never be forgotten. Thank you for sharing this wonderful book with us. I pray we can be as courageous, faithful and obedient. Thank you, Mary.

  7. Mary thank you for this review…and thank you Needles for your encouragement in scripture and Sara for sharing the quote by Dr. King…..
    I found a quote that seems fitting to share as it goes along with this blog of Marys book review….

    “Service is the very purpose of life.
    It is the rent we pay for being on this planet” (Marion Wright Edelman)this quote was in a book titled The Power of Attitude by Mac Anderson and it was under the subtitle of Giving………..

    Dr. Martin Luther King truly gave His life in a

  8. Polly, your position in an elementary school library give you a great advantage in reviewing wonderful children’s books and I truly enjoy your literary style and hope that you will give us more of your Christian wisdom in selecting reading material for our children and for us who read stories to our children and students.
    Thanks Polly. Looking forward to more, more more~!

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