Official Review: A Stone of Hope by Janet S. Kleinman

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Official Review: A Stone of Hope by Janet S. Kleinman

Post by Haute_Coffee »

[Following is an official review of "A Stone of Hope" by Janet S. Kleinman.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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A Stone of Hope by Janet S. Kleinman is a children's book about the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. It follows Lisa, a character who is showing her grandmother around Washington D.C. for the first time.

As the pair explores the National Mall together, Lisa is at first serving as a guide for her grandmother. While Lisa knows her way around and is able to take her grandmother to different monuments, she soon realizes that her grandmother has her own expertise to share. Lisa's grandmother is able to provide another layer to the monuments, as she can recall King's crusade for equality firsthand. As they read the panels that hold many of King's most famous quotes, the grandmother expands on each musing by providing the context behind them. She addresses her granddaughter's questions about segregation and recalls hearing the news of his assassination. In this way, she helps Lisa develop her own thoughts about equal rights.

Throughout the book, there are additional facts written under the heading, "Did You Know?" These facts address details about the memorial itself, King's accomplishments, and the civil rights movement itself. This addition to the story makes it especially suitable for children studying the time period as it includes dates and information about important events in history.

The best part of this book is the photographs. I hesitate to characterize this book as a picture book since that makes me think of hand-drawn illustrations. A Stone of Hope is filled with photographs. Some are of the National Mall, some are of King himself, and others are of the other leaders in civil rights. The photo credits are listed in the back, with many photographs coming from the National Park Service or the National Archives. This is great for readers to see what the actual monuments look like, or to appreciate the thousands of listeners who attended King's famous "I Have A Dream" speech.

This book is a great read for children. Younger children will enjoy seeing the photographs, while older children can appreciate the context as they read King's ideas and thoughts on equality. I think this would be a wonderful supplement to a child who is just starting to study civil rights in an early social studies class.

I am awarding A Stone of Hope 4 out of 4 stars. The photos and the narrative aspect of Lisa and her grandmother make the history more accessible to younger children. Meanwhile, the dates and facts are provided in small, bite-size pieces which make it a nice reference to a younger middle-school child. Overall, I find this to be a great resource for children to learn about equality, both its history and its future. The last line affords a great topic of conversation for an American of any age, as Lisa and her grandmother conclude, "We still have a you?"

A Stone of Hope
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Post by Sahani Nimandra »

Wow! Seems like this book has a bit of everything in it, and it sounds like a fun and resourceful read. The cover illustrator should have done a better job with the cover since the prime audience are children I believe it needs to be more attractive. The idea of this read is great and you have provided a great review defining it. Thank you!
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Post by Rosemary Khathibe »

I like the fact that I will learn more about equality from this book, let alone several facts about Martin Luther King. I will definitely read this book to my younger sister. Thanks for the great review.

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Post by OrlaCarty »

I love the "Did You Know?" addition. Little lists and things (like you would often see in an autobiography etc.) really make a book's visual so much more interesting.

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Post by Ruba Abu Ali »

I love getting the youngsters acquainted with the civil rights in an enjoyable way. This book is useful for both children and adults. Thanks for the thorough and insightful review!

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Post by Cecilia_L »

The bite-sized facts you described are the perfect way to teach young readers about this significant event in our history. I loved your review! Thanks for the recommendation.

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Post by EvaDar »

What a great idea for a book! And I really enjoyed reading your review. Beautifully written. It sounds like children and adults would enjoy the photos and fun facts in this book. I will definitely check it out.
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Post by kfwilson6 »

What a great educational book. I love the way the author chose to present the history of Martin Luther King Jr. and the civil rights movement. This sounds like a book that social studies teachers should definitely utilize when they begin teaching this segment in history.

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Post by Espie »

You've made this book seem to be a visually appealing, informative, and educational read. Thank you for highlighting its read-worthy aspects.
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