Review of Coretta: The Autobiography of Mrs. Coretta Scott King

Coretta: The Autobiography of Mrs. Coretta Scott King Coretta: The Autobiography of Mrs. Coretta Scott King
by Coretta Scott King with Barbara Reynolds; illus. by Ekua Holmes
Primary, Intermediate    Godwin/Holt    40 pp.
1/24    9781250167101    $18.99

Adapted from King’s autobiography, this picture book offers a new generation the remarkable story of the activist, artist, wife, and mother whose grace in the face of unspeakable loss continued the momentum of a movement. Beginning with glimpses into her childhood in segregated Alabama, King (1927–2006) describes being the second Black student admitted to Antioch College (her older sister Edythe was the first) and her fight to teach in Ohio—readers see that her pursuit of equality started long before she met and married Martin Luther King Jr. The first-person retelling of events such as the March on Washington is compellingly personal. Holmes’s vibrant illustrations (in acrylic with elements of collage incorporating print and photos) saturate the pages with color. The illustrations also take great care in communicating the very human emotions that King and her family experienced in scenes including her surrounded by her young children at the piano; a phone receiver hanging from its cord at the news of MLK’s death; and her speaking to a crowd despite her grief just hours after arriving in Memphis. Art and text bring this civil rights icon to life, reminding readers of a dream yet to be fully realized. Back matter includes a timeline of her life and major events.

From the January/February 2024 issue of The Horn Book Magazine.

Monique Harris

Monique Harris is a public educator, reading specialist and independent educational consultant. She holds a Master of Science degree in Education from Simmons University, and is enrolled in a PhD program at Florida State University.

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