Reviews of Martin’s Dream Day

“The author of numerous celebrity biographies, Kelley ventures into children’s books with this photographic account of the 1963 March on Washington and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. The mostly black-and-white photos—many of which were published for the first time in Kelley and the late Tretick’s Let Freedom Ring (2013)—include dense crowd scenes that give a strong sense of the scale of the march, as well as close-up images of a passionate King, civil rights activists, and a meeting between King and President Kennedy…. Kelley succinctly guides readers through highlights of the civil rights movement leading up to and following King’s speech…. Tretick’s singular photographs deliver a striking perspective on a momentous event in the ongoing quest for equality in America.”

Publishers Weekly
October 2016

“The text provides historical context and repeatedly describes the number of people who came to the Washington Mall, but the period black-and-white photos truly capture the sheer masses, from perspiring figures in suits and ties to those dangling their feet in the reflecting pond…. This is a refreshing way to look at an iconic event from American history and should have broad appeal.”

Kathleen McBrown
November 1, 2016

“This photographic journey chronicles the March on Washington and Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. Tretick’s photos, many of which were taken during the actual march, are a display of the expression and energy of the event and the people who attended…. A powerful addition to school libraries for read-alouds and discussions on U.S. history and the civil rights movement.”

April Sanders
School Library Journal
December 2016

“It was half a century ago, so most readers will not know firsthand about the extraordinary moment in history explored in Kitty Kelley’s new book, Martin’s Dream Day. Those of us who were there will recall our experiences, but gifting this colorful book to our grandkids will portray for them what we know from our memories….  Kelley and Tretick’s Martin’s Dream Day will touch people who were there and inform those who weren’t, especially the young readers for whom Kelley created this photographic history.”

Ronald Goldfarb
Washington Independent Review of Books
January 13, 2017

”Tretick’s photos are awe-inspiring, from white people and black people with pants rolled up cooling their feet in the Reflecting Pool to many dressed like they were going to church. Magical, up close, rare photographs of King, JFK and faces in the crowd, coupled with Kelley’s exciting writing, will make young readers feel like they’re there, listening to ‘I Have a Dream’ in August, nearly 54 years ago.”

Lee Littlewood
January 28, 2017

In her new book Martin’s Dream Day, author and journalist Kitty Kelley shares the story of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. At that event, held on August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech….  Martin’s Dream Day transports readers to the march, which took place in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. The book is filled with pictures of the march taken by the late news photographer Stanley Tretick.”

Melanie Kletter
Time for Kids
January 27, 2017

“The book is filled with news photographer Stanley Tretick’s color and black-and-white pictures of the March. ‘I hope kids who read this book will better understand Martin Luther King Jr.’s dream and be able to dream themselves,’ Kelley told [an interviewer]. ‘That’s what Martin Luther King Jr. had in mind for all children.’”

Patricia C. McKissack
February 6, 2017

“Biographer Kitty Kelley has written Martin’s Dream Day…with the remarkable photographs of Stanley Tretick as illustrations…. It is a gift to be able to make an event occurring more than fifty years ago seem as though it happened yesterday. The inclusion of specific details, background information leading to the event and quotations bring readers to the time and place with accuracy. Author Kitty Kelley does this through her research and vivid descriptions….  These photographs taken by Stanley Tretick selected to illustrate the text written by Kitty Kelley are authentic representations for her narrative…. At times a series of images will be linked together like negatives. This is especially effective in pacing and emphasis.”

Librarian’s Quest
March 11, 2017

Stanley Tretick captures amazing visual ‘seconds’ in photography, that help focus young readers to experience the setting, and the people who attended Martin’s famous speech at the Lincoln Memorial on August 28, 1963. Kitty Kelley’s precise narrative and quotes couple and weave ‘years’ of the historical significance of the march, the national and world outreach of the civil rights movement, and its process, struggles and victory. Kitty Kelley’s combination mirrors the very personal feel of a visual oral history with a living history lesson. The book is a treasure that encourages all young people to reflect on the significance of Martin’s dream and to strive to reflect his vision for all groups going forward.”

Diane Neylon
Youth Services Book Review
March 14, 2017

“When I saw this book at the Scholastic book fair this spring, I got super excited! It is by far one of the most beautiful stories explaining Dr. King. I grew up seeing these iconic images, but many of my students had not. This is a historical book that not only tells readers about Martin King’s dream speech, it shows them the impact that one man had on millions of people. Now more than ever, it is important to stress equality among our students. Civil Rights are not always civil. Students need to see what took place all those years ago. I feel like this book needs to be in every child’s hand. Not simply for Martin King day, but for every other day as well. This is an excellent and beautiful story.”

August 17, 2017