Coretta Scott


Coretta Scott grew up in the segregated South. She walked to school with her brothers and sisters, while white children rode the bus. She met Martin Luther King, Jr. and they became partners in the fight against racism.

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Simple presentation and vivid, detailed illustrations create a beautiful biography of Coretta Scott King for young readers.

Content Awareness Factors:

Individuals who are uncomfortable talking about race relations or using the term Negro (used with respect) may wince in several places as they read the poem.

Young Reader Reaction

Our child sat quietly as we read the poem. She was particularly interested in the illustrations, and the images of the Scott siblings as children really grabbed her. When we finished reading, she wanted to go back to look at those pictures. As a first grader, she has learned more about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. this year, but there were terms that were alien to her - and that is good to hear.

Parent Reaction

I enjoyed reading this book. I wasn't sure if a poem would work, but the author very effectively conveyed Scott's biography with simple, short lines of text. Nelson's illustrations are exceptional, and one spread (with the three children presumably looking at a school bus) is particularly haunting.

Type of Book:
This is an illustrated poem about Coretta Scott King's life.
Educational Themes:

In addition to telling Coretta Scott's story, the book also introduces themes of segregation and the Civil Rights Movement. The author has created an excellent example you can use to show poetry as a way to present a biography.

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
7 to 9
Recommended Age To Read Together:
4 to 8
Age of child:
Read with 7-year-old girl.
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow, at least. This is a beautiful book that is meant to be shared. It is not the substitute for a full biography, but it is very effective in introducing kids to some of the most important people in our history.

Title Coretta Scott
Author Ntozake Shange
Publisher Katherine Tegen Books, Imprint HarperCollins Publishers © 2009
Illustrators Kadir Nelson
ISBN 9780061253645
Material Hard Cover
Cost $17.99
Genres Poetry, Biography
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Other Reviews:

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