Through the Looking Glass Children's Book Reviews

Coretta Scott King: First Lady of Civil Rights

Coretta Scott King: First Lady of Civil Rights

George E. Stanley
Nonfiction  Series
For ages 8 to 12
Simon and Schuster, 2008   ISBN: 978-1416968009

Coretta was born in Alabama in April, 1927. She was the second child that Mr. and Mrs. Scott had, and she soon showed her family that she was a tough and determined child who had a temper. Coretta was not afraid of telling people what she thought. This was sometimes a problem because Coretta was an African American, and in those days African Americans were second-class citizens who were discriminated against in many ways, particularly in the southern states.

When she was still very young, Coretta began to realize how cruel and unjust racism was. Why did white people treat her parents with such disrespect, and why did her people have to put up with so many indignities? It was particularly hard to bear when Coretta's father was singled out for abuse. Her father was successfully self employed, hauling timber with his truck. Many white people resented him for his success, and they did what they could to make his life hard.

Coretta had one gift that she hoped would open doors for her if she got a good education. Coretta had a lovely singing voice and she hoped to become an opera singer one day. She worked hard at her lessons, and earned the praise of her teachers. What Coretta did not know then was that she was going to have an enormous impact on the lives of countless Americans in the years to come.

In this excellent Childhood of Famous Americans title, George E. Stanley brings Coretta Scott King's early years to life. Readers will see that, as a child, Coretta struggled to control her temper and that she chaffed at the injustices that she saw around her. What is wonderful is that Coretta, as an adult, found a non-violent way to fight against the very things that angered and upset her when she was a girl.