A Quiet Exit

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The Cart that Carried Martin
By Eve Bunting
Illustrated by Don Tate
(Charlesbridge, 2013, Watertown, Massachusetts, $16.95)

Martin Luther King, Jr. dedicated his life to improving the lives of ordinary people: he imagined an America in which all people, regardless of their skin color, enjoyed political, economic, and human equality. Anticipating he might die prematurely, he requested an ordinary funeral, not the ornate service a prominent civil rights leader might expect.

In The Cart that Carried Martin, Eve Bunting and illustrator Don Tate tell the story of King’s funeral for the youngest readers and listeners. Bunting’s understated prose makes the narrative especially moving, while Tate’s watercolors capture both the vastness of the crowds that attended King’s funerals and individual mourners’ emotions. A respectful, age-appropriate look at death and grief, the picture book should also spark conversations about the leader’s legacy. The Cart that Carried Martin is a fitting tribute to a man who combined modesty and greatness.

-Dorothy A. Dahm

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