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A Baptist preacher from Atlanta. A rabbi born in Poland. Their names came to stand for the struggle for justice and equality.
Martin Luther King Jr. grew up in a loving family in the American South, at a time when many of this country’s doors were closed to African Americans. He aimed to open those doors. He became a minister like his daddy, and he preached and marched for his cause.
Abraham Joshua Heschel grew up in a loving family in a Europe that did not welcome Jews. He found a new home in America, where he was a rabbi like his father, carrying a message of peace and acceptance.
Martin put out a call for others to join him. Abraham knew he must answer Martin’s call.
Here is the story of how two men formed a remarkable friendship and turned their personal experiences of discrimination into a message of love and equality for all.
- Sydney Taylor Award – Gold Medal – 2009 AJL (Videos)
- National Jewish Book Award Finalist
- Top 10 Biographies for Youth: 2008 Booklist–American Library Assoc.
- Top 10 Religious books for Youth: Booklist–American Library Assoc.
- NY Public Library 100 Best Books for Sharing and Reading 2008
- 2008 National Parenting Publications Awards – Gold Award Winner
- 2009 Skipping Stones Multicultural Honor Award
- Massachusetts Book Award finalist
- Museum of Tolerance Children’s Book Award Honor Book
- One of the Best Picture Books of the Past Ten Years by Amazon’s blog Omnivoracious.
- Read the essay in JBooks on Obama, King and Heschel
- Richard Michelson and Francesca Rheannon discuss AGAA
- The Book of Life Podcast
- Read the Sydney Taylor Award interview.
- Jewish Books for Children with Author Barbara Bietz
Two very special clergymen, one a rabbi, the other an African-American reverend are raised in divergently different countries yet experience similar levels of persecution and bigotry that will one day bring them together as colleagues in America’s struggle for civil rights. .. Michelson focuses on a much forgotten yet significant moment in American civil rights history when “Jews and Christians joined hands” to march together as black and white Americans. …Powerful as well as thought-provoking to engage in discussion of unity and the need to find common ground in a nation’s divisive history.
—2009 Sydney Taylor Book Award Winner for Younger Readers
In this powerful, well-crafted story about a partnership between two great civil rights leaders, Michelson shows how the fight for human rights affects everyone… Michelson writes in poetic language that gracefully uses repetitive sentence structures and themes to emphasize the similarities between the two men’s lives. Also admirable is Michelson’s ability to convey complex historical concepts, such as segregation, in clear, potent terms that will speak directly to readers:…an exceptional title for sharing and discussion.
—Booklist (American Library Association) Starred review
Two boys, one an African-American, one a Polish Jew, learn from their fathers’ pride and self-respect. …Martin experiences the discrimination of his Southern town with “whites only” laws. Abraham witnesses the persecution of his Jewish community as the Nazis rise to power. As adults, Reverend King Jr. and Rabbi Heschel heed their parental guidance, coming together to work for America’s struggle in the civil-rights movement in this powerful, fictionalized account …Gentle, powerful and healing.
—Kirkus Review Starred review
An eloquent tribute to two great men and their surprising alliance…beautifully written…this exemplary introduction to the Civil Rights Movement will appeal to a wide audience. Its message will inspire and unite readers from many backgrounds.
—School Library Journal
Michelson and Colón have created a noble memorial in (a) book that is worthy of a child and instructive for an adult.
A portrait of one of the more unusual partnerships of the civil rights movement.
—The New York Times Book Review
…an important exploration of mutual interest, social action, and civil rights.
—San Francisco Chronicle