Howard Thurman's Great Hope

By School Library Journal

This handsome book introduces one of the first leaders of the Civil Rights Movement. Reverend Thurman inspired Martin Luther King, Jr., wrote more than 20 books, and was the first African American to travel to India to meet with Mahatma Gandhi. Born in 1900 in Daytona, FL, he lived with his grandmother and sisters while his widowed mother cleaned and cooked for others. In 1914, the one public school for Negroes in town stopped at the seventh grade, making high school virtually impossible. Nevertheless, Thurman was the best student in the school, and the principal offered to prepare the ambitious boy for the rigorous eighth-grade examination. He passed the exam with a perfect score, earning a full scholarship to the Negro high school in Jacksonville, almost 100 miles away. Thurman graduated first in his class; he attended Morehouse College and was one of only a handful of Negroes to attend Rochester Theological Seminary. The format features a page of text facing an illustration that sometimes extends onto the opposite page. Reds, blues, and yellows pop against brown wood desks or whitewashed walls in vivid, realistic oil paintings. The author drew from Thurman’s memoir and papers to create this accessible, engaging biography.