Marching to the Mountaintop: How Poverty, Labor Fights, and Civil Rights Set the Stage for Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Final Hours by Ann Bausum. National Geographic, 2012
1. What are some of the factors that led to the garbage workers deciding to strike in Memphis?
2. Why was Martin Luther King, Jr., initially reluctant to come to Memphis? What made him change his mind?
3. There are several major stories in this book: the Memphis garbage workers’ strike; the shifting focus of Martin Luther King’s activism from racism to poverty; and King’s assassination. What did you learn about the connection among these three things?
Fire in the Streets by Kekla Magoon . Aladdin / Simon & Schuster, 2012
1. What does Maxie find so appealing about being part of the Black Panthers?
2. Based on what you know about Maxie in the story, why do you think she decides to turn in her brother? If you were in Maxie’s position, what do you think you would do?
3. This story is set in 1968, a time of great political and racial turmoil. What details did you find especially interesting about that time? Were there things that struck you as being very different from—or similar to—today?