“Coretta Scott” By Ntozake Shange, Illustrated By Kadir Nelson

Walking many miles to school in the dusty road, young Coretta knew, too well, the unfairness of life in the segregated south. A yearning for equality began to grow. Together with Martin Luther King, Jr., she gave birth to a vision and a journey — with dreams of freedom for all. This extraordinary union of poetic text by Ntozake Shange and monumental artwork by Kadir Nelson captures the movement for civil rights in the United States and honors its most elegant inspiration, Coretta Scott. Ages 4–8.



About The Author

Ntozake Shange is a celebrated poet and author of many novels and plays, including the Obie Awardwinning play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide/When the Rainbow Is Enuf, which was made into a feature film. Ms. Shange is also the author of several children’s books, including the Coretta Scott King Award-winning book Ellington Was Not a Street, illustrated by Kadir Nelson.



Read Aloud Tips

  • Introduce the book by discussing the importance of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and that most leaders do not work alone.
  • Ask students to define characteristics of Coretta Scott that made her an important figure in history.
  • Using debate centers, have students discuss the similarities and differences between Coretta and Dr. King.


“There have been many books written about Martin Luther King Jr., but precious few about Coretta Scott King. … The true power of this title lies in Nelson’s full-page portraits, which convey determination, fear, serenity and weariness. Words can describe segregation and marching for freedom; the images of a young Coretta and her siblings walking miles to their school or of four college students sitting in at a lunch counter speak rivers. A double-page spread of freedom marchers carrying American flags silhouetted against a yellow sky will resonate with children and linger in their minds.” – Kirkus Reviews


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Information Sheet – Coretta Scott

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