This brilliant memoir-in-verse tells the moving story of how a nation learned to celebrate a hero. Through years of protests and petition, Kathlyn's story highlights the foot soldiers who fought to make Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday a national holiday.
Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me ’Round is a deeply moving middle grade memoir about what it means to be an everyday activist and foot solider for racial justice, as Kathlyn recounts how, drawn to activism from childhood, she went from attending protests as a teenager to fighting for Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday to become a national holiday as an adult. A blueprint for kids starting down their own paths to civic awareness, it shows life beyond protests and details the sustained time, passion, and energy it takes to turn an idea into a law.
Deftly weaving together monumental historical events with a heartfelt coming-of-age story and in-depth information on law making, Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me ’Round is the perfect engaging example of how history can help inform the present.
About the Author
Born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, Kathlyn J Kirkwood is the author of Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me ‘Round: the Story of an Everyday Activist and the Making of the Martin Luther King Holiday.
A retired college professor, Kathlyn focuses on writing for children and volunteering with under-priveleged 3rd and 4th grade students in the Nashville area. She has developed several innovative workshops that use trade books to help young people learn about the world beyond their immediate surroundings, and to inspire them with a love of reading.
“Kathlyn J. Kirkwood’s stirring Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me ’Round takes readers on a journey into the past so that we might better grasp the present. The poetry in these pages leans forward with an urgency that matches the historical significance of the events being described. Kirkwood’s story has never been more relevant or necessary.” —Matt de la Peña, Newbery medalist and New York Times best-selling author “In moving verse, this richly detailed memoir transports young readers to the front lines of the civil rights movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. The narrative comes full circle as Kirkwood joins the push for a national holiday in honor of the late civil rights leader. Engaging and uplifting, this memoir invites young people to become change agents in their own time.” - —Carole Boston Weatherford, Newbery Honor–winning and New York Times best-selling author “Movements for change depend on their foot soldiers as much as their leaders, and Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me’ Round reminds us that a single voice indeed matters. Recent history comes to life in lovely verse that feels like a kind neighbor sitting down to share her personal tale with photographs from the family album. A powerful story just right for today’s young activists.” —Kip Wilson, author of White Rose —