When Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington, he did not stand alone. He was joined by Rabbi Joachim Prinz, a refugee from Nazi Germany, who also addressed the crowd. Though Rabbi Prinz and Dr. King came from very different backgrounds, they were united by a shared belief in justice. And they knew that remaining silent in the face of injustice was wrong. The new picture book The Rabbi and the Reverend: Joachim Prinz, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Their Fight Against Silence tells the story of how these two figures spoke up and fought for a better future.
Audrey Ades, author of The Rabbi and the Reverend, joined us to talk about their own literary inspirations and reveal the inspiration they had for this impactful title.
What was your favorite book when you were a child?
I can’t narrow it down to one! Winnie the Pooh, A Little Princess, Harriet the Spy, From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler
What’s your favorite line from a book?
I love this quote from Winnie the Pooh:
“Here is Edward Bear, coming downstairs now, bump, bump, bump, on the back of his head, behind Christopher Robin. It is, as far as he knows, the only way of coming downstairs, but sometimes he feels that there really is another way, if only he could stop bumping for a moment and think of it. And then he feels that perhaps there isn’t.”
Who are your top three favorite authors or illustrators?
Donna Gephart, Donna Bowman, Gary Golio
Why did you want to become an author or illustrator?
Frankly, I kind of fell into writing. I started writing when I was between jobs and staying home with my son when he was little. The bug bit me and I’ve been writing ever since.
Do you have any advice for future authors or illustrators?
Work hard. Expect nothing in return. If a victory comes, celebrate!
Where did you get the inspiration for your latest or upcoming Kar-Ben book?
Several years ago, I attended an MLK Jr Day celebration. One of the presenters read something about the friendship between MLK and a rabbi, and how they shared the belief that the greatest crime is when good people stand by and do nothing while others are mistreated and denied justice. I knew right away that this was a relationship I was interested in learning more about.
Praise for The Rabbi and the Reverend
“The subdued tones and unfinished lines of the drawings add to the seriousness and reflect the unfinished nature of the subject.” — Jolene C. DeFranco, Librarian, Lexington Creek Elementary, Missouri City, Texas, School Library Connection
“Ades’ book is a timely corrective to the often strained relations between America’s Jewish and Black communities.” — AJL Newsletter
“[A]n important story about the bonds between two people from different backgrounds who found common ground.” – Dr. Myra Zarnowski, Queens College
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