The Rabbi and the Reverend

Joachim Prinz, Martin Luther King Jr., and Their Fight against Silence

  • Interest Level: Preschool - Grade 4
  • Reading Level: Grade 3

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. Together, they spoke up and fought for a better future.

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Interest Level Preschool - Grade 4
Reading Level Grade 3
Genre Picture Books, Social Studies
Category 5 Kinds of Nonfiction, 5KN: Narrative Nonfiction, Diverse Books: Immigration & Refugees, Diverse Books: Race & Ethnicity, Diverse Books: Social Justice, Diversity, SEL: C Social Awareness, SEL: D Relationship Skills, SEL: E Responsible Decision-Making, Social Emotional Learning
Copyright 2021
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Kar-Ben Publishing ®
Language English
Number of Pages 32
Publication Date 2021-11-01
Text Type Narrative Nonfiction
BISACS JNF007020, JNF049110, JNF018010
Dewey 323.092/2 [B]
Dimensions 9.25 x 11
Lexile 880
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Author/Illustrator note, Awards, Original artwork, and Reviewed

Author: Audrey Ades

Audrey Ades grew up in New England and holds degrees in theater and psychology. She lives in South Florida with her husband, son, and persnickety Pomeranian, Cookie.

Illustrator: Chiara Fedele

Chiara Fedele was born in Milan, where she attended the Brera Academy. Her illustrations have appeared in many picture books, including Yaffa and Fatima: Shalom, Salaam and The Rabbi and the Reverend: Joachim Prinz, Martin Luther King Jr., and Their Fight Against Silence. Chiara also teaches drawing and painting techniques. She lives in Pavia, Italy.

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  • Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, Winner, 2022
  • Bank Street School of Education Best Children's Books of the Year list, Winner, 2022


Moment Magazine

The Rabbi and the Reverend: Joachim Prinz, Martin Luther King Jr., and Their Fight Against Silence (by Audrey Ades with illustrations by Chiara Fedele) introduces both Joachim Prinz (1902-1988)—who, like Einstein, was born in Germany and came to the United States in the 1930s—and the iconic Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968), and leads up to their appearance together on the National Mall in Washington, DC on August 28, 1963.

AJL Newsletter

“Ades’ book is a timely corrective to the often strained relations between America’s Jewish and Black communities.” — Marjorie Gann, retired teacher; co-author (with Janet Willen) of Five Thousand Years of Slavery and Speak a Word for Freedom:Women Against Slavery (Tundra/Penguin Random House) Toronto, Canada, AJL Newsletter

School Library Connection

“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

Jewish Book Council

This emo­tion­al pic­ture book cap­tures two dif­fer­ent men who share the same plea: do not be silent about injus­tice! They are from dif­fer­ent coun­tries, with dif­fer­ing back­grounds, and have faced dif­fer­ent dan­gers that have turned the scars they bear into activist out­reach implor­ing the world to stand up. Both men become reli­gious lead­ers whose speech­es make them famous. Joachim Prinz from Ger­many and Mar­tin Luther King, Jr. from the Unit­ed States have per­son­al­ly expe­ri­enced the pain that fuels their messages.

In The Rab­bi and the Rev­erend, Prinz immi­grates to Amer­i­ca, hop­ing to gain safe­ty and free­dom. Instead, he finds many peo­ple suf­fer­ing from racism, which denies the very val­ues he believes Amer­i­ca cham­pi­ons. He speaks out against social injus­tice and asks Amer­i­cans not to be qui­et about this ter­ri­ble inequal­i­ty. King has faced dis­crim­i­na­tion for years but now wants his peo­ple to speak out, to stop being silent, to claim their birthright as equal citizens.

Each man hears about the oth­er; they meet and they are drawn togeth­er by their shared mes­sage. They appear togeth­er in pub­lic to fight for Civ­il Rights. They speak at the Nation­al Mall at a mas­sive ral­ly. King gives his famous “I Have a Dream” speech; Prinz pleads for an end to silence. They go to the White House.

Sophis­ti­cat­ed illus­tra­tions in a mut­ed pal­let and in an eye-catch­ing lay­out evoke these great men to young read­ers. The book includes a time­line, a glos­sary, and a short bib­li­og­ra­phy. Read­ers will find hope in the mes­sages they share and in mem­o­ries of the Rab­bi and the Reverend.