Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Harvey Milk Story

Title:  The Harvey Milk Story
Author: Kari Krakow
Illustrator: David Gardner
Publisher: Two Lives Publishing
Genre: Biography
Level: Intermediate
Number of Pages: 28

Pub. Date: 2001
Summary: This book tells the life story of Harvey Milk. It begins in his early life, talking about how he always liked to entertain people and how everyone seemed to like him a lot. The story then mentions that from the time that he was 14 he knew he was gay, but hid it for a long time for the fear of losing his friends and family. He joined the navy and later fell in love with a man named Joe, but hiding their relationship took too much of a toll on their relationship and they separated. Later in life, he met a man named Scott and they moved to an up and coming gay neighborhood called Castro. They opened a camera shop and invited members of the community to post listings or even drop by for some advice.  Harvey noticed a great need in the community for a leader dedicated to civil rights since many minorities, including gays, were being discriminated against. He ran for office several times and finally made the Board of Supervisors. He was an activist and accomplished many positive things for the gay community, but not everyone was as thrilled about his increasing amount of support and popularity. A man named Dan White killed Harvey and the mayor, but Harvey’s dream lived on and there was a march in Washington with over 100,000 people supporting gay rights.
Critique: The Harvey Milk Story is a quality representation of a fictional portrait. This portrayal of Harvey Milk is based on careful research by the author because the events and many of the characters in the book are real, but the dialogue and thoughts may not all be exactly correct
because there isn’t proof of them. As an example, Harvey Milk is a real individual who worked hard for gay rights, but we don’t know specifically if guests at his brother’s wedding said that he looked handsome in his uniform and would soon find the right girl to marry.  The author does list author’s notes at the back of the book and the sources she used in writing this book, which give the book validity.
Response: A part of the story that surprised me was when Dan White killed Harvey and the mayor at the time over the fact that he quit and wouldn’t be offered his job back. It was not the ending I was expecting and really surprised me. It seems tragic that his life ended so suddenly, he seemed like a man who was working wonders on making strides for gay rights. His story reminds me of Martin Luther King Jr.’s because they were both men looking to improve the lives of a minority group, yet were stopped short in their journeys when they were killed. 

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