Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was one of America’s most profound leaders. Through his advocacy for civil rights for Black Americans, he made a significant impact on this country. Although his life was cut short when he was assassinated, his legacy lives on.
Next week, we’ll observe what would have been Dr. King’s 98th birthday. As a former social studies teacher, I am passionate about helping children learn about the history of this country. One of my favorite ways to help children learn is through reading. Here are nine great children’s books about the life and legacy of the King. They are listed in order of age recommendation from youngest to oldest.
Great Reads Ahead
This friendly, fun biography series focuses on the traits that made our heroes great—the traits that kids can aspire to in order to live heroically themselves. In this new board book format, the very youngest readers can learn about one of America’s icons in the series’s signature lively, conversational way.
What was it like growing up as a son of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.? This picture book memoir, My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Martin Luther King III, provides insight into one of history’s most fascinating families and into a special bond between father and son.
In this inspirational story about Martin Luther King Jr.—told from the perspective of his niece, Angela—readers learn how King used words of love and peace to effectively fight for African Americans’ civil rights.
Walking many miles to school in the dusty road, young Coretta Scott knew the unfairness of life in the segregated south. A yearning for equality began to grow.
Together with Martin Luther King, Jr., she helped lead change through nonviolent protest. It was the beginning of a journey—with dreams of freedom for all.
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.
In 1963 Birmingham, Alabama, thousands of African American children volunteered to march for their civil rights after hearing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speak. They protested the laws that kept black people separate from white people. Facing fear, hate, and danger, these children used their voices to change the world. Frank Morrison’s emotive oil-on-canvas paintings bring this historical event to life, while Monica Clark-Robinson’s moving and poetic words document this remarkable time.
This picture book tells the story of a nine-year-old girl who in 1968 witnessed the Memphis sanitation strike – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s final stand for justice before his assassination – when her father, a sanitation worker, participated in the protest.
Anne Frank and Martin Luther King Jr. were born the same year a world apart. Both faced ugly prejudices and violence, which both answered with words of love and faith in humanity. This is the story of their parallel journeys to find hope in the darkness and to follow their dreams.
This brilliant memoir-in-verse tells the moving story of how a nation learned to celebrate a hero. Through years of protests and petitions, Kathlyn’s story highlights the foot soldiers who fought to make Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday a national holiday.
Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and reading this post. I hope that you have an incredible and impactful Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
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