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10 Must Read Children’s Books for Martin Luther King Jr. Day!

By Emily Prawda Weiss

On the third Monday of January each year, America celebrates the federal holiday, Martin Luther King Jr. Day. This important day honors and commemorates the life and achievements of Martin Luther King Jr., an influential American civil rights leader. He was a spokesperson for nonviolent activism during the Civil rights Movement and protested for racial equality and putting an end to racial segregation throughout the United States.

As we look to educate our kids of all ages on the significance of this holiday, BCB has collected some of our favorite books about Martin Luther King, Jr., the Civil Rights Movement, and other heroes like him.  These books are perfect for readers of all ages, starting with our babies and going up to elementary school age. The books below ship nationwide and can also be purchased at your local Target!

mlk jr day

1. The Story of Martin Luther King Jr.: (Baby – 3 Yrs) This simple board book is a great introduction of the civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr. It helps the youngest readers understand who he was, what he did, and how he impacted America forever.

2. Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.?: (2 – 4 Yrs) Learn about the life of one of the most influential civil rights activists in American history, Martin Luther King Jr. in this delightful board book, perfect for our youngest readers.

3. A Lesson for Martin Luther King Jr. : (4 – 8 Yrs) This book follows the childhood of Martin Luther King Jr. as he encounters prejudice throughout his life and learns lessons that he will never forget.

4. Freedom Summer (4 – 8 Yrs) This picture book is the winner of the Coretta Scott King/John Steptoe New Talent Award and tells the story of children in the 1960s South experiencing segregation and racial prejudice. However, through the power of friendship, they are able to defy racism.

5. Ana and Andrew Martin’s Dream: (4 – 8 Yrs) A heartwarming story following the main characters Ana and Andrew as they learn about MLK Jr., for their research project and help make Martin’s famous dream become a reality!

6. Martin’s Big Words: (4 – 8 Yrs) This picture book biography brings to life Martin Luther King Jr.’s message in an easily understandable way for young children.

7. A is for Activist: (4 – 8 Yrs) This inspiring little book carries huge messages of community, equality, and justice, and calls children to action while teaching them a love for books.

8. Dream March: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the March on Washington: (5 – 9 Yrs) This inspiring biography is a great way to introduce children to the civil rights movement, MLK Jr., and the March on Washington of 1963.

9. A Place to Land: (9 – 12 Yrs) The award-winning book highlights MLK Jr.’s infamous I Have a Dream speech and the Civil Rights Movement that changed the nation.

10. Let the Children March: (9 – 12 Years) This story is told from the point of view of a child during the civil rights movement, Children’s Crusade of 1963, where thousands of African American kids and teens marched for racial equality.


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