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Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is a great way to incorporate history, the civil rights movement, and multiculturalism into your learning. However, there are so many great MLK books out there, how do you know which ones to choose?
Don’t worry, we’ve put together a list of some of the best selling children’s books to help you out for MLK Day!
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Top Children’s Books for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
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Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is “…an excellent and accessible introduction for young readers to learn about one of the world’s most influential leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Doreen Rappaport weaves the immortal words of Dr. King into a captivating narrative to tell the story of his life. With stunning art by acclaimed illustrator Bryan Collier, Martin’s Big Words is an unforgettable portrait of a man whose dream changed America-and the world-forever.”
This book tells you what it was like during the exciting era when Martin Luther King led the fight against segregation.”
Long before he became a world-famous dreamer, Martin Luther King Jr. was a little boy who played jokes and practiced the piano and made friends without considering race. But growing up in the segregated south of the 1930s taught young Martin a bitter lesson — little white children and little black children were not to play with one another. Martin decided then and there that something had to be done. And so he began the journey that would change the course of American history.”
“Here the highlights of King’s life are presented with an emphasis on his childhood and family. Children will immediately relate to his painful early experiences of racism and understand the genesis of his lifelong struggle for racial equality. The book portrays the hatred King endured, the horror of his assassination and the intense power of his message. A single-page list of important dates closes the book. Its most striking aspect is Casilla’s evocative watercolor paintings, which expand the text while celebrating the man.” (Publisher’s Weekly)
Martin Luther King Jr. by Mary Winget is an excellent book for elementary school students. It provides detailed information about the influence he made on our nation. It also includes very useful information about civil rights, rosa parks, voting rights and the numerous marches, protests, and sit ins he participated in…” (Amazon reviewer)
“From Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s daughter, Dr. Bernice A. King: “My father’s dream continues to live on from generation to generation, and this beautiful and powerful illustrated edition of his world-changing “I Have a Dream” speech brings his inspiring message of freedom, equality, and peace to the youngest among us—those who will one day carry his dream forward for everyone.”
“The most effective method used to influence children to read is to incorporate the information that interests them the most. National Geographic Readers are educational, high-interest, and comprehensive for children. In this title, readers will learn about the fascinating life and legacy civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In this level three biography, difficult concepts are made understandable and transitioned into a more approachable manner. This includes the use of sidebars, timetables, diagrams and fun facts to hold the interest of the young reader. The colorful design and educational illustrations round out this text as an exemplary book for their young minds to explore. ”
Covers mostly the “I Have a Dream” era.
This little book tells the story of Martin Luther King Jr. in a way that even very young children will understand. This simple but accurate account of his life begins with King’s childhood, making it easy for little ones to relate to his story. Children will learn that he excelled in school, became a minister, and worked to end segregation in America. This book, with only about 200 words accompanied by delicate watercolors, is a great way for parents to begin to teach their children about this inspirational historical figure.”
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“Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was only 25 when he helped organize the Montgomery Bus Boycott and was soon organizing black people across the country in support of the right to vote, desegregation, and other basic civil rights. Maintaining nonviolent and peaceful tactics even when his life was threatened, King was also an advocate for the poor and spoke out against racial and economic injustice until his death from an assassin’s bullet in 1968. With clearly written text that explains this tumultuous time in history and 80 black-and-white illustrations, this Who Was? celebrates the vision and the legacy of a remarkable man.”
Do you have a favorite Martin Luther King, Jr. children’s book? Share it in the comments so we can check it out!
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