5 Civil Rights Books for Children: Find these books at your local library or use the affiliate links provided for your convenience. All recommendations are mine.
As a parent, I often wonder how to begin the discussion of civil rights with my children. I believe it is incredibly important for them to learn from a young age about discrimination and treating all people as equals. Personally, I have found that books are often a wonderful doorway to begin the discussion.
Here are five wonderful books that will help begin (and continue) the conversation about equality. But don’t let the conversation end here! I have gathered with fellow bloggers to share even more ideas to celebrate Martin Luther King Day with Kids, hosted by a personal favorite destination — Multicultural Kid Blogs.
I write so often about books, I’ve put them in one central location and created a collection of all of my book lists on The Jenny Evolution! Find more great reading book lists here.
Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: This picture-book biography 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.
Henry’s Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad: A stirring, dramatic story of a slave who mails himself to freedom by a Jane Addams Peace Award-winning author and a Coretta Scott King Award-winning artist.
I Have a Dream (Book & CD): 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.”
We Shall Overcome: The Story of a Song: It only takes a few words to create change. It only takes a few people to believe that change is possible. And when those people sing out, they can change the world. “We Shall Overcome” is one of their songs. From the song’s roots in America’s era of slavery through to the civil rights movement of the 1960s and today, “We Shall Overcome” has come to represent the fight for equality and freedom around the world.
Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King Jr.: This book is beautifully-rendered study of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life, told in simple, straightforward language for even the youngest of readers to understand. Pinkney’s scratchboard and oil pastel illustrations convey both the strength and gentleness of King’s character. Both text and art carry his central message of peace and brotherhood among all people.
Don’t forget to see how other parents are sharing Martin Luther Kind Day with their kids. I hope it inspires you to make this year’s holiday not just a day off from school but a day to connect with your kids and share in the indomitable spirit and enduring legacy of Martin Luther King.