NEWS
04/04/2018 17:39 SAST | Updated 05/04/2018 19:52 SAST

11 Children's Books That Honour Martin Luther King Jr's Legacy

And his impact on the civil rights movement.

Hyperion/Macmillan
We've gathered 11 children's books that highlight Martin Luther King Jr.'s work as a civil rights leader.

Wednesday marks the 50th anniversary of the assassination of civil rights icon Martin Luther King Jr.

To keep his legacy alive, children’s book authors have turned his call for equality and his message of peaceful protest into helpful history lessons. With these books, kids can learn about King’s relatives and their activism, his unforgettable “I Have a Dream” speech, and his continuing impact.

Here are 11 children’s books that celebrate King’s life’s work:

  • "I Have a Dream"
    Penguin Random House
    I Have a Dream pairs King's unforgettable speech about equality with beautiful art from illustrator Kadir Nelson, a two-time Caldecott Honor winner.
  • "We March"
    Macmillan
    We March, written and illustrated by Shane W. Evans, gives kids a look at what it was like to attend the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963, where King gave his hopeful "I Have a Dream" speech.
  • "As Fast as Words Could Fly"
    Lee & Low Books
    As Fast as Words Could Fly is a fictional story that reflects King's mission. Author Pamela M. Tuck centers the story on a young man, Mason Steele, who attends a high school that was previously segregated. Illustrated by Eric Velasquez.
  • "Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr."
    Hyperion/Disney
    In Martin's Big Words, author Doreen Rappaport and illustrator Bryan Collier teach young readers about King's childhood and what inspired him to fight for equality. It includes some of King's most famous quotes.
  • "March On: The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World"
    Scholastic
    In March On, activist Christine King Farris shares what it was like to watch King, her brother, prepare and give his iconic speech in 1963. Illustrated by London Ladd.
  • "Martin & Mahalia: His Words, Her Song"
    Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
    Martin & Mahalia, by Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney, highlights the talent and significance of Mahalia Jackson, a gospel singer who became a close friend of King's and inspired one of the most important parts of his "I Have a Dream" speech.
  • "My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr."
    HarperCollins
    Martin Luther King III shares what life was like alongside his famous father in this charming children's book illustrated by A.G. Ford.
  • "My Uncle Martin's Words for America"
    Abrams Books for Young Readers
    Author and professor Angela Farris Watkins offers her take on her uncle's inspiring message and legacy in My Uncle Martin's Words for America. Illustrated by Eric Velasquez.
  • "Dear Mrs. Parks: A Dialogue With Today's Youth"
    Lee & Low Books
    Dear Mrs. Parks compiles many letters the civil rights icon received from young people, as well as her inspiring responses. Parks talks about King and his legacy, and underlines the importance of hope and remembering the past. With Gregory J. Reed.
  • "Courageous People Who Changed the World"
    Familius
    King joins other trailblazers like Malala Yousafzai and Harriet Tubman in this book about "courageous people," written by Heidi Poelman and illustrated by Kyle Kershner.
  • "Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down"
    Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
    Sit-In teaches young readers about the Woolworth sit-in, a protest led by four African-American college students at a lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina. They were inspired by King's calls for peaceful protest and looking to make a difference. Written by Andrea Davis Pinkney and illustrated by Brian Pinkney.