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Children's Books for Martin Luther King, Jr. Day


We've updated our original MLK, Jr. children's book roundup with the latest and greatest kid-lit picks. Sit down with the kids today, and read one of these books, and open up a chapter on a meaningful and, hopefully, ongoing conversation about one of the most important and most commendable figures in our nation's history. --Lauren


As we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day and reflect on his impact on our country, it makes sense that we also read relevant books to our kids. Here are a list of some age-appropriate books for children to start a discussion about Martin Luther King, Jr and why we celebrate him.

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  1. Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by Doreen Rappaport, is a stunning picture-book biography of Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. King's words are seamlessly integrated into the text in a way that inspires kids to want to know even more. The Caldecott Award winning book features art by acclaimed illustrator Bryan Collier.
  2. My First Biography: Martin Luther King, Jr., by Marion Dane Bauer: The lyrical, bold text in this simple book will help even the youngest of readers understand the important of Dr. King's lifelong work.
  3. Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr., by Bonnie Bader: Ideal for grade school aged children, this book tells the story of Dr. King in straightforward, moving language that refuses to sugarcoat the turmoil, controversy, and obstacles he was facing; and also includes 80 outstanding black and white illustrations.
  4. A Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr., by David A Alder, is an illustrated, easy-to-read biography that explains Dr. King's life from his childhood through his assassination. Highlighting the major highs, lows, and injustices in his life, it grips kids with its well-written prose, inciting empathy and emotion along the journey.
  5. The Story of Martin Luther King, Jr., by Johnny Ray Moore, is a board book featuring just 200 words, and, yet, it still manages to express the major moments of MLK, Jr.'s life, making it a great introductory lesson for toddlers.
  6. My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by Martin Luther King III. Martin Luther King III was just one of four children mentioned in King's iconic, history-making "I have a Dream" speech. This sweet tribute and memoir provides personal insight into Dr. King's epic life.

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