Sharing Dr. King’s message with kids of all ages

A few years ago, the Washington Post pulled together a list of books that do a great job teaching children about Dr. Martin Luther King, the Civil Rights Movement and the ideals of equality and justice. We’d like to share that list so you can share it with the children in your life:

Preschool and early elementary

Martin’s Big Words,” by Doreen Rappaport, illustrated by Bryan Collier (Hyperion, 2001).

My Brother Martin: A Sister Remembers Growing Up With the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.” by Christine King Farris, illustrated by Chris Soentpiet (Simon & Schuster, 2003).

Grandmama’s Pride,” by Becky Birtha, illustrated by Colin Bootman (Albert Whitman & Company, 2005).

Ron’s Big Mission,” by Rose Blue and Corrine J. Naden, illustrated by Don Tate (Dutton Juvenile, 2009).

Young readers

I’ve Seen the Promised Land: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,” by Walter Dean Myers, illustrated by Leonard Jenkins (Amistad, 2003).

A Taste of Colored Water,” written and illustrated by Matt Faulkner (Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, 2008).

Richard Wright and the Library Card,” by William Miller, illustrated by Gregory Christie (Lee & Low Books, 1999).

Ruth and the Green Book,” by Calvin A. Ramsey, illustrated by Floyd Cooper (Carolrhoda Books, 2010).

Freedom Riders: John Lewis and Jim Zwerg on the Front Lines of the Civil Rights Movement,” by Ann Bausum (National Geographic Children’s Books, 2005).

When Marian Sang: The True Recital of Marian Anderson, the Voice of a Century,” by Pam Munoz Ryan, illustrated by Brian Selznick (Scholastic Press, 2002).

Middle school and teens

Freedom Walkers: The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott,” by Russell Freedman (Holiday House, 2006).

Marching for Freedom: Walk Together, Children, and Don’t You Grow Weary,” by Elizabeth Partridge (Viking Juvenile, 2009).

Through My Eyes,” by Ruby Bridges (Scholastic Press, 1999).

Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice,” by Phillip Hoose (Square Fish, 2010).

If a Bus Could Talk: The Story of Rosa Parks,” written and illustrated by Faith Ringgold (Aladdin, 2003).


January 17-24: Martin Luther King Jr. Week – University of Nebraska–Lincoln

January 18-23: Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration – Creighton University, Omaha

January 20:

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service – University of Nebraska @ Omaha

19th Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Youth March & Rally – Lincoln

Tribute to Martin Luther King – Homestead National Monument, Beatrice




Nebraska Children's mission is to maximize the potential of Nebraska’s children, youth, and families through collaboration and community-centered impact.

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