Today we honor Martin Luther King Jr., a civil rights leader who encouraged people to use peaceful protests to fight injustice. Listen to one of his famous speeches, I Have a Dream. King dreamed of a world where all people could live in peace and harmony. To find out more about Dr. King, his beliefs, his speeches, and his life, check out at this selection of books.
King’s niece, Angela Farris Watkins, has written several books about her famous uncle. Using his speeches and beliefs, she provides information about his public and private life. Although these are picture books, the content is better suited for elementary school students.
Love Will See You Through: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Six Guiding Beliefs
After describing each principle, Watkins gives an example of how King followed that principle in his own life.
My Uncle Martin’s Words for America: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Niece Tells How He Made a Difference
Watkins focuses on key words, such as justice, freedom, and equality, to tell the inspirational story of King’s civil rights efforts.
Uncle Martin’s Big Heart
In this heartwarming account of King and his family, Watkins shows her uncle’s caring spirit and her own love for him as she runs into his arms after church.
King’s sister, Christine King Farris, has also written books about her brother, including March On! The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World, an account of the 1963 March on Washington.
Other biographies for middle-grade readers include the I Am Martin Luther King, Jr. by Grace Norwich. Part of the I Am series, this book includes King’s words, interesting facts, maps, sidebars, and a timeline. A good introduction to King’s important contributions.
Free At Last: The Story of Martin Luther King, Jr. by Angela Bull details King’s life and contributions. This short book contains excellent pictures, comprehensive facts, and fact-filled sidebars.
Martin Luther King Jr. by Dona Herweck features informational text, good pictures, and a timeline of King’s life. Best for younger readers.
National Geographic Readers: Martin Luther King, Jr. by Kitson Jazynka is a high-interest biography that explains King’s life and accomplishments in an easy-to-understand format. Colorful design and illustrations help hold reader interest.
One book contains King’s writing and speeches, and the other makes them accessible to middle grade readers.
For more great information on King, visit the King Center online or in Atlanta, Georgia. A booklist from the center includes suggested titles, which provide excellent reference materials for teachers, librarians, and parents who are planning programs or presentations.
Books by Martin Luther King, Jr.
Collections of Dr. King’s Writings & Speeches
Books about Martin Luther King, Jr. – Extended Citations
Books about Martin Luther King, Jr.
Books by Family Members
Books about The Civil Rights Movement
Books about Nonviolence