Each year, on the third Monday in January, we as a country pause to reflect the societal contributions of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This year, MLK Day falls on Monday, January 20. Check out these picture books to learn more about the Civil Rights Movement, MLK, and his legacy:
I Have a Dream by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
This is a book of King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech, accompanied by beautifully illustrated paintings of the historic March on Washington, national monuments, and King’s life. The book includes a CD of King’s narrate speech so you can follow along as you listen.
I Am Martin Luther King, Jr. by Brad Meltzer
MLK spoke about the dream of a kinder future, and bravely led the way toward racial equality in America through the power of words. This lively, New York Times Bestselling biography series inspires kids to dream big, one great role model at a time.
The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles
This is the true story of an extraordinary 6-year-old who helped shape history when she became the first African-American sent to first grade in an all white school. This moving book captures the courage of a little girl standing alone in the face of racism.
If You’re Going to a March by Martha Freeman
As more and more children attend the growing number of marches across the country, this cheerful guide serves as a great reference tool and conversation starter for youthful participants. All the while, the text stays focused on the fact that the right to assemble is a Constitutional part of our life as Americans, whatever our political point of view.
Henry’s Freedom Box by Ellen Levine
Henry doesn’t know how old he is. Nobody keeps records of slaves’ birthdays. All the time he dreams about freedom, but that dream seems farther away than ever when he is torn from his family and put to work in a warehouse. Henry grows up and marries, but he is again devastated when his family is sold at the slave market. Then one day, as he lifts a crate at the warehouse, he knows exactly what he must do: He will mail himself to the North. After an arduous journey in the crate, Henry finally has a birthday — his first day of freedom.
All Are Welcome by Alexandra Penfold
Follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed with open arms. A school where kids in patkas, hijabs, and yamulkes play side-by-side with friends in baseball caps. A school where students grow and learn from each other’s traditions and the whole community gathers to celebrate the Lunar New Year. All Are Welcome lets young children know that no matter what, they have a place, they have a space, they are welcome in their school.
Hidden Figures: The True Story of Four Black Women and the Space Race by Margot Lee Shetterly
Dorothy Vaughan, Mary Jackson, Katherine Johnson, and Christine Darden were good at math…really good. They participated in some of NASA’s greatest successes, like providing the calculations for America’s first journeys into space. And they did so during a time when being black and a woman limited what they could do. But they worked hard. They persisted. And they used their genius minds to change the world.
Thanks for reading, and we wish you a happy Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. Remember the library will be closed on Monday, January 20, 2020 in honor of MLK.