5 Must-Read Books Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. for Older Kids

Most children know about Martin Luther King, Jr., but these books will add to their knowledge and help them better understand and appreciate this leader.
By Amy Mascott
Jan 13, 2014



5 Must-Read Books Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. for Older Kids

Jan 13, 2014

We honor the life of Martin Luther King Jr., each year on the third Monday of January in celebration of his birthday, which was January 15.  

This year, if your family is unable to mark this special day with service to your community, like many do, perhaps a trip to the library to read and learn about this great man will suffice. Sit down together, read some of these books for older readers, and talk about what you learn.

Help your child to better understand the texts by helping her make connections, ask questions, and read as much as you can about Dr. King as a leader and icon.

Here are some books that every reader must check out:

I Am #4: Martin Luther King, Jr. by Grace Norwich (ages 8-10)
This entire series is one that should be included on every family's bookshelf. Find out everything you need to know about Martin Luther King, Jr., in an approachable text. Illustrations, a timeline, and a list of the top 10 things you need to know about Dr. King will surely make this a favorite.

If You Lived at the Time of Martin Luther King Jr. by Ellen Levine (ages 7-10)
Another favorite series for readers, this book is about life when Martin Luther King Jr., was living and is written in a question-answer format. Many of readers' most relevant questions about Martin Luther King, Jr., are answered in a comprehensive and memorable way.

My Brother Martin by Christine King Farris (ages 9-11)
Written by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s older sister and renowned educator Christine King Farris, this story explains how one childhood experience inspired a movement. Readers will love and appreciate the fact that this book is written by the late Dr. King's sister and will learn so much.

I've Seen the Promised Land by Walter Dean Myers (ages 11-13)
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s life and work is celebrated in this text, which is paired with moving illustrations. A must-read for all who want to learn more about Dr. King and his work, especially our visual learners.

The Day Martin Luther King, Jr., Was Shot by James Haskins (ages 11-13)
A combination of words and black-and-white photographs bring to life the Civil Rights Movement for middle readers. Haskins profiles numerous individuals who played a role in the quest for equal rights.

This is just a start; the books and resources on Martin Luther King Jr.'s life and accomplishments are numerous.  

What is your go-to book or resource for older readers about Dr. King that we should add to this list? Share your thoughts on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page and let's continue the conversation!


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