Martin Luther King, Jr. was born January 15, 1929, and assassinated in 1968. He dreamed of a world blind to the lines of color. He worked unceasingly and peacefully to obtain that goal. His peaceful resistance was inspired by Mahatma Gandhi, who led the peaceful struggle for India's independence from Great Britain. King's work was helped in the civil rights movement by such people as Rosa Parks who served as a catalyst for the Montgomery, Alabama, bus boycott. The following books will help provide information about King and the others who were important to his work in the 20th-century civil rights movement in the United States.


Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968)

  • Adler, David A. Martin Luther King, Jr.: Free at Last. Illustrated by Robert Casilla. Holiday, 1986. A biography of the Baptist minister who worked unceasingly for his dream of a world without hate, prejudice, or violence.
  • Bray, Rosemary L. Martin Luther King. Greenwillow, 1995. A new look at the work and life of Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • King, Coretta Scott. My Life with Martin Luther King, Jr. H. Holt, 1993. A widow's perspective on her husband's work in the civil rights movement of the 20th century.
  • Lazo, Caroline Evensen. Martin Luther King, Jr. Dillon Press, 1994. A biography of the influential civil rights leader who won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work. Includes bibliographical references.
  • Livingston, Myra Cohn. Let Freedom Ring: A Ballad of Martin Luther King, Jr. Illustrated by Samuel Byrd. Holiday, 1992. A poetic treatment of MLK and his dream.
  • McKissack, Pat. Martin Luther King, Jr.: Man of Peace. Enslow, 1991. Simple text and illustrations describe the life and accomplishments of the civil rights leader.

King's inspiration, Mahatma Gandhi

  • Birch, Beverly. Mahatma Gandhi: Champion of Human Rights. G. Stevens Children's Books, 1990. Follows the life of the statesman who was a key figure in India's fight for independence from Great Britain.

  • Sherrow, Victoria. Mohandas Gandhi: The Power of the Spirit. Milbrook, 1994. Biographical look at the statesman and his influence.

  • Nicholson, Michael. Mahatma Gandhi: The Man Who Freed India and Led the World in Nonviolent Change. G.Stevens, 1988.

Rosa Parks

  • Adler, David A. A Picture Book of Rosa Parks. Illustrated by Robert Casilla. Holiday, 1993.
  • Siegel, Beatrice. The Year They Walked: Rosa Parks and the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Four Winds, 1992.
  • Parks, Rosa, and Jim Haskins. Rosa Parks: My Story. Dial, 1992.
  • Friese, Kai. Rosa Parks: The Movement Organizes. Burdett, 1990.

Civil Rights Movement

  • McKissack, Pat. The Civil Rights Movement in America from 1865 to the Present. Children's Press, 1987. Follows the movement from the beginning of Reconstruction to the present and traces the struggle of blacks to gain their civil rights in America, including a brief comparison of their problems with those of other minorities.