11 Children's Books That Honor Martin Luther King Jr.'s Legacy

And his impact on the civil rights movement.
We've gathered 11 children's books that highlight Martin Luther King Jr.'s work as a civil rights leader.
We've gathered 11 children's books that highlight Martin Luther King Jr.'s work as a civil rights leader.

Martin Luther King Jr. left a lasting impact on America and the world at large.

And to keep his legacy alive, children’s book authors have turned his call for equality and his message of peaceful protest into helpful history lessons. With these books, kids can learn about King’s relatives and their activism, his unforgettable “I Have a Dream” speech, and his continuing impact.

Here are 11 children’s books that celebrate King’s life’s work:

"I Have a Dream"
I Have a Dream pairs King's unforgettable speech about equality with beautiful art from illustrator Kadir Nelson, a two-time Caldecott Honor winner.
"We March"
We March , written and illustrated by Shane W. Evans, gives kids a look at what it was like to attend the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963, where King gave his hopeful "I Have a Dream" speech.
"As Fast as Words Could Fly"
As Fast as Words Could Fly is a fictional story that reflects King's mission. Author Pamela M. Tuck centers the story on a young man, Mason Steele, who attends a high school that was previously segregated. Illustrated by Eric Velasquez.
"Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr."
In Martin's Big Words, author Doreen Rappaport and illustrator Bryan Collier teach young readers about King's childhood and what inspired him to fight for equality. It includes some of King's most famous quotes.
"March On: The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World"
In March On, activist Christine King Farris shares what it was like to watch King, her brother, prepare and give his iconic speech in 1963. Illustrated by London Ladd.
"Martin & Mahalia: His Words, Her Song"
Martin & Mahalia, by Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney, highlights the talent and significance of Mahalia Jackson, a gospel singer who became a close friend of King's and inspired one of the most important parts of his "I Have a Dream" speech.
"My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr."
Martin Luther King III shares what life was like alongside his famous father in this charming children's book illustrated by A.G. Ford.
"My Uncle Martin's Words for America"
Author and professor Angela Farris Watkins offers her take on her uncle's inspiring message and legacy in My Uncle Martin's Words for America. Illustrated by Eric Velasquez.
"Dear Mrs. Parks: A Dialogue With Today's Youth"
Dear Mrs. Parks compiles many letters the civil rights icon received from young people, as well as her inspiring responses. Parks talks about King and his legacy, and underlines the importance of hope and remembering the past. With Gregory J. Reed.
"Courageous People Who Changed the World"
King joins other trailblazers like Malala Yousafzai and Harriet Tubman in this book about "courageous people," written by Heidi Poelman and illustrated by Kyle Kershner.
"Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down"
Sit-In teaches young readers about the Woolworth sit-in, a protest led by four African-American college students at a lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina. They were inspired by King's calls for peaceful protest and looking to make a difference. Written by Andrea Davis Pinkney and illustrated by Brian Pinkney.