10 Books to Teach Kids about the Civil Rights Movement

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Happy Martin Luther King Day!!! I hope you are enjoying this holiday with your family. I’m so thankful for all of the people who have put in the work to make this county a better place for all people. I can’t imagine the amount of strength and courage that it took for people to keep fighting to ensure that we could make it to where we are today. Thankfully, there were so many brave men, women, boys, and girls who never gave up. One of those brave individuals was Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and I’m happy that we have a national holiday observed to remember his legacy.

I love reading about history and I love to read my children books about history too. So we will be spending the day reading some books about Dr. King and others who fought for civil rights. So, I thought I would share some children’s books that are about Dr. Martin Luther King and others who bravely worked to truly make this country great.

Heroes for Civil Rights

Heroes for Civil Rights by David A. Adler illustrated by Bill Farnsworth

As Good as Anybody

As Good As Anybody: Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Joshua Heschel’s Amazing March Toward Freedom by Richard Michelson illustrated by Raul Colon

I am Martin Luther King, Jr.

I am Martin Luther King Jr. by Brad Meltzer illustrated by Christoper Eliopoulos

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hammer by Carole Boston Weatherford illustrated by Ekua Holmes

The Story of Martin Luther King Jr.

The Story of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by Johnny Rae Moore illustrated by Amy Wummer

Child of the Civil Rights Movement

Child of the Civil Rights Movement by Paula Young Shelton illustrated by Raul Colon

Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood up by Sitting Down

Sit-in: How Four Friends Stood Up while Sitting Down by Andrea Davis Pinkey illustrated by Brian Pinkey

The Story of Ruby Bridges (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles

Rosa (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)

Rosa by Nikki Giovanni illustrated by Brian Collier

Cracking the Wall: The Struggles of the Little Rock Nine

Cracking the Wall: The Struggles of the Little Rock Nine by Eileen Lucas


  • Reply Mary January 18, 2017 at 7:14 pm

    I remember reading books about the civil rights and asking questions as a youngster. I just didn’t understand why people could treat others differently simply because of the color of their skin. It wasn’t fair, and eight-year-old Mary wasn’t having it! I argued with teachers, church people and my parents, little did I know my arguing wouldn’t make a difference. It’s something I have to deal with on a daily basis but I love the fact that I was a rebel and thought I could change the world with my eight-year-old reasoning. These look like great books Sonya!

  • Reply Tamara January 20, 2017 at 1:11 pm

    Thank you for this. Scarlet is SUCH a Ruby Bridges fan – she read a whole book on her.
    Like Mary, I argued with adults. I couldn’t understand why anyone would care about skin color . I will never understand it, actually.
    Tamara recently posted…Back and Better Than Ever?My Profile

  • Reply Ashley Ponder February 21, 2018 at 3:02 pm

    Thanks for sharing some books that I didn’t know about. I have a few off of these lists but now I have a few more great ones to add.

    • Reply Sonya April 16, 2018 at 2:06 pm

      I’m glad you enjoyed the list and I hope you enjoy the books too! 🙂

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