Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. inspired a nation with his tireless efforts for justice, equality, and his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Sometimes, his legacy gets whittled down to this one moment in time, but there’s so much more to his story. Picture books are the perfect place to get a glimpse into someone’s story and can be enjoyed by children and adults alike.

Here, we’ll share our top picks for must-read Martin Luther King Jr. picture book picks to celebrate one of the most inspirational people in American history. Sharing his story is a wonderful way to honor his life on this upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

 

OCPSMy Brother Martin - Told from the perspective of his older sister, Christine King Farris, this book is a unique glimpse into the childhood and family life of Martin Luther King, Jr. Immerse yourself in his world beginning almost 100 years ago and trace the development of a dream from his family home to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial.

 

 

2-2Be a King - Ever relevant in a climate of racial adversity, this book makes MLK’s message immediately applicable. Follow along as a class of students prepare to celebrate MLK Day and learn in simple poetic text how to make his teachings come alive.

 

 

3-1A Place to Land - Martin didn’t have any trouble beginning a sermon, but tying it up and finding “a place to land” was more of a challenge. Go behind the scenes with those who helped Martin create and revise his speech, only to ultimately cast it aside as he responded to a plea to “Tell them about the dream.”

 

 

4As Good as Anybody: Martin Luther King, Jr., and Abraham Joshua Heschel’s Amazing March toward Freedom - In this inspiring story, two unlikely friends band together to march for justice and love. Divided by race, age, and religion, Martin Luther King, Jr. and Abraham Joshua Heschel exemplify the power of peace and acceptance. Even when they faced racial discrimination, Martin as a young black boy in Georgia and Abraham as a Jewish man in Europe, no one could stop their legacies of love and hope. This book is an inspiring choice and a beautiful mentor text for overcoming adversity together.

 

 

5I Have a Dream - Martin Luther King Jr. will forever be a source of love and inspiration through his “I Have a Dream” speech. Read his speech (lightly edited for children) alongside beautifully realistic paintings and his words are brought to life. His hauntingly powerful words are just as relevant today as they were almost 60 years ago.


If you’re an educator, librarian, or parent who wants to learn more about how Beanstack can help your school, community, or family achieve its literacy goals, we’d love to hear from you. Drop us a note at beanstack.com/contact.

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