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Martin Luther King Jr. Books for Kids in Elementary School

These Martin Luther King Jr. books for kids are a great way to teach elementary students about one of the most influential historical figures in our country: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He dedicated his life to equality for all Americans. During his lifetime, America was a very different place than it is now. King experienced racial prejudice because black people did not have the same rights as white people. His hard work to achieve equality and justice for all Americans makes him the most important leader of the Civil Rights Movement. Check out the list of Martin Luther King Jr. books for kids below to help teach your students about him and his impact on our country. The list has tons of quality MLK books for kids!

This post highlights the following MLK books:

  • The Story of Martin Luther King Jr.
  • A Place to Land
  • My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Be a King: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s Dream and You
  • My Brother Martin: A Sister Remembers Growing Up with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
  • I Have a Dream
  • Martin’s Big Words
kids listening to a MLK read aloud

7 Martin Luther King Jr. Books for Kids

Below are 7 Martin Luther King Jr. books for kids. Your students are going to love listening to these read alouds!

The Story of Martin Luther King Jr. by Christine Platt

This informative book, The Story of Martin Luther King Jr., tells the story of Martin Luther King Jr. from his childhood to his death. With plenty of illustrations and “Think Tank” sections with thought-provoking questions, this biography presents the issues that Martin Luther King Jr challenged throughout his life in an engaging way. 

The Story of Martin Luther King Jr. book coverA Place to Land book cover

A Place to Land by Barry Wittenstein

A Place to Land portrays the events in Martin Luther King Jr’s life in the twenty-four hours before his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. In school, students might only learn about the speech itself. This book describes the joint effort it took to prepare it. It serves as a great reminder of two things. First, anyone can do amazing things. Second, they don’t have to do it by themselves.

My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Martin Luther King III 

My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was written by Martin Luther King Jr’s son. This book describes the challenges that Martin Luther King III, called Marty, faced while growing up. When he was younger, he used to be afraid to share his father’s name because he lived in the South. Many people did not agree with what Martin Luther King Jr was fighting for in that part of the country. When his father was arrested for protesting, Marty would comfort his sister, but it was difficult for him, too. Despite these challenges, Martin Luther King III notes that, one school at a time, one child at a time, and one heart at a time, the world changed. He is proud that his father played a part in it.

My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. book coverBe a King book cover

Be a King: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s Dream and You by Carole Boston Weatherford

Be a King: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s Dream and You teaches students that, by noticing hatred and fighting it, anyone can be a King. In order to be a King, students can believe in their cause and make the world take notice. They can be a King by lifting up the less fortunate. They can set their sights on the mountaintop, and climb a little higher each day. This Martin Luther King Jr. children’s book will inspire students to do their very best to support the causes they believe in.

My Brother Martin: A Sister Remembers Growing Up with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. by Christine King Farris 

In My Brother Martin, Martin Luther King Jr’s older sister, Christine, remembers their childhood together. They lived in Atlanta during segregation so they had to face many hardships growing up, but their parents imparted lessons on them to give their children hope. During their childhood, both of Christine’s parents preached that, one day, racial injustice will come tumbling down. Students will love hearing about what kinds of things Martin Luther King Jr. liked to do when he was a child in this Martin Luther King children’s book.

My Brother Martin book coverI Have a Dream book cover

I Have a Dream by Dr. Martin Luther King

I Have a Dream presents Martin Luther King Jr’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech alongside gorgeous illustrations. At the end of the book, the speech in its entirety is included. Students will love learning about the famous words that made a difference in the world. 

Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport

Martin’s Big Words by Doreen Rappaport is a nonfiction picture book that teaches children about the life and dream of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Students will learn what life was like for Martin growing up and how he became a leader in the fight for equal rights.

Throughout the book, the author includes actual quotes from Martin Luther King Jr. This book explains how Martin Luther King Jr. encouraged people to use their words to make change and the impact he had on the country. This story follows Martin all the way from childhood through the end of his life. This is one of my favorite Martin Luther King books for kids! I liked it so much that I added it to my Starts With a Story collection!

Martin's Big Words book coverMartin's Big Words

Grab the Free Reading Resources!

In closing, we hope you found this list of Martin Luther King Jr. books helpful! They are great winter read alouds, but can be used any time of year! Next, we’d love for you to get more book ideas to read aloud to your elementary students. The reading freebie below includes read aloud books lists, reading logs, and reading challenges for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classroom teachers. It will have you covered for the entire school year, as well as the summer months! Grab this free elementary reading packet now!

free monthly reading logs

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