Sunday, January 19, 2014

Books to Celebrate Martin Luther KIng, Jr Day 2014

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. day, a day to honor the great Civil Rights leader.  Here are some book suggestions to learn about the man, his words and his influence, all of which helped to change the world for the better.

MLK's Life:

Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr by Doreen Rappaport, illustrated by Bryan Collier
Hyperion Books for Children, 2001
Age 5+
40 pages

From the publisher: This picture book biography is an excellent and accessible introduction for young readers to learn about one of the world's most influential leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Doreen Rappaport weaves the immortal Words of Dr. King into a captivating narrative to tell the story of his life.

Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King by Jean Marzollo, illustrated by J. Brian Pinkney
Scholastic, 2006
Age 4+
32 pages

From the publisher: In commemoration of his peaceful fight for freedom and change, Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday is celebrated across the nation. Marzollo's simple writing style combines with Pinkney's engaging illustrations in this moving introduction to an American hero, created just for younger readers

A Lesson for Martin Luther King, Jr by Denise Lewis Patrick, illustrated by Rodney S. Pate
Simon Spotlight, 2003
Age 5+
32 pages

From the publisher: Young Martin Luther King Jr. is having some problems with his best friend, Bobby. First, they are going to different schools this year. Next, Bobby's dad is not letting his son play with Martin. When Martin learns why, he is confused and hurt — but he learns a lesson that he will never forget.

My Brother Martin: A Sister Remembers Growing Up with the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Christine King Farris, illustrated by Chris Soetpiet
Aladdin, 2006
Age 6+
40 pages

From the publisher: Long before he became a world-famous dreamer, Martin Luther King Jr. was a little boy who played jokes and practiced the piano and made friends without considering race. But growing up in the segregated south of the 1930s taught young Martin a bitter lesson — little white children and little black children were not to play with one another. Martin decided then and there that something had to be done. And so he began the journey that would change the course of American history.

Martin Luther King, Jr: Great Civil Rights Leader by Jennifer Fandel, illustrated by Brian Bascle
Capstone, 2007
Age 6+
32 pages age 

From the publisher: A biography telling the life story of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and his leadership in the civil rights movement to stop racism, segregation, and discrimination in the United States. Written in graphic-novel format.

The Cart that Carried Martin by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Don Tate
Charlesbridge, 2013
Age 6+
32 pages

From the publisher: Eve Bunting focuses on the funeral procession of Dr. King, beginning with the two men who found the cart to carry him through the streets of Atlanta. After painting it green, two mules named Belle and Ada are hitched to the cart where Dr. King’s coffin is placed. Tens of thousands of mourners gather as the cart makes its way to Ebenezer Baptist Church, and then past the Georgia state capitol to Morehouse College. All the while, crowds of people pay their respects by singing songs of hope.
MLK's Words:

March on!: The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World by Christine King Farris, illustrated by London Ladd  
Scholastic, 2008
Age 8+  
32 pages

From the publisher: From Dr. Martin Luther King's sister, the definitive tribute to the man, the march, and the speech that changed a nation. 

I Have A Dream by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., illustrated by Kadir Nelson
Random House, 2012
Age 5+
40 pages

From the publisher: From Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s daughter, Dr. Bernice A. King: “My father’s dream continues to live on from generation to generation, and this beautiful and powerful illustrated edition of his world-changing "I Have a Dream" speech brings his inspiring message of freedom, equality, and peace to the youngest among us—those who will one day carry his dream forward for everyone.” 
On August 28, 1963, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington, Martin Luther King gave one of the most powerful and memorable speeches in our nation's history.

Martin & Mahalia: His Words, Her Song by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by Brian Pinkney
Little, Brown BFYR, 2013
Age 6+
40 pages

From the publisher: On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous "I Have a Dream" speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and his strong voice and powerful message were joined and lifted in song by world-renowned gospel singer Mahalia Jackson. It was a moment that changed the course of history and is imprinted in minds forever. Told through Andrea Davis Pinkney's poetic prose and Brian Pinkney's evocative illustration, the stories of these two powerful voices and lives are told side-by-side -- as they would one day walk -- following the journey from their youth to a culmination at this historical event when they united as one and inspiring kids to find their own voices and speak up for what is right.

MLK's Influence:

Boycott Blues: How Rosa Parks Inspired a Nation by Andrea Davis Pinkney, illustrated by Brian Pinkney
HarperCollins, 2008
Age 4+
40 pages

From the publisher: Rosa Parks took a stand by keeping her seat on the bus. When she was arrested for it, her supporters protested by refusing to ride. Soon a community of thousands was coming together to help one another get where they needed to go. Some started taxis, some rode bikes, but they all walked and walked.
With dogged feet. With dog-tired feet. With boycott feet. With boycott blues.
And, after 382 days of walking, they walked Jim Crow right out of town. . . .
Andrea Davis Pinkney and Brian Pinkney present a poignant, blues-infused tribute to the men and women of the Montgomery bus boycott, who refused to give up until they got justice.
Sit in: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down by Andrea Davis, illustrated by Brian Pinkney 
Little, Brown BFYR, 2010
Age 6+ 
40 pages
From the publisher: This picture book is a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the momentous Woolworth's lunch counter sit-in, when four college students staged a peaceful protest that became a defining moment in the struggle for racial equality and the growing civil rights movement...four young men, who followed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s words of peaceful protest and dared to sit at the "whites only" Woolworth's lunch counter.

We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March by Cynthia Y. Levinson
Peachtree, 2012
Age 10+
192 pages

From the publisher: In 1963, the Civil Rights movement was falling apart. After a series of setbacks across the south, the movement was losing direction and momentum. No southern city was more divided than Birmingham, Alabama, home of the infamous Bull Connor. Dr. Martin Luther King conceived an ingenious plan: fill the Birmingham jails by arranging a series of public protests at which participants would be arrested as a result of their nonviolent action, paralyzing the city and drawing national and world attention to the horrors and injustices of segregation. But the stakes were too high for much adult participant in the movement—job loss, jailing, and quite possibly even death. Instead, against Dr. King's better judgment, young people led the protests.
Through the experiences of four of the original participants, We Have a Job tells the little-known story of the 4,000 black students who voluntarily went to jail between May 2 and May 11, 1963. Fulfilling Mahatma Gandhi's and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s precept to "fill the jails," they succeeded in desegregating one of the most racially violent cities in America.

March, Book 1 by John Lewis and Andrs Aydin, illustrated by Nate Powell
Top Shelf Productions, 2012
Age 12+
128 pages 
From the publisher: March is a vivid, first-hand account of John Lewis' lifelong struggle for civil and human rights (including his key roles in the historic 1963 March on Washington and the 1965 Selma-Montgomery March), meditating in the modern age on the distance traveled since the days of Jim Crow and segregation. Graphic Style 

Child of the Civil Rights Movement by Paula Young Shelton, illustrated by Raul Colon 
Random House, 2013 
Age 4+
48 pages
Paula grew up in the deep south, in a world where whites had and blacks did not. With an activist father and a community of leaders surrounding her, including Uncle Martin (Martin Luther King), Paula watched and listened to the struggles, eventually joining with her family—and thousands of others—in the historic march from Selma to Montgomery.

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