Top Children�s Books for Celebrating MLK Day

4 min
Jul 15, 2024
Children�s books are a fantastic way to teach young kids about big, important issues in an age-appropriate manner and at a level they can understand. That�s certainly the case for educating little ones about the life and legacy of the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the crucial topic of equality. At The Malvern School, books are a springboard for carefully planned lessons that focus on everything from character values and social-emotional development to literacy, music and much more. At home, they can also spark additional conversation and allow you to reinforce key lessons with your child. With that in mind, we pulled together a short list of some of our favorite books for celebrating MLK Day that you can check out with your child at home! I am Martin Luther King, Jr. By Brad Meltzer; Illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos �As a child, Martin Luther King, Jr. was shocked by the terrible and unfair way African American people were treated. When he grew up, he decided to do something about it � peacefully, with powerful words � He spoke about the dream of a kinder future, and bravely led the way toward racial equality in America."     Who Was Martin Luther King Jr.? By Lisbeth Kaiser; Illustrated by Stanley Chow �The chronology and themes of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s meaningful life are presented in a masterfully succinct text, with just a few sentences per page. The fresh, stylized illustrations are sure to captivate young readers and adults alike.�     Every Child Is Different By Luna James �We all have a responsibility to stand up and speak up when we see someone being bullied or mistreated. This book aims to introduce little ones to the idea that we are all different and unique, we all deserve love, respect, and equality.�     I Am Whole By Shola Oz; Illustrated by Shifa Annisa �I Am Whole is a delightful picture book � written with love to embrace the differences that come with being multi-racial, including language, family and cultural traditions. This book encourages children to embrace their diversity and recognize that such differences make us whole.�     All Are Welcome By Alexandra Penfold; Illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman �Discover a school where all young children have a place, have a space, and are loved and appreciated. Readers will follow a group of children through a day in their school, where everyone is welcomed with open arms. A school where students from all backgrounds learn from and celebrate each other's traditions.�     A Sweet Smell of Roses By Angela Johnson; Illustrated by Eric Velasquez �There�s a sweet, sweet smell in the air as two young girls sneak out of their house, down the street, and across town to where men and women are gathered, ready to march for their freedom and justice. Inspired by countless children and adults who took a stand, two Coretta Scott King honorees offer a heart-lifting glimpse of children�s roles in the civil rights movement.�   Happy reading!