Wife, Mummy, Nurse: 4 Martin Luther King, Jr. Children's Books

09 February 2016

4 Martin Luther King, Jr. Children's Books

January 18 was Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Drew and I decided to give Charis a day "off" and read books about Martin Luther King, Jr. When I told her we would not have the usual school work, she was slightly downcast, but excited at the same time. Now that it's Black History month, when we go to the library, we see at least three different displays on African Americans. Charis excitedly points out, "There's Martin Luther King, Jr. There's ANOTHER book about him-and another one!!! They have a lot of books about him."

Martin Luther King, Jr. by Edith Hope Fine

Brief biography of Martin Luther King, Jr. Total pages: 32. It has 5 short chapters: 
Chapter 1: Martin's childhood and college.
Chapter 2: Boston University. Marriage to Coretta Scott. Pastor in Montgomery, Alabama. Involvement in boycotting buses in Alabama.
Chapter 3: Martin's involvement as a civil rights leader. Protests against segregation. Wickedness of Bull Connor and the police. Martin's "I have a Dream" speech.
Chapter 4: March for the right to vote.
Chapter 5: Death of Martin Luther King, Jr. 

I like that this book has a glossary in the back and has suggestions for further books to read.

I Have a Dream by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Speech that Martin Luther King, Jr. gave on August 28, 1963. This book is illustrated by fifteen different artists to help display Martin's dream and beliefs that motivated his involvement in the Civil Rights movement.

Overall I enjoyed this book (yes, there's a but coming at the end), it is the story about Martin Luther King's funeral and procession. It was not until the very end that my daughter realized it was talking about Martin Luther King, Jr. 

It is presented as non-fiction, but one should be cautious when reading this book. The author wrote, "The mule is a symbol of freedom... Each slave got a mule and forty acres when he was freed." (I don't believe that is accurate.) Though the author was saying that's why the men wanted mules and that's what they said. (And that part may be true.)

Martin Luther King Jr. Day by Margaret McNamara

Of the four books, this was my least favorite. Mrs. Connor's first grade class went to a museum. While looking at a bust statue, Mrs. Connor asked her class if they knew who it was. One of her student's replied, "That is the Reverend Doctor Martin Luther King Junior." But then it went down hill from there. The book has NOTHING to do with Martin's life, other than he has "big dreams". This would be at best, preschool "literature" (and yes, I use that term loosely). My recommendation with this book is, do not waste your time reading it.

What books about Martin Luther King, Jr. do you recommend for children or adults?


  1. Thanks for doing this round-up. The first book you mention, by Edith Hope Fine, looks like it would be perfect for the middle schooler who needs an introduction to King's life and work.

    1. You're welcome! This year homeschooling has been done VERY inexpensively, thanks to the library.

  2. Ooh. Thank you for putting these together! I am going to check these out.

  3. Really appreciated your thoughts on these books. There really are so many on MLKJ now that it's hard to know which ones are worth it! Love having you as a part of Booknificent Thursday!

  4. What a great book list! I need to check out a few of these to read with my kiddos!

  5. Thanks for the list! Which one would you recommend for a 6-year-old precocious reader?