There are plenty of biographies about Martin Luther King Jr. written for children, and more are published every year. But sometimes parents, caregivers, and teachers might want to focus less on dates and places, and more on the inspiration Dr. King provided to the world to make changes large and small in families, neighborhoods, communities, and cities.
As we celebrate African American Heritage Month, here is a list of picture book titles that do just that. Here you will find a child’s eye view of the 1963 Birmingham Children’s Crusade; Let the Children March, written by Monica Clark-Robinson, which shows how children were able to play a crucial role in the Civil Rights movement; the vision of a child of color hearing the words “Hands Up!”; Hands Up!, written by Brianna J. McDaniel, in a multitude of positive scenarios; and a classroom where every child’s life is celebrated equally; All are Welcome, written by Alexandra Penfold. Not all of these books mention Dr. King explicitly, but all offer his perspective and inspiration to this generation of engaged, energetic, and hopeful children.