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BOOKLIST: Learning from the Civil Rights Movement...and Continuing the Work

Updated: Jun 17, 2020

January Booklist K-12
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Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., was a Civil Rights activist and extraordinary leader in the Civil Rights Movement. He dedicated his life to Civil Rights and improving racial equity in the United States; as a result, he was assassinated on April 4th, 1968 while leading a protest march in Memphis, Tennessee.

Annually on the third Monday of January, King's legacy is remembered and celebrated. A curated book list dedicated to Martin Luther King Jr. and Civil Rights Activism brings awareness to and recognizes the importance of the Civil Rights Movement. It is particularly important to recognize the Civil Rights Movement in order to continue civil rights activism today and to prevent history from repeating itself by maintaining an anti-bias and anti-racist perspective. This curated book list highlights the history of the Civil Rights Movement, social change, and individual civil rights activists including Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, and John Lewis. You can find books appropriate for early elementary readers through high school.

Child of the Civil Rights Movement by Paula Young Shelton, illustrated by Raul Colon

Reading Level: Early Elementary- Grade K, Grades 1-2

Bus Boycott by Dee Romito, illustrated by Laura Freeman

Reading Level: Early Elementary, Grades 1-2

The Bus Ride by William Miller, illustrated by John Ward

Reading Level:Early Elementary

Sit In by Andrea Davi Pinkney, illustrated by J. Brian Pinkney

Reading Level: Mid-Late Elementary, Grades 2-5

Biddy Mason Speaks Up by Arisa White and Laura Atkins, illustrated by Laura Freeman

Reading Level:Upper Elementary- Middle School: Grades 5-7

Someday Is Now: Clara Luper and the 1958 Oklahoma City Sit-Ins by Olugbemisola Rhuday-Perkovich, illustrated by Jade Johnson

Reading Level: Early-Mid Elementary: Grades 1-4

Finding Langston by Lesa Cline-Ransome

Reading Level: Upper Elementary and Middle School- Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8

Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Ekua Holmes

Reading Level: Mid-Upper Elementary--Middle School

Jim Haskins, illustrated by Aaron Boyd

Reading Level: Upper Elementary- Middle School

by Jo Ann Allen Boyce, Debbie Levy

Reading Level: Grades 6-8

Troublemaker for Justice by Jacqueline Houtman, Walter Naegle, and Michael G. Long

Reading Level: Middle School and High School

A Wish After Midnight by Zetta Elliott

Reading Level: High School

Dear Martin by Nic Stone

Reading Level: High School


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