SHELF TALKERS

Martin Luther King, Jr.

My Uncle Martin's Words for America

by: Angela Farris Watkins, PhD


In this inspirational story about Martin Luther King Jr.—told from the perspective of his niece Angela Farris Watkins—readers learn how King used his message of love and peace to effectively fight for African Americans’ civil rights.

Focusing on important words and phrases from his speeches, such as justice, freedom, and equality, Watkins uses King’s language to expose young readers to important events during the civil rights era. The simple yet striking text, along with a timeline and glossary, makes this book an accessible tool for helping a young audience learn about the importance of Martin Luther King Jr.’s message of nonviolence and his contributions to American history.


(Review Credit - Amazon)

I Have A Dream

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. His words, paired with Caldecott Honor winner Kadir Nelson's magnificent paintings, make for a picture book certain to be treasured by children and adults alike. The themes of equality and freedom for all are not only relevant today, 50 years later, but also provide young readers with an important introduction to our nation's past.


(Review Credit - Amazon)

We March

by: Shane W. Evans


A boy, a girl, and their parents wake at dawn, prepare, travel, and join a march “to justice, to freedom, to our dreams.” The text itself, but 57 words, tells the story in a clear first-person-plural voice that begins with the young family and soon encompasses the entire assembly. The illustrations also depict recognizable faces (Mathew Ahmann, Floyd McKissick, Martin Luther King Jr., and Cleveland Robinson) and iconic landmarks on the National Mall, and conclude with Dr. King delivering the “I Have a Dream” speech with the words “Free at last!” This makes a pivotal event in our nation’s history accessible to our youngest citizens without compromising any of its power. Preschool-Grade 1.


(Review Credit-- Booklist, Thom Barthelmes)

Belle, the Last Mule at Gee's Bend

by: Calvin Alexander Ramsey and Bettye Stroud


Sitting on a bench waiting for his mother, Alex spies a mule chomping on greens in someone's garden, and he can't help but ask about it.""Ol Belle?" says Miz Pettway next to him. "She can have all the collards she wants. She's earned it." And so begins the tale of a simple mule in Gee's Bend, Alabama, who played a singular part in the civil rights movement of the 1960s. When African-Americans in a poor community-- inspired by a visit from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.-- defied local authorities who were trying to stop them from registering to vote, many got around a long detour on mule-drawn wagons. Later, after Dr. King's assassination, two mules from Gee's Bend pulled the farm wagon bearing his casket through the streets of Atlanta. As Alex looks into the eyes of gentle Belle, he begins to understand a powerful time in history in a very personal way.


(Review credit - Amazon)

Martin's Big Words

by: Doreen Rappaport


In this story each two-page spread begins with a short paragraph about King and his crusade for civil rights, followed by a powerful sample of his own words set in oversized, boldface type. Both portions of the succinct text work together to emphasize the leader's courage, commitment, and, ultimately, sacrifice without sensationalizing his death. King's assassination during the 1968 Memphis garbage strike is summed up in just two short sentences: "On his second day there, he was shot. He died." The book concludes with a reassuring reminder that his words are immortal.


(Review Credit - School Library Journal)

My Brother Martin

by: Christine King Farris


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.


(Review Credit - Amazon)

My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

by: Martin Luther King III


What was it like growing up as a son of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.? This picture book memoir, My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.by Martin Luther King III, provides insight into one of history’s most fascinating families and into a special bond between father and son.

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”

Martin Luther King III was one of those four little children mentioned in Martin Luther King’s groundbreaking “I Have a Dream” speech. In this memoir, Martin Luther King Jr.’s son gives an intimate look at the man and the father behind the civil rights leader. Mr. King’s remembrances show both his warm, loving family and a momentous time in American history.


(Review Credit - Amazon)

March On!: The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World

by: Christine King Farris


This handsome picture book, told from the viewpoint of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s older sister, is a personal, celebratory account of the 1963 March on Washington. Farris tracks back to childhood, when she and her brother were raised to do good but not to brag about it. She also tells about the night before the march, when Dr. King stayed up to work on his speech until the very last minute, and a beautiful close-up portrait shows him, pen in hand, in his hotel room. The book’s main focus, though, is on the march itself. The author stayed with the King family in Atlanta and watched the events on TV, cheering every step of the way, and she describes with powerful detail the thousands who came, the leaders, the rights they fought for, and the power of their words. In his debut picture book, Ladd beautifully shows the historic crowd scenes and the portraits of King, the Big Six civil rights leaders, and gospel singer Mahalia Jackson. A stirring, intimate view of a watershed moment. Grades 2-5.


(Review Credit - Booklist, Hazel Rochman)


Coretta Scott

by: Ntozake Shange


Walking many miles to school in the dusty road, young Coretta Scott knew the unfairness of life in the segregated south. A yearning for equality began to grow. Together with Martin Luther King, Jr., she gave birth to a vision of change through nonviolent protest. It was the beginning of a journey—with dreams of freedom for all. Unflinching verse and elegant imagery combine in a powerful, evocative, picture-book portrait of Coretta Scott King.


(Review Credit - Amazon)


Martin Luther King - I Have a Dream on August 28, 1963 [Sous-titres & Subtitles] [FULL SPEECH]