Recently I was interviewed by a Canadian publication about Martin Luther King Jr. Day and the public librarian’s role. Canadians don’t celebrate it themselves, so they asked me a variety of different questions, at one point wondering if kids in school even know why they have the day off. I told them that certainly my library was out of every single book possibly relating to Martin Luther King Jr. at the moment because of all the teachers and parents who had come through and grabbed them. Then I gave them a nice list of those MLK books I was particularly fond of.
However, I’ve been clinging to this blog post from the site Book Patrol for a year because I found it interesting. The title is, Libraries Keep MLK’s Crucial Comic Book. Consider it hard to top.
By the way, if you want to see my quickie list of some of the better (and recent) Martin Luther King Jr. titles out there that I passed along to the Canadians, here they are:
Great Martin Luther King Books
A Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr. by David A. Adler, illustrated by Robert Casilla
A brief, illustrated, biography of the Baptist minister and civil rights leader whose philosophy and practice of nonviolent civil disobedience helped American blacks win many battles for equal rights.
Martin Luther King by Rosemary L. Bray, paintings by Malcah Zeldis
Folk-art paintings enhance the text of this portrait of the courageous civil rights leader.
Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King by Jean Marzollo, illustrated by J. Brian Pinkney
Martin Luther King, Jr., had a dream of peace and equality. Because he worked so hard for freedom and helped so many people gain it, we honor him every year on his special day. This inspiring, beautifully illustrated biography gently teaches young readers about the life–and lessons–of this great man.
As Good as Anybody : Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Joshua Heschel’s Amazing March Toward Freedom by Richard Michelson, illustrated by Raul Colón
The story of two icons for social justice, how they formed a remarkable friendship and turned their personal experiences of discrimination into a message of love and equality for all.
I’ve Seen the Promised Land : The life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Walter Dean Myers, illustrated by Leonard Jenkins
Pictures and easy-to-read text introduce the life of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Martin’s Big Words : The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport, illustrated by Bryan Collier
A picture book biography introduces the ideas and accomplishments of a gifted and influential speaker by using some of his own words to tell the story.
My Uncle Martin’s Big Heart by Angela Farris Watkins, illustrated by Eric Velasquez
A young girl introduces readers to her uncle, Martin Luther King Jr., describing what he does and family moments they have shared.
EARLY CHAPTER BOOKS
Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.? by Bonnie Bader, illustrated by Elizabeth Wolf
An introduction to the life Martin Luther King, Jr. Including how he organized the Montgomery Bus Boycott and African American people across the country in support of the right to vote, desegregation, and other basic civil rights.
Martin Luther King Jr. Day by Dana Meachen Rau
Introduces Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, explaining the historical events behind it, how it became a holiday, and how it is observed.
Martin Luther King, Jr. : A Dream of Hope by Alice Fleming
The pastor of a small Baptist church in Montgomery, Alabama, King became the driving force of the civil rights movement when he led a black boycott of the city’s bus lines. His philosophy of nonviolence, and his breathtaking eloquence, helped free African Americans from decades of oppression and finally won them the rights—and opportunities—they deserved.