Civil Rights Books

The civil rights era comes alive in these excellent, informative books for kids of all ages. From beautifully illustrated picture books to memoirs that depict the Jim Crow South to biographies of heroes of the civil rights movement, these books show what life was like before civil rights, why individuals put their lives on the line for equal justice and opportunity, and how there's still more work to be done. Find other inspiring stories on our lists Books About Racism and Social Justice and Coretta Scott King Book Award Winners.

Rosa Poster Image
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Rosa

age 4+

Spectacular illustrations spotlight Parks' historic protest.

By: Nikki Giovanni (2006)
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We Shall Overcome Poster Image
BOOK

We Shall Overcome

age 4+

Powerful anthem and bold art tell story of Black activism.

By: Bryan Collier (2021)
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The Faith of Elijah Cummings: The North Star of Equal Justice Poster Image
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The Faith of Elijah Cummings: The North Star of Equal Justice

age 6+

Inspiring biography of American hero and activist.

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I Have a Dream Poster Image
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I Have a Dream

age 6+

Stunning art amplifies meaning of King's words for kids.

By: Kadir Nelson (2012)
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Let the Children March Poster Image
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Let the Children March

age 6+

Powerful art amplifies inspiring civil rights protest tale.

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My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Poster Image
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My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

age 6+

Powerful, personal view of cvil rights leader, issues.

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She Persisted: Claudette Colvin Poster Image
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She Persisted: Claudette Colvin

age 6+

Well-crafted story telling of a teen civil rights hero.

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Painting of Coretta Scott King held by three children.
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She Persisted: Coretta Scott King

age 6+

Inspiring true story of the civil rights legend.

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Standing in the Need of Prayer: A Modern Retelling of the Classic Spiritual.
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Standing in the Need of Prayer: A Modern Retelling of the Classic Spiritual

age 6+

Timeless hymn takes on new relevance in moving picture book.

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The Story of Ruby BridgesThe Story of Ruby Bridges: A Biography Book for New Readers Cover
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The Story of Ruby Bridges: A Biography Book for New Readers

age 6+

Fact-filled history of kid civil rights pioneer.

By: Arlisha Norwood (2021)
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The Youngest Marcher: The True Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Right Activist Poster Image
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The Youngest Marcher: The True Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Right Activist

age 6+

Charming, inspiring tale of 9-year-old protester.

By: Cynthia Levinson (2017)
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Because of you, John Lewis cover.
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Because of You, John Lewis

age 7+

Beautiful biography shows friendship forged in activism.

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The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth, and Harlem's Greatest Bookstore Poster Image
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The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth, and Harlem's Greatest Bookstore

age 7+

Lively tale of store that aided civil rights struggle.

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Frederick Douglass: The Lion Who Wrote History Poster Image
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Frederick Douglass: The Lion Who Wrote History

age 7+

Beautifully illustrated bio of abolition's greatest hero.

By: Walter Dean Myers (2017)
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The History of Juneteenth: A History Book for New Readers Cover
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The History of Juneteenth: A History Book for New Readers

age 7+

Powerful account of the holiday's roots and celebrations.

By: Arlisha Norwood (2022)
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I Am Martin Luther King, Jr.: Ordinary People Change the World Poster Image
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I Am Martin Luther King, Jr.: Ordinary People Change the World

age 7+

Kid-friendly bio a strong, accessible intro to King's life.

By: Brad Meltzer (2016)
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I Am Muhammad Ali: Ordinary People Change the World Poster Image
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I Am Muhammad Ali: Ordinary People Change the World

age 7+

Upbeat bio of "The Greatest" features courage, principles.

By: Brad Meltzer (2022)
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Ida B. Wells: Discovering History's Heroes Poster Image
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Ida B. Wells: Discovering History's Heroes

age 7+

Inspiring biography of courageous civil rights pioneer.

By: Diane Bailey (2019)
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The Legendary Miss Lena Horne Poster Image
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The Legendary Miss Lena Horne

age 7+

Solid intro to singer, movie star, civil rights activist.

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Hidden Figures Young Readers' Edition Poster Image
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Hidden Figures Young Readers' Edition

age 8+

Powerful true story of African American women at NASA.

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