My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Book review by
Tracy Moore, Common Sense Media
My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Book Poster Image
Powerful, personal view of cvil rights leader, issues.

Parents say

No reviews yetAdd your rating

Kids say

age 5+
Based on 1 review

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Educational Value

Kids will learn about the early civil rights movement, growing up as the son of a famous activist, how it feels to experience racism as a child, and what it's like to lose a parent at a young age.

Positive Messages

My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. imparts positive messages about social justice, activism, family, father-son relationships, and parental legacies.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is shown to be a fearless agent of change who risked his life to improve the lives of others. It also presents a strong model of a family who made great sacrifices to their safety and well-being to support changes in social justice, and continued to do King's work.

Violence & Scariness

My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. relays a few examples of police brutality against civil rights activists, their injuries, and jail time. It also briefly mentions Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death.


What parents need to know

Parents need to know that My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is a book about growing up as Martin Luther King, Jr.'s oldest son in the thick of the civil rights movement in the United States, and the sacrifices he and his family made for a great man to change the world. Though it's a frank retelling of the fear and racism the author experienced as a child, it's an uplifting, informative book that's an excellent jumping-off place for dicsusions about acceptance and racial issues in the United States today.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say

There aren't any reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Kid, 10 years old May 28, 2014

A good movie for kids

kids will learn what it was like in the 1900's and how M.L.K helped make white people like black people

What's the story?

Most of us know the story of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s fearless fight for racial equality and tragic death. But few of us know the story through the eyes of his oldest son, Martin Luther King III, as a child. Here, we see King as a warm and loving father and polarizing figure, how his activism affected his family and confused his children, the sacrifices they and other civil rights activists made to support a cause so essential to American values, and the impact of King's death on his son.

Is it any good?

Parents who want to instill the notion of equality and social activism in their children will find a great resource in MY DADDY, MARTIIN LUTHER KING. It can launch many discussions about the lives lost to promote racial equality in this country. The book does an excellent job of explaining plainly, in kid-friendly terms, the everyday experiences of black Americans in the 1950s and 1960s who simply asked to be treated as equals -- and as humans. The warm, full-color acrylic-and-oil paintings highlight a close, loving family and illuminate a distant subject for many kids today, making it accessible and relatable.

For kids interested in history, it's a perfect primer on an important era, and for parents, it's a great bridge to discussions (depending on age) of how far King and other activists pushed equality in this country, the personal toll it took, and how far we still have to go.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about equality. What are some ways people are different? What are some ways they are the same? What does it mean to treat people equally?

  • How does the art in My Daddy, Martin Luther King help tell the story from the boy's point of view?


  • Have you ever felt different from your friends? In what way? What can we do to make someone who's different from us feel accepted?

Book details

Our editors recommend

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Top advice and articles

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate