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.

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Spectacular illustrations spotlight Parks' historic protest.
By Nikki Giovanni
(2006)
(2006)
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Stunning art amplifies meaning of King's words for kids.
By Kadir Nelson
(2013)
(2012)
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My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Book Poster Image
Powerful, personal view of cvil rights leader, issues.
By Martin Luther King III
(2013)
(2013)
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Charming, inspiring tale of 9-year-old protester.
By Cynthia Levinson
(2017)
(2017)
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Lively tale of store that aided civil rights struggle.
By Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
(2016)
(2015)
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Beautifully illustrated bio of abolition's greatest hero.
By Walter Dean Myers
(2017)
(2017)
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Kid-friendly bio a strong, accessible intro to King's life.
By Brad Meltzer
(2016)
(2016)
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Solid intro to singer, movie star, civil rights activist.
By Carole Boston Weatherford
(2017)
(2017)
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Powerful true story of African-American women at NASA.
By Margot Lee Shetterly
(2017)
(2016)
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Love Will See You Through: Martin Luther King Jr.'s Six Guiding Beliefs (As Told by His Niece) Book Poster Image
A heartfelt intro to King's peaceful protest movement.
By Angela Farris Watkins
(2015)
(2014)
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Malcolm X: A Fire Burning Brightly Book Poster Image
Complex issues make this best for older kids.
By Walter Dean Myers
(2003)
(2000)
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My Name Is Truth: The Life of Sojourner Truth Book Poster Image
Inspirational and informative intro to an American hero.
By Ann Turner
(2015)
(2015)
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Women Who Broke The Rules: Coretta Scott King Book Poster Image
A detailed, accessible biography of a civil rights icon.
By Kathleen Krull
(2016)
(2016)
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Captivating storytelling makes these heroes relatable.
By Andrea Davis Pinkney
(2013)
(2012)
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Powerful poems examine the final months of MLK's life.
By Andrea Davis Pinkney
(2017)
(2018)
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Compelling, nuanced tale of loving family under segregation.
By Sharon M. Draper
(2014)
(2015)
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Frank, poetic picture book bio has dazzling art.
By Carole Boston Weatherford
(2016)
(2015)
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A funny novel with a devastating emotional punch.
By Christopher Paul Curtis
(2004)
(1995)
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Thoughtful memoir by basketball star and civil rights icon.
By Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Raymond Obstfeld
(2018)
(2017)
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Captivating poems depict coming-of-age in tumultuous 1960s.
By Jacqueline Woodson
(2014)
(2014)
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Poignant story of a shy girl who speaks for social justice.
By Kristin Levine
(2012)
(2012)
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Exciting, must-read story of black teen in 1955 Mississippi.
By Linda Williams Jackson
(2017)
(2017)
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Vivid recollections of a teen girl in the Selma march.
By Lynda Blackmon Lowery, Elspeth Leacock, Susan Buckley
(2015)
(2015)
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Inspiring story of resisting segregation in 1850s New York.
By Amy Hill Hearth
(2018)
(2018)
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Vivid photos, clear text bring heroic protest to life.
By Larry Dane Brimner
(2018)
(2018)
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I Have a Dream Book Poster Image
A treasured speech seen in a vibrant new light.
By Martin Luther King
(2003)
(1997)
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Must-read memoir of a childhood in the segregated South.
By Melba Pattillo Beals
(2018)
(2018)
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A gem, with strong girl characters, '60s black history.
By Rita Williams-Garcia
(2010)
(2010)
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Little-known disaster gets overdue, in-depth treatment.
By Steve Sheinkin
(2014)
(2014)
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Compelling tale of family facing racism in '30s Mississippi.
By Mildred D. Taylor
(2004)
(1976)
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Powerful true tale of mixed-race couple's fight for justice.
By Patricia Hruby Powell
(2017)
(2017)
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Powerful graphic novel captures spirit of desegregation.
By John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell
(2013)
(2013)
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Dramatic story of forgotten teen civil rights hero.
By Phillip M. Hoose
(2009)
(2009)
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