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.

Browse Civil Rights Books

Rosa Book Poster Image
Spectacular illustrations spotlight Parks' historic protest.
By Nikki Giovanni
(2006)
(2006)
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I Have a Dream Book Poster Image
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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The Youngest Marcher: The True Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Right Activist Book Poster Image
Charming, inspiring tale of 9-year-old protester.
By Cynthia Levinson
(2017)
(2017)
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The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth, and Harlem's Greatest Bookstore Book Poster Image
Lively tale of store that aided civil rights struggle.
By Vaunda Micheaux Nelson
(2016)
(2015)
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Frederick Douglass: The Lion Who Wrote History Book Poster Image
Beautifully illustrated bio of abolition's greatest hero.
By Walter Dean Myers
(2017)
(2017)
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I Am Martin Luther King, Jr.: Ordinary People Change the World Book Poster Image
Kid-friendly bio a strong, accessible intro to King's life.
By Brad Meltzer
(2016)
(2016)
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The Legendary Miss Lena Horne Book Poster Image
Solid intro to singer, movie star, civil rights activist.
By Carole Boston Weatherford
(2017)
(2017)
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Hidden Figures Young Readers' Edition Book Poster Image
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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Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America Book Poster Image
Captivating storytelling makes these heroes relatable.
By Andrea Davis Pinkney
(2013)
(2012)
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Martin Rising: Requiem for a King Book Poster Image
Powerful poems examine the final months of MLK's life.
By Andrea Davis Pinkney
(2017)
(2018)
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Stella by Starlight Book Poster Image
Compelling, nuanced tale of loving family under segregation.
By Sharon M. Draper
(2014)
(2015)
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Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement Book Poster Image
Frank, poetic picture book bio has dazzling art.
By Carole Boston Weatherford
(2016)
(2015)
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The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963 Book Poster Image
A funny novel with a devastating emotional punch.
By Christopher Paul Curtis
(2004)
(1995)
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Betty Before X Book Poster Image
Inspiring, intimate story of activist's early years.
By Ilyasah Shabazz, Renee Watson
(2018)
(2018)
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Becoming Kareem: Growing Up On and Off the Court Book Poster Image
Thoughtful memoir by basketball star and civil rights icon.
By Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Raymond Obstfeld
(2018)
(2017)
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Brown Girl Dreaming Book Poster Image
Captivating poems depict coming-of-age in tumultuous 1960s.
By Jacqueline Woodson
(2014)
(2014)
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The Lions of Little Rock Book Poster Image
Poignant story of a shy girl who speaks for social justice.
By Kristin Levine
(2012)
(2012)
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Midnight Without a Moon Book Poster Image
Exciting, must-read story of black teen in 1955 Mississippi.
By Linda Williams Jackson
(2017)
(2017)
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Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the Selma Voting Rights March Book Poster Image
Vivid recollections of a teen girl in the Selma march.
By Lynda Blackmon Lowery, Elspeth Leacock, Susan Buckley
(2015)
(2015)
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Streetcar to Justice: How Elizabeth Jennings Won the Right to Ride in New York Book Poster Image
Inspiring story of resisting segregation in 1850s New York.
By Amy Hill Hearth
(2018)
(2018)
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Twelve Days in May: Freedom Ride 1961 Book Poster Image
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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March Forward Girl: From Young Warrior to Little Rock Nine Book Poster Image
Must-read memoir of a childhood in the segregated South.
By Melba Pattillo Beals
(2018)
(2018)
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One Crazy Summer Book Poster Image
A gem, with strong girl characters, '60s black history.
By Rita Williams-Garcia
(2010)
(2010)
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The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights Book Poster Image
Little-known disaster gets overdue, in-depth treatment.
By Steve Sheinkin
(2014)
(2014)
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Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Book Poster Image
Compelling tale of family facing racism in '30s Mississippi.
By Mildred D. Taylor
(2004)
(1976)
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Loving vs. Virginia: A Documentary Novel of the Landmark Civil Rights Case Book Poster Image
Powerful true tale of mixed-race couple's fight for justice.
By Patricia Hruby Powell
(2017)
(2017)
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March: Book One Book Poster Image
Powerful graphic novel captures spirit of desegregation.
By John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, Nate Powell
(2013)
(2013)
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Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice Book Poster Image
Dramatic story of forgotten teen civil rights hero.
By Phillip M. Hoose
(2009)
(2009)
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