15 Book Selections for M. L. King Day

This article is a repost from January 2016. It has been edited to reflect slight changes, including deleted titles and the addition of new titles released after 2016.

The first federal holiday of the new year honors Martin Luther King Jr., a man who some would assert was one of the greatest leaders and orators in American history. Born on January 15, 1929, King’s legal name, like his father’s, was Michael. Upon returning from a religious convention in Berlin, the senior King changed his name to Martin Luther, after the Protestant reformer. Michael Jr. eventually followed suit. Initially, King resisted going into the ministry, but after a more in-depth study of the scriptures, he had a change of heart. By the age of 25, King had married Coretta Scott, became the pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church, and earned his Ph.D. Shortly after that, he was appointed to lead “the first large-scale demonstration against segregation in the U.S.”—the Montgomery Bus Boycott. And the rest is history. Every year since 1986, the third Monday in January is recognized as Martin Luther King Day. This year it falls on King’s actual day of birth, January 15th.  The books featured range from picture to young adult. Happy Reading!


Be a King: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Dream and You – Carole Boston Weatherford, Illustrator – James E. Ransome

My Uncle Martin’s Big Heart – Angela Farris Watkins, Illustrator – Eric Velasquez 

My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – Martin Luther King III, Illustrator – A. G. Ford 

My Dream of Martin Luther King – Faith Ringgold

I Have a Dream – Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Illustrator – Kadir Nelson 

March On!: The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World – Christine King Farris, Illustrator – London Ladd

Just for You! Singing for Dr. King – Angela Shelf Medearis, Illustrators – C. Van Wright & Ying-Hwa Hu 

My Brother Martin: A Sister Remembers Growing Up with the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. – Christine King Farris, Illustrator – Chris Soentpiet

I’ve Seen the Promised Land: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. – Walter Dean Myers, Illustrator – Leonard Jenkins 

Martin & Mahalia: His Words, Her Song – Andrea Davis Pinkney, Illustrator – Brian Pinkney

Martin Rising: Requiem for a King – Andrea Davis Pinkney, Illustrator – Brian Pinkney

M.L.K.: The Journey of a KingTonya Bolden 

The Words of Martin Luther King, Jr.Coretta Scott King  

My Life with Martin Luther King, Jr. – Coretta Scott King  

Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community? – Martin Luther King, Jr 


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