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The Dream At 50

Updated: March 1, 2021
2013 was the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. To commemorate the event, there was a student art contest for K-12 students who were invited to create artwork inspired by the speech. The library recommends these books for children and teens on the civil rights movement.
As good as anybody : Martin Luther King Jr. and Abraham Joshua Heschel's amazing march toward freedom
Michelson, Richard.
Call Number: x 323.1 M623
Grades 2 - 5. The story of how similar experiences of discrimination brought together a Polish-born rabbi and a Baptist preacher to fight for human rights.

Black & white : the confrontation of Reverend Fred L. Shuttlesworth and Eugene "Bull" Connor
Brimner, Larry Dane.
Call Number: 323.4092 S562Br
Grades 6 and up. Birmingham, Alabama was one of the major battlegrounds in the Civil Rights Movement. On one side was the Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth, a civil rights leader who fought for equal rights for African Americans, and was frequently the target of Ku Klux Klan threats and violence. On the other was Eugene "Bull" Connor, the segregationist Birmingham Commissioner of Public Safety, who employed brutal tactics against protesters. A must-read account of the civil rights movement, filled with photographs and primary sources.

Claudette Colvin : twice toward justice
Hoose, Phillip M., 1947-
Call Number: 323.4092 C727Ho
Grades 5-8. In 1955, 15-year-old Claudette Colvin allowed herself to be arrested for refusing to give up her seat to a white person on a Montgomery, Alabama bus. Though Rosa Parks became the public face of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, this little-known story of a teenager who fought for the cause of civil rights is well worth reading.

I Have a Dream
King, Martin Luther, Jr.
Call Number: x 323.1 K53 2012

Grades 1 and up: Presents illustrations and the text of the speech given by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on August 28, 1963, at the Lincoln Memorial, in which he described his visionary dream of equality and brotherhood for humankind. The iconic speech, interpreted by one of the finest illustrators working today.

I have a dream
King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968.
Call Number: x 323.1 K53 folio
All ages. The entire text of one of the most moving speeches ever made, gorgeously interpreted by fifteen amazing artists.

King : a comics biography
Anderson, Ho Che.
Call Number: 323.4092 K53And
Grades 9 and up. This graphic novel biography is a stunning achievement, and provides a well-researched and three-dimensional portrayal of King.

Let freedom sing
Newton, Vanessa.
Call Number: xz folio
PreK-Grade 3. The children's gospel song "This Little Light of Mine" is a recurring theme in this tribute to African Americans who struggled for civil rights.

The lions of Little Rock
Levine, Kristin 1974-
Call Number: x
Grades 4-8. In 1958 Little Rock, Arkansas, painfully shy twelve-year-old Marlee sees her city and family divided over school integration, but her friendship with Liz, a new student, helps her find her voice and fight against racism.

March on! : the day my brother Martin changed the world
Farris, Christine King, 1927-
Call Number: x 92 K53Far-1
Grades 1 - 4. The 1963 March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s stirring "I Have a Dream" speech are described from the viewpoint of King's older sister, Christine.

Marching to the mountaintop : how poverty, labor fights, and civil rights set the stage for Martin Luther King, Jr.'s final hours
Bausum, Ann.
Call Number: 323.4092 K53Bau
Grades 6 and up. This powerful and visually stunning book discusses the last days of Martin Luther King and his work with the Poor People's Campaign, the Memphis sanitation workers' strike, and the intersection of workers rights and civil rights, as well as King's assassination in Memphis in 1968.

Miles to go for freedom : segregation and civil rights in the Jim Crow years
Osborne, Linda Barrett, 1949-
Call Number: 301.45096 O81
Grades 6 and up. Using primary source documents from the Library of Congress, Osborne introduces readers to Jim Crow laws that legalized segregation in the United States. Osborne also discusses the landmark Brown vs. the Board of Education Supreme Court case, and how people began to fight to overturn these discriminatory laws.

Nobody turn me around : a people's history of the 1963 march on Washington
Euchner, Charles C.
Call Number: 323.4 E86
Grades 9 and up. Euchner provides a closer look at the greatest and most well-known civil rights demonstration in U.S. history, providing background on the organizers, the speakers, the people who attended, the reactions of President John F. Kennedy and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover, as well as the impact the march had on the civil rights movement.

One Crazy Summer
Williams-Garcia, Rita
Call Number: x

Grades 4-8. During the summer of 1968, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters travel to Oakland, California to visit their mother, who abandoned them as babies. While there, they reluctantly spend time at a summer camp run by the Black Panthers.

Remember: The Journey to School Integration
Morrison, Toni.
Call Number: x 370 M882

Grades 3 - 8. Archival photographs focus on the children and teens and the role they played in school integration, with text imagining how the participants must have felt.

Sit-in: How Four Friends Stood up by Sitting Down
Pinkney, Andrea Davis
Call Number: x 323.1 P655 folio

Grades 2-5. Presents the 50th anniversary of the momentous Woolworth's lunch counter sit-in, when four college students staged a peaceful protest that became a defining moment in the struggle for racial equality and the growing civil rights movement.

These hands
Mason, Margaret H., 1954-
Call Number: xz

Grades pre-K - 3

This grandfather's hands weren't allowed to touch the dough in the Wonder Bread factory, but they could join with other hands to write petitions, carry signs, and change the world.

An African American man tells his grandson about a time when, despite all the wonderful things his hands could do, they could not touch bread at the Wonder Bread factory. Based on stories of bakery union workers; includes historical note.

To the mountaintop! : my journey through the civil rights movement
Hunter-Gault, Charlayne.
Call Number: 071.092 H947-1
Grades 9 and up. In 1961, Charlayne Hunter and Hamilton Holmes went to court to fight for their right to attend the University of Georgia. They won, and became the first two African American student to attend. In this book, which is part memoir, part civil rights history, Hunter-Gault describes her experiences in the civil rights movement as a journalist.

Warriors don't cry : a searing memoir of the battle to integrate Little Rock's Central High
Beals, Melba.
Call Number: 371.974 B366 1995a
Grades 7 and up. Melba Pattillo Beals was one of "the Little Rock Nine," the African American teenagers selected to integrate Central High School in 1957. Beals recounts the bullying, intimidation, threats of violence - and unexpected kindnesses - she experienced. A breathtaking and moving memoir by a woman of tremendous courage.

We March
Evans, Shane
Call Number: xz

Grades pre-K - 3: A young family's participation in the 1963 March on Washington is described in 57 well-chosen words. The Illustrations and brief text portray the events of the 1963 march in Washington, D.C., where the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. delivered an historic speech.

We've Got a Job: the 1963 Birmingham Children's March
Levinson, Cynthia
Call Number: 323.409761 L665

Grades 7 and up. In May 1963, over 4000 children and teenagers boycotted school in Birmingham, Alabama in order to march in protest of segregation. This book contains in-depth interviews with four of the children who risked attacks by segregationists, policemen, and the Ku Klux Klan, as well as jail, to participate in the protests. This books makes excellent use of primary source documents.