The third Monday of January, every year, is the commemorative celebration of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Growing up, the day has always been significant because it wasn’t just a day out of school, it was a day for learning and for reflection. Growing up, every year on Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, my mother would require me to read a book about change, activism, or civility and report back to her. When I say report back, she would have me write a short book report on what we read and what it meant to us. At the time, I found this extremely tedious and unnecessary, but looking back, it was magnificently helpful. Not only did it enhance our love for reading, but it also allowed us to develop educated opinions about what we can do the help the world. Now that I have children of my own, I plan on doing the exact same thing. I have learned that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. day is about service, and activism, and those are things that will impact us for generations to come. Therefore, I wanted to compile a list of books to share with your family to commemorate the day.
- A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara
This book is beautifully illustrated and addresses LGBTQ rights, Civil Rights and Environmental Injustices.
2. She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton
There are women in history who have continued to fight, even when trying to be silenced. This book is a celebration of women like Harriett Tubman, Sonia Sotomayor, and Helen Keller. She persisted is a favorite of my daughter and for any little upcoming activist in your life.
- Who was Martin Luther King Jr. by Bonnie Bader
A short synopsis of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. but illustrated. It addresses the peaceful protest and the history of the people involved in the civil rights movement. We all know the rich legacy of Dr. King, and the book illustrates it in an exciting way for young readers.
- I Dissent Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy
The story of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg but in picture form! It addresses her young life and her rise to the supreme court. Although this is a picture book, it tells her story eloquently and passionately.
- I am Enough by Grace Byers
This book is beautifully written and talks about loving who you are and having respect for other people. The book also talks about the fact that we are all here for a reason. This book is written so well that it builds up both children and adults.
This is a short list of books, and feel free to add more to your list as time progresses. Enjoy the time with your family of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, but don’t forget to do something for someone else.