Civil Rights

The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist by Cynthia Levinson

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Back of Book:

 

Meet the youngest known child to be arrested for a civil rights protest in Birmingham, Alabama, 1963, in this moving picture book that proves you’re never too little to make a difference.

Nine-year-old Audrey Faye Hendricks intended to go places and do things like anybody else.

So when she heard grown-ups talk about wiping out Birmingham’s segregation laws, she spoke up. As she listened to the preacher’s words, smooth as glass, she sat up tall. And when she heard the plan—picket those white stores! March to protest those unfair laws! Fill the jails!—she stepped right up and said, I’ll do it! She was going to j-a-a-il!

Audrey Faye Hendricks was confident and bold and brave as can be, and hers is the remarkable and inspiring story of one child’s role in the Civil Rights Movement.

 

My Review:

 

This is a perfect read aloud story for elementary school. Audrey was only nine years old when she decided to make history! My students loved that a little girl could make such an impact to so many people. This is a perfect tool to use with younger audiences when teaching about the Civil Rights Movement. The back of the book has a beautiful author note, and timeline information. It also has the recipe for Hot Rolls Baptized in Butter.  I love that the author of this book talked to Audrey Faye before she died. It makes this nonfiction picture book even more special! The illustrations are incredible and perfectly capture Audrey Faye’s journey. One of my favorite picture books about the Civil Rights Movement.

 

Ages 5 and up

 

40 Pages

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Civil Rights

Let the Children March By Monica Clark-Robinson

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Back of Book: In 1963 Birmingham, Alabama, thousands of African American children volunteered to march for their civil rights after hearing Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. speak. They protested the laws that kept black people separate from white people. Facing fear, hate, and danger, these children used their voices to change the world.
My Review:
This is an incredibly moving picture book about the children who marched in Birmingham Alabama. The text in this story is gripping and always readers to be a part of a difficult time in history. When the adults cannot march the children do. The text is written in a first-person narrative and follows a young girl and her brother as they face water, dogs, and jail. The illustrations are stunning and emotional! This is perfect book to read to start discussions about Civil Rights.  The back of the book has a great afterword and note from the illustrator. A must read for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Civil Rights

Happy Birthday, Martin Luther King Jr By Jean Marzollo

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Back of Book:
This book is a beautifully-rendered study of Martin Luther King Jr.’s life, Pinkney’s scratchboard and oil pastel illustrations convey both the strength and gentleness of King’s character. Both text and art carry his central message of peace and brotherhood among all people.
My Review:
I am teaching preschool this year so I am always looking for picture books that I can use to teach concepts in a simple way. The forward in this book explains to parents and educators how words can be changed for younger audiences. The text is simple and straightforward. The lustrations are truly stunning and shows readers the beauty of how Martin King brought people together.
Ages 5 and up
32 Pages

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Civil Rights

The Cart That Carried Martin by Eve Bunting

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Back of Book:
The strength and spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. permeate this picture book about the funeral of Dr. King in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1968. Quiet, yet affecting, THE CART THAT CARRIED MARTIN is a unique tribute to the life of a man known world-wide for his outstanding efforts as a leader of the African-American Civil Rights Movement.
My Review:
Eve Bunting is a gifted author with the ability to bring a reader into whatever world she is writing about. She beautifully crafted this simple story that tells readers about the cart that carried Martin King’s body to be buried. The text is simple but tells the important true story of how Martin King was buried. Don Tate is an incredibly talented illustrator. He brings each picture to life. This is a great book to share in the classroom during MLK Day.
Ages 6 and up
32 Pages

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Civil Rights

My First Biography: Martin Luther King, Jr. by Marion Dane Bauer

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Back of Book:
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a great man. His words changed the way people thought, and his actions spurred them on to change the world
My Review:
This book is an excellent introduction to Martin Luther King Jr. for preschool and Kindergarten aged readers. It  discusses segregation using simple lyrical text that readers can understand. The illustrations  shows readers that white people and black people used to not be able to play at the same parks or go to the same schools. The illustrations are soft and warm. This book makes for an excellent read aloud in the classroom or at home.
Ages 4 and up
32 Pages

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Civil Rights, Uncategorized

I am Martin Luther King, Jr. by Brad Meltzer

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Back of Book:
Even as a child, Martin Luther King, Jr. was shocked by the terrible and unfair way African-American people were treated. When he grew up, he decided to do something about it—peacefully, with powerful words. He helped gather people together for nonviolent protests and marches, and he always spoke up about loving other human beings and doing what’s right. He spoke about the dream of a kinder, future, and bravely led the way toward racial equality in America.
My Review:
I love the talented team of Brad and Christopher. They do a terrific job of bringing history to life. Their books are unique in that they are set up like comic strips. This concept allows students who do not normally pick up books enjoy a biography. The text is written in a first-person narrative which allows readers to connect to the story. The back of the story has a timeline and pictures of Dr. King and his family.
Ages 5 and up
40 Pages

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Civil Rights

Love Will See You Through: Martin Luther King Jr.’s Six Guiding Beliefs (as told by his niece) By Angela Farris Watkins

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Back of Book:
The niece of Martin Luther King, Jr. reveals six timeless and universal principles that encompass the civil rights leader’s greatest legacy: Love will see you through.

Growing up as the niece of Martin Luther King Jr., Angela Farris Watkins witnessed firsthand the principles and values that “Uncle M.L.” practiced and lived by throughout his fight for equality. Drawing from experiences and episodes both personal and well-known, Dr. Watkins artfully details the guiding beliefs of one of the greatest men in history. Including “have courage” and “love your enemies,” these six hallmarks of virtue and nonviolence reinforce the truth that “the universe honors love” and will inspire readers of all ages.
My Review:
Martin Luther’s niece Angela has written several books about her uncle and his amazing strength. This book shares Martin’s Six Guiding Beliefs that he believed in. Each belief is explained in a way that children can understand and identify with. The overall theme of the book is that love conquers all. The illustrations in this book are beautiful. They show the strength and resilience that Martin had. This is a perfect book to read for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Ages 6 and up
32 Pages.

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Civil Rights, History, Uncategorized

Climbing Lincoln’s Steps: The African American Journey By Suzanne Slade

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Back of Book: This empowering and emotionally driven story showcases significant moments in African American history that tie back to the Lincoln Memorial by introducing iconic civil rights activists as well as exploring President Abraham Lincoln’s role in abolishing slavery. This book highlights the hardships and triumphs faced while fighting for racial equality in America.
My Review:
I remember walking up the steps to the Lincoln Memorial. There was something unexplainable about the feeling that overcomes you as you take each stair. The history that has been made in that place is astounding. I loved each topic that was discussed in this story. Each page gives readers detailed information about different people who helped the Civil Rights Movement. This book celebrates the changes that have happened over the years. This book inspires readers to make a difference while still remembering those who have already walked the path before us. I plan on adding this book to my Civil Rights reading lit.
Ages 6 and up
32 Pages

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Civil Rights

Strange Fruit: Billie Holiday and the Power of a Protest Song Gary Golio

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Back of Book:
The audience was completely silent the first time Billie Holiday performed a song called “Strange Fruit.” In the 1930s, Billie was known as a performer of jazz and blues music, but this song wasn’t either of those things. It was a song about injustice, and it would change her life forever.
My Review:
I love finding stories that I can use to teach my students about the amazing Jazz era. It can be hard to explain to students why Jazz was more than music. It was a movement. Strange Fruit is among the most haunting picture books I have ever read. It touches on a time period that is hard to talk, and teach about. Billie Holiday was a woman who had a hard life. Even then, she remained strong and enlightened the world on a topic that no one wanted to hear about. Strange Fruit teaches readers about lynching, without going into too much detail. The illustrations are stunning and show readers the beauty and strength of Billie Holiday. Although this is a picture book, I can see it being used in older grades to teach about the Jazz Era. I highly recommend this book.
Ages 9 and up
40 Pages

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Civil Rights

Back of the Bus By Aaron Reynolds

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Back of Book:
A boy and his mother are riding the bus in Montgomery, Alabama like any other day—way in the back of the bus. The boy passes time by watching his marble roll up and down the aisle with the motion of the bus…

Until a big commotion breaks out from way up front.
My Review:
This book gives a new and different perspective of the day that Rosa Parks changed history. It is told through the eyes of a little boy who was sitting in the back of the bus. Told in a first-person narrative, the boy on the bus shares his perspective on Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat. This is a great story to teach children perspective and different points of view. The illustrations are beautiful and show readers what happened that day all through the eyes of the little boy. This is a perfect addition to any Civil Rights, or Black History Month unit.
Ages 6 and up
32 Pages

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