One way to commemorate the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday on Monday, January 18, is to learn more about the experiences of people who were part of the struggle for civil rights. In recent years, a number of highly engaging books have been written for middle and high schoolers on this subject. Descriptions from Baker & Taylor.

Marching to the Mountaintop: How Poverty, Labor Fights and Civil Rights Set the Stage for Martin Luther King Jr.'s Final Hours by Ann Bausum

Explores how the media, politics, the civil rights movement, and labor protests all converged to set the scene for one of Dr. King's greatest speeches and for his tragic death on April 4, 1968, in Memphis.

Spies of Mississippi: the True Story of the Spy Network That Tried to Destroy the Civil Rights Movement by Rick Bowers

This title highlights a darker side of the era: those who worked against the movement. In the 1950s and 1960s, the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission compiled secret files on more than 87,000 private citizens in the most extensive state spying program in U.S. history. Its mission: to save segregation.

Because They Marched: the People’s Campaign for Voting Rights That Changed America by Russell Freedman

For the 50th anniversary of the 1965 march for voting right from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, Newbery Medalist Russell Freedman has written a riveting account of this pivotal event in the history of civil rights.

Claudette Colvin: Twice Towards Justice by Phillip Hoose

Hoose presents the first in-depth account of an important yet largely unknown civil rights figure, skillfully weaving her dramatic story into the fabric of the historic Montgomery bus boycott and court case that would change the course of American history.

We’ve Got a Job: the 1963 Birmingham Children’s March by Cynthia Levinson

Discusses the events of the 4,000 African American students who marched to jail to secure their freedom in May 1963.

Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the Selma Voting Rights March by Lynda Blackmon Lowery

The story of the youngest person to complete the momentous Selma to Montgomery March, describing her frequent imprisonments for her participation in nonviolent demonstrations and how she felt about her involvement in historic Civil Rights events.

The Rock and the River by Kekla Magoon

In this fictional account in 1968 Chicago, fourteen-year-old Sam Childs is caught in a conflict between his father’s nonviolent approach to seeking civil rights for African-Americans and his older brother, who has joined the Black Panther Party.

Freedom Summer Murders by Don Mitchell

Traces the events surrounding the KKK lynching of three young civil rights activists who were trying to register African Americans for the vote.

Add new comment

Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.