March on Washington: 1963

The titles in this booklist focus on the historic events of the March on Washington in August of 1963, including Martin Luther King, Jr.'s famous "I Have a Dream Speech" and the events leading up to the March.

In addition, the list includes books about related Civil Rights marches from the same period told from the point of view of children.

Classroom Resources

For more classroom ideas, take a look at these lesson plans and a free online edition of Cobblestone Magazine's March on Washington issue from the Albert Shanker Institute.

Additional classroom materials are available from:

Child of the Civil Rights Movement

Illustrated by: Raúl Colón
Age Level: 6-9

The youngest daughter of civil rights leader Andrew Young shares a time when she and her two older sisters moved from New York to Atlanta to protest and ultimately change unfair laws. The narration is innocent and child-like — effectively describing what Jim Crow was and giving glimpse of the leaders of the period (including Martin Luther King, Jr.). Soft lined, textured illustrations evoke the time and its tenor while portraying people in a recognizable way. An end note provides additional information about the people depicted.

Coretta Scott

Illustrated by: Kadir Nelson
Age Level: 6-9

"Unflinching verse and elegant imagery combine in a powerful, evocative, picture-book portrait of Coretta Scott King. As stated on the cover, Shange uses poetry to recount Coretta Scott's life, from her childhood to her marriage with Martin Luther King, Jr. On the final page, the author offers a linear, prose biography, adding context to her more abstract references in the poetry." — Booklist

I Have a Dream

Illustrated by: Kadir Nelson
Age Level: 6-9

Perhaps one of the best known speeches of the 20th century, Martin Luther King's "I Have a Dream" has been combined with lush paintings in a large format for a new generation. Included in this stunning book is a CD of Dr. King's original speech.

March On! The Day My Brother Martin Changed the World

Illustrated by: London Ladd
Age Level: 6-9

Martin Luther King, Jr. prepared diligently for his now famous "I have a dream" speech given on August 28, 1963 during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. It was King's unshakable belief in nonviolence and the power of words that galvanized the country. This informal account is both personal and satisfying as revealed by Martin's older sister who watched it on television with their parents in Atlanta. Full-color illustrations and expressive typography highlight words and enhance the tone.

March: Book 1

Illustrated by: Nate Powell
Age Level: 9-12

Product Description: Congressman John Lewis is one of the key figures of the civil rights movement. His commitment to justice and nonviolence has taken him from an Alabama sharecropper's farm to the halls of Congress, from a segregated schoolroom to the 1963 March on Washington, and from receiving beatings from state troopers to receiving the Medal of Freedom from the first African-American president. He tells his story in part 1 of this graphic novel series.

Riding to Washington (Tales of Young Americans)

Age Level: 6-9

"Traveling by bus with her dad to Washington, D.C., in August 1963, a young girl from an all-white neighborhood isn't sure what awaits her. But on the journey, she encounters discrimination when restaurants refuse to serve mixed crowds, and she's made aware of a No Coloreds sign at a gas-station restroom, which she helps a passenger challenge. Then, as part of the huge gathering in Washington, she hears a speech by Dr. King, and she understands that the dream he speaks of belongs to everyone." — Booklist

This Is the Day: The March on Washington

Age Level: 9-12

Product Description: This Is the Day: The March on Washington is a stirring photo-essay by photographer Leonard Freed documenting the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom of August 28, 1963. This book commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of the historic march that ultimately led to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

We March

Age Level: 3-6

Two children aroused by their parents join the March on Washington in 1963. Short sentences and semi-abstract illustrations convey the children's evolving feelings as they join scores of others in what adults recognize as an historic march for civil rights.

We've Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children's March

Age Level: 9-12

Product Description: This book tells the little-known story of the 4,000 black elementary-, middle-, and high school students who voluntarily went to jail in Birmingham, Alalama, between May 2 and May 11, 1963. Fulfilling Mahatma Gandhi's and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s precept to fill the jails, they succeeded where adults had failed in desegregating one of the most racially violent cities in America. Featuring four of the original participants, We've Got a Job recounts the astonishing events before, during, and after the Children's March.