With Martin Luther King, Jr. Day coming up January 18, now is the perfect time to pick up some graphic novels about MLK Jr. and the Civil Rights Movement: I Am Martin Luther King, Jr.
For Kids: I Am Martin Luther King, Jr.
This book from the Ordinary People Change the World series is written by Eisner Award-winning Brad Meltzer and illustrated in a Calvin & Hobbs-style by Christopher Eliopoulos. Using actual quotes from MLK's writing & speeches almost exclusively, it provides a great background for the Civil Rights Movement, his motivations, and even includes the oft-forgotten in elementary curriculum Children's Crusade & a nod to his anti-poverty work. This detailed and engaging book follows MLK Jr. from childhood to the Selma to Montgomery March.
For Older Readers: March
March is a three-volume graphic novel (of which two have been published) that takes us through the Civil Rights Movement as told from the eyes of U.S. Congressman and movement leader John Lewis. It opens on Bloody Sunday, but then cuts to Lewis preparing a speech for the first inauguration of Barack Obama when he's interrupted by a family looking to hear about his history.
This graphic novel has won near-universal praise, including the honor of being the first graphic novel to win the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, and is included in college courses across the country.