Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Book Review: If You Lived at the Time of Martin Luther King

If You Lived at the Time of Martin Luther KingIf You Lived at the Time of Martin Luther King by Ellen Levine
Publisher: Scholastic
Release Date: 1994
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Even though If You Lived At the Time of Martin Luther King is a picture book, it doesn’t pull any punches. It discusses lynching and what it is, the KKK, and the multiple killings, bombings, and other violence related to the civil rights movement. It doesn’t go into graphic detail but it still may be too much if you have a sensitive child. It’s too much for my seven and nine year old boys at this point, but I’m hoping I can read it with them in the next couple of years. This book is 79 pages long so if you read it with your child, I would plan on it taking two or three sessions to get through. Fortunately it’s divided into sections so there are pre-made stopping points.

I loved that this book didn’t sugar coat the fact that even though the civil rights movements is over there is still more work to be done and inequality still exists in America. This book was published in 1994 so there is no mention of Clinton or Obama. It would wonderful if an updated version was released.

I think this book is appropriate up through middle school. Even though it’s a picture book, it’s not babyish in any way. I highly recommend this book if you are wanting your children to have a good overview of the history of black people and civil rights in this country from the end of slavery up until current day.

Another book I’ve reviewed about Martin Luther King, Jr.:

A Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr.

  • rhapsodyinbooks

    Definitely looking for this one! Thanks for bringing it to our attention!