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Books About Civil Rights, and Conversation Starters for Families

How to talk to your kids about the civil rights movement.
on January 25, 2016

It is so important for parents to support children at home with what they are learning at school.  

And with the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. last week, followed by African-American History Month in February, now is the perfect time to open the door to conversations about equality and civil rights.   Many families may have already had this conversation, and if you have, then the books and resources below are a super way of continuing that discussion.

But if you and your children are new to this topic, then consider opening up the door by asking the following questions:

•    What do you know about the civil rights movement?
•    What were some of the challenges that people faced during that time in our nation's history?
•    How do you think children felt during that time? Parents? Teachers?
•    Who were some of the leaders of the civil rights movement?
•    What similar challenges face people in our nation today?
•    How can we continue Dr. King's message of inclusion and equality in our own lives?
•    Where can we go for more information about this and related topics?

The books and resources below cover a wide range of topics relating to the civil rights movement.  Perhaps they can be read together, or a continued discussion can support the child as he or she reads.

Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood (ages 9-12)
Belle Teal by Ann M. Martin (ages 9-12)
The Watsons Go to Birmingham by Christopher Paul Curtis (ages 9 & up)
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia (ages 9-12)
Friendship for Today by Patricia C. McKissack (ages 9-12)
Round and Round Together by Amy Nathan (ages 12 & up)
Spies of Mississippi: The True Story of the Spy Network That Tried to Destroy the Civil Rights Movement by Rick Bowers (12 & up)

Cool Interactive Online Resources:
Rosa Parks: How I Fought for Civil Rights
Integrating Central High: The Melba Pattillo Story

What other civil rights resources should we include on this list? What other questions and discussion prompts might you ask your own child about this important topic?

Share your thoughts on the Scholastic Parents Facebook page, or find Amy on twitter, @teachmama, and let's continue the conversation!

Read all posts by Amy Mascott.

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