Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.?” as Want to Read:
Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.?
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.?

(Who Was/Is...?)

4.31  ·  Rating details ·  1,284 ratings  ·  150 reviews
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was only 25 when he helped organize the Montgomery Bus Boycott and was soon organizing black people across the country in support of the right to vote, desegregation, and other basic civil rights.

Maintaining nonviolent and peaceful tactics even when his life was threatened, King was also an advocate for the poor and spoke out against racial and
Paperback, 105 pages
Published January 1st 2008 by Penguin Workshop (first published December 27th 2007)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
George's Secret Key to the Universe by Lucy HawkingThe Diary of a Young Girl by Anne FrankBalloons Over Broadway by Melissa SweetIf You Lived Here by Giles LarocheCastle by David Macaulay
Best Children's Nonfiction
286 books — 108 voters
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. RowlingThe Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-ExupéryThe Princess Bride by William GoldmanA Little Princess by Frances Hodgson BurnettThe Return of the King by J.R.R. Tolkien
1,281 books — 129 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.31  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,284 ratings  ·  150 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.?
Christina Pilkington
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
A well written and very informative book written for middle graders on the life of Martin Luther King, Jr.

My twins and I enjoyed this nonfiction book about Martin Luther King, Jr. There was a nice blend of pictures, narrative story telling and inserts highlighting other events taking place during the same time.

I’d highly recommend this series of history books for kids. They read more like fiction books than nonfiction, and hold a wealth of information in such a short book.
Aug 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children
This book was a great follow-up to Who Was Rosa Parks? , we learned more about a lot of the new words we read there; segregation, nonviolence, equality, protest, etc.

We were surprised to find out that when Martin was born his given name was Michael King.

Martin was impressed by the teachings of Gandhi, and when he visited India he saw first-hand the power and effectiveness of peaceful protest. Even though it is difficult, he understood how important it was to not fight back when you are treated unfa
Zainab Mansoor
Jan 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was one of the best non fiction books I have ever read! I NEVER EVER read non fiction books, but since Martin Luther King Jr. Day was here, I decided to read about him and get to know who this great man was. This book was an excellent biography on Martin Luther King Jr. as it explained many sophisticated ideas and views in such a simple manner that kids of all ages could understand it. I was prepared to be loaded with chapters of information about this man, and I was ready for all the confu ...more
Harrison Rubin
Nov 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is in an insightful, but not simple book that talks about the life of of one the most important people of our times. I appreciated the depth of the life being discussed and reported on while giving information that was true and historical- but in a way that made for quick reading and understanding. Page 7 is a perfect example of the kind of writing that this easy to read but not short novel was written with. " These rules were called Jim Crow laws. They made Martin very angry."
While readin
Sep 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely adore this series! I love everything about these "Who was" books. The first book I read from this series was "Who was Harriet Tubman?" And it ignited a love for history books and also historical fiction. Martin Luther King Jr., is someone I truly admire because of his civil rights contributions and also because of his faith. This book brings up his faith in way that respects it and also incorporates into the life of young Martin and as a minister. It's brings up issues on slavery, d ...more
Pashew Majeed
Jan 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful children book, filled with content and insightful story (as it is always insightful to read about this great man). Yet, I found a type of misinformation in the very first page of chapter 10, where it is stated that Black Panther Party were followers of Malcolm X, which I find not to be true for the fact that the founder of the party mentioned in his autobiography that Malcolm X actually had a huge influence on the philosophy of the party, which means that it was them holding to an id ...more
Christine Crawford
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Read this with my 9 year old. This series does a great job of presenting a story simply and clearly, but getting all the important facts (and feelings in there). I'm glad I was reminded of his life and that my son heard it.
Citlally Orozco
Apr 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was really good I really liked the way how it talked about him growing up and how he started off I liked how it included his obstacles. It even showed who was there to help him.
Khalil McMorris
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book is about a very famous and important man named Martin Luther King Jr. It is called “Who was Martin Luther King Jr. He stood up for colored people and was the first black man to receive the Nobel Peace Prize. This book was cool and very informational. All in all I would really recommend this book.
Eduardo Lemus
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Who Was Martin Luther King jr by Bonnie Bader was a pretty good book just like the rest. it is simple as it goes trough his childhood,adulthood and him as a civil rights activist. i really look up to MLK and this book was good for me reading about a very important person that i admire and I hope more people can read this.
Jan 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Who Was Martin Luther King Jr. by Bonnie Bader is a five star book. This book is about is man named Martin Luther King Jr. and his accomplishments that changed the world we live right now. This book tells you fun facts like who Martin married, how many kids he had, how he changed the world we live in right now and much more! My favorite part baout this book is how Martin kept on going even though the police kept on putting him in jail he wouldnt let that stop him until he got what he wanted..... ...more
Max Miramontes
Nov 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-good-books
The book Who Was Martin Luther King Jr?, by Bonnie Bader was a great inspiring biography of Martin Luther King Jr. It gives you such amazing backstory of Martin’s childhood and all of his matches for freedom, and to end segregation. It adds great detail to many great, inspiring acts he has done, such as when he had a march in Washington D.C which had more than 250,000 people beside him. Even though many people were thrown into jail, killed, and beat it is very inspiring. We/Me honor those brave ...more
SurLeFur ©
Jan 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Students loved learning about Dr. Martin Luther King’s Dream. He showed respect for the people & received a special prize for his humility. He led marches & gave speeches to the masses. We honor Dr. King for helping change unfair laws for whites and blacks.
Ayumu Sasaki
Dec 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Publisher, Series, Level: Grosset & Dunlap, Who was...?, 3.0
Time: 90min.
7 word summary: black - brilliant - minister - gandhi - protest - movement - John F. Kennedy
Discussion Question
1). Martin entered a university in North, then he experienced better life in north. However, he faced the question whether he STAYED or WENT BACK though there was a worse place and there were a lot of problems he had to solve.
Which do you choose a better place to have priority over
Haley Hardwick
May 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Personal Reaction: I really enjoyed this book! It has amazing illustrations and an great insight into the man that Martin Luther King Jr. was and it shares that is a way that young students can understand. I think that is what makes this book special, it takes a great historical figure who has done amazing things for equality, and translates it in a way that young people can understand.

Purpose/Use in Classroom: This book would be a great read aloud for students in the 2nd-3rd grades. It would b
Haruna Saka
Nov 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
-Grosset & Dunlop, level3.0
-7words summary:black-south-segregation-nonviolence-arrested-dream-speech
-Discussion Questions
1.If you were discriminated because of segregation, what would you do? Like Jr, could you fight with white people with nonviolence?
A.To be honest, I couldn't decide it. But, in order to live in the world, I would fight with people who want to get the human right together.
2.If you were one of the white peo
Mayumi Inoko
Apr 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
1.-Penguin; Who was...?; RL:3.0
2.-Time: 4/28=71min. 4/30=46min.
3.-7 words summary ; minister - White - Colored - segregation - Gandhi - march - dream
4.-Have you ever been to a church? How was that?
Actually, I have not been there so I want to know what has been doing. However I have been to some temples. I folded my legs under myself for a long time and listen to a Buddhist holy text.
It was hard experience for younger myself sitting like that but holding a memorial servic
Dec 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
Martin Luther King was really good person who changed the civil rights of New York. He was marching at all over the world with black people and convincing them to help him out by changing civil rights or called the Jim Crow laws in the past. When Martin was a kid The Jim Crow laws bothered him a lot. Martin thought that these laws were unfair and they he had to change it. As a grown man Martin was sent to jail a lot of times because of the Marching around the world. This didn't stop Martin no ma ...more
Conner Lewis
Sep 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
Who Was Martin Luther King Jr.? by Bonnie Bader: Who do you think Martin Luther King, Jr. was? He was a fantastic civil rights leader who believed segregation was wrong. He led in many marches and never gave up! When Martin was little, his father took him in to a store to buy him some new shoes, even though the store was empty the white store owner made them sit in the back. Living in the south was very hard for blacks, back then they were treated horribly and always had to wait for the whites t ...more
Yuka Honda
Dec 16, 2012 rated it really liked it
Title-Who Was Martin Luther King,Jr.?
7words-black,discrimination,civil right,speech,equal,leader,peaceful
Discussion Question-
1. Q. Even if white people discriminated against black people, he told his son not to hate them as a Christian to love everyone. How do you feel?
A. If I'm a black people, I will be angry and hate white people, so I think he was a wonderful people.
2. He said to many listers "I have a dream." in his speech. Wha
Brandy Reed
Nov 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
When children are younger sometimes they aren’t always exposed to historical figures. It is important however for young kids to learn about people who have impacted history and what they have accomplished. A great way for this to occur is to have children read biographies. There are authors who have written books about famous people and what they have done. In the biography “Who was Martin Luther King” by Jess Brailer, Martin Luther King's life is explored. There are funny and interesting facts ...more
May 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
Who Was Martin Luther King Jr. by Bonnie Bader, was a great book. This book was about Martin's life and his accomplishments. His accomplishments were civil rights related. Also he this book is about what he did and his characteristics as a person also his passion in life.

I personally really liked this book. I liked this book because it was full of interesting facts and stories about Martin Luther King Jr.'s life. My favorite part of the book was when Martin started his marching for a non viol
Alexa Hennessey
Dec 06, 2011 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book and think its a great children's book. It is easy for children to be able to read and understand this story. This is something I think is essential for children to know and be able to understand about history. I like that the illustrations were in black and white because then it didn't take too much away from the story. I would recommend this book to kids around age 10.
This is the story of Martin Luther King Jr, his life and contribution to the world. It is a story that ever
TRAM School
Jan 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book is a biography, which means it is a true story about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is not an autobiography, because he didn't write it himself, because he didn't have enough time to write an autobiography. It was about his wife, his children, dates of his speeches and how he wanted things to be different, equal between black people and white people in the United States. I think things are different now, because of him, but there is still injustice and because of him we kno ...more
Nov 20, 2012 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their older children
This is the first book we've read in the Who Was/Is...? series of biographies for children. The books are written by many different authors and I had no idea how many of them there were out there.

Overall this was a fairly comprehensive book about the life of Dr. King. The narrative is lengthy and we read the book over several days. There are a few black and white illustrations scattered throughout the book and there are also a few separate blurbs about other people and topics that pertain to parts of his
Liz W
May 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really admire Dr. King. I think it was AMAZING how he protested in a nonviolent way and won. I think he is a really good role model for anyone. I have learned a little bit about him but now i know a lot more. For example, I did not know he was a minister. I thought that was pretty cool! I still cannot believe he got thrown in jail several times! I was really bummed out when i learned that he was just outside on a balcony getting some air on a nice day when he was shot. It was very sad. I think ...more
Alexandria Stephens
Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr is a biography about the life of Dr. Martin Luther King. The book begins with him growing up in Georgia in a small home which he shared with his family. The book speaks about the impact that Dr. King had on the Civil Rights Movement and how his courage helped end segregation. The book journey through his life up until his untimely death. The Who Was series can be used in social studies to teach about historical figures. The book contains terms related to the Civil ...more
Oct 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: wjhs, non-fiction, genre, topic
"Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr." is a very good book,I liked this book because Martin never gave up on his dream. Another reason I liked this book because his "dream" really inspired me. The main idea of this book was Martin Luther King Jr. never gave up on his dream of peace. My favorite part of this book was when he created a boycott for the public buses, he told his group that if they get some kind of transportation other than the bus that they will let them sit wherever they want. One other ...more
Hannah Deremo
Nov 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
This book gives a clear portrait of what these times were like and of Dr. Marking Luther King Jr. I think that this could be a very good book for a read aloud but could also be suggested to kids who want to read more about him. The text is accessible and it includes a timeline. There are discussion questions at the end of this book that can help guide class discussions or small group. It could be used as a book group book among students. Overall I really like this series of books as well. There ...more
Hanna Mammo
Apr 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: parents/teacher/children (pre-k to 3rd)
Who was Martin Luther King??? You definitely won't be asking that question after your have read this book. It describes in detail who he was, where he came from, and what he stood for. This book includes all the major events Martin Luther King did for this country and how he forever changed society. This is another great book to incorporate when merging social studies and ELA. I would use this book in many ways in the classroom like as an example of a great written informative text, or in teachi ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
MLK's Top 5 Book Recommendations 1 1 Feb 21, 2018 02:35PM  
Martin Luther King Jr. 1 6 Jan 12, 2010 09:31AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Who Was Eleanor Roosevelt?
  • Who Was Harriet Tubman?
  • Who Was Marco Polo?
  • Who Was Mark Twain?
  • Who Was Daniel Boone?
  • Who Was Sacagawea?
  • Who Was Ronald Reagan?
  • Who Was Ben Franklin?
  • Who Was Abraham Lincoln?
  • Who Was Amelia Earhart?
  • Who Was William Shakespeare?
  • Who Was Harry Houdini?
  • Who Was George Washington?
  • Who Was Thomas Alva Edison?
  • Who Was Pablo Picasso?
  • Who Was Annie Oakley?
  • Who Was Queen Elizabeth?
  • Who Was Charles Darwin?
See similar books…
Bonnie Bader lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Other books in the series

Who Was/Is...? (1 - 10 of 161 books)
  • Who Was Abigail Adams?
  • Who Was Abraham Lincoln?
  • Who Was Albert Einstein?
  • Who Was Alexander Graham Bell?
  • Who Was Alexander the Great?
  • Who Was Alexander Hamilton?
  • Who Was Alfred Hitchcock?
  • Who Was Amelia Earhart?
  • Who Was Andrew Jackson?
  • Who Was Andy Warhol?
“1951, Martin graduated from Crozer. He was the top student in his class.” 0 likes
“When reporters asked Nixon about Martin Luther King, Jr., being in jail, Nixon said, “No comment.” 0 likes
More quotes…