26 books on activism and talking for younger readers

We all want our students to believe that through thoughtful and peaceful action, they can change the world. Providing a steady and varied diet with examples of activism can inspire children to become activists themselves and help them appreciate the work of activists throughout history. Check out 26 of our recent favorite books on activism and speaking for young readers.

We love this book to introduce our youngest students to the idea of ​​activism. It is guaranteed to create a lot of passionate characters in your classroom!

2. & 3. The Buddy Bench by Gwendolyn Hooks and The Protest by Samantha Thornhill (PreK-2)

The varied and spunky Confetti Kids are one of our favorite early reading lineups. In The Buddy Bench, they create a safe place for lonely children to make friends. In The Protest they organize a protest to save a community garden from demolition. Both are solid, child-friendly books on activism for new readers.

4.Love Is Mighty by Heather Dean Brewer (PreK-2)

Mari learns about the power of words as she helps her family set up signs for an upcoming march. This story is based on the experience of a girl who took part in a 2017 women’s march and is very well received by young students!

This beautiful, inclusive title is a must for any classroom. Younger students will appreciate the specific connections. (“Sometimes ants march. Sometimes bands march.”) In older classrooms, the background goes deeper.

So eloquently filled with activism vocabulary that you may not even notice that it is an alphabet book! From assembling, trading, and making allies of allies to jealousy, this guide covers tons for what’s right, tons.

The sisters Kamala and Maya Harris become “per-sisters” when they try to build a playground in the neighborhood. A neighbor donates waste wood for a sandpit, another gives materials for a seesaw and the successful snowballs of the sisters become a real community effort.

How can only one person make a difference? There are so many possibilities. We all need this inspiring message because “we are all activists”.

9.Speak Up by Miranda Paul (PreK-4)

Here is an accessible and encouraging list of so many positive changes speaking can bring. Read it, talk about it, and live it with your students!

This story invites students to be part of a historical tradition of activism. It alternates between scenes from the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and what is now a classroom preparing for their own protest march.

11. Say something! by Peter H. Reynolds (K-4)

“You don’t have to be loud. Powerful words can be a whisper. You can say something in so many ways. With words, with actions, with creativity. “We cannot give this message enough to our students. Activism starts with one voice.

Sofia Valdez is the youngest member of Miss Lila Greer’s class doing great things. She takes over town hall to convince them to turn a local landfill into a park and doesn’t take a “no” for an answer. Help students learn how activism can influence community decisions.

Farah Patel learns a lot while working to convince the mayor to approve a community garden in her neighborhood. Readers will learn about activism tools like petitions, letters to city officials, protest signs and community organization with her.

A boy loves his neighborhood but hates the ugly, cracked wall that dominates it. So he decides to lead a painting effort. We love this cute story that gets kids talking about changes near home.

Expand your definition of activism for children by sharing the story of this Colombian garbage collector. He opened a library of discarded books for the children to read in his barrio.

This is a calm and powerful story about a girl who dreams of helping monarch butterflies in her city. It’s great to talk about how activism can create change within ourselves too. One of our favorite books on activism!

This unforgettable story encourages students to stand up for themselves and others. To help pass the Disabled Americans Act, activist Jennifer Keelan joined others to climb the steps of the Capitol Building – without her wheelchair.

This iconic biography shares the work of gay rights advocate Harvey Milk and makes an important link between activism and equality.

Here is a stunning book that explains the events of 1969 at the Stonewall Inn and their impact on the LGBTQ + civil rights movement. It will get your class talking about the bravery of activism.

This compelling children’s perspective on the civil rights movement and children’s march in Birmingham, Alabama provides an important historical context – and shows how children can really make a difference.

From listening to standing, campaigning to representation, politician and activist Shirley Chisholm’s legacy is full of powerful verbs that make change. We love how the book ends by asking readers to choose their own verbs too.

Malala Yousafzai’s name is practically synonymous with the use of words to encourage peaceful change. We like the simple explanation of Malala’s story and the unique collage illustrations in this book.

This story of the first successful school desegregation suit underscores the power of the community organization. The students will identify with the young Roberto Álvarez when he courageously represents his Mexican-American colleagues before a Californian judge.

One-page biographies of well-known activists and movements are perfect for teaching. The diverse mix of causes and individuals makes this a resource to come back to over and over again.

Marley Dias started the # 1000BlackGirlBooks movement at the impressive age of 11. More importantly, she’s an icon for today’s kids on how to “do it”. We especially love all of the tips she gives on how to use social media forever.

Published by an impressive team of diverse authors as an antidote to the 2016 elections, this collection of poems, letters, and essays empowers and informs young readers. Your class could discuss this book year round.

There are so many fantastic books about activism in the classroom – we could have just kept going! Share your favorites in the comments.

Subscribe to our newsletter for more teaching ideas.

Comments are closed.