Booklists | January 24, 2023

Books that Inspire Children to Stand Up for a Better World


6 Books that Inspire Children to Stand Up for a Better World

As we grow up, we learn that the right path is not always the easiest one. Often doing the right thing means facing opposition, hurdling obstacles, and breaking the status quo. This month, the United States is celebrating Black History Month. It’s a time dedicated to honoring the contributions of all Black people, from the start of our country’s history to present day.

This year, the theme of Black History Month is resistance. By bravely resisting injustice in politics, school, sports, professions, and more, Black people have built a better world for us all. It has us thinking – how can we inspire young readers to use resistance to make positive changes in their world?

Consider starting conversations with your child about ways to take a stand against injustices they see around them. Perhaps it starts with standing up to a bully, writing a letter to a politician, or challenging stereotypes in your cultures and communities. Our BookSmart app is full of free books from around the world that can inspire your child to take the right path, even when it seems like the tougher one.

Molly, by Golly!

Molly, by Golly! by Dianne Ochiltree

Published by Calkins Creek (Astra Publishing House)

Ages 6-8

Here is the story of Molly Williams, an African American cook for New York City’s Fire Company 11 who is considered to be the first known female firefighter in U.S. history.

► Meet Molly here.

The Weightlifting Princess

The Weightlifting Princess by Sowmya Rajendran

Published by Pratham Books

Ages 6-8

Princess Nila is eager to win the Surya Championship, the famous weightlifting contest in her kingdom. But there are so many obstacles to overcome. Not least, a handsome prince and her parents’ expectations.

► Challenge the status quo here.

Rosa’s Bus by Jo S. Kittinger

Published by Calkins Creek (Astra Publishing House)

Ages 6-8

Here is the remarkable story of Bus #2857 and its passengers, including Rosa Parks, who changed history in Montgomery, Alabama, in December 1955.

► See how history was made here.

Rebecca, The Maasai Changemaker

Rebecca, The Maasai Changemaker by Olivia Wood

Published by Worldreader and Ashoka

Ages 6-8

This is the true story of a young girl in Kenya who was alarmed by the signs of climate change in her community. She educated herself about the problem, then galvanized her community and the government to take action

► Fight for change in your community here.

► Leer en español aquí.

The Scoop on Inventors

The Scoop on Inventors by Mon Trice

Published by Room to Read

Ages 6-8

Dré is sad that he didn’t learn about any African American inventors during a lesson on inventions at school. But when he and Daddy prepare for Mommy’s birthday party, Daddy shows him all the helpful, everyday items African Americans invented.

► Get the scoop here.

The Teachers March!: How Selma’s Teachers Changed History by Sandra Neil Wallace, Rich Wallace

Published by Calkins Creek (Astra Publishing House)

Ages 6-8

Demonstrating the power of protest and standing up for a just cause, here is an exciting tribute to the educators who participated in the 1965 Selma Teachers’ March.

► Learn about a significant event here.

Peter’s Wish by Kathy Knowles

Published by Osu Children’s Library

Ages 6-8

Peter’s father, Genda, works as a village game scout with an anti-poaching team in Tanzania. Peter’s Wish describes Genda’s efforts to protect wild animals from poachers.

► Witness change in action here.

► Leer en español aquí.

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