Booklists | October 23, 2018

7 Books to Inspire Your Child to Change the World


Book Covers

You’re never too young to start changing the world. 

The world belongs to all of us. And every child or teen – no matter how young – can do their part to make the world a better place. How can they start? The key to empowering children and teens is to help them understand the big challenges that our world is facing today. They also need to see examples of other people who have made a real difference.

The Sustainable Development Goals provide a roadmap for a better future for all.

Some of the most pressing challenges that our world is facing on a global scale are clearly outlined in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. These include:

  • Equitable access to healthcare
  • Free primary and secondary education
  • A reduction in global poverty
  • Empowering women and girls

The hope is that, by 2030, the 17 goals will be achieved. The reality is that the world is far from being on track to achieving them. But if there is one thing that Covid-19 has taught us, it’s this: we’re all connected. And no country can afford to leave anyone behind.

Children are our best hope for the future. And the more they understand the issues our world is facing, the better equipped they will be to start helping. Through reading about the SDGs, children can feel empowered to make a positive difference. Here are seven free e-books from our new SDG Collection that can be accessed on our BookSmart app.

Together We're Strong

Together We’re Strong by Liesl Jobson, Alice Toich, and Nazli Jacobs

Published by Book Dash

Ages 9-12

From the day she was born to the day she died, Albertina Sisulu lived a life of love and sacrifice. A brave girl who rode a horse, she was a blessing to her family, to her community and to South Africa. This story of a unique and powerful woman, who stood up for her beliefs no matter what, will inspire and enchant.

SDG: Gender equality

► Read it here.

Animal Village Cover

Animal Village by Nelda LaTeef

Published by Sub-Saharan Publishers

Ages 9-12

The animal village of Zindair is going through a drought and mighty Chief Zamboha is desperate for a solution. Fortunately, little tortoise Timba has an idea, but it would involve collaboration and endurance. Inspired by a folk tale from Zarma in the Republic of Niger, LaTeef’s story stresses the importance of community in times of hardship.

SDG: Clean water and sanitation

► Read it here.

The Tree of Hope

The Tree of Hope by Kehkashan Basu

Published by Voices of Future Generations

Ages 6-8

Khadra is a curious young girl living in a desert where everyone struggles with the heat and the drought. But by planting and caring for a tree, she discovers some of nature’s best secrets, forever changing her community.

SDG: No poverty

► Read it here.

A Cloud of Trash

A Cloud of Trash by Karanjeet Kaur

Published by Pratham Books

Ages 6-8

A cloud of trash is hanging over Cheekoo’s head, making her the unhappiest girl in the world. Read this wonderful story to find out how Cheekoo gets rid of this horrible trash cloud.

SDG: Responsible consumption and production

► Read it here.

The White Dolphin Cover

The White Dolphin by Zhuo Meng-Xin

Published by Voices of Future Generations

Ages 6-8

Hsin Ming loved observing animals. One day, she visits the sea and meets a majestic white dolphin. The dolphin tells Hsin Ming about how hard it has been to find food with humans fishing in their territory, and how her sister was caught by one of the humans’ big nets. Hsin Ming becomes determined to free the dolphin’s sister and vows to protect them.

SDG: Life below water

► Read it here.

A Boy's Journey Trying to Find Home

A Boy’s Journey Trying to Find Home by Sam Khoubrouy Pak

Published by Comics Uniting Nations

Ages 9-12

Firas lives with his family in the only home he’s ever known, when suddenly everything changes. With his cat Hilal by his side, Firas must leave their home behind and walk with his family for several years into an unknown journey.

SDG: Peace, justice, and strong institutions

► Read it here.

The Cosmic Climate Invention

The Cosmic Climate Invention by Jona David

Published by Voices of Future Generations

Ages 9-12

Meet the Eco-Inventor Boy and his little brother: two siblings that love science, technology, and crazy inventions! This time, join them in their outer space adventure against climate change.

SDG: Climate action

► Read it in English here.

Love our recommendations? Get them in your inbox.