Children’s literature is often a reflection of society (and sometimes an influencer). As we humans continue to make progress in doing more good and less harm and in striving to create a better world, we’re seeing more books for children that explore and celebrate those themes. Although we can search online for keywords of interest, it’s not always easy to find children’s books that address humane issues; so we’ve created a list of eight sources to get you started.
1. Institute for Humane Education suggested children’s books
Searchable by category and age, we’re always adding to our lists of suggested books for children on topics from animal protection to human rights to citizenship and community.
2. ADL Anti-Bias Books for Children
Although no longer updated, this list offers a long list of children’s books focused on issues of prejudice.
3. Amelia Bloomer Project
A task force of the American Library Association creates a list each year of recommended feminist literature for ages birth through 18.
4. Humane Education Teacher Booklist
Offers suggested titles on topics from character and citizenship to animal welfare and social justice issues.
5. Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards
Each year this award recognizes children’s books that “effectively promote the cause of peace, social justice, world community, and the equality of the sexes and all races as well as meeting conventional standards for excellence.”
6. Reach and Teach
Reach and Teach is a store offering products related to peacemaking, social justice, environmental protection, and they have a whole slew of suggested books.
7. 6 Elements of Social Justice list
An annotated list of children’s books, categorized by the 6 Elements of Social Justice Curriculum Design (from respecting others to raising awareness and taking action). The list is updated by pre-service teachers at Montclair State University.
Created as a resource for adults to support the veg kids in their lives, but the scope of the kinds of books reviewed has expanded into environmental and social justice issues as well.
What resources do you use for finding children’s books with humane themes?
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