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Book recommendations for your little activist

By Divya Amladi
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Social justice reads for toddlers, grade-schoolers, and teenagers. Illustration: Oxfam America

Looking for resources for raising a socially conscious child? We've got you covered with this reading list compiled by Oxfam staff for kids of all ages.


Are you wondering how to engage your child with topics such as equality, rights, and inclusion? Or looking for activities to feed the curiosity of your young ones about current events during this time of remote learning? We put together a list of books to encourage critical thinking about social issues.

For the littlest activists 

A is for Activist, by Innosanto Nagara

Antiracist Baby, written by Ibram X. Kendi, illustrations by Ashley Lukashevsky

Emmanuel's Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, written by Laurie Ann Thompson, illustrations by Sean Qualls

Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez, written by Kathleen Krull, illustrated by Yuyi Morales

I Am One: A Book of Action, by Susan Verde and illustrations by Peter H. Reynolds

Julián Is a Mermaid, by Jessica Love

Last Stop on Market Street, written by Matt de la Peña, illustrated by Christian Robinson

Mommy’s Khimar, by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow, illustrations by Ebony Glenn

Sweetest Kulu, by Celina Kalluk, illustrated by Alexandria Neonakis

The Lonely Polar Bear, by Khoa Le

For grade-schoolers

Dreamers, by Yuyi Morales

The Journey, by Francesca Sanna

Brothers in Hope: The Lost Boys of Sudan, by Mary Williams, illustrations by Gregory Christie

The Girl Who Fought for Freedom and Other Stories of Courage, by Bigoa Chuol

Kids on the March: 15 Stories of Speaking Out, Protesting, and Fighting for Justice, by Michael Long

I am Not a Number, by Jenny Kay Dupias

Mama Miti: Wangari Maathai and the Trees of Kenya, written by Donna Jo Napoli, illustrations by Kadir Nelson

One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference, written by Katie Smith Milway, illustrations by Eugenie Fernandes

Rad Women Worldwide: Artists and Athletes, Pirates and Punks, and Other Revolutionaries Who Shaped History, by Kate Schatz, illustrated by Miriam Klein Stahl

We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices, edited by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson

Young Adult

All Boys Aren’t Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto, by George M. Johnson

Amal Unbound, by Aisha Saeed

An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States for Young People, by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, Debbie Reese

Brown Girl Dreaming, by Jacqueline Woodson

Clap When You Land, by Elizabeth Acevedo

First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers, by Loung Ung

Gold of our Fathers, by Kwei Quartey

How it Went Down, by Kekla Magoon

I Was Their American Dream: A Graphic Memoir, by Malaka Gharib

Unbroken: 13 Stories Starring Disabled Teens, edited by Marieke Nijkamp

Coloring and Activity 

Anti-Racism Starts with Me! A Coloring Book for Kids, by Kadeesha Bryant

Coloring without Borders All proceeds go directly to Families Belong Together.

Girls Resist! A Guide to Activism, Leadership, and Starting a Revolution, written by KaeLyn Rich and illustrated by Giulia Sagramola

This Book Is Anti-Racist: 20 Lessons on How to Wake Up, Take Action, and Do the Work, written by Tiffany Jewell, illustrations by Aurelia Durand

What We Believe: A Black Lives Matter Principles Activity Book, written by Laleña Garcia, illustrations by Caryn Davidson

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