Please help us grow this list! Send us your recommendations, and tell us why you suggest them. Please see the bottom of this page for more information and a useful form for contacting us.
Preschool and Up
Simple text and images, good for young children and may also be suitable for leading into more complex discussions with older children.
The Bad Seed – written by Jory John, illustrated by Pete Oswald
Be Kinds – written by Pat Zietlow Miller, illustrated by Jen Hill
The Day You Begin – written by Jacqueline Woodson, illustrated by Rafael López
Love – written by Matt De La Peña, illustrated by Lauren Long
My Mouth is a Volcano – written by Julia Cook, illustrated by Carrie Hartman
One Love – written by Cedella Marley, illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
They All Saw a Cat – written & illustrated by Brendan Wenzel
Giraffes Can’t Dance – written by Giles Andreae, illustrated by Guy Parker-Rees
2st Grade and up
Picture book with longer, more complex story and imagery.
Benno and the Night of Broken Glass – written by Meg Wiviott, illustrated by Josee Bisaillon
The Butterfly – written and illustrated by Patricia Polacco
The Harmonica – written by Tony Johnston, illustrated by Ron Mazellan
The Morning Chair – written by Barbara M. Joosse, illustrated by Marcia Sewall
Mr. Lincolns’ Way – written and illustrated by Patricia Polacco
Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters – written and illustrated by John Steptoe
Pink and Say – written and illustrated by Patricia Polacco – * 4th grade and up
POETRY BOOKS –
This Same Sky, A Collection of Poems from around the World –selected by Naomi Shihab Nye
CHAPTER BOOKS –
(Recommended publisher age ranges noted beside each title to approximate appropriateness for child’s maturity level)
Amal Unbound – by Aisha Saeed, ages 10 and up
Anything but Typical – by Nora Raleigh Baskin, ages 10 – 14 years
Breakout – by Kate Messner, ages 10-14 years
The Color of my Words – by Lynn Joseph, ages 8-12 years
Diary of Anne Frank – by Anne Frank
Ghost Boys – Jewell Parker Rhodes, ages 8-12 years
Harbor Me – by Jacqueline Woodson, ages 10-12 years
Jars of Hope – by Jennifer Roy, ages 9-12
Journey to Topaz – by Yoshiko Uchida, ages 8-12 years
Let the Circle Be Unbroken – Mildred D. Taylor, ages 8-12 years
Number the Stars – by Lois Lowry, ages 8-12 years
Shooting Kabul – by N. H. Senzai, ages 8-12 years
Where Watermelons Grow – by Cindy Baldwin, ages 8-12 years
Ages 12 and up
Flawed – by Cecelia Ahern
Forged by Fire – by Sharon M. Draper
The Friends – by Rosa Guy
The Giver – by Lois Lowry
A Long Walk to Water – by Linda Sue Park
Lyddie – by Katherine Paterson
A Mighty Long Way – by Carlotta Walls LaNier & Lisa Frazier Page
Monster – by Walter Dean Myers
Nowhere Boy – by Katherine Marsh
The Outsiders – by S.E. Hinton
Trash – by Andy Mulligan
The Young Landlords – by Walter Dean Myers
Solo – Kwame Alexander, Mary Rand Hess
Please help us grow this list! Send us your recommendations, and tell us why you suggest them. We’re looking for books that help with one or more of the five objectives below:
- To help a teacher or parent begin a discussion about the connection between justice and love.
- To talk about actions and attitudes that help everyone grow, and actions and attitudes that hurt, prevent growth, or deny others basic needs.
- To nurture empathy, respect, and love for people experiencing societal injustice.
- To nurture empathy, forgiveness, and love for people who are causing societal injustice, and to accept some personal responsibility for the perpetuation of the problem, to not scapegoat, push the problem elsewhere.
- To share with each other and think about what justice looks like, feels like, acts like, including in difficult situations.
If you have suggestions to help us improve this list or any of our tools, let us know!