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Raising Change-Makers

Curated by Joanna Ho
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What Is Given from the Heart book
7.0
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What Is Given from the Heart
Written by Patricia C. McKissack & illustrated by April Harrison
Thoughts from Joanna Ho
I read this book with my kids every Valentine's day. It is such a beautiful book about giving to others no matter how much you have at home. It also depicts a beautiful relationship between mother and son. Such a beautiful book.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This final, magnificent picture book from three-time Coretta Scott King Award winner and Newbery Honor author Patricia McKissack is a poignant and uplifting celebration of the joy of giving.

“Misery loves company,” Mama says to James Otis. It’s been a rough couple of months for them, but Mama says as long as they have their health and strength, they’re blessed. One Sunday before Valentine’s Day, Reverend Dennis makes an announcement during the service— the Temples have lost everything in a fire, and the church is collecting anything that might be useful to them. James thinks hard about what he can add to the Temple’s “love box,” but what does he have worth giving? With her extraordinary gift for storytelling, McKissack—with stunning illustrations by Harrison—delivers a touching, powerful tale of compassion and reminds us all that what is given from the heart, reaches the heart.

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The Day You Begin book
7.0
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The Day You Begin
Written by Jacqueline Woodson & illustrated by Rafael López
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Jacqueline Woodson is the 2018-2019 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature

A #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!

National Book Award winner Jacqueline Woodson and two-time Pura Belpré Illustrator Award winner Rafael López have teamed up to create a poignant, yet heartening book about finding courage to connect, even when you feel scared and alone.

There will be times when you walk into a room and no one there is quite like you.

There are many reasons to feel different. Maybe it’s how you look or talk, or where you’re from; maybe it’s what you eat, or something just as random. It’s not easy to take those first steps into a place where nobody really knows you yet, but somehow you do it.

Jacqueline Woodson’s lyrical text and Rafael López’s dazzling art reminds us that we all feel like outsiders sometimes-and how brave it is that we go forth anyway. And that sometimes, when we reach out and begin to share our stories, others will be happy to meet us halfway.

(This book is also available in Spanish, as El Día En Que Descubres Quién Eres!)

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We Are Water Protectors book
7.0
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We Are Water Protectors
Written by Carole Lindstrom & illustrated by Michaela Goade
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

Inspired by the many Indigenous-led movements across North America, Carole Lindstrom’s bold and lyrical picture book We Are Water Protectors issues an urgent rallying cry to safeguarding the Earth’s water from harm and corruption.

Water is the first medicine. It affects and connects us all . . .

When a black snake threatens to destroy the Earth And poison her people’s water, one young water protector Takes a stand to defend Earth’s most sacred resource.

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Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music book
7.0
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Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music
Written by Margarita Engle & illustrated by Rafael López
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Girls cannot be drummers. Long ago on an island filled with music, no one questioned that rule—until the drum dream girl. In her city of drumbeats, she dreamed of pounding tall congas and tapping small bongós. She had to keep quiet. She had to practice in secret. But when at last her dream-bright music was heard, everyone sang and danced and decided that both girls and boys should be free to drum and dream. Inspired by the childhood of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba’s traditional taboo against female drummers, Drum Dream Girl tells an inspiring true story for dreamers everywhere.

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A Wish in the Dark book
7.0
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A Wish in the Dark
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11
A boy on the run. A girl determined to find him. A compelling fantasy looks at issues of privilege, protest, and justice.

All light in Chattana is created by one man – the Governor, who appeared after the Great Fire to bring peace and order to the city. For Pong, who was born in Namwon Prison, the magical lights represent freedom, and he dreams of the day he will be able to walk among them. But when Pong escapes from prison, he realizes that the world outside is no fairer than the one behind bars. The wealthy dine and dance under bright orb light, while the poor toil away in darkness. Worst of all, Pong’s prison tattoo marks him as a fugitive who can never be truly free.

Nok, the prison warden’s perfect daughter, is bent on tracking Pong down and restoring her family’s good name. But as Nok hunts Pong through the alleys and canals of Chattana, she uncovers secrets that make her question the truths she has always held dear. Set in a Thai-inspired fantasy world, Christina Soontornvat’s twist on Victor Hugo’s <i>Les Misérables </i>is a dazzling, fast-paced adventure that explores the difference between law and justice – and asks whether one child can shine a light in the dark.

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Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré book
6.5
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Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré
Written by Anika Denise & illustrated by Paola Escobar
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

An inspiring picture book biography of storyteller, puppeteer, and New York City’s first Puerto Rican librarian, who championed bilingual literature. When she came to America in 1921, Pura Belpré carried the cuentos folklóricos of her Puerto Rican homeland. Finding a new home at the New York Public Library as a bilingual assistant, she turned her popular retellings into libros and spread story seeds across the land. Today, these seeds have grown into a lush landscape as generations of children and storytellers continue to share her tales and celebrate Pura’s legacy. Brought to colorful life by Paola Escobar’s elegant and exuberant illustrations and Anika Aldamuy Denise’s lyrical text, this gorgeous book is perfect for the pioneers in your life. Informative backmatter and suggested further reading included.

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Something Happened in Our Town: A Child's Story about Racial Injustice book
6.5
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Something Happened in Our Town: A Child's Story about Racial Injustice
Written by & illustrated by Jennifer Zivoin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A Little Free Library Action Book Club Selection<br /><br /> National Parenting Product Award Winner (NAPPA)<br /><br /><i>Emma and Josh heard that something happened in their town. A Black man was shot by the police.</i><br /><br /><i>”Why did the police shoot that man?”</i><br /><br /><i>”Can police go to jail?”</i><br /><br /><i>Something Happened in Our Town</i> follows two families – one White, one Black – as they discuss a police shooting of a Black man in their community. The story aims to answer children’s questions about such traumatic events, and to help children identify and counter racial injustice in their own lives.<br /><br /> Includes an extensive Note to Parents and Caregivers with guidelines for discussing race and racism with children, child-friendly definitions, and sample dialogues.<br /><br /> Free, downloadable educator materials (including discussion questions) are available at www.apa.org.<br /><br /> From the Note to Parents and Caregivers: <br /><br /><i>There are many benefits of beginning to discuss racial bias and injustice with young children of all races and ethnicities: </i><ul><li><i>Research has shown that children even as young as three years of age notice and comment on differences in skin color.</i></li></ul><ul><li><i>Humans of all ages tend to ascribe positive qualities to the group that they belong to and negative qualities to other groups.</i></li></ul><ul><li><i>Despite some parents’ attempts to protect their children from frightening media content, children often become aware of incidents of community violence, including police shootings.</i></li></ul><ul><li><i>Parents who don’t proactively talk about racial issues with their children are inadvertently teaching their children that race is a taboo topic. Parents who want to raise children to accept individuals from diverse cultures need to counter negative attitudes that their children develop from exposure to the negative racial stereotypes that persist in our society.</i></li></ul>

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Internment book
6.5
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Internment
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 14-17
An instant New York Times bestseller!
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Kamala and Maya's Big Idea book
6.3
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Kamala and Maya's Big Idea
Written by Meena Harris & illustrated by Ana Ramírez González
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“A must read for little girls around the world.” —Elizabeth Warren, U.S. Senator from Massachusetts

“An inspiring tale.” —Stacey Abrams, Former Minority Leader, Georgia House of Representatives; Founder and Chair, Fair Fight Action

“I love this book.” —Megan Rapinoe, Co-Captain, U.S. Women’s National Soccer Team

Meena Harris debuts with an empowering picture book about two sisters who work with their community to effect change, inspired by a true story from the childhood of her aunt, US Senator Kamala Harris, and mother, lawyer, and policy expert Maya Harris.

One day, Kamala and Maya had an idea. A big idea: they would turn their empty apartment courtyard into a playground!

This is the uplifting tale of how the author’s aunt and mother first learned to persevere in the face of disappointment and turned a dream into reality. This is a story of children’s ability to make a difference and of a community coming together to transform their neighborhood.

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Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood book
6.3
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Maybe Something Beautiful: How Art Transformed a Neighborhood
Written by F. Isabel Campoy and Theresa Howell & illustrated by Rafael López
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

What good can a splash of color do in a community of gray? As Mira and her neighbors discover, more than you might ever imagine! Based on the true story of the Urban Art Trail in San Diego, California, Maybe Something Beautiful reveals how art can inspire transformation—and how even the smallest artists can accomplish something big. Pick up a paintbrush and join the celebration!

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