An Award-Winning Book Club for Kids
Shop Now

Activism: Books For Kids

Searching for the best children's books about activism?

These children’s books can help you teach your young reader about the impact individuals can have on the world around them. These books capture powerful examples of individuals who brought about change and present their stories in a memorable way and in an understandable manner.

Share this list

Top 10 Books About Activism

#1
Add to list
Elizabeth Leads the Way
Written by Tanya Lee Stone & illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Elizabeth Cady Stanton stood up and fought for what she believed in. From an early age, she knew that women were not given rights equal to men. But rather than accept her lesser status, Elizabeth went to college and later gathered other like-minded women to challenge the right to vote. Here is the inspiring story of an extraordinary woman who changed America forever because she wouldn’t take “no” for an answer.

Elizabeth Leads the Way is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children’s Book of the Year.

Buy book
$8.99
Bookshop
$7.64
Amazon
$8.99
Used $8.99
Prices as of Feb 25
#2
Add to list
Emmeline Pankhurst
Written by Lisbeth Kaiser & illustrated by Ana Sanfelippo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In this international bestseller from the critically acclaimed Little People, BIG DREAMS series, meet Emmeline Pankhurst, an inspiring women’s rights activist who changed the world for future generations of women.

As a child, Emmeline Pankhurst was inspired by books about heroes who fought for others. She dedicated her life to fighting for women’s voting rights and, with hard work and great bravery, led a remarkable movement that changed the world. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the activist’s life.

Little People, BIG DREAMS is a best-selling series of books and educational games that explore the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream.

Buy book
$14.99
Bookshop
$12.74
Amazon
$7.69
Used $1.79
Prices as of Feb 25
#3
Add to list
Let the Children March
Written by Monica Clark-Robinson & illustrated by Frank Morrison
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
This book is so inspirational. I love that it talks about the children who march for their rights! This book is so important, as it really brought this historical event to life, especially through the different perspective of children. This is an amazing story of love, perseverance, determination, courage, bravery, and activism. Even when the children faced danger, they knew that they were helping bring about a change and that together, they could help change the world. Also, I thought the illustrations were wonderful.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Under the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King, children and teenagers march against segregation in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963.

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$13.70
Used $9.95
Prices as of Feb 25
#4
Add to list
The Youngest Marcher
Written by Cynthia Levinson & illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
Thoughts from Mr. Staccato
I loved learning about segregation from the perspective of Audrey Faye Hendricks. What a brave young girl. I found the author's note at the end of the book enjoyable as well and getting to know a little bit more about the protest and Audrey.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

Meet the youngest known child to be arrested for a civil rights protest in Birmingham, Alabama, 1963, in this moving picture book that proves you’re never too little to make a difference. Nine-year-old Audrey Faye Hendricks intended to go places and do things like anybody else. So when she heard grown-ups talk about wiping out Birmingham’s segregation laws, she spoke up. As she listened to the preacher’s words, smooth as glass, she sat up tall. And when she heard the plan—picket those white stores! March to protest those unfair laws! Fill the jails!—she stepped right up and said, I’ll do it! She was going to j-a-a-il! Audrey Faye Hendricks was confident and bold and brave as can be, and hers is the remarkable and inspiring story of one child’s role in the Civil Rights Movement.

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$15.94
Used $9.31
Prices as of Feb 25
#5
Add to list
Me . . . Jane
Written & illustrated by Patrick McDonnell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

In his characteristic heartwarming style, Patrick McDonnell tells the story of the young Jane Goodall and her special childhood toy chimpanzee named Jubilee. As the young Jane observes the natural world around her with wonder, she dreams of “a life living with and helping all animals,” until one day she finds that her dream has come true. One of the world’s most inspiring women, Dr. Jane Goodall is a renowned humanitarian, conservationist, animal activist, environmentalist, and United Nations Messenger of Peace. In 1977 she founded the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), a global nonprofit organization that empowers people to make a difference for all living things. With anecdotes taken directly from Jane Goodall’s autobiography, McDonnell makes this very true story accessible for the very young–and young at heart.

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$13.69
Used $1.00
Prices as of Feb 25
#6
Add to list
I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark
Written by Debbie Levy & illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Get to know celebrated Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg—in the first picture book about her life—as she proves that disagreeing does not make you disagreeable! Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has spent a lifetime disagreeing: disagreeing with inequality, arguing against unfair treatment, and standing up for what’s right for people everywhere. This biographical picture book about the Notorious RBG, tells the justice’s story through the lens of her many famous dissents, or disagreements.

Buy book
$18.99
Bookshop
$16.14
Amazon
$10.99
Used $5.29
Prices as of Feb 25
#7
Add to list
A Sweet Smell of Roses
Written by Angela Johnson & illustrated by Eric Velasquez
Thoughts from The Fun Uncle
I love the way Angela Johnson presents such an emotional and important piece of history in a way that conveys the importance of what was happening, while keeping it child appropriate. It's thought provoking and is sure to help our little ones be curious about the civil rights movement, leading to great opportunities of acceptance and friendship to all. The illustrations by Eric Velazquez are so life-like and well done.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Minnie and her sister hear about a freedom march and leave their home to go to their city’s downtown area where they listen to Dr. Martin Luther King and join the march, all the while smelling roses.

Buy book
$8.99
Bookshop
$7.64
Amazon
$8.99
Used $8.99
Prices as of Feb 25
#8
Add to list
If You're Going to a March
Written by Martha Freeman & illustrated by Violet Kim
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

“If you’re going to a march, you’re going to want a sign”–and this cheerful, introductory handbook. Inspired by author Martha Freeman’s own experiences, it addresses many of the questions kids might have: What should I wear? How will I get there? Where can I go to the bathroom? Is it okay to dance? (It is!). All the while the text focuses on our Constitutional right as Americans to assemble . . . whatever our political point of view.

Buy book
$16.95
Bookshop
$14.41
Amazon
$10.79
Used $3.99
Prices as of Feb 25
#9
Add to list
Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History
Written by Vashti Harrison
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

A NEW YORK TIMES INSTANT BESTSELLER!A USA TODAY BESTSELLER! This beautifully illustrated book introduces readers of all ages to 40 women who changed the world. Featuring forty trailblazing black women in American history, Little Leaders educates and inspires as it relates true stories of breaking boundaries and achieving beyond expectations. Illuminating text paired with irresistible illustrations bring to life both iconic and lesser-known female figures of Black history such as abolitionist Sojourner Truth, pilot Bessie Coleman, chemist Alice Ball, politician Shirley Chisholm, mathematician Katherine Johnson, poet Maya Angelou, and filmmaker Julie Dash. Among these biographies, readers will find heroes, role models, and everyday women who did extraordinary things - bold women whose actions and beliefs contributed to making the world better for generations of girls and women to come. Whether they were putting pen to paper, soaring through the air or speaking up for the rights of others, the women profiled in these pages were all taking a stand against a world that didn’t always accept them. The leaders in this book may be little, but they all did something big and amazing, inspiring generations to come.

Buy book
$16.99
Bookshop
$14.44
Amazon
$6.68
Used $3.99
Prices as of Feb 25
#10
Add to list
Love Will See You Through
Written by Angela Farris Watkins & illustrated by Sally Wern Comport
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-11

The niece of Martin Luther King, Jr. reveals six timeless and universal principles that encompass the civil rights leader’s greatest legacy: Love will see you through. Growing up as the niece of Martin Luther King Jr., Angela Farris Watkins witnessed firsthand the principles and values that “Uncle M.L.” practiced and lived by throughout his fight for equality. Drawing from experiences and episodes both personal and well-known, Dr. Watkins artfully details the guiding beliefs of one of the greatest men in history. Including “have courage” and “love your enemies,” these six hallmarks of virtue and nonviolence reinforce the truth that “the universe honors love” and will inspire readers of all ages.

Buy book
$18.99
Bookshop
$16.14
Amazon
$18.99
Used $18.99
Prices as of Feb 25
Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Activism and...

Books About Activism and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Add to list
A Sweet Smell of Roses
Written by Angela Johnson & illustrated by Eric Velasquez
Thoughts from The Fun Uncle
I love the way Angela Johnson presents such an emotional and important piece of history in a way that conveys the importance of what was happening, while keeping it child appropriate. It's thought provoking and is sure to help our little ones be curious about the civil rights movement, leading to great opportunities of acceptance and friendship to all. The illustrations by Eric Velazquez are so life-like and well done.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Minnie and her sister hear about a freedom march and leave their home to go to their city’s downtown area where they listen to Dr. Martin Luther King and join the march, all the while smelling roses.

Buy book
$8.99
Bookshop
$7.64
Amazon
$8.99
Used $8.99
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
Love Will See You Through
Written by Angela Farris Watkins & illustrated by Sally Wern Comport
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-11

The niece of Martin Luther King, Jr. reveals six timeless and universal principles that encompass the civil rights leader’s greatest legacy: Love will see you through. Growing up as the niece of Martin Luther King Jr., Angela Farris Watkins witnessed firsthand the principles and values that “Uncle M.L.” practiced and lived by throughout his fight for equality. Drawing from experiences and episodes both personal and well-known, Dr. Watkins artfully details the guiding beliefs of one of the greatest men in history. Including “have courage” and “love your enemies,” these six hallmarks of virtue and nonviolence reinforce the truth that “the universe honors love” and will inspire readers of all ages.

Buy book
$18.99
Bookshop
$16.14
Amazon
$18.99
Used $18.99
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
Martin and Anne
Written by Nancy Churnin & illustrated by Yevgenia Nayberg
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

Anne Frank and Martin Luther King Jr. were born the same year a world apart. Both faced ugly prejudices and violence, which both answered with words of love and faith in humanity. This is the story of their parallel journeys to find hope in darkness and to follow their dreams.

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$16.99
Used $16.61
Prices as of Feb 25
Honorable Mentions
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  1. Martin Rising - In a rich embroidery of visions, musical cadence, and deep emotion, Andrea and Brian Pinkney convey the final months of Martin Luther King’s life – and of his assassination – through metaphor, spirituality, and multi-layers of meaning. Andrea’s stunning poetic requiem, illustrated with Brian’s lyrical and colorful artwork – brings a fresh perspective to Martin Luther King, the Gandhi-like, peace-loving activist whose dream of equality – and whose courage to make it happen – changed the course of American history. And even in his death, he continues to transform and inspire all of us who share his dream. Wonderful classroom plays of Martin Rising can be performed by using the “Now Is the Time” history, and the 1968 timeline at the back of the book as narration – and adding selected poems to tell the story!

  2. Martin & Mahalia: His Words, Her Song - They were each born with the gift of gospel. Martin’s voice kept people in their seats, but also sent their praises soaring. Mahalia’s voice was brass-and-butter - strong and smooth at the same time. With Martin’s sermons and Mahalia’s songs, folks were free to shout, to sing their joy. On August 28, 1963, Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, and his strong voice and powerful message were joined and lifted in song by world-renowned gospel singer Mahalia Jackson. It was a moment that changed the course of history and is imprinted in minds forever. Told through Andrea Davis Pinkney’s poetic prose and Brian Pinkney’s evocative illustration, the stories of these two powerful voices and lives are told side-by-side – as they would one day walk – following the journey from their youth to a culmination at this historical event when they united as one and inspiring kids to find their own voices and speak up for what is right.

  3. The Cart That Carried Martin - A unique retelling of Martin Luther King Jr.s funeral, focusing on the cart used to transport his coffin through the streets of Atlanta, Georgia, from Ebenezer Baptist Church to Morehouse College. The text also features the large number of people who walked the funeral route and were buoyed by MLKs positive influence, as well as Ada and Belle, the mules that pulled the cart.

  4. I Am Martin Luther King, Jr - “A biography of Martin Luther King Jr. that tells the story of how he used nonviolence to lead the civil rights movement”–

Books About Activism and Famous People

Add to list
Me . . . Jane
Written & illustrated by Patrick McDonnell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

In his characteristic heartwarming style, Patrick McDonnell tells the story of the young Jane Goodall and her special childhood toy chimpanzee named Jubilee. As the young Jane observes the natural world around her with wonder, she dreams of “a life living with and helping all animals,” until one day she finds that her dream has come true. One of the world’s most inspiring women, Dr. Jane Goodall is a renowned humanitarian, conservationist, animal activist, environmentalist, and United Nations Messenger of Peace. In 1977 she founded the Jane Goodall Institute (JGI), a global nonprofit organization that empowers people to make a difference for all living things. With anecdotes taken directly from Jane Goodall’s autobiography, McDonnell makes this very true story accessible for the very young–and young at heart.

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$13.69
Used $1.00
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls
Written by Elena Favilli & illustrated by Francesca Cavallo
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

A children’s book that reinvents fairy tales, inspiring girls with the stories of 100 great women from Elizabeth I to Serena Williams.

Buy book
$35.00
Bookshop
$29.75
Amazon
$16.11
Used $6.99
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
This Little Trailblazer: A Girl Power Primer
Written by Joan Holub & illustrated by Daniel Roode
board book
Recommend Ages: 1-5

Learn all about influential women who changed history in this engaging and colorful board book perfect for trailblazers-in-training!

Paving the way to a future that’s bright. Helping the world with their skills, smarts, and might.

Little trailblazers cause great big changes.

In this follow up to This Little President and This Little Explorer, now even the youngest readers can learn all about great and empowering female trailblazers in history! Highlighting ten memorable women leaders who paved the way, parents and little ones alike will love this girl power primer full of fun, age-appropriate facts and bold illustrations.

Buy book
$7.99
Bookshop
$6.79
Amazon
$4.99
Used $1.47
Prices as of Feb 25
Honorable Mentions
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  1. She Persisted - Chelsea Clinton introduces tiny feminists, mini activists and little kids who are ready to take on the world to thirteen inspirational women who never took no for an answer, and who always, inevitably and without fail, persisted. Throughout American history, there have always been women who have spoken out for what’s right, even when they have to fight to be heard. In early 2017, Senator Elizabeth Warren’s refusal to be silenced in the Senate inspired a spontaneous celebration of women who persevered in the face of adversity. In this book, Chelsea Clinton celebrates thirteen American women who helped shape our country through their tenacity, sometimes through speaking out, sometimes by staying seated, sometimes by captivating an audience. They all certainly persisted. She Persisted is for everyone who has ever wanted to speak up but has been told to quiet down, for everyone who has ever tried to reach for the stars but was told to sit down, and for everyone who has ever been made to feel unworthy or unimportant or small. With vivid, compelling art by Alexandra Boiger, this book shows readers that no matter what obstacles may be in their paths, they shouldn’t give up on their dreams. Persistence is power. This book features: Harriet Tubman, Helen Keller, Clara Lemlich, Nellie Bly, Virginia Apgar, Maria Tallchief, Claudette Colvin, Ruby Bridges, Margaret Chase Smith, Sally Ride, Florence Griffith Joyner, Oprah Winfrey, Sonia Sotomayor—and one special cameo.

  2. Malala's Magic Pencil - Malala’s first picture book will inspire young readers everywhere to find the magic all around them. As a child in Pakistan, Malala made a wish for a magic pencil. She would use it to make everyone happy, to erase the smell of garbage from her city, to sleep an extra hour in the morning. But as she grew older, Malala saw that there were more important things to wish for. She saw a world that needed fixing. And even if she never found a magic pencil, Malala realized that she could still work hard every day to make her wishes come true. This beautifully illustrated volume tells Malala’s story for a younger audience and shows them the worldview that allowed Malala to hold on to hope even in the most difficult of times.

  3. I Am Helen Keller - “The story of Helen Keller, who learned to read and write despite being deaf and blind, and became an activist who fought for the rights of disabled people”

  4. Making Their Voices Heard: The Inspiring Friendship of Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe - Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe. On the outside, you couldn’t find two girls who looked more different. But on the inside, they were alike–full of hopes and dreams and plans of what might be. Ella Fitzgerald’s velvety tones and shube-doobie-doos captivated audiences. Jazz greats like Louis Armstrong and Duke Ellington couldn’t wait to share the stage with her, but still, Ella could not book a performance at one of the biggest clubs in town–one she knew would give her career its biggest break yet. Marilyn Monroe dazzled on the silver screen with her baby blue eyes and breathy boo-boo-be-doos. But when she asked for better scripts, a choice in who she worked with, and a higher salary, studio bosses refused. Two women whose voices weren’t being heard. Two women chasing after their dreams and each helping the other to achieve them. This is the inspiring, true story of two incredibly talented women who came together to help each other shine like the stars that they are.

Books About Activism and Heroes

Add to list
Let the Children March
Written by Monica Clark-Robinson & illustrated by Frank Morrison
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm
This book is so inspirational. I love that it talks about the children who march for their rights! This book is so important, as it really brought this historical event to life, especially through the different perspective of children. This is an amazing story of love, perseverance, determination, courage, bravery, and activism. Even when the children faced danger, they knew that they were helping bring about a change and that together, they could help change the world. Also, I thought the illustrations were wonderful.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Under the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King, children and teenagers march against segregation in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963.

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$13.70
Used $9.95
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History
Written by Vashti Harrison
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

A NEW YORK TIMES INSTANT BESTSELLER!A USA TODAY BESTSELLER! This beautifully illustrated book introduces readers of all ages to 40 women who changed the world. Featuring forty trailblazing black women in American history, Little Leaders educates and inspires as it relates true stories of breaking boundaries and achieving beyond expectations. Illuminating text paired with irresistible illustrations bring to life both iconic and lesser-known female figures of Black history such as abolitionist Sojourner Truth, pilot Bessie Coleman, chemist Alice Ball, politician Shirley Chisholm, mathematician Katherine Johnson, poet Maya Angelou, and filmmaker Julie Dash. Among these biographies, readers will find heroes, role models, and everyday women who did extraordinary things - bold women whose actions and beliefs contributed to making the world better for generations of girls and women to come. Whether they were putting pen to paper, soaring through the air or speaking up for the rights of others, the women profiled in these pages were all taking a stand against a world that didn’t always accept them. The leaders in this book may be little, but they all did something big and amazing, inspiring generations to come.

Buy book
$16.99
Bookshop
$14.44
Amazon
$6.68
Used $3.99
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
This Little Dreamer: An Inspirational Primer
Written by Joan Holub & illustrated by Daniel Roode
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Learn all about dreamers who changed history in this engaging and hopeful board book perfect for dreamers-in-training!

In this sixth book in the This Little series, now even the youngest readers can learn all about important people in history who dared to dream big for a better future! Highlighting ten memorable dreamers who paved the way, parents and little ones alike will love this inspirational primer full of fun, age-appropriate facts and bold illustrations.

Buy book
$7.99
Bookshop
$6.79
Amazon
$7.99
Used $7.99
Prices as of Feb 25
Honorable Mentions
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  1. Wangari's Trees of Peace - A paperback picture book based on the true story of Wangari Maathai, an environmental and political activist in Kenya and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004. As a young girl growing up in Kenya, Wangari was surrounded by trees. But years later when she returns home, she is shocked to see whole forests being cut down, and she knows that soon all the trees will be destroyed. So Wangari decides to do something–and starts by planting nine seedlings in her own backyard. And as they grow, so do her plans . . . This true story of Wangari Maathai, environmentalist and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, is a shining example of how one woman’s passion, vision, and determination inspired great change. Includes an author’s note.

  2. Gandhi - Mohandas Gandhi’s 24-day March to the Sea, from March 12 to April 5, 1930, was a pivotal moment in India’s quest to become an independent country no longer ruled by Great Britain. With over 70 marchers, Gandhi walked from his hometown near Ahmedabab to the sea coast by the village of Dandi. The march was a non-violent means to protest the taxes that Great Britain had imposed on salt – not the salt that the Indians could get from the sea, but the salt that Great Britain forced them to buy. Gandhi believed that peaceful protests were an effective way to challenge British law, and his peaceful but ultimately successful movement became known as Satyagraha.

  3. Who Did It First? 50 Politicians, Activists, and Entrepreneurs Who Revolutionized the World - Who Did It First? is a boldly illustrated middle-grade compendium featuring the women and men who revolutionized politics, policy, and philanthropy, and the “firsts” that made them extraordinary leaders. You may know that Thurgood Marshall was the first African American Supreme Court Justice. And maybe you know that Benazir Bhutto was the first female prime minister of Pakistan. You might not know that George Shima was the first Japanese American millionaire. Or that Schuyler Bailar is the first openly transgender NCAA Division 1 swimmer. Who Did It First? 50 Politicians, Activists, and Entrepreneurs Who Revolutionized the World celebrates fifty trailblazers—women and men, well-known figures and lesser-known heroes—who made the world a better place. Filled with compelling profiles highlighting what each subject accomplished first alongside vibrant illustrations, this gorgeous book has something for every young reader to cherish.

Want to see books about heroes?

Books About Activism and Race Relations

Add to list
The Youngest Marcher
Written by Cynthia Levinson & illustrated by Vanessa Brantley-Newton
Thoughts from Mr. Staccato
I loved learning about segregation from the perspective of Audrey Faye Hendricks. What a brave young girl. I found the author's note at the end of the book enjoyable as well and getting to know a little bit more about the protest and Audrey.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

Meet the youngest known child to be arrested for a civil rights protest in Birmingham, Alabama, 1963, in this moving picture book that proves you’re never too little to make a difference. Nine-year-old Audrey Faye Hendricks intended to go places and do things like anybody else. So when she heard grown-ups talk about wiping out Birmingham’s segregation laws, she spoke up. As she listened to the preacher’s words, smooth as glass, she sat up tall. And when she heard the plan—picket those white stores! March to protest those unfair laws! Fill the jails!—she stepped right up and said, I’ll do it! She was going to j-a-a-il! Audrey Faye Hendricks was confident and bold and brave as can be, and hers is the remarkable and inspiring story of one child’s role in the Civil Rights Movement.

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$15.94
Used $9.31
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
Night on Fire
Written by Ronald Kidd
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-13

Thirteen-year-old Billie Simms doesn’t think her hometown of Anniston, Alabama, should be segregated, but few of the town’s residents share her opinion. As equality spreads across the country and the Civil Rights Movement gathers momentum, Billie can’t help but feel stuck—and helpless—in a stubborn town too set in its ways to realize that the world is passing it by. So when Billie learns that the Freedom Riders, a group of peace activists riding interstate buses to protest segregation, will be traveling through Anniston on their way to Montgomery, she thinks that maybe change is finally coming and her quiet little town will shed itself of its antiquated views. But what starts as a series of angry grumbles soon turns to brutality as Anniston residents show just how deep their racism runs. The Freedom Riders will resume their ride to Montgomery, and Billie is now faced with a choice: stand idly by in silence or take a stand for what she believes in. Through her own decisions and actions and a few unlikely friendships, Billie is about to come to grips with the deep-seated prejudice of those she once thought she knew, and with her own inherent racism that she didn’t even know she had.

Buy book
$16.99
Bookshop
$14.44
Amazon
$16.99
Used $1.95
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
Rosa Parks
Written by Lisbeth Kaiser & illustrated by Marta Antelo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

New in the Little People, Big Dreams series, discover the incredible life of Rosa Parks, ‘ The Mother of the Freedom Movement’, in this inspiring story. In this true story of an inspiring civil rights activist, Rosa Parks grew up during segregation in Alabama, but she was taught to respect herself and stand up for her rights. In 1955, Rosa refused to give up her seat to a white man on a segregated bus, sparking the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Her decision had a huge impact on civil rights, eventually leading to the end of segregation on public transport. With stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, this empowering series celebrates the important life stories of wonderful women of the world. From designers and artists to scientists, all of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream. These books make the lives of these role models accessible for children, providing a powerful message to inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world!

Buy book
$14.99
Bookshop
$12.74
Amazon
$11.20
Used $4.54
Prices as of Feb 25
Honorable Mentions
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  1. I Am Rosa Parks - Recounts Rosa Parks’ daring effort to stand up for herself and other African Americans by helping to end segregation on public transportation.

  2. This Promise of Change: One Girl's Story in the Fight for School Equality - In 1956, one year before federal troops escorted the Little Rock 9 into Central High School, fourteen year old Jo Ann Allen was one of twelve African-American students who broke the color barrier and integrated Clinton High School in Tennessee. At first things went smoothly for the Clinton 12, but then outside agitators interfered, pitting the townspeople against one another. Uneasiness turned into anger, and even the Clinton Twelve themselves wondered if the easier thing to do would be to go back to their old school. Jo Ann–clear-eyed, practical, tolerant, and popular among both black and white students—found herself called on as the spokesperson of the group. But what about just being a regular teen? This is the heartbreaking and relatable story of her four months thrust into the national spotlight and as a trailblazer in history. Based on original research and interviews and featuring backmatter with archival materials and notes from the authors on the co-writing process.

  3. Lizzie Demands a Seat!: Elizabeth Jennings Fights for Streetcar Rights - In 1854, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Jennings, an African American schoolteacher, fought back when she was unjustly denied entry to a New York City streetcar, sparking the beginnings of the long struggle to gain equal rights on public transportation. One hundred years before Rosa Parks took her stand, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Jennings tried to board a streetcar in New York City on her way to church. Though there were plenty of empty seats, she was denied entry, assaulted, and threatened all because of her race–even though New York was a free state at that time. Lizzie decided to fight back. She told her story, took her case to court–where future president Chester Arthur represented her–and won! Her victory was the first recorded in the fight for equal rights on public transportation, and Lizzie’s case set a precedent. Author Beth Anderson and acclaimed illustrator E. B. Lewis bring this inspiring, little-known story to life in this captivating book.

  4. Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family's Fight for Desegregation - A 2015 Pura Belpré Illustrator Honor Book and a 2015 Robert F. Sibert Honor Book
    Almost 10 years before Brown vs. Board of Education, Sylvia Mendez and her parents helped end school segregation in California. An American citizen of Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage who spoke and wrote perfect English, Mendez was denied enrollment to a “Whites only” school. Her parents took action by organizing the Hispanic community and filing a lawsuit in federal district court. Their success eventually brought an end to the era of segregated education in California.
    Praise for Separate is Never Equal
    STARRED REVIEW**S**
    “_Tonatiuh masterfully combines text and folk-inspired art to add an important piece to the mosaic of U.S. civil rights history.”
    –_Kirkus Reviews
    , starred review
    “Younger children will be outraged by the injustice of the Mendez family story but pleased by its successful resolution. Older children will understand the importance of the 1947 ruling that desegregated California schools, paving the way for Brown v. Board of Education seven years later.”
    School Library Journal, starred review
    “Tonatiuh (Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote) offers an illuminating account of a family’s hard-fought legal battle to desegregate California schools in the years before Brown v. Board of Education.”
    Publishers Weekly
    “Pura Belpré Award-winning Tonatiuh makes excellent use of picture-book storytelling to bring attention to the 1947 California ruling against public-school segregation.”
    Booklist
    “The straightforward narrative is well matched with the illustrations in Tonatiuh’s signature style, their two-dimensional perspective reminiscent of the Mixtec codex but collaged with paper, wood, cloth, brick, and (Photoshopped) hair to provide textural variation. This story deserves to be more widely known, and now, thanks to this book, it will be.”
    The Horn Book Magazine

Books About Activism and 1900-1949

Add to list
Elizabeth Leads the Way
Written by Tanya Lee Stone & illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Elizabeth Cady Stanton stood up and fought for what she believed in. From an early age, she knew that women were not given rights equal to men. But rather than accept her lesser status, Elizabeth went to college and later gathered other like-minded women to challenge the right to vote. Here is the inspiring story of an extraordinary woman who changed America forever because she wouldn’t take “no” for an answer.

Elizabeth Leads the Way is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children’s Book of the Year.

Buy book
$8.99
Bookshop
$7.64
Amazon
$8.99
Used $8.99
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
The House That Jane Built
Written by Tanya Lee Stone & illustrated by Kathryn Brown
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

This is the story of Jane Addams, the first American woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize, who transformed a poor neighborhood in Chicago by opening up her house as a community center.

Buy book
$18.99
Bookshop
$16.14
Amazon
$18.99
Used $18.99
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
For Spacious Skies: Katharine Lee Bates and the Inspiration for "America the Beautiful"
Written by Nancy Churnin & illustrated by Olga Baumert
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-9

Katharine Lee Bates first wrote the lines to “America the Beautiful” after a stirring visit to Pikes Peak in 1893. But the story behind the song begins with Katharine herself, who pushed beyond conventional expectations of women to become an acclaimed writer, scholar, suffragist, and reformer. Katharine believed in the power of words to make a difference, and in “America the Beautiful,” her vision of the nation as a great family, united from sea to shining sea, continues to uplift and inspire us all.

Buy book
$16.99
Bookshop
$14.44
Amazon
$16.14
Used $12.01
Prices as of Feb 25
Honorable Mentions
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  1. Write to Me - “Dear Miss Breed . . .” A touching story about Japanese American children who corresponded with their beloved librarian while they were imprisoned in World War II internment camps. When Executive Order 9066 is enacted after the attack at Pearl Harbor, children’s librarian Clara Breed’s young Japanese American patrons are to be sent to prison camp. Before they are moved, Breed asks the children to write her letters and gives them books to take with them. Through the three years of their internment, the children correspond with Miss Breed, sharing their stories, providing feedback on books, and creating a record of their experiences. Using excerpts from children’s letters held at the Japanese American National Museum, author Cynthia Grady presents a difficult subject with honesty and hope.

  2. I Am Gandhi - As a young man in India, Gandhi saw firsthand how people were treated unfairly. Refusing to accept injustice, he came up with a brilliant way to fight back through quiet, peaceful protest. He used his methods in South Africa and India, where he led a nonviolent revolution that freed his country from British rule. Through his calm, steady heroism, Gandhi changed the lives of millions and inspired civil rights movements all over the world, proving that the smallest of us can be the most powerful.

  3. Soldier for Equality: José de la Luz Sáenz and the Great War - Award-winning author Duncan Tonatiuh brings to life the story of a Mexican-American war hero Jos. de la Luz S.enz (1888-1953)–or Luz–believed in fighting for what was right. Although he was born in the United States, he and his family experienced prejudice because of their Mexican heritage. When World War I broke out, Luz volunteered to join the fight. Because of his ability to quickly learn languages, he became part of the Intelligence Office in Europe. However, despite his hard work and intellect, Luz often didn’t receive credit for his contributions. Upon his return to the US, he joined other Mexican-Americans whom he had met in the army to fight for equality. His contribution, along with others, ultimately led to the creation of the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), which is the oldest Latino civil rights organization. Soldier for Equality is based in part on Luz’s diary during the war. It includes a biography of Luz’s later years, an author’s note, a timeline, a bibliography, and an index.

  4. Elizabeth Started All the Trouble - She couldn’t go to college. She couldn’t become a politician. She couldn’t even vote. But Elizabeth Cady Stanton didn’t let that stop her. She called on women across the nation to stand together and demand to be treated as equal to men-and that included the right to vote. It took nearly seventy-five years and generations of women fighting for their rights through words, through action, and through pure determination . . . for things to slowly begin to change. With the help of these trailblazers’ own words, Doreen Rappaport’s engaging text, brought to life by Matt Faulkner’s vibrant illustrations, shows readers just how far this revolution has come, and inspires them to keep it going! Select praise for Doreen Rappaport: Martin’s Big Words

    • 2002 Caldecott Honor Book
    • 2002 Coretta Scott King Honor Book
    • Child Magazine Best Book of 2001
    • New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Children’s Book of 2001
    • “A stunning, reverent tribute.” -School Library Journal, starred review
    Abe’s Honest Words
    • “Exceptional art, along with Rappaport’s and Lincoln’s words, makes this a fine celebration of a man who needs little introduction.” -Booklist, starred review
    Eleanor, Quiet No More
    • “Once again Rappaport celebrates a noble, heroic life in powerful, succinct prose, with prominent, well-chosen, and judiciously placed quotes that both instruct and inspire…Celebrate women in history and in politics with this picture-book life.” -School Library Journal, starred review
    Helen’s Big World
    • “Stirring and awe-inspiring.” -The Horn Book, starred review
    To Dare Mighty Things
    • “[T]his lavish picture-book biography deftly captures the legendary man’s bold, exuberant nature. . . . A truly inspiring tribute to a seemingly larger-than-life U.S. president.” -Kirkus Reviews, starred review
    • “Theodore Roosevelt’s big ideas and big personality come together in this splendid picture-book biography.” -Booklist, starred review
    • “Concisely written and yet poetic, this is a first purchase for every library.” -School Library Journal, starred review

Want to see books about 1900-1949?

Books About Activism and Social Science

Add to list
I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark
Written by Debbie Levy & illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Get to know celebrated Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg—in the first picture book about her life—as she proves that disagreeing does not make you disagreeable! Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has spent a lifetime disagreeing: disagreeing with inequality, arguing against unfair treatment, and standing up for what’s right for people everywhere. This biographical picture book about the Notorious RBG, tells the justice’s story through the lens of her many famous dissents, or disagreements.

Buy book
$18.99
Bookshop
$16.14
Amazon
$10.99
Used $5.29
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
Ballots for Belva
Written by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen & illustrated by Courtney A. Martin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

A timely true tale for the 2008 presidential election In 1884, when men were the only people allowed to vote in national elections, Belva Lockwood took a bold but legal step: She ran for president! Women did not have the same rights as men, but Belva went on undeterred—and she got votes! Her run for office was based on experience and merit: Unlike many women of the time, she went to college, then to law school, and even argued cases before the Supreme Court. Though her campaign was difficult, Belva never wavered in her commitment to equality, earning the respect of many fellow citizens. A little-known but richly deserving American historical figure, Belva is an inspiration for modern-day readers. Despite all the changes in society since Belva’s time, there is still a lot to fight for, and Belva shows the way. The book also includes a glossary and a timeline of women’s suffrage events. F&P level: Q

Buy book
$10.99
Bookshop
$9.34
Amazon
$10.99
Used $10.99
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
V Is for Voting
Written by Kate Farrell & illustrated by Caitlin Kuhwald
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

V Is for Voting is an ABC book that introduces progressive families to concepts like social justice and civil rights and reminds readers that every vote counts!

A is for active participation.
B is for building a more equal nation.
C is for citizens’ rights and our duty.
D is for difference, our strength and our beauty.

An engaging introduction to the tenets of democracy, V Is for Voting is a playful, poetic, and powerful primer about the importance of voting and activism. Featuring Kate Farrell’s rhyming text and Caitlin Kuhwald’s bold art, plus thoughtful back matter, the book is a gorgeous, and crucial, addition to every young reader’s library. It makes the perfect gift for fans of A Is for Activist, Woke Baby, and Feminist Baby.

Buy book
$18.99
Bookshop
$16.14
Amazon
$15.42
Used $9.91
Prices as of Feb 25
Honorable Mentions
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  1. Free for You and Me: What Our First Amendment Means - It’s a free country! But what does that mean? Find out the five liberties protected by the First Amendment. Vivid examples from history and everyday life demonstrate the meaning of freedom of religion, speech, and the press, and the rights to assemble peacefully and to petition the government.

  2. For Which We Stand: How Our Government Works and Why It Matters - Discover everything you ever wanted to know about how the government really works with this accessible, highly designed and illustrated handbook from Marjory Stoneman Douglas AP government teacher Jeff Foster. Now more than ever, it’s so important for everyone to understand our government: where it came from, how it works, and how we can bring about change. And, after all, in the words of author and government teacher Jeff Foster, If you don’t participate, you can’t complain. This book is a comprehensive and entertaining guide that answers questions like: What is the Constitution? What are the branches of the government? What is the Electoral College? What are the political parties? What are the different responsibilities of the city, state, and federal governments? Plus, discover the complete backstory on some of our government’s most important moments, like why we wrote the Declaration of Independence, and how people since then have worked with–and protested against–the government to improve the lives of all Americans. Each spread features a mix of black-and-white and full-color art, including infographics, charts, maps, political caricatures, and other engaging visual elements that will be fun and easy for kids to understand. Includes a foreword from Yolanda Renee King, an activist and the granddaughter of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King, plus lots of amazing back matter about how kids can participate and get involved.

  3. I Voted: Making a Choice Makes a Difference - With the next presidential election upon us, this witty, nonpartisan book will help explain the concept of voting to the youngest readers. I Voted explains the concept of choosing, individually, and as a group, from making a simple choice: “Which do you like better, apples or oranges?”, to selecting a class pet, to even more complicated decisions, like electing community representatives. You may not always get want you want, but there are strategies to better your odds! Serge Bloch’s effortless and charming illustrations paired with Mark Shulman’s funny and timely text create a perfect resource for discussing current events with your children. Backmatter includes information about the United States electoral process. A Junior Library Guild Selection!

  4. A is for Activist - “Reading it is almost like reading Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, but for two-year olds–full of pictures and rhymes and a little cat to find on every page that will delight the curious toddler and parents alike.”–Occupy Wall Street A is for Activist is an ABC board book written and illustrated for the next generation of progressives: families who want their kids to grow up in a space that is unapologetic about activism, environmental justice, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, and everything else that activists believe in and fight for. The alliteration, rhyming, and vibrant illustrations make the book exciting for children, while the issues it brings up resonate with their parents’ values of community, equality, and justice. This engaging little book carries huge messages as it inspires hope for the future, and calls children to action while teaching them a love for books.

Books About Activism and Protest Movements

Add to list
If You're Going to a March
Written by Martha Freeman & illustrated by Violet Kim
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

“If you’re going to a march, you’re going to want a sign”–and this cheerful, introductory handbook. Inspired by author Martha Freeman’s own experiences, it addresses many of the questions kids might have: What should I wear? How will I get there? Where can I go to the bathroom? Is it okay to dance? (It is!). All the while the text focuses on our Constitutional right as Americans to assemble . . . whatever our political point of view.

Buy book
$16.95
Bookshop
$14.41
Amazon
$10.79
Used $3.99
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
Peaceful Fights for Equal Rights
Written by Rob Sanders & illustrated by Jared Andrew Schorr
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A primer for peaceful protest, resistance, and activism from the author of Rodzilla and Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag. Protesting. Standing up for what’s right. Uniting around the common good—kids have questions about all of these things they see and hear about each day. Through sparse and lyrical writing, Rob Sanders introduces abstract concepts like “fighting for what you believe in” and turns them into something actionable. Jared Schorr’s bold, bright illustrations brings the resistance to life making it clear that one person can make a difference. And together, we can accomplish anything.

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$13.99
Used $8.74
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
Hands Up!
Written by Breanna J McDaniel & illustrated by Shane W. Evans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

This triumphant picture book recasts a charged phrase as part of a black girl’s everyday life–hands up for a hug, hands up in class, hands up for a high five–before culminating in a moment of resistance at a protest march. A young black girl lifts her baby hands up to greet the sun, reaches her hands up for a book on a high shelf, and raises her hands up in praise at a church service. She stretches her hands up high like a plane’s wings and whizzes down a hill so fast on her bike with her hands way up. As she grows, she lives through everyday moments of joy, love, and sadness. And when she gets a little older, she joins together with her family and her community in a protest march, where they lift their hands up together in resistance and strength

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$14.62
Used $3.00
Prices as of Feb 25
Honorable Mentions
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  1. Violet Mackerel's Pocket Protest - In this sixth story of the Violet Mackerel series, Violet and Rose start a very small protest to make a very big impact. <p/>Violet and Rose have shared their best secrets under the big oak tree in Clover Park. And they have found some very good small things there too. So when <i>Johnson’s Tree Services</i> stomps in and posts a sign that says PUBLIC NOTICE-TREE REMOVAL, they know that they must do something to stop them. <p/>When their first protest washes away in the rain, Violet and Rose feel discouraged. But then they realize that the sort of people who care most about small things, like birds not having nests and people not having a place to collect acorns, might also be the sort of people who notice very <i>small</i> protests. And that gives them a quite brilliant idea, one that just might save their tree, on behalf of all the small things–and small people–who love it.

  2. Love Is Powerful - A little girl carries a big message--and finds it thrillingly amplified by the rallying crowd around her--in an empowering story for the youngest of activists.

  3. Ethan Marcus Stands Up - Multiple points of view lead to multiple theories about what really happened after one kid turns a punishment into a protest in this hilarious novel from Michele Weber Hurwitz. Perennial good kid Ethan Marcus has just done the unthinkable: refuse to stay seated during class. He’s not causing a riot; he’s not wandering around; he’s just sick of sitting. But the rules aren’t designed for Ethan, and so he is sent to the principal’s office. When Ethan’s sentence results in a Reflection Day—McNutt Middle School’s answer to detention—his faculty advisor suggests that Ethan channel the energy that caused his “transgression” by entering the school’s Invention Day Competition. Ethan is not exactly Mark Zuckerberg, so he doubts his ability to make anything competition-worthy. That’s the department of his slightly older sister Erin. But as Ethan and his buddy Brian get into the assignment, they realize they might actually have something. Enter Romanov, the resident tech whiz, who refuses to give them tips. But Erin is furious at her formally slacker—now traitor—brother. Meanwhile, Erin’s friend Zoe is steering clear of Erin’s drama after realizing that she may be crushing on Ethan. Then there’s Brian who has bigger things to worry about, and finally loner kid Wesley, who may know more than others realize… Told in the perspectives of multiple students, discover what really happened on the day that one kid decided to take a stand against sitting down.

Books About Activism and Coretta Scott King Award Winners

Add to list
Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, The Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement
Written by Carole Boston Weatherford & illustrated by Ekua Holmes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

A collage-illustrated collection of poems and spirituals inspired by the life and work of civil rights advocate Fannie Lou Hamer.

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$16.63
Used $11.32
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
I Have a Dream
Written by & illustrated by Kadir Nelson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Presents the text of the famous speech given on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. by Martin Luther King, Jr., complemented by paintings illustrating the ideals the civil rights leader described.

Buy book
$18.99
Bookshop
$16.14
Amazon
$13.40
Used $4.32
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
Brown Girl Dreaming
Written by Jacqueline Woodson
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-16

In vivid poems that reflect the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, an award-winning author shares what it was like to grow up in the 1960s and 1970s in both the North and the South.

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$12.55
Used $0.80
Prices as of Feb 25
Honorable Mentions
Add to list
Add to list
  1. Mama Africa!: How Miriam Makeba Spread Hope with Her Song - Miriam Makeba, a Grammy Award–winning South African singer, rose to fame in the hearts of her people at the pinnacle of apartheid―a brutal system of segregation similar to American Jim Crow laws. Mama Africa, as they called her, raised her voice to help combat these injustices at jazz clubs in Johannesburg; in exile, at a rally beside Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; and before the United Nations. Set defiantly in the present tense, this biography offers readers an intimate view of Makeba’s fight for equality. Kathryn Erskine’s call-and-response style text and Charly Palmer’s bold illustrations come together in a raw, riveting duet of protest song and praise poem. A testament to how a single voice helped to shake up the world―and can continue to do so.

  2. Hand in Hand: Ten Black Men Who Changed America - HAND IN HAND presents the stories of ten men from different eras in American history, organized chronologically to provide a scope from slavery to the modern day. The stories are accessible, fully-drawn narratives offering the subjects’ childhood influences, the time and place in which they lived, their accomplishments and motivations, and the legacies they left for future generations as links in the “freedom chain.” This book will be the definitive family volume on the subject, punctuated with dynamic full color portraits and spot illustrations by two-time Caldecott Honor winner and multiple Coretta Scott King Book Award recipient Brian Pinkney. Backmatter includes a civil rights timeline, sources, and further reading.

Books About Activism and 1950 - 1999

Add to list
Ella Queen of Jazz
Written & illustrated by Helen Hancocks
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Ella Fitzgerald sang the blues and she sang them good. Ella and her fellas were on the way up! It seemed like nothing could stop her, until the biggest club in town refused to let her play… and all because of her colour. But when all hope seemed lost, little did Ella imagine that a Hollywood star would step in to help. The inspiring, true story of how a remarkable friendship between Ella Fitzgerald and Marilyn Monroe was born – and how they worked together to overcome prejudice and adversity.

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$9.69
Used $3.14
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
Pies from Nowhere: How Georgia Gilmore Sustained the Montgomery Bus Boycott
Written by Dee Romito & illustrated by Laura Freeman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

This stunning picture book looks into the life of Georgia Gilmore, a hidden figure of history who played a critical role in the civil rights movement and used her passion for baking to help the Montgomery Bus Boycott achieve its goal. Georgia decided to help the best way she knew how. She worked together with a group of women and together they purchased the supplies they needed-bread, lettuce, and chickens. And off they went to cook. The women brought food to the mass meetings that followed at the church. They sold sandwiches. They sold dinners in their neighborhoods. As the boycotters walked and walked, Georgia cooked and cooked. Georgia Gilmore was a cook at the National Lunch Company in Montgomery, Alabama. When the bus boycotts broke out in Montgomery after Rosa Parks was arrested, Georgia knew just what to do. She organized a group of women who cooked and baked to fund-raise for gas and cars to help sustain the boycott. Called the Club from Nowhere, Georgia was the only person who knew who baked and bought the food, and she said the money came from “nowhere” to anyone who asked. When Martin Luther King Jr. was arrested for his role in the boycott, Georgia testified on his behalf, and her home became a meeting place for civil rights leaders. This picture book highlights a hidden figure of the civil rights movement who fueled the bus boycotts and demonstrated that one person can make a real change in her community and beyond. It also includes one of her delicious recipes for kids to try with the help of their parents!

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$14.47
Used $7.30
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
What Do You Do with a Voice Like That?
Written by Chris Barton & illustrated by Ekua Holmes
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“When Barbara Jordan talked, we listened.” —Former President of the United States, Bill Clinton Congresswoman Barbara Jordan had a big, bold, confident voice—and she knew how to use it! Learn all about her amazing career in this illuminating and inspiring picture book biography of the lawyer, educator, politician, and civil rights leader. Even as a child growing up in the Fifth Ward of Houston, Texas, Barbara Jordan stood out for her big, bold, booming, crisp, clear, confident voice. It was a voice that made people sit up, stand up, and take notice. So what do you do with a voice like that? Barbara took her voice to places few African American women had been in the 1960s: first law school, then the Texas state senate, then up to the United States congress. Throughout her career, she persevered through adversity to give voice to the voiceless and to fight for civil rights, equality, and justice. New York Times bestselling author Chris Barton and Caldecott Honoree Ekua Holmes deliver a remarkable picture book biography about a woman whose struggles and mission continue to inspire today.

Buy book
$18.99
Bookshop
$16.14
Amazon
$9.59
Used $6.98
Prices as of Feb 25
Honorable Mentions
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  1. Emmanuel's Dream: The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah - Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah’s inspiring true story–which was turned into a film, <i>Emmanuel’s Gift, </i> narrated by Oprah Winfrey–is nothing short of remarkable. <p/>Born in Ghana, West Africa, with one deformed leg, he was dismissed by most people–but not by his mother, who taught him to reach for his dreams. As a boy, Emmanuel hopped to school more than two miles each way, learned to play soccer, left home at age thirteen to provide for his family, and, eventually, became a cyclist. He rode an astonishing four hundred miles across Ghana in 2001, spreading his powerful message: disability is not inability. Today, Emmanuel continues to work on behalf of the disabled. <p/>Thompson’s lyrical prose and Qualls’s bold collage illustrations offer a powerful celebration of triumphing over adversity. <p/>Includes an author’s note with more information about Emmanuel’s charity.

  2. Rosa Parks: My First Rosa Parks - This board book version of Rosa Parks—an international bestseller from the highly acclaimed Little People, BIG DREAMS series—introduces the youngest dreamers to the “Mother of the Freedom Movement.” Rosa Parks grew up in Alabama, where she learned to stand up for herself at an early age. Rosa went on to become a civil rights activist. In 1955, she refused to give up her seat to a white man on a segregated bus, sparking the Montgomery Bus Boycott. Her courageous decision had a huge impact on civil rights, eventually leading to the end of segregation on public transport. She never stopped working for equal rights. Babies and toddlers will love to snuggle as you read to them the engaging story of this fascinating icon, and will also enjoy exploring the stylish and quirky illustrations of this sturdy board book on their own. Little People, BIG DREAMS is a best-selling series of books and educational games that explore the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream. This empowering series offers inspiring messages to children of all ages, in a range of formats. The board books are told in simple sentences, perfect for reading aloud to babies and toddlers. The hardcover versions present expanded stories for beginning readers. Boxed gift sets allow you to collect a selection of the books by theme. Paper dolls, learning cards, matching games, and other fun learning tools provide even more ways to make the lives of these role models accessible to children. Inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world with Little People, BIG DREAMS!

  3. Who Was Nelson Mandela? - Describes the life of the South African president and revolutionary, from his childhood and his work as a peaceful protestor to his twenty-seven-year imprisonment, his election as president, and his work to end apartheid in South Africa.

  4. National Geographic Readers: Rosa Parks - Find out about the life of Rosa Parks and how her actions in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1955 helped end racial segregation in America. This book follows the same standards as other National Geographic Readers with the same careful text, brilliant photographs, and fun approach that kids love. The life story of Rosa Parks has enduring lessons to teach us and this biography should appeal to kids, parents, and teachers.

Books About Activism and Feminism

Add to list
Emmeline Pankhurst
Written by Lisbeth Kaiser & illustrated by Ana Sanfelippo
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In this international bestseller from the critically acclaimed Little People, BIG DREAMS series, meet Emmeline Pankhurst, an inspiring women’s rights activist who changed the world for future generations of women.

As a child, Emmeline Pankhurst was inspired by books about heroes who fought for others. She dedicated her life to fighting for women’s voting rights and, with hard work and great bravery, led a remarkable movement that changed the world. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the activist’s life.

Little People, BIG DREAMS is a best-selling series of books and educational games that explore the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream.

Buy book
$14.99
Bookshop
$12.74
Amazon
$7.69
Used $1.79
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
Baby Feminists
Written by Libby Babbott-Klein & illustrated by Jessica Walker
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

An irresistible timely lift-the-flap board book featuring lush illustrations of your favorite feminist icons as adorable babies! Before Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Mae Jemison, Frida Kahlo, and others were change-making feminists, they were . . . babies! In this board book that’s perfect for budding feminists, lift the flap to discover what these iconic figures might have looked like as adorable babies and toddlers. With its inspiring message that any baby can grow up to make the world a better place for all genders, this sturdy 7” x 7” board book makes the perfect baby gift for any family that wants to raise children who can recognize Gloria Steinem on sight.

Buy book
$9.99
Bookshop
$8.49
Amazon
$9.44
Used $1.33
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
Shaking Things Up: 14 Young Women Who Changed the World
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“Each poem and illustration shines with a personality all its own.” —Shelf Awareness (starred review) “This book has definitely made an impact on my life.” —Kitt Shapiro, daughter of Eartha Kitt Fresh, accessible, and inspiring, Shaking Things Up introduces fourteen revolutionary young women—each paired with a noteworthy female artist—to the next generation of activists, trail-blazers, and rabble-rousers. From the award-winning author of Ada’s Violin, Susan Hood, this is a poetic and visual celebration of persistent women throughout history. In this book of poems, you will find Mary Anning, who was just thirteen when she unearthed a prehistoric fossil. You’ll meet Ruby Bridges, the brave six year old who helped end segregation in the South. And Maya Lin, who at twenty-one won a competition to create a war memorial, and then had to appear before Congress to defend her right to create. And those are just a few of the young women included in this book. Readers will also hear about Molly Williams, Annette Kellerman, Nellie Bly, Pura Belpré, Frida Kahlo, Jacqueline and Eileen Nearne, Frances Moore Lappé, Mae Jemison, Angela Zhang, and Malala Yousafzai—all whose stories will enthrall and inspire. This poetry collection was written, illustrated, edited, and designed by women and includes an author’s note, a timeline, and additional resources. With artwork by notable artists including Selina Alko, Sophie Blackall, Lisa Brown, Hadley Hooper, Emily Winfield Martin, Oge Mora, Julie Morstad, Sara Palacios, LeUyen Pham, Erin Robinson, Isabel Roxas, Shadra Strickland, and Melissa Sweet. A 2019 Bank Street Best Book of the Year Named to the 2019 Texas Topaz Nonfiction Reading List Selected for CCBC Choices Book 2019 Selected as a Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People 2019 Named to the Cuyahoga County Public Library’s 2018 list of Great Books for Kids

Buy book
$18.99
Bookshop
$16.14
Amazon
$14.89
Used $3.38
Prices as of Feb 25
Honorable Mentions
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  1. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 2 - Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls 2 is the sequel to the sensational New York Times bestseller, Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls. The authors, Francesca Cavallo and Elena Favilli, will take you and your kids on an empowering journey through 100 new bedtime stories, featuring the adventures of extraordinary women from Nefertiti to Beyoncé. Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls 2 is the sequel to the sensational New York Times bestseller, Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls. The authors, Francesca Cavallo and Elena Favilli, will take you and your kids on an empowering journey through 100 new bedtime stories, featuring the adventures of extraordinary women from Nefertiti to Beyoncé. The unique narrative style of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls transforms each biography into a fairytale, filling the readers with wonder and with a burning curiosity to know more about each hero. Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls 2 boasts a brand new graphic design, a glossary and 100 incredible new portraits created by the best female artists of our time.

  2. Gloria's Voice - Gloria Steinem is known as a leader of the feminist movement and a trailblazer who fights for equality for all people. This unofficial biography for young readers tells her story, from being a young girl with big dreams to her inspiring travels in India to the launch of Ms. magazine, which gave women a voice. Gloria’s message of believing in yourself and following your dreams will inspire a whole new generation.

  3. Gloria Takes a Stand - Throughout Gloria Steinem’s life, she stood up for many things. In a time when most women didn’t go to college, Gloria knew the importance of education and studied at Smith College. In a time when almost all women stayed at home to raise a family, Gloria traveled to India and wrote about what she learned there. In a time when many people were fighting for equality, Gloria wanted to write about these important events. And as she heard more and more stories from women who didn’t have as many rights as men, Gloria decided to start Ms. Magazine to give women a voice. This text introduces a new generation of children to Gloria Steinem, the icon who fought for a better world for all women—and encourages all readers to “stand up and speak for equal rights for all people.”

Want to see books about Feminism?

Books About Activism and Politics

Add to list
Malala: Activist for Girls’ Education
Written by Raphaele Frier & illustrated by Aurelia Fronty
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Malala Yousafzai stood up to the Taliban and fought for the right for all girls to receive an education. When she was just fifteen-years old, the Taliban attempted to kill Malala, but even this did not stop her activism. At age eighteen Malala became the youngest person to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for her work to ensure the education of all children around the world.

Malala’s courage and conviction will inspire young readers in this beautifully illustrated biography.

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$17.08
Used $2.31
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
Champions of Change
Written by Naomi Watkins & illustrated by Katherine Kitterman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-16

Stories of powerhouse women who pushed for justice in politics, medicine, art, music, religion, tribal leadership, and more. In fighting to pass the 19th Amendment, brave suffragists like Susan B. Anthony and Emmeline B. Wells fought to end laws and take down barriers that prevented them from voting. Champions of Change introduces young readers not only to Anthony and Wells, but also to a diverse group of firsts and freedom-fighters in America’s fight for equality, such as: Zitkala-Sa, co-founder of the National Council of American Indians Martha Hughes Cannon, America’s first female senator Hanna Kaaepa, an advocate for Hawaiian women’s rights Barbara Toomer, who was jailed 35 times for protests that led to the passage of the Americans with Disabilities act and the women of the Kanab City Council, one of the first all-female city councils in the country. This timely collection of mini biographies highlights 25 champions for justice, includes colorful portraitures of each, and presents actual photos of the individuals as well as a quick reference glossary. Naomi Watkins, Ph.D. is an educational consultant, women’s advocate, and community builder. A former middle school English teacher, she specializes in curriculum development and school district consulting. She has been published in international journals such as the The Reading Teacher, Journal of Children’s Literature, TESOL Journal, and Middle School Journal. Katherine Kitterman is the historical director for Better Days 2020, an organization that explores stories of women who shaped Utah’s history. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate in American History at American University in Washington, D.C., where she has worked to bring history to life at the Smithsonian Institution, the Holocaust Memorial Museum, and Woodrow Wilson House. Brooke Smart is an illustrator based in Sandy, Utah, with a BFA in Illustration from Brigham Young University. Her illustration clients include the New York Times, Gathre, Better Days 2020, Bravery Magazine, and private commissions. Brook recently won honorable mention in the 2016 Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Portfolio Showcase in New York City.

Buy book
$16.99
Bookshop
$14.44
Amazon
$15.29
Used $4.16
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
Corazon Aquino
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

In this book from the critically acclaimed, multimillion-copy best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the life of Corazon Aquino, the first female president of the Philippines.

Little Cory was a shy, studious child with a great sense of justice. As a young woman and wife, she and her family felt compelled to speak out against the unjust leader who was ruining their country. Showing bravery, reliability, and honesty, she led the revolution that ended the dictator’s rule and went on to become the president of the Philippines. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the politician’s life.

Little People, BIG DREAMS is a best-selling series of books and educational games that explore the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream.

This empowering series offers inspiring messages to children of all ages, in a range of formats. The board books are told in simple sentences, perfect for reading aloud to babies and toddlers. The hardcover versions present expanded stories for beginning readers. Boxed gift sets allow you to collect a selection of the books by theme. Paper dolls, learning cards, matching games, and other fun learning tools provide even more ways to make the lives of these role models accessible to children.

Inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world with Little People, BIG DREAMS!

Buy book
$15.99
Bookshop
$13.59
Amazon
$10.92
Used $6.45
Prices as of Feb 25
Honorable Mentions
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  1. Only Woman in the Photo: Frances Perkins & Her New Deal for America - Discover the incredible life of Frances Perkins, the first woman to serve in a presidential cabinet and the mastermind behind Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal, in this fascinating picture book biography that's perfect for fans of I Dissent.

  2. Emma's Poem: The Voice of the Statue of Liberty - A celebration of our nation's melting pot, this beautifully illustrated origin story of the Statue of Liberty honors a poet who has advocated for the voiceless.

  3. The Story of John Lewis: A Biography Book for Young Readers - Discover the life of John Lewis―a story for kids ages 6 to 9 about fighting for a better world

  4. She Spoke - When the world tells you to stay quiet, do you listen, or do you speak up? In She Spoke: 14 Women Who Raised Their Voices and Changed the World, with the touch of a button readers can hear Maya Angelou, Mary McLeod Bethune, Shirley Chisholm, Hillary Rodham Clinton, Tammy Duckworth, Leymah Gbowee, Jane Goodall, Temple Grandin, Suzan Shown Harjo, Dolores Huerta, Joanne Liu, Abby Wambach, and Malala Yousafzai. Through succinct profiles, stunning portraits by illustrator Kathrin Honesta, and the original voices of these women, She Spoke will inspire readers of all ages to share their own truths and change the world.

Books About Activism and Slavery

Add to list
Box: Henry Brown Mails Himself to Freedom
Written by Carole Boston Weatherford & illustrated by Michele Wood
picture book
Recommend Ages: 10-13

In a moving, lyrical tale about the cost and fragility of freedom, a New York Times best-selling author and an acclaimed artist follow the life of a man who courageously shipped himself out of slavery.

What have I to fear?
My master broke every promise to me.
I lost my beloved wife and our dear children.
All, sold South. Neither my time nor my body is mine.
The breath of life is all I have to lose.
And bondage is suffocating me.

Henry Brown wrote that long before he came to be known as Box, he “entered the world a slave.” He was put to work as a child and passed down from one generation to the next – as property. When he was an adult, his wife and children were sold away from him out of spite. Henry Brown watched as his family left bound in chains, headed to the deeper South. What more could be taken from him? But then hope – and help – came in the form of the Underground Railroad. Escape!

In stanzas of six lines each, each line representing one side of a box, celebrated poet Carole Boston Weatherford powerfully narrates Henry Brown’s story of how he came to send himself in a box from slavery to freedom. Strikingly illustrated in rich hues and patterns by artist Michele Wood, Box is augmented with historical records and an introductory excerpt from Henry’s own writing as well as a time line, notes from the author and illustrator, and a bibliography.

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$17.99
Used $17.99
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
Before She Was Harriet
Written by Lesa Cline-Ransome & illustrated by James E. Ransome
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A lush and lyrical biography of Harriet Tubman, written in verse. An evocative poem and opulent watercolors come together to honor a woman of humble origins whose courage and compassion make her larger than life.

Buy book
$18.99
Bookshop
$16.14
Amazon
$14.19
Used $8.79
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
Words Set Me Free
Written by Lesa Cline-Ransome & illustrated by James E. Ransome
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

“Words Set Me Free is the inspiring story of young Frederick Douglass’s path to freedom through reading”–

Buy book
$18.99
Bookshop
$16.14
Amazon
$14.39
Used $7.82
Prices as of Feb 25
Honorable Mentions
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  1. So Tall Within - From celebrated author Gary D. Schmidt comes a picture book biography of a giant in the struggle for civil rights, perfectly pitched for readers today. Sojourner Truth was born into slavery but possessed a mind and a vision that knew no bounds. So Tall Within traces her life from her painful childhood through her remarkable emancipation to her incredible leadership in the movement for rights for both women and African Americans. Her story is told with lyricism and pathos by Gary D. Schmidt, one of the most celebrated writers for children in the twenty-first century, and brought to life by award winning and fine artist Daniel Minter. This combination of talent is just right for introducing this legendary figure to a new generation of children.

  2. Henry's Freedom Box: A True Story from the Underground Railroad - A stirring, dramatic story of a slave who mails himself to freedom by a Jane Addams Peace Award-winning author and a Coretta Scott King Award-winning artist. <p/>Henry Brown doesn’t know how old he is. Nobody keeps records of slaves’ birthdays. All the time he dreams about freedom, but that dream seems farther away than ever when he is torn from his family and put to work in a warehouse. Henry grows up and marries, but he is again devastated when his family is sold at the slave market. Then one day, as he lifts a crate at the warehouse, he knows exactly what he must do: He will mail himself to the North. After an arduous journey in the crate, Henry finally has a birthday – his first day of freedom.

  3. I Am Harriet Tubman - “A biography of Harriet Tubman, the abolitionist leader who played a key role in helping enslaved people escape via the Underground Railroad.”

  4. Who Was Harriet Tubman? - Born a slave in Maryland, Harriet Tubman knew first-hand what it meant to be someone’s property; she was whipped by owners and almost killed by an overseer. It was from other field hands that she first heard about the Underground Railroad which she travelled by herself north to Philadelphia. Throughout her long life (she died at the age of ninety-two) and long after the Civil War brought an end to slavery, this amazing woman was proof of what just one person can do.

Want to see books about slavery?

Books About Activism and Social Themes

Add to list
Lillian's Right to Vote
Written by Jonah Winter & illustrated by Shane W. Evans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

A 50th anniversary tribute to the Voting Rights Act of 1965 finds an elderly woman reflecting on her family’s history, from the passage of the 15th Amendment through her participation in the protest march from Selma to Montgomery.

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$15.44
Used $11.29
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
The Smallest Girl in the Smallest Grade
Written by Justin Roberts & illustrated by Christian Robinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Sally McCabe is a very little girl, and nobody notices her, although she notices everything that goes on around her–but when she speaks out about the unkindness she sees, people start to pay attention.

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$16.68
Used $2.38
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
I Am One: A Book of Action
Written by Susan Verde & illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

The fifth book in Susan Verde and Peter H. Reynolds’s #1 bestselling mindfulness series
 
One seed to start a garden, one note to start a melody, one brick to start breaking down walls: Every movement and moment of change starts with just one. From the #1 New York Times_–bestselling team behind _I Am Yoga, I Am Peace, I Am Human, and I Am Love comes a powerful call to action, encouraging readers to raise their voices, extend a hand, and take that one first step to start something beautiful and move toward a better world. Includes a guided meditation and self‑reflection activity.

Buy book
$14.99
Bookshop
$12.74
Amazon
$12.25
Used $10.70
Prices as of Feb 25
Honorable Mentions
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  1. Antiracist Baby Picture Book - From the National Book Award-winning author of <i>Stamped from the Beginning</i> and <i>How to Be an Antiracist </i>comes a new 9x9 picture book that empowers parents and children to uproot racism in our society and in ourselves, now with added discussion prompts to help readers recognize and reflect on bias in their daily lives. <p/><b>Featured on Good Morning America, NPR’s Morning Edition, CBS This Morning, and more!</b> <p/>Take your first steps with Antiracist Baby! Or rather, follow <i>Antiracist Baby</i>’s nine easy steps for building a more equitable world. <p/>With bold art and thoughtful yet playful text, <i>Antiracist Baby</i> introduces the youngest readers and the grown-ups in their lives to the concept and power of antiracism. Providing the language necessary to begin critical conversations at the earliest age, <i>Antiracist Baby</i> is the perfect gift for readers of all ages dedicated to forming a just society.

  2. Speak Up - When something really matters, one voice can make a difference. This spirited, vibrant picture book celebrates diversity and encourages kids to speak up, unite with others, and take action when they see something that needs to be fixed. Join a diverse group of kids on a busy school day as they discover so many different ways to speak up and make their voices heard! From shouting out gratitude for a special treat to challenging a rule that isn’t fair, these young students show that simple, everyday actions can help people and make the world a better place.

  3. Voices from the Underground Railroad - Siblings Mattie and Jeb escape slavery via the Underground Railroad, meeting helpful conductors and dodging slave catchers as they travel from Maryland to Massachusetts

  4. Slacker - From the bestselling author of Swindle and Ungifted comes the funny, fantastic story of an underachiever who ends up achieving much more than any overachiever could ever imagine.

Books About Activism and Prejudice And Racism

Add to list
We March
Written & illustrated by Shane W. Evans
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

On August 28, 1963, a remarkable event took place–more than 250,000 people gathered in our nation’s capital to participate in the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. The march began at the Washington Monument and ended with a rally at the Lincoln Memorial, where Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech, advocating racial harmony. Many words have been written about that day, but few so delicate and powerful as those presented here by award-winning author and illustrator Shane W. Evans. When combined with his simple yet compelling illustrations, the thrill of the day is brought to life for even the youngest reader to experience. We March was one of Kirkus Reviews’ Best Children’s Books of 2012, and is an important story about the African American civil rights movement.

Buy book
$7.99
Bookshop
$6.79
Amazon
$7.99
Used $7.99
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
Little Feminist Picture Book
Written by Mudpuppy and Yelena Moroz Alpert & illustrated by Lydia Ortiz and Patrick Rafanan
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-10

Celebrate 25 amazing women throughout history with Mudpuppy’s Little Feminist Picture Book. With easy to process words by Yelena Moroz Alpert and colorful illustrations by Lydia Ortiz and Patrick Rafanan, this book is the perfect way to introduce young children to these inspiring women. Features artists, scientists, politicians, athletes and much more!

Buy book
$16.99
Bookshop
$14.44
Amazon
$13.89
Used $9.22
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
Who Was Martin Luther King, Jr.?: A Who Was? Board Book
Written by Lisbeth Kaiser & illustrated by Stanley Chow
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

The chronology and themes of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s meaningful life are presented in a masterfully succinct text, with just a few sentences per page. The fresh, stylized illustrations are sure to captivate young readers and adults alike. With a read-aloud biographical summary in the back, this age-appropriate introduction honors and shares the life and work of one of the most influential civil rights activists of our time.

Buy book
$7.99
Bookshop
$6.79
Amazon
$7.99
Used $7.99
Prices as of Feb 25
Honorable Mentions
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  1. We Are the Change: Words of Inspiration from Civil Rights Leaders (Books for Kid Activists, Activism Book for Children) - Sixteen award-winning children’s book artists illustrate the civil rights quotations that inspire them in this stirring and beautiful book. Featuring an introduction by Harry Belafonte, words from Eleanor Roosevelt, Maya Angelou, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. among others, this inspirational collection sets a powerful example for generations of young leaders to come. It includes illustrations by Selina Alko, Alina Chau, Lisa Congdon, Emily Hughes, Molly Idle, Juana Medina, Innosanto Nagara, Christopher Silas Neal, John Parra, Brian Pinkney, Greg Pizzoli, Sean Qualls, Dan Santat, Shadra Strickland, Melissa Sweet, and Raúl the Third.

  2. Becoming Kareem - In his first memoir written especially for young readers, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar will focus on his relationships with several important coaches in his life - including his father, his high-school coach and Coach Wooden - as he tells the story of his life and career. Like many kids in elementary school, Kareem (then Lew Alcindor) struggled with fitting in, pleasing a strict father, and severe shyness that made him socially awkward. Unlike most kids, he also had to grapple with a sudden growth spurt that shot him up taller than pretty much everyone around him, including students, teachers, and even his own father. His increasing fame as a basketball player throughout high school brought new challenges as this shy boy was shoved into the national spotlight. At the same time, social unrest in the country, particularly involving the growing civil rights movement, tugged at his conscience as he tried to find his place in it. After all, he was just a kid. What could he do? Recruited to UCLA, his fame as an unstoppable center made him a college superstar. But as his fame rose, so did the social turmoil in the country: Vietnam War protests, Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., large-scale riots, the Women’s Movement. He could have hidden from all the turmoil as a sports celebrity, but he chose to join in the social evolution. The result was converting to Islam and changing his name to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The public backlash was blistering, but he didn’t waver.

  3. I am Strong: A Little Book About Rosa Parks - The littlest readers can learn about Rosa Parks in this board book version of the New York Times bestselling Ordinary People Change the World biography. This friendly, fun biography series focuses on the traits that made our heroes great–the traits that kids can aspire to in order to live heroically themselves. In this new board book format, the very youngest readers can learn about one of America’s icons in the series’s signature lively, conversational way. The short text focuses on drawing inspiration from these iconic heroes, and includes an interactive element and factual tidbits that young kids will be able to connect with. This volume tells the story of Rosa Parks, the woman who ignited a civil rights movement.

Books About Activism and Clergy

Add to list
When Martin Luther King Jr. Wore Roller Skates
Written by Mark Weakland & illustrated by Patrick Ballesteros
Thoughts from Lemony Snickers
This is a wonderful book for teaching children about Martin Luther King Jr. I think this book brings Dr. King's story to a personal level in a unique way that is more relatable for children. The illustrations are fun and modern, but the words on each page are packed with facts and history. This book is a great find for introducing kids to as important a changemaker as Dr. King.
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-12

Martin Luther King Jr. led the American Civil Rights Movement. But do you know what he was like as a child? From roller skating to playing football and basketbal, Martin was a fun-loving child. This playful story of his childhood will help young readers connect with a historic figure and will inspire them to want to achieve greatness.

Buy book
$28.65
Bookshop
$24.35
Amazon
$28.65
Used $28.65
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Written by Doreen Rappaport & illustrated by Bryan Collier
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-10

This picture book biography of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. brings his life and the profound nature of his message to young children through his own words. Martin Luther King, Jr., was one of the most influential and gifted speakers of all time. Doreen Rappaport uses quotes from some of his most beloved speeches to tell the story of his life and his work in a simple, direct way. Bryan Collier’s stunning collage art combines remarkable watercolor pain

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$17.99
Used $8.17
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
A Picture Book of Martin Luther King, Jr
Written by David A. Adler & illustrated by Robert Casilla
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

A brief biography of Baptist minister and civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.

Buy book
$7.99
Bookshop
$6.79
Amazon
$7.99
Used $7.99
Prices as of Feb 25
Honorable Mentions
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  1. Who was Martin Luther King, Jr.? - An introduction to the life Martin Luther King, Jr. Including how he organized the Montgomery Bus Boycott and African American people across the country in support of the right to vote, desegregation, and other basic civil rights.

  2. Martin Luther King, Jr. - Introduces the life and legacy of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

  3. Story of Martin Luther King Jr. -

  4. I Am Brave: A Little Book about Martin Luther King, Jr. - The littlest readers can learn about Martin Luther King, Jr., in this board book version of the New York Times bestselling Ordinary People Change the World biography.

Want to see books about clergy?

Books About Activism and The Environment

Add to list
111 Trees: How One Village Celebrates the Birth of Every Girl
Written by Rina Singh & illustrated by Marianne Ferrer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

In a small village in India, a boy grows up to make a huge difference in his community by planting trees to celebrate the birth of every girl. Based on a true story, this book celebrates environmental sustainability, community activism and ecofeminism.<br/><br/>This is the story of Sundar Paliwal, who is from a small Indian village ruled by ancient customs. As he grows to be a man, Sundar suffers much heartbreak and decides it is time for change to come to his village. Sundar is determined to live in a place where girls are valued as much as boys and where the land is not devastated by irresponsible mining. Sundar’s plan? To celebrate the birth of every girl with the planting of 111 trees. Though many villagers resist at first, Sundar slowly gains their support. And today, there are over a quarter of a million trees in his village, providing food, water and opportunities for women to earn a living. His efforts have turned a once barren and deforested landscape into a fertile and prosperous one where girls can thrive.<br/><br/>Based on true events in the life of Sundar Paliwal, and written in collaboration with him, Rina Singh’s uplifting story shows how one person can make a difference in a community. Beautiful illustrations by Marianne Ferrer sensitively bring the evolution of the village to life. With strong links to the science curriculum, this book offers lessons on environmental awareness, sustainability and stewardship, as well as the concept of ecofeminism. It also explores ideas of social development, community and culture, and the character education traits of responsibility and cooperation. A thoroughly researched author’s note with photographs and more information about the village of Piplantri is included.

Buy book
$18.99
Bookshop
$16.14
Amazon
$18.99
Used $18.99
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
Greta and the Giants: inspired by Greta Thunberg's stand to save the world
Written by Zoe Tucker & illustrated by Zoe Persico
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

This inspiring picture book retells the story of Nobel Peace Prize nominee Greta Thunberg—the Swedish teenager who has led a global movement to raise awareness about the world’s climate crisis—using allegory to make this important topic accessible to young children. Greta is a little girl who lives in a beautiful forest threatened by Giants. When the Giants first came to the forest, they chopped down trees to make houses. Then they chopped down more trees and made even bigger homes. The houses grew into towns and the towns grew into cities, until now there is hardly any forest left. Greta knows she has to help the animals who live in the forest, but how? Luckily, Greta has an idea… A section at the back explains that, in reality, the fight against the “giants” isn’t over and explains how you can help Greta in her fight. This book has been printed sustainably in the US on 100% recycled paper. By buying a copy of this book, you are making a donation of 3% of the cover price to 350.org.

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$8.81
Used $0.29
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
Stella Díaz Never Gives Up
Written & illustrated by Angela Dominguez
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

From award-winning author Angela Dominguez, comes the novel Stella Diaz Never Gives Up, a novel about a shy Mexican-American girl who becomes an environmental activist and makes a difference in her community. Stella gets a big surprise when her mom plans a trip to visit their family in Mexico! Stella loves marine animals, and she can’t wait to see the ocean for the first time . . . until she arrives and learns that the sea and its life forms are in danger due to pollution. Stella wants to save the ocean, but she knows she can’t do it alone. It’s going to take a lot of work and help from old and new friends to make a difference, but Stella Díaz never gives up! This is the second middle-grade novel from award-winning picture book author and illustrator Angela Dominguez. Based on the author’s experiences growing up Mexican-American, this infectiously charming character comes to life through relatable story-telling including simple Spanish vocabulary and adorable black-and-white art throughout.

Buy book
$16.99
Bookshop
$14.44
Amazon
$13.19
Used $1.87
Prices as of Feb 25
Honorable Mentions
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  1. Unstoppable - A read-aloud gem about teamwork and togetherness from New York Times bestselling author Adam Rex! If you could have any superpower, what would it be? Well, what if the answer was: ALL OF THEM! When a bird narrowly escapes the clutches of a hungry cat, a nearby crab admires the bird’s ability to fly, while the bird admits a longtime yearning for claws. And, just like that, they team up. Pretty soon, the team includes every animal in the forest who’s ever wanted someone else’s special trait. But how will these animals stop humans from destroying the forest for a megamall? It’s going to take claws, wings, and Congress together to be truly Unstoppable! Laura Park’s bright, comic illustrations pair with bestselling author Adam Rex’s laugh-out-loud text in this hilarious and insightful picture book about celebrating the ways you’re unique, and using all your resourcefulness–and just a smidge of politics–to save the day. - Unstoppable! provides a timely lesson on the glories of diversity and the power of working together.
    - Perfect read-aloud book for children interested in animals, the environment, and political action
    For fans of Nothing Rhymes with Orange, Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth, The Wolf the Duck and The Mouse, and Penguin Problems. - Books for kids ages 3-5
    - Read-aloud picture books
    - Picture books about Congress and government
    Adam Rex is an author, illustrator, and author-illustrator known for his books including The Dirty Cowboy, School’s First Day of School, and The True Meaning of Smekday, which was adapted into the DreamWorks film Home in 2014. He lives in Tucson, Arizona. Laura Park is a cartoonist, illustrator, and enthusiastic baker from Chicago currently living in France.

  2. Strange Birds - From the award-winning author of The First Rule of Punk comes the story of four kids who form an alternative Scout troop that shakes up their sleepy Florida town. When three very different girls find a mysterious invitation to a lavish mansion, the promise of adventure and mischief is too intriguing to pass up. Ofelia Castillo (a budding journalist), Aster Douglas (a bookish foodie), and Cat Garcia (a rule-abiding birdwatcher) meet the kid behind the invite, Lane DiSanti, and it isn’t love at first sight. But they soon bond over a shared mission to get the Floras, their local Scouts, to ditch an outdated tradition. In their quest for justice, independence, and an unforgettable summer, the girls form their own troop and find something they didn’t know they needed: sisterhood.

  3. Our House Is on Fire: Greta Thunberg's Call to Save the Planet - Learn the story of TIME PERSON OF THE YEAR Greta Thunberg, the sixteen-year-old climate activist who has sparked a worldwide student movent and is demanding action from world leaders who refuse to address climate change--from acclaimed picture book creator Jeanette Winter.

  4. Ninita's Big World - “The heart-tugging true story of how YouTube star Ninita—a deaf, orphaned pygmy marmoset (the smallest type of monkey)—found family, friendship, and a forever home! Illustrated in full color. Ninita is the only known deaf pygmy marmoset in the world, but that doesn’t stop her from making friends and chasing her next adventure! Abandoned by her parents and rescued by the RSCF, this tiny, curious monkey loves exploring her habitat. And when she meets Mr. Big—another pygmy marmoset—she has finally found a friend who likes to eat, climb, and play as much as she does. A YouTube celebrity, Ninita’s videos have been viewed nearly 2 million times! “

Books About Activism and Family

Add to list
Herstory
Written by Katherine Halligan & illustrated by Sarah Walsh
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Move aside history—it’s time for herstory. Celebrate fifty inspiring and powerful women who changed the world and left their mark in this lavishly illustrated biography compilation that’s perfect for fans of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls and She Persisted. Throughout history, girls have often been discussed in terms of what they couldn’t or shouldn’t do. Not anymore. It’s time for herstory—a celebration of not only what girls can do, but the remarkable things women have already accomplished, even when others tried to stop them. In this uplifting and inspiring book, follow the stories of fifty powerhouse women from around the world and across time who each managed to change the world as they knew it forever. Telling the stories of their childhood, the challenges they faced, and the impact of their achievements, each lavishly illustrated spread is a celebration of girl power in its many forms. From astronauts to activists, musicians to mathematicians, these women are sure to motivate young readers of all backgrounds to focus not on the can’ts and shouldn’ts, but on what they can do: anything!

Buy book
$19.99
Bookshop
$16.99
Amazon
$11.99
Used $6.80
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
Sofia Valdez, Future Prez
Written by Andrea Beaty & illustrated by David Roberts
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

The newest picture book from the creators of Iggy Peck, Architect; Rosie Revere, Engineer; and Ada Twist, Scientist stars Sofia Valdez, an activist and community leader who stands up for what she believes in!

Every morning, Abuelo walks Sofia to school . . . until one day, when Abuelo hurts his ankle at a local landfill and he can no longer do so. Sofia misses her Abuelo and wonders what she can do about the dangerous Mount Trashmore. Then she gets an idea—the town can turn the slimy mess into a park! She brainstorms and plans and finally works up the courage to go to City Hall—only to be told by a clerk that she can’t build a park because she’s just a kid! Sofia is down but not out, and she sets out to prove what one kid can do.

Buy book
$18.99
Bookshop
$16.14
Amazon
$15.28
Used $10.53
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
We Rise, We Resist, We Raise Our Voices
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
Fifty of the foremost diverse children's authors and illustrators--including Jason Reynolds, Jacqueline Woodson, and Kwame Alexander--share answers to the question, "In this divisive world, what shall we tell our children?" in this beautiful, full-color keepsake collection, published in partnership with Just Us Books.
Buy book
$18.99
Bookshop
$16.14
Amazon
$15.19
Used $2.42
Prices as of Feb 25
Honorable Mentions
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  1. Malcolm Little: The Boy Who Grew Up to Become Malcolm X - Malcolm X grew to be one of America’s most influential figures. But first, he was a boy named Malcolm Little. Written by his daughter, this inspiring picture book biography celebrates a vision of freedom and justice. Bolstered by the love and wisdom of his large, warm family, young Malcolm Little was a natural born leader. But when confronted with intolerance and a series of tragedies, Malcolm’s optimism and faith were threatened. He had to learn how to be strong and how to hold on to his individuality. He had to learn self-reliance. Together with acclaimed illustrator AG Ford, Ilyasah Shabazz gives us a unique glimpse into the childhood of her father, Malcolm X, with a lyrical story that carries a message that resonates still today–that we must all strive to live to our highest potential.

  2. My Family Divided - Guerrero, the star of “Orange Is the New Black” and “Jane the Virgin, “ presents her personal story in this middle-grade memoir about her parents’ deportation and the nightmarish struggles of undocumented immigrants and their American children. Photos.

  3. My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - What was it like growing up as a son of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.? This picture book memoir, My Daddy, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Martin Luther King III, provides insight into one of history’s most fascinating families and into a special bond between father and son. “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Martin Luther King III was one of those four little children mentioned in Martin Luther King’s groundbreaking “I Have a Dream” speech. In this memoir, Martin Luther King Jr.’s son gives an intimate look at the man and the father behind the civil rights leader. Mr. King’s remembrances show both his warm, loving family and a momentous time in American history. AG Ford is the illustrator of several other books for children, including the New York Times bestselling Barack. He is the recipient of an NAACP Image Award.

  4. ABC of Equality - A is for Ability, B is for Belief, C is for Class. All people have the right to be treated fairly, no matter who they are, what they look like, or where they come from. An ABC of Equality introduces complicated concepts surrounding social justice to the youngest of children. From A to Z, simple explanations accompanied by engaging artwork teach children about the world we live in and how to navigate our way through it. Each right-hand page includes a brightly decorated letter with the word it stands for and an encouraging slogan. On the left, a colorful illustration and bite-size text sum up the concept. Cheerful people from a range of backgrounds, ethnicities, and abilities lead the way through the alphabet.

    • L is for LGBTQIA. Find the words that make you, you.
    • N is for No. No means no.
    • P is for Privilege. Be aware of your advantages.
    • X is for Xenophobia. Ask questions and you’ll see there’s nothing to be afraid of.
    Celebrate your Differences, ask more Questions, share your Kindness, and learn to Understand the world.

Want to see books about family?

Books About Activism and 21st Century

Add to list
Maya Angelou
Written by Lisbeth Kaiser & illustrated by Leire Salaberria
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Meet Maya Angelou, the world’s most beloved writer and speaker! Now available as a board book in the Little People, Big Dreams series, this inspiring and informative little biography follows the life of Maya Angelou, from her early traumatic childhood to her time as a singer, actress, civil rights campaigner and, eventually, one of America’s most beloved writers of poetry, memoirs, and essays. With stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, this empowering series celebrates the important life stories of wonderful women of the world. From designers and artists to scientists, all of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream. These books make the lives of these role models accessible for children, providing a powerful message to inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world!

Buy book
$8.99
Bookshop
$7.64
Amazon
$5.39
Used $1.00
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
Maya Angelou
Written by Lisbeth Kaiser & illustrated by Leire Salaberria
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

In the Little People, Big Dreams series, discover the lives of outstanding people from designers and artists to scientists. All of them went on to achieve incredible things, yet all of them began life as a little child with a dream. The book follows Maya Angelou, from her early traumatic childhood to her time as a singer, actress, civil rights campaigner and, eventually, one of America’s most beloved writers. This inspiring and informative little biography comes with extra facts about Maya’s life at the back.

Buy book
$15.99
Bookshop
$13.59
Amazon
$10.24
Used $1.78
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
Little Guides to Great Lives: Maya Angelou
Written by Danielle Jawando & illustrated by Noa Snir
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-11

Maya Angelou was an African-American author, poet, playwright, and civil rights activist. She wrote seven autobiographies, three books of essays, several books of poetry, and a long list of plays, movies, and television shows. Never taking ‘No’ for an answer, Maya used her voice and her art to overcome prejudice and difficulty and to become an inspiration to those around her and to future generations.

Buy book
$11.99
Bookshop
$10.19
Amazon
$10.81
Used $3.98
Prices as of Feb 25
Honorable Mentions
Add to list
Add to list
  1. Ruth Bader Ginsburg - To become the first female Jewish Supreme Court Justice, the unsinkable Ruth Bader Ginsburg had to overcome countless injustices. Growing up in Brooklyn in the 1930s and ‘40s, Ginsburg was discouraged from working by her father, who thought a woman’s place was in the home. Regardless, she went to Cornell University, where men outnumbered women four to one. There, she met her husband, Martin Ginsburg, and found her calling as a lawyer. Despite discrimination against Jews, females, and working mothers, Ginsburg went on to become Columbia Law School’s first tenured female professor, a judge for the US Court of Appeals, and finally, a Supreme Court Justice. Structured as a court case in which the reader is presented with evidence of the injustice that Ginsburg faced, Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the true story of how one of America’s most “notorious” women bravely persevered to become the remarkable symbol of justice she is today.

  2. Elizabeth Warren - “This picture book biography will outline the incredible history of Elizabeth Warren, the first female senator from Massachusetts. Elizabeth came from a struggling middle-class family in Oklahoma City. After a heart attack put Elizabeth’s father out of work, Elizabeth helped out by babysitting, waitressing, and sewing dresses, all while skipping a grade and shining in her school’s debate team. Debate taught Elizabeth how to fight with her words, a skill that eventually won her a state championship and a college scholarship. As a lawyer and law professor, Elizabeth learned why it was so difficult for working-class families like her own to advance economically, and today she continues to fight (with her words) for the poor and middle-class in her role as a politician. The text focuses on the importance of being outspoken–of fighting with words both for yourself and for those that need your help. The backmatter will include an author’s note and resources list. Nevertheless, She Persisted is sure to appeal to members of the “resist-erhood” looking for stories of strong female leaders”–

Books About Activism and School

Add to list
Amazing Grace
Written by Mary Hoffman & illustrated by Caroline Binch
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Although a classmate says that she cannot play Peter Pan in the school play because she is black, Grace discovers that she can do anything she sets her mind to do.

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$14.62
Used $0.98
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
Harlem Grown: How One Big Idea Transformed a Neighborhood
Written by Tony Hillery & illustrated by Jessie Hartland
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“An inspiring picture book for youngsters with meaningful ties to the environment, sustainability, and community engagement.” —Booklist
“Hartland’s gouache illustrations wobble endearingly, colorfully capturing the children’s triumph, and the kinetic energy and colorful vibrancy of the city neighborhood.” —Publishers Weekly

Discover the incredible true story of Harlem Grown, a lush garden in New York City that grew out of an abandoned lot and now feeds a neighborhood.

Once
In a big city called New York
In a bustling neighborhood
There was an empty lot.
Nevaeh called it the haunted garden.

Harlem Grown tells the inspiring true story of how one man made a big difference in a neighborhood. After seeing how restless they were and their lack of healthy food options, Tony Hillery invited students from an underfunded school to turn a vacant lot into a beautiful and functional farm. By getting their hands dirty, these kids turned an abandoned space into something beautiful and useful while learning about healthy, sustainable eating and collaboration.

Five years later, the kids and their parents, with the support of the Harlem Grown staff, grow hundreds of pounds of fruits and vegetables a year. All of it is given to the kids and their families. The incredible story is vividly brought to life with Jessie Hartland’s “charmingly busy art” (Booklist) that readers will pore over in search of new details as they revisit this poignant and uplifting tale over and over again.

Harlem Grown is an independent, not-for-profit organization. The author’s share of the proceeds from the sale of this book go directly to Harlem Grown.

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$11.49
Used $8.99
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
Star-Crossed
Written & illustrated by Barbara Dee
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-13

Twelve-year-old Mattie wrestles with her crush on Gemma as they participate in their school production of Romeo and Juliet in what School Library Journal calls “a fine choice for middle school libraries in need of an accessible LGBTQ stories.” Twelve-year-old Mattie is thrilled when she learns the eighth grade play will be Romeo and Juliet. In particular, she can’t wait to share the stage with Gemma Braithwaite, who has been cast as Juliet. Gemma is brilliant, pretty—and British!—and Mattie starts to see her as more than just a friend. But Mattie has also had an on/off crush on her classmate Elijah since, well, forever. Is it possible to have a crush on both boys AND girls? If that wasn’t enough to deal with, things offstage are beginning to resemble their own Shakespearean drama: the cast is fighting, and the boy playing Romeo may not be up to the challenge of the role. And due to a last-minute emergency, Mattie is asked to step up and take over the leading role—opposite Gemma’s Juliet—just as Mattie’s secret crush starts to become not-so-secret in her group of friends. In this funny, sweet, and clever look at the complicated nature of middle school romance, Mattie learns how to become a lead player in her own life.

Buy book
$7.99
Bookshop
$6.79
Amazon
$6.99
Used $1.51
Prices as of Feb 25
Honorable Mentions
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  1. Someday is Now - Someday Is Now tells the inspirational story of the celebrated civil rights leader, Clara Luper, who led one of the first lunch-counter sit-ins in America. How will you stand against something you know is wrong? One way is to follow the lessons of bravery taught by civil rights pioneers like Clara Luper. As a child, Clara saw how segregation affected her life. Her journey famously led her to Oklahoma, where she and her students desegregated stores and restaurants that were closed to African-Americans. With courage and conviction, Clara Luper led young people to “do what had to be done.” This moving title includes additional information on Clara Luper’s extraordinary life, her lessons of nonviolent resistance, and a glossary of key civil rights people and terms.

  2. Banana Pants! - Princess Miranda and Not-a-Princess Maude are total opposites and totally best friends! Fed up with nonstop testing, Miranda and Maude’s teacher makes a surprise announcement: They are going to put on a school play! And, the class decides, it will be called Banana Pants! School is finally a joy, and the project inspires the girls to fight for more positive change. Maude decides to wage a campaign against Styrofoam lunch trays, and she thinks she has the perfect powerful ally in Miranda. But, much to Maude’s frustration, Miranda would rather focus on her own good cause: love! The girls can’t seem to see eye to eye, and in pursuing their good causes separately, they go way too far, resulting in the friendship’s first-ever fight.

  3. Windfall - Life is full of challenges for thirteen-year-old Liza. She is already having trouble coping with the death of a local homeless man when she learns that her family’s apple tree will need to be chopped down. If that wasn’t enough, the new principal at school keeps blocking her attempts for a positive outlet by refusing permission for every project that GRRR! (Girls for Renewable Resources, Really!) and BRRR! (Boys for Renewable Resources, Really!) proposes. Liza starts to feel like she needs to create change in her world without seeking permission. When she chooses the school grounds as the site for her latest endeavor, she may have gone too far.

  4. R Is For Rebel - Princess Academy meets Megan Whalen Turner in this stunning novel about a girl who won’t let anything tame her spirit—not the government that conquered her people, and definitely not reform school! Malley has led the constables on a merry chase across her once-peaceful country. With her parents in prison for their part in a failed resistance movement, the government wants to send her to a national school—but they’ll have to capture her first. And capture her they do. Malley is carted off to be reformed as a proper subject of the conquering empire, reeducated, and made suitable for domestic service. That’s the government’s plan, anyway. But Malley will not go down without a fight. She’s determined to rally her fellow students to form a rebellion of their own. The government can lock these girls up in reform school. Whether it can break them is another matter entirely…

Want to see books about school?

Books About Activism and Volunteers And Volunteering

Add to list
Woke
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-11

Historically poets have been on the forefront of social movements. Woke is a collection of poems by women that reflects the joy and passion in the fight for social justice, tackling topics from discrimination to empathy, and acceptance to speaking out.

With Theodore Taylor’s bright, emotional art, and writting from Mahogany L. Browne, Elizabeth Acevedo and Olivia Gatwood, kids will be inspired to create their own art and poems to express how they see justice and injustice.

Buy book
$18.99
Bookshop
$16.14
Amazon
$16.99
Used $12.66
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
Dictionary for a Better World: Poems, Quotes, and Anecdotes from A to Z
Written by Charles Waters and Irene Latham & illustrated by Mehrdokht Amini
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

How can we make the world a better place? This inspiring resource for middle-grade readers is organized as a dictionary; each entry presents a word related to creating a better world, such as ally, empathy, or respect. For each word, there is a poem, a quote from an inspiring person, a personal anecdote from the authors, and a try it prompt for an activity.

This second poetic collaboration from Irene Latham and Charles Waters builds upon themes of diversity and inclusiveness from their previous book Can I Touch Your Hair? Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship. Illustrations from Iranian-British artist Mehrdokht Amini offer readers a rich visual experience.

Buy book
$19.99
Bookshop
$16.99
Amazon
$15.63
Used $9.91
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
Our Future
Written & illustrated by Janet Wilson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

This book profiles ten young activists who are taking on the key issues of our time. These young people from across the globe are raising awareness about what matters to them most. An eleven-year-old boy in Texas kneels with his football teammates during the national anthem to protest racial injustice. A thirteen-year-old girl from the Tla’amin First Nation in British Columbia speaks at the United Nations to raise awareness of water pollution. These activists don’t let their youth stop them from being heard on issues ranging from racism and cyberbullying to gun violence and animal protection.

Buy book
$18.95
Bookshop
$16.11
Amazon
$15.40
Used $11.88
Prices as of Feb 25
Honorable Mentions
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  1. Hard Work, but It's Worth It: The Life of Jimmy Carter - The first picture book about the inspiring life of humanitarian Jimmy Carter, the thirty-ninth president of the United States and a Nobel Prize winner—from Alabama Spitfire author Bethany Hegedus. Even before Jimmy Carter became president, he knew the value of hard work. Living on his family’s peanut farm, Jimmy saw how hard work yielded strong results. At least it did for some people. But growing up in the segregated South, Jimmy also saw firsthand how white people and black people were not treated equally. None of it was right. None of it was fair. So Jimmy created a list of Good Mental Habits to help him navigate life’s challenges. The list guided his thoughts and actions and helped him fight for change, whether working with civil rights leaders to end racial discrimination in his home state of Georgia, helping to negotiate peace in the Middle East, or building homes for the poor through Habitat for Humanity. From the statehouse to the White House and beyond, Jimmy has worked to make change for all people, devoting decades to public service and becoming one of the most respected humanitarians of our time. It’s hard work, but it’s worth it.

  2. All the Way to the Top: How One Girl's Fight for Americans with Disabilities Changed Everything - This is the story of a little girl who just wanted to go, even when others tried to stop her.

  3. Home Sweet Neighborhood - Picture a busy avenue. Now plant trees along the boulevard, paint a mural by the empty lot, and add a community garden. Set up benches along the sidewalks and make space for kids’ chalk drawings, and you’ve set the scene for a thriving community. Placemaking—personalizing public and semi-private spaces like front yards—is a growing trend in cities and suburbs around the world, drawing people out of their homes and into conversation with one another. Kids are natural placemakers, building tree forts, drawing on sidewalks and setting up lemonade stands, but people of all ages can enjoy creative placemaking activities. From Dutch families who drag couches and tables onto sidewalks for outdoor suppers to Canadians who build little lending libraries to share books with neighbors, people can do things that make life more fun and strengthen neighborhoods. Home Sweet Neighborhood combines upbeat text, fun facts and colorful photos to intrigue and inspire readers.

Books About Activism and Black History

Add to list
A Place to Land
Written by Barry Wittenstein & illustrated by Jerry Pinkney
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

Much has been written about Martin Luther King, Jr. and the 1963 March on Washington. But there’s little on his legendary speech and how he came to write it. Find out more in this gripping book with illustrations by Caldecott Medalist Jerry Pinkney. Martin Luther King, Jr. was once asked if the hardest part of preaching was knowing where to begin. No, he said. The hardest part is knowing where to end. “It’s terrible to be circling up there without a place to land.” Finding this place to land was what Martin Luther King, Jr. struggled with, alongside advisors and fellow speech writers, in the Willard Hotel the night before the March on Washington, where he gave his historic “I Have a Dream” speech. But those famous words were never intended to be heard on that day, not even written down for that day, not even once. Barry Wittenstein teams up with legendary illustrator Jerry Pinkney to tell the story of how, against all odds, Martin found his place to land.

Buy book
$18.99
Bookshop
$16.14
Amazon
$16.99
Used $10.64
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
As Good As Anybody
Written by Richard Michelson & illustrated by Raúl Colón
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

A Baptist preacher from Atlanta. A rabbi born in Poland. Their names came to stand for the struggle for justice and equality.

Martin Luther King Jr. grew up in a loving family in the American South, at a time when many of this country’s doors were closed to African Americans. He aimed to open those doors. He became a minister like his daddy, and he preached and marched for his cause.

Abraham Joshua Heschel grew up in a loving family in a Europe that did not welcome Jews. He found a new home in America, where he was a rabbi like his father, carrying a message of peace and acceptance.

Martin put out a call for others to join him. Abraham knew he must answer Martin’s call.

Here is the story of how two men formed a remarkable friendship and turned their personal experiences of discrimination into a message of love and equality for all.

Buy book
$7.99
Bookshop
$6.79
Amazon
$7.99
Used $7.99
Prices as of Feb 25
Add to list
Young, Gifted and Black
Written by Jamia Wilson & illustrated by Andrea Pippins
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Meet 52 icons of color from the past and present in this celebration of inspirational achievement - from figureheads, leaders and pioneers such as Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and Rosa Parks, to cultural trailblazers and sporting heroes, including Stevie Wonder, Oprah Winfrey and Serena Williams. Strong, courageous, talented and diverse, these extraordinary men and women’s achievements will inspire a new generation to chase their dream … whatever it may be.

Buy book
$23.99
Bookshop
$20.39
Amazon
$23.99
Used $5.44
Prices as of Feb 25
Honorable Mentions
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  1. Harriet Tubman: Freedom Fighter - Learn about the inspiring life of Harriet Tubman in this early reader biography. Harriet Tubman was a brave woman who was born enslaved in Maryland in the 1800s. After risking everything to escape from her slave master and be free, Harriet went on to lead many people to freedom on a journey known today as the Underground Railroad. This book covers some of the amazing aspects of Tubman’s life: She led 13 escapes—all successful and at great personal risk—between 1850 and 1860. This book also covers some of the lesser-known amazing aspects of her life: During the Civil War, Harriet Tubman enlisted African American men to be soldiers. She served as a spy. AND she led a battle under the command of a Union Army colonel! Beginning readers will learn about the milestones in Harriet Tubman’s life in this Level Two I Can Read biography. This biography includes a timeline and historical illustrations all about the life of this inspiring figure, as well as a rare historical photograph of her. Much mythology and conflicting lore exists about Harriet Tubman. This book was carefully vetted by noted Harriet Tubman expert Dr. Kate Larson. Harriet Tubman: Freedom Fighter is a Level Two I Can Read, geared for kids who read on their own but still need a little help.

  2. Martin Luther King, Jr. - In this book from the critically acclaimed, multimillion-copy best-selling Little People, BIG DREAMS series, discover the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., the inspiring minister and civil rights activist. Little Martin grew up in a family of preachers: his dad was a preacher, his uncle was a preacher, his grandfather was a preacher…so maybe he’d become a great preacher too. One day, a friend invited him to play at his house. Martin was shocked when his mother wouldn’t let him in because he was black. That day he realized there was something terribly unfair going on. Martin believed that no one should remain silent and accept something if it’s wrong. And he promised himself that—when he grew up—he’d fight injustice with the most powerful weapon of all: words. This moving book features stylish and quirky illustrations and extra facts at the back, including a biographical timeline with historical photos and a detailed profile of the inspiring activist’s life. Little People, BIG DREAMS is a best-selling series of books and educational games that explore the lives of outstanding people, from designers and artists to scientists and activists. All of them achieved incredible things, yet each began life as a child with a dream. This empowering series offers inspiring messages to children of all ages, in a range of formats. The board books are told in simple sentences, perfect for reading aloud to babies and toddlers. The hardcover versions present expanded stories for beginning readers. Boxed gift sets allow you to collect a selection of the books by theme. Paper dolls, learning cards, matching games, and other fun learning tools provide even more ways to make the lives of these role models accessible to children. Inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world with Little People, BIG DREAMS!

  3. How Sweet the Sound - One stormy night at sea, a wayward man named John Newton feared for his life. In his darkest hour he fell to his knees and prayed —and somehow the battered ship survived the storm. Grateful, he changed his ways and became a minister, yet he still owned a slave ship. But in time, empathy touched his heart. A changed man, he used his powerful words to help end slavery in England. Those words became the hymn “Amazing Grace,” a song that has lifted the spirit and given comfort across time and all over the world.

Books About Activism and Women's Suffrage

Add to list
Around America to Win the Vote: Two Suffragists, a Kitten, and 10,000 Miles
Written by Mara Rockliff & illustrated by Hadley Hooper
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

The author of Mesmerized delivers another fascinating glimpse into history, this time the story of two brave suffragists on a trek across America to spread the word: Votes for Women! In April 1916, Nell Richardson and Alice Burke set out from New York City in a little yellow car, embarking on a bumpy, muddy, unmapped journey ten thousand miles long. They took with them a teeny typewriter, a tiny sewing machine, a wee black kitten, and a message for Americans all across the country: Votes for Women! The women’s suffrage movement was in full swing, and Nell and Alice would not let anything keep them from spreading the word about equal voting rights for women. Braving blizzards, deserts, and naysayers–not to mention a whole lot of tires stuck in the mud–the two courageous friends made their way through the cities and towns of America to further their cause. One hundred years after Nell and Alice set off on their trip, Mara Rockliff revives their spirit in a lively and whimsical picture book, with exuberant illustrations by Hadley Hooper bringing their inspiring historical trek to life.

Add to list
I Could Do That!: Esther Morris Gets Women the Vote
Written by Linda Arms White & illustrated by Nancy Carpenter
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

Full of humor and spunk – just like Esther!

“I could do that,” says six-year-old Esther as she watches her mother making tea. Start her own business at the age of nineteen? Why, she could do that, too. But one thing Esther and other women could NOT do was vote. Only men could do that.

With lively text and humorous illustrations as full of spirit as Esther herself, this striking picture book biography shows how one girl’s gumption propels her through a life filled with challenges until, in 1869, she wins the vote for women in Wyoming Territory – the first time ever in the United States!

I Could Do That! is a 2006 Bank Street - Best Children’s Book of the Year.

Add to list
Bold & Brave: Ten Heroes Who Won Women the Right to Vote
Written by Kirsten Gillibrand & illustrated by Maira Kalman
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

From United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand comes an inspiring picture book about ten suffragists who fought for women’s right to vote.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was inspired by her own great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother to be bold and brave–to stand up and fight for what she believes in. But who inspired them? The long chain of women before them who spoke out for what’s right–women who taught each generation that followed how to be bold and brave.

Here are the stories of ten leaders who strove to win the right to vote for American women–a journey that took more than seventy years of passionate commitment. From well-known figures, such as Susan B. Anthony and Sojourner Truth to lesser known women such as Alice Paul and Mary Church Terrell, these are heroes who dreamed big and never gave up. Senator Gillibrand highlights an important and pithy lesson from each woman’s life–from “dare to be different” to “fight together.”

On the eve of the one-hundredth anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment, which granted women suffrage, Bold & Brave looks both backward and forward. It introduces children to strong women who have raised their voices on behalf of justice–and inspires them to raise their own voices to build our future.

With gorgeous illustrations by renowned artist Maira Kalman, this is a book that will inspire and uplift, a book to be cherished and shared.

The suffragists included are: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Jovita Idár, Alice Paul, Inez Milholland, Ida B. Wells, Lucy Burns, and Mary Church Terrell.

Honorable Mentions
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  1. Marching With Aunt Susan - An inspiring story of the fight for women’s suffrage, based on the experiences of a real girl All Bessie wants is to go hiking with her father and brothers. But it’s 1896, and girls don’t get to hike. They can’t vote either, which Bessie discovers when Susan B. Anthony comes to town to help lead the campaign for women’s suffrage. Stirred to action, Bessie joins the movement and discovers that small efforts can result in small changes–and maybe even big ones. Inspired by the diary of the real Bessie Keith Pond, a ten-year-old girl who lived in California during the suffrage campaign, author Claire Rudolf Murphy and illustrator Stacey Schuett offer a thought-provoking introduction to the fight for women’s rights. A story of hope and determination, Marching with Aunt Susan reminds readers that society cannot evolve unless people–even young people–dare to take a stand

  2. Emmeline Pankhurst - New, in the My First Little People, Big Dreams series: Introduce your littlest one to the leader of the suffragettes, Emmeline Pankhurst. Told in simple sentences, this young reader edition of the best-selling series is perfect to read out loud to little dreamers. This empowering series celebrates the important life stories of wonderful women of the world – and is now in available in a board format for little hands! These books make the lives of these role models accessible for the youngest children, providing a powerful message to inspire the next generation of outstanding people who will change the world!

  3. Miss Paul and the President - “Robbins makes clear for a quite young audience through both main narration and endnote that there were very specific obstacles that had to be overcome to extend the vote to women, and winning the endorsement of the president was a vital first step.” –The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books “A perfect introduction to a notable woman and her fight for a woman’s right to vote.” –School Library Journal Cast your vote for Alice Paul! The story of a tireless suffragette and the president she convinced to change everything. When Alice Paul was a child, she saw her father go off to vote while her mother had to stay home. But why should that be? So Alice studied the Constitution and knew that the laws needed to change. But who would change them? She would! In her signature purple hat, Alice organized parades and wrote letters and protested outside the White House. She even met with President Woodrow Wilson, who told her there were more important issues to worry about than women voting. But nothing was more important to Alice. So she kept at it, and soon President Wilson was persuaded. Dean Robbins and illustrator Nancy Zhang bring the unsung hero to vivid life and show young voters-to-be how important it is to never back down from a cause you believe in!

  4. History Smashers: Women's Right to Vote - Myths! Lies! Secrets! Smash the stories behind famous moments in history and expose the hidden truth. Perfect for fans of I Survived and Nathan Hale's Hazardous Tales.

Suggested Links