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Protest Movements: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about protest movements?

As you can see, this list of kids books about protest movements is a work in progress! We’re currently exploring the best books available, and we’d love your input. If you have a title you’d suggest including on our list of kids books about protest movements, please share it with us!

We’ll be featuring a variety of titles on our list, from well known classics to popular bestsellers to lesser known titles that deserve a bigger audience. We’re also including books for a range of ages, from board books for babies and toddlers, to picture books for preschool and kindergarten age kids, to chapter books for early elementary age kids.

We’d love to hear any book suggestions you have—you can comment below or email us at [email protected].

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.

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

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.

Ethan Marcus Stands Up
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

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.

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