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Service And Charity: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about service and charity?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to service and charity. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about service and charity.

Our list includes picture books and chapter books. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid.

When it comes to children’s stories about service and charity, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like Woke to popular sellers like The One Day House to some of our favorite hidden gems like My Panda Sweater.

We hope this list of kids books about service and charity can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

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My Panda Sweater
Written by Gilles Baum & illustrated by Barroux
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

A quirky kid donates her beloved panda sweater, and through this act of sacrifice gains a new friend. With whimsical, contemporary artwork, this story balances the topic of selflessness with humor and heart, while also offering an opportunity to talk about bullying, sharing and self-confidence.

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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.

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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.

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Hard Work, but It's Worth It: The Life of Jimmy Carter
Written by Bethany Hegedus & illustrated by Kyung Eun Han
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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.

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I Voted: Making a Choice Makes a Difference
Written by Mark Shulman & illustrated by Serge Bloch
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

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!

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  • The One Day House - Wilson dreams of all the ways he can help improve his friend Gigi’s house so that she’ll be warm, comfortable, and happy. One day, friends and neighbors from all over come to help make Wilson’s plans come true. Everyone volunteers to pitch in to make Gigi’s house safe, clean, and pretty. Inspired by a friend’s volunteerism, author Julia Durango tells a story of community and togetherness, showing that by helping others we help ourselves. Further information about Labor of Love, United Way, and Habitat for Humanity is included at the end of the book.

  • Rice from Heaven - Rice from Heaven is a true story about compassion and bravery as a young girl and her community in South Korea help deliver rice via balloons to the starving and oppressed people in North Korea. “We reach a place where mountains become a wall. A wall so high, no one dares to climb. Beyond that wall and across the sea live children just like me, except they do not have food to eat.” Yoori lives in South Korea and doesn’t know what North Korea is like, but her father (Appa) does. Appa grew up in North Korea, where he did not have enough food to eat. Starving, he fled to South Korea in search of a better life. Yoori doesn’t know how she can help as she’s only a little “grain of rice” herself, but Appa tells her that they can secretly help the starving people by sending special balloons that carry rice over the border. Villagers glare and grumble, and children protest feeding the enemy, but Yoori doesn’t back down. She has to help. People right over the border don’t have food. No rice, and no green fields. With renewed spirit, volunteers gather in groups, fill the balloons with air, and tie the Styrofoam containers filled with rice to the tails of the balloons. With a little push, the balloons soar up and over the border, carrying rice in the darkness of the night over to North Korea.

  • 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.

  • Full Court Press - From 2015 WNBA MVP, 2016 Olympic gold medalist, and global ambassador to the Special Olympics Elena Delle Donne comes the second novel in a brand-new middle-grade series with as much heart as there is game.

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Home Sweet Neighborhood
Written & illustrated by Michelle Mulder
picture book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

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.

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