Howard ZinnChildren's books

The Jane Addams Children's Book Awards are given annually to the children's books published the preceding year that effectively promote the cause of peace, social justice, world community, and the equality of the sexes and all races as well as meeting conventional standards for excellence.

Below are 50 children's books on peace, compiled by the Cooperative Children's Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison.

50 Books about Peace and Social Justice for children

Paths to Peace: Ideas and Actions for Change -- Picture Books

Gregory, Valiska. When Stories Fell Like Shooting Stars. Illustrated by Stefano Vitale. Simon & Schuster, 1996. 40 pages. Ages 6 - 10

Hume, Lachie. Clancy the Courageous Cow. U.S. edition: Greenwillow Books / HarperCollins, 2007. 32 pages. Ages 6-10

Muth, Jon J. Stone Soup. Scholastic Press, 2003. 32 pages. Ages 5 - 8

Radunsky, Vladimir. What Does Peace Feel Like?. An Anne Schwartz Book / Atheneum, 2004. 16 pages. Ages 4-8

Rumford, James. Silent Music: A Story of Bagdhad. A Neal Porter Book / Roaring Brook Press, 2008. 32 pages. Ages 7-9

Thomas, Shelley Moore. Somewhere Today: A Book of Peace. Photographed by Eric Futran. Albert Whitman, 1998. 24 pages. Ages 3 - 7

Thompson, Holly. The Wakame Gatherers. Illustrated by Kazumi Wilds. Shen's Books, 2007. 32 pages. Ages 5-8

Woodson, Jacqueline. The Other Side. Illustrated by E. B. Lewis. G. P. Putnam, 2001. 32 pages. Ages 5 - 8

Paths to Peace: Ideas and Actions for Change -- Fiction

Amnesty International. Free? Stories about Human Rights. U.S. edition: Candlewick Press, 2010. 202 pages. Ages 11 and older

Alexie, Sherman. The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. Illustrated by Ellen Fourney. Litte, Brown, 2007. 240 pages. Ages 13-16

Carmi, Daniella. Samir and Yonatan. Translated by Yael Lotan. U.S. edition: Arthur A. Levine Books, 2000. 183 pages. Age 12 and older

Castellucci, Cecil and Jim Rugg. The Plain Janes. Minx, 2007. 172 pages. Ages 13-16thich naht hanh

Coman, Carolyn. Many Stones. Front Street, 2000. 158 pages. Ages 14 - 18

Creech, Sharon. The Unfinished Angel. Joanna Cotler Books / HarperCollins, 2009. 164 pages. Ages 8 - 11

Woodson, Jacqueline. Peace, Locomotion. Putnam, 2009. 134 pages. Ages 10 - 13

Paths to Peace: Ideas and Action for Change -- Non-Fiction

We Are All Born Free: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Pictures. Frances Lincoln, 2008. 64 pages. Age 5 and older

Alsenas, Linas. Gay America: Struggle for Equality. Amulet, 2008. 160 pages. Age 12 and older

DeSaix, Deborah Durland and Karen Gray Ruelle. Hidden on the Mountain: Stories of Children Sheltered from the Nazis in Le Chambon. Holiday House, 2007. 275 pages. Ages 10-15

Levine, Karen. Hana's Suitcase: A True Story. Albert Whitman, 2003. 109 pages. Ages 9-14

Lewis, Barbara A. The Kid's Guide to Social Action. Free Spirit Press (Revised Edition), 1998. 211 pages. Age 9 and older

Nivola, Claire A. Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai. Frances Foster Books / Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008. 32 pages. Ages 8-12

Partridge, Elizabeth. Marching for Freedom: Walk Together, Children, and Don't You Grow Weary. Viking, 2009. 72 pages. Ages 11 and older

Roads of Heartbreak: The Costs of Conflict and Injustice -- Picture Books

Birtha, Becky. Grandmama's Pride. Illustrated by Colin Bootman. Albert Whitman, 2005. 32 pages. Ages 6-9

Greenfield, Eloise. When the Horses Ride By: Children in the Times of War. Illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist. Lee & Low, 2006. 36 pages. Ages 9-12

Karen Lynn, Williams and Khadra Mohammed. Four Feet, Two Sandals. Illustrated by Doug Chayka. Eerdmans, 2007. 32 pages. Ages 7-11

Russo, Marisabina. Always Remember Me: How One Family Survived World War II. An Anne Schwartz Book / Atheneum, 2005. 48 pages. Ages 7-10

Santiago, Chiori. Home to Medicine Mountain. Illustrated by Judith Lowry. Children's Book Press, 1998. 32 pages. Ages 6 - 9

Skarmeta, Antonio. The Composition. Illustrated by Alfonso Ruano. U.S. edition: A Groundwood Book/Douglas & McIntyre, 2000. 36 pages. Ages 9 - 16

Smith, Icy. Half Spoon of Rice: A Survival Story of the Cambodian Genocide. Illustrated by Sopaul Nhem. East West Discovery Press, 2010. 43 pages. Ages 7 - 10

Winter, Jeanette. Nasreen's Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan. Beach Lane, 2009. 40 pages. Ages 6 - 10

Roads of Heartbreak: The Costs of Conflict and Injustice -- Fiction

Abdel-Fattah, Randa. Where the Streets Had a Name. U.S. edition: Scholastic Press, 2010. 320 pages. Ages 12 and older

Compestine, Ying Chang. Revolution Is Not a Dinner Party. Henry Holt, 2007. 248 pages. Ages 10-14

Flake, Sharon. Money Hungry. Jump at the Sun/Hyperion, 2001. 187 pages. Ages 12 - 16

Frost, Helen. Crossing Stones. Frances Foster Books / Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2009. 184 pages. Ages 13 and older

Gerstein, Mordicai. The Old Country. Roaring Brook Press, 2005. 130 pages. Ages 10-14

Myers, Walter Dean. Monster. Illustrated by Christopher Myers. HarperCollins, 1999. 1999 pages. Ages 13 and older

Naidoo, Beverley. Out of Bounds: Seven Stories of Conflict and Hope. U.S. edition: HarperCollins, 2003. 175 pages. Ages 12 - 18

Schmidt, Gary D. Trouble. Clarion, 2008. 297 pages. Age 13 and older

Sepetys, Ruta. Between Shades of Gray. Philomel, 2011. 352 pages. Age 14 and older

Roads of Heartbreak: The Costs of Conflict and Injustice -- Non-Fiction

Bausum, Ann. Denied, Detained, Deported: Stories from the Dark Side of American Immigration. National Geographic, 2009. 111 pages. Ages 12 and older

Crowe, Chris. Getting Away with Murder: The True Story of the Emmett Till Case. Phyllis Fogelman Books / Penguin, 2003. 128 pages. 12 and older

Ellis, Deborah. Three Wishes: Palestinian and Israeli Children Speak. Groundwood / Douglas & McIntyre, 2004. 110 pages. Ages 12-18

Jiang, Ji-Li. Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution. HarperCollins, 1997. 285 pages. Age 12 and older

Krinitz, Esther Nisenthal and Bernice Steinhardt. Memories of Survival. Hyperion, 2005. 64 pages. Age 10-18

Kuklin, Susan. No Choirboy: Murder, Violence, and Teenagers on Death Row. Henry Holt, 2008. 212 pages. Age 14 and older

Oppenheim, Joanne. Dear Miss Breed: True Stories of the Japanese Incarceration During World War II and a Librarian Who Made a Difference. Scholastic Nonfiction / Scholastic , 2006. 287 pages. Age 11 and older

Satrapi, Marjane. Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood. Pantheon, 2003. 160 pages. Age 15 and older

Weatherford, Carole Boston. Birmingham, 1963. Wordsong / Boyds Mills Press, 2007. 39 pages. Age 10 and older

For Educators

The Children's Peace Education Project

A home and classroom curriculum for young children includes a searchable database of specially selected books to teach peacemaking with young children between one and six years of age.

Cyber School Bus

Global teaching and learning project of the United Nations.

Educators for Social Responsibility

A website with resources for teachers, and parents.

Great Decisions in the Classroom

Developed by the Foreign Policy Association to support educators and students who are committed to teaching and learning about international affairs.

Human Rights Education: The Fourth R

A free online magazine for human rights education including lesson plans and resources published by Amnesty International USA.

Kids Becoming Global Citizens

A free online Resource Guide for Parents and Educators that provides discussion topics for good books with your children, as well as activities and online games that encourage young ones to learn about diversity, social justice and global citizenship.

Multicultural Pavilion

A project of Edchange provides resources for k-12 classrooms including lesson plans and booklists.

National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME)

An organization of educators and others fostering multicultural education. NAME publishes a quarterly journal, Multicultural Perspectives, available free to members.

Parenting for Peace

Primarily a blog for parents, teachers and others on issues of peace education.

Rethinking Schools

An online subscription education journal focusing on issues of equality. Includes reviews of children's books, DVD's and websites.

A project of EdChange offers a free online library of documents relating to social justice, civil rights, equity, peace and activism.

Teaching for Change

Online catalogs, resources and links for teaching human rights education.

Teaching Tolerance

A web project of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Understanding Prejudice

Established in 2002 with funding from the National Science Foundation and McGraw-Hill. The purpose of the site is to offer educational resources and information on prejudice, discrimination, multiculturalism and diversity. The site is focused primarily on college level education, however it includes an Anti-Bias Bibliography for Teachers aimed at elementary and secondary educators.

Teaching for Change provides teachers and parents with the tools to transform schools into socially equitable centers of learning. The Teaching for Change catalog offers hundreds of K-12 books, videos, and posters for teaching from a social justice perspective. They also publish a practical guide to K-12 multicultural, anti-racist education, and staff development.

Workable Peace is a secondary school teaching and learning project that integrates the study of intergroup conflict. The program gives teacher trainings about history and intergroup conflict, and provides curriculum materials and resources.

Peace Games forms long-term partnerships with school communities to empower students to be peacemakers. They offer service learning projects for students, curriculum materials for teachers, and newsletters, workshops, and community events for families.

PeaceJam is an international education program that partners Nobel Peace Laureates with high school youth, teachers, youth group leaders,and college-age mentors. Through their PeaceJam groups, students design and complete a community service project and present their accomplishments at a PeaceJam Youth Conference, held in several locations each year.


In the spring of [2001] a number of peace electronic discussion groups were canvassed to determine the title and author of the single book which above all others inspired and informed responding peace educators. The same request was also placed in the last issue of Peace Study Association News. Listed below in alphabetical order by author, are the titles of those "best books" and the name and home territory of each of the persons suggesting the book. The purpose is to help recognize some of the most influential books and to appreciate how people, many of whom we know, began or developed their journey in peace education.

The Single Book Which Most Inspired and Informed Me in Peace Education (and in some cases: Peace Studies generally):

Chomsky, Noam. What Uncle Sam Really Wants
Clarke, Bill. Enough Room for Joy: Jean Vanier's L'Arche: A Message for Our Time
Dalai Lama, H.H. The 14th. Ocean of Wisdom
Deming, Barbara. We Cannot Live Without Our Lives
Eisler, Riane. The Chalice and the Blade
Fisher, Roger & Ury, William. Getting to Yes
Freire, Paulo. Pedagogy of the Oppressed
Galtung, Johan. Peace by Peaceful Means
Galtung, Johan. "Violence, Peace, and Peace Research" in Journal of Peace Research
Gandhi, Mohandas K. My Experiments with Truth
Golas, Thaddeus. The Lazy Man's Guide to Enlightenment
Gray, J. Glenn. The Warriors: Reflections on Men in Battle *PS*
Hanigan, James P. Martin Luther King Jr. and the Foundations of Nonviolence *PS*
Harris, Ian. Peace Education
Havel, Vaclav. The Art of the Impossible: Politics as Morality in Practice
Heger, Heinz. The Men with the Pink Triangle
Horton, Myles. The Long Haul
Huxley, Aldous. The Perennial Philosophy
Isaacs, Harold R. Idols of the Tribe: Group Identity and Political Change *PS*
Kelman, Herbert C. & Hamilton, V. Lee. Crimes of Disobedience: Toward a Social Psychology of Authority & Responsibility
King, Martin Luther Jr. A Testament of Hope
King, Martin Luther Jr. Strength to Love *PS*
Kleidman, Robert. Mobilizing for Peace
Kreidler, Bill. Creative Conflict Resolution
Lakey, George. Strategy for a Living Revolution
Lederach, John Paul. Building Peace: Sustainable Reconciliation in Divided Societies
Lifton, Robert Jay & Falk, Richard. Indefensible Weapons: The Political and Psychological Case Against Nuclearism
Max-Neef, Manfred. Human Scale Development: Conception, Application and Further Reflections *PS*
Mische, Gerald and Patricia. Toward a Human World Order
Owen, Wilfred. Collected Poems
Parry, Danaan. Warriors of the Heart
Peace Pilgrim. Peace Pilgrim Writings
Prutzman, Priscilla et al. The Friendly Classroom for a Small Planet
Quinn, Daniel. Ishmael
Rapoport, Anatol. The Origins of Violence: Approaches to the Study of Conflict
Said, Edward. Culture and Imperialism *PS*
Saint. Exupery, Antoine de. The Little Prince
Satir, Virginia. The New Peoplemaking
Sharp, Gene. The Politics of Nonviolent Action (3 vols)
Sibley, Mulford Q. The Quiet Battle: Writings on the Theory &
Practice of Non-Violent Resistance
Thich Nhat Hanh. Being Peace
Thoreau, Henry David. Walden & The Duties of Civil Disobedience
Trumbo, Dalton. Johnny Got His Gun
Universal House of Justice. The Promise of World Peace: A Baha'i Statement on Peace
Vogt, Wolfgang R. & Jung, Eckhard. Kultur des Friedens: Wege zu einer Welt ohne Krieg (Culture of Peace: Roads to a World without War)
Waltz, Kenneth. Man the State and War *PS*
Walzer, Michael. Just and Unjust Wars: A Moral Argument with Historical Illustrations
Webster-Doyle, Terrence. Why Is Everybody Always Picking On Me? A Guide to Handling Bullies
Wink, Walter. Engaging the Powers: Discernment and Resistance in a World of Domination
Winn, Albert Curry. Ain't Gonna Study War No More
Woolf, Virginia. The Three Guineas
Yoder, John Howard. The Politics of Jesus *PS*