We have talked so much recently about raising activist kids and what we can do to help them and encourage them to get involved with whatever cause inspires them. And one of the first place we turn, are books. In this case, wonderful children’s books about activism.
Like so many of you, we have just been so inspired by the kids of Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School — and kids all over the country — who are speaking out and standing up against gun violence in schools and beyond. We’re also proud of the parents (and schools!) who are supporting these teens and their peaceful, impactful protests.
These kids are digitally savvy, smart, thoughtful, and have figured out how to mobilize all across the country to get their point across. And by the looks of things, they’re may in fact change the world where we adults have failed.
While it’s great to read children’s books about other activists, it’s a great idea to look at these books about activism for kids, that give our children more of a roadmap to bring their ideas to life.
Because I see my job as to give my kids all the tools I can, whatever their passions and concerns, so they can grow up with the courage and confidence to speak up against injustice of any kind, and to be brave enough to try to make a difference.
CMP is an rstyle affiliate.
Related: Kids and activism: 10 smart things kids can do to put their passions to good use.
What I love about You Are Mighty: A Guide to Changing the World by Caroline Paul and Lauren Tamaki is that it gives kids ideas for ways to make a difference, ranging from small changes at the family level (like, use fewer plastic bags) to creative inventions that could actually make massive change. The book helps them hone their ideas, and I like that the book includes tons of DIY projects to try out along the way.
If your kid is a data nerd like Liz [Editor’s note: It’s true!], then they’ll want to grab a copy of Chelsea Clinton’s It’s Your World: Get Informed, Get Inspired, and Get Going! Rather than simply coming up with an idea and running with it, this book teaches kids to look at data to make an informed decision about the best way they can apply their energy toward something that really will make a difference. She also gives kids suggestions for actions that they can follow up on, no matter how young they are. This is excellent reading for older kids, or for parents of younger kids so you can work together.
PS if you haven’t heard Liz’s inspiring Chelsea Clinton anecdote about kids and activism on the latest Spawned podcast, and how it’s impacted how Liz talks to her own kids about the issues they care about, it’s definitely worth a listen!
Be the Change: The Future Is in Your Hands by Eunice Moyle and Sabrina Moyle is a great resource for creative kids who aren’t quite sure what they want to do to make a difference in their community. There’s great info here about embracing diversity and respecting other opinions, which is a good life lesson for every kid. Civil discourse for the win! Once kids have developed an open mind, they can move on to making change happen with practical tips and interesting ideas for action in the book. It’s available for pre-order right now.
Related: 8 must-read new books for tweens and teens who want to stay woke
In my family, we’re all big fans off Marley Dias, the 11-year-old force behind the #1000BlackGirlBooks movement. And seeing as she reached her goal 10 times over, having collected 10,000 black girl books to date (whoa!), she is perfectly poised to write a book to help others. It’s called Marley Dias Gets It Done! And So Can You and I just love that this particular book about activism for kids comes from a kid’s own perspective, with a specific focus on how best to use social media for good.
Everyone Can Be a Changemaker: The Ashoka Effect by Christine Welldon is based on the practices of the Ashoka Network, a non-profit that provides mentorship and financial support to those who have a dreams of making the world a better place. The book covers the stories of 16 changemakers, complete with in-depth looks at how they each created meaningful change. For kids looking for a larger-scale project to tackle, this is great inspiration.