You don't have to be an adult to change the world. Kids are often eager to make a difference, but may not know where to start. Or worse, they don't feel empowered to do so. One way to encourage them to take a positive step forward is to read them books that teach children to take action and effect change.
Children want to make a difference and are more optimistic about the future than most adults. So it makes sense that parents give their children the tools to effect said change. And these changes don't have to be huge. Children can do a number of small things that make a big difference. Whether that's being kind to the kid in their class who may not be as outgoing, standing up to the school bully, or throwing their trash in the garbage and not on the ground,
But with so many naysayers in the world, it's easy to kids to doubt their abilities to make a difference. That's where books come into play. These stories will open children's eyes to a number of possibilities and inspire them to be the change they — and everyone around them — wish to see in the world.
1. 'I Can Do It Too' by Karen Biacker
In order for a child to change the world, they have to realize all the things they can do. In I Can Do It Too, a small child looks at all the things the adults do, and realizes that she can do them too. From pouring juice to riding a bike, there's no limit to what a kid can learn.
2. 'The Mitten Tree' by Candace Christiansen
Random acts of kindness inspire a lot of joy in The Mitten Tree. When a woman notices a boy at the bus stop with no mittens, she knits him a pair and leaves them in a tree. Soon she's knitting dozens of mittens, and the kids behold the tree as magical. Giving can be wonderful for the recipient and the giver.
3. 'Super Manny Stands Up' by Kelly DiPucchio
After school, Manny dons capes of every color and imagines fighting villains. When Manny witnesses a bully, he realizes it's his chance to be a hero in real life. Super Manny Stands Up illustrates how stepping up to help can inspire others to do the same.
4. 'The Invisible Boy' by Trudy Ludwig
Children may not realize how their smallest acts of kindness have a huge impact on someone else. In The Invisible Boy, Brian is a kid no one notices or plays with. But Brian is the first kid to welcome a new student in class. Suddenly, that small gesture of welcoming someone is the start of a wonderful friendship.
5. 'If The World Were A Village: A Book About The World's People' by David J. Smith
It's hard to grasp how many people live on Earth. If The World Were A Village uses 100 people to represent all the social, racial, and financial discrepancies in the world. This will be informative for kids and their parents alike.
6. 'Catch The Wind, Harness The Sun: 22 Super-Charged Projects For Kids' by Michael Caduto
If your child is a hands-on learner, you'll want to check out Catch The Wind, Harness The Sun. They'll learn about climate change and renewable energy while working on science projects. The tone of the book is upbeat and inspiring.
7. 'Choose To Matter: Being Courageously And Fabulously You' by Julie Foudy
Written specifically for girls by soccer star Julie Foudy, Choose To Matter sends a powerful message about leadership and self-acceptance. There are as many ways to be a leader as there are people, and Foudy details the ways you can play to your strength to make a real difference.
8. 'Gaby, Lost And Found' by Angela Cervantes
Gaby's future is uncertain; her mother was just deported to Honduras. Gaby worries not only about finding a home for herself, but also for a cat she met while volunteering at an animal shelter.Gaby Lost and Found is a wonderful story that handles a lot of relevant current issues, and Gaby's volunteerism is central to the story, showing that kids can make a difference and find issues they are passionate about.
9. 'The End Of The Wild' by Nicole Helget
Fern loves the forest that surrounds her house. It's her sanctuary from a difficult life of poverty with her stepfather and younger siblings. Allowing a company to frack on her beloved land could pull her family out of poverty, but Fern doesn't know if that's enough of reason to damage the land she loves so much. The End of the Wild highlights the tough choices we face about the environment and being stewards to it.