Children’s Books on Human Rights

humanrightsLast week, Pakistani child education activist Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi, an Indian child rights campaigner, jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize.

The committee said Yousafzai and Satyarthi are being honoured for “their struggle against the suppression of children and young people, and for the right of all children to education”.

Millions of children around the world have no access to education, work long hours under hazardous conditions, or are forced to serve as soldiers in armed conflict. Young and immature, they are often easily exploited, and it is activists like Malala and Kailash that ensure those children have a voice.

Educating children about social justice and human rights allows them to understand the importance of treating people equitably and the responsibilities we all have to protect the rights of others.  By recognizing their own rights, children become aware of how they should be treated by others and how to stand up for these rights.

Books can be a great way to start the conversation about human rights, and Winnipeg Public Library has lots of resources that can be used by children, parents, caregivers, and educators.  You can find a booklist on our website entitled Children’s Books on Human Rights that provides a sampling of some of the amazing children’s books on human rights that you can find at the Library.  But for now, here are some of the highlights:

kidsIF KIDS RAN THE WORLD
By Leo Dillon and Diane Dillon

This picture book is a tribute to peace and a celebration of diverse cultures. Forgiveness and generosity are portrayed as essential, and the authors show children creating a more generous and peaceful world.

IT’S OKAY TO BE DIFFERENTdifferent
By Todd Parr

With simple text and playful illustrations, this picture book celebrates diversity and focuses on acceptance and individuality.

piecesPIECES OF THE PAST: THE HOLOCAUST DIARY OF ROSE RABINOWITZ, WINNIPEG, MANITOBA 1948
By Carol Matas

As Rose begins her diary, she is in her third home since coming to Winnipeg.  Traumatized by her experiences in the Holocaust, she struggles to connect with others, and above all, to trust again.

fattyFATTY LEGS: A TRUE STORY
By Christy Jordan-Fenton

The moving memoir of eight year old Margaret, an Inuit girl who refuses to be intimidated by a cruel nun at a residential school.  Margaret emerges with her spirit intact.

elephantsWHEN ELEPHANTS FIGHT: THE LIVES OF CHILDREN IN CONFLICT IN AFGHANISTAN, BOSNIA, SRI LANKA, SUDAN, AND UGANDA
By Eric Walters and Adrian Bradbury

When elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers. This ancient proverb means that when the large fight, it is the small who suffer most. Here are five very different and personal stories of children caught in a conflict.

classOFF TO CLASS: INCREDIBLE AND UNUSUAL SCHOOLS AROUND THE WORLD
By Susan Hughes

Travel to India, Burkina Faso, Brazil, Russia, China, Uganda, and a dozen other countries to visit incredible schools and meet the students who attend them.

Lindsay

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