Teachers for Teachers | 10 For 10 Nonfiction Picture Book Event – Books That Inspire Change
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10 For 10 Nonfiction Picture Book Event – Books That Inspire Change

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Each February, Cathy Mere from Reflect and Refine and Mandy Robek of Enjoy and Embrace Learning host the 10 for 10 Nonfiction Picture Book Event. We love this event because we learn about so many wonderful nonfiction picture books from other bloggers.  Now they have created a Picture Book 10 for 10 Google Community Site so it is easy to access all of the posts from prior years.  Thanks Cathy and Mandy for hosting us each year.  So…. on to our list!!

Teaching civic action and social responsibility has been an important part of our work this year.   Texts can help teachers foster important conversations in the classroom about the choices we have as citizens.   They help students to understand how we can all make a positive impact on others by the actions we choose.

As well as reading these texts aloud, many teachers in our partner schools use them to launch an opinion-writing unit of study in their classroom.   Nonfiction texts about different people who saw problems and created solutions, broaden students’ understanding of what they can do to make a difference and help them choose opinion-writing topics that really matter. These texts inspire students to write opinion pieces that encourage people to think about their own actions and actions they can do to support the larger community.  So, for this year’s nonfiction 10 for 10 here are ten nonfiction books to inspire civic action.

Before we go any further, we must give a “shout out” to Laurie Ryan at the Pine Hill elementary school.   Every time we visit her library, she shares some of her favorites titles with us. This list wouldn’t be complete without Laurie’s recommendations – Thank you Laurie!

One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference, Katie Smith Milway and Eugenie Fernandes

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This is the story of Kwabena Darko (Kojo) who was given a small loan to buy a hen. Kojo sells the eggs and begins to make money for his family. Eventually, Kojo becomes a poultry farmer and hires workers and brings income to his community. Kojo never forgets the initial loan he received and he in turn lends money to another person with a wonderful idea.

Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story From Africa, Jeanette Winter

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This nonfiction picture book about Wangari Maathai’s mission to replenish the indigenous trees of Kenya is thought provoking and easy-to-read.   With the help of many women in her community planted, her group replanted thirty million trees. Wangari’s words say it all, “The earth was naked. For me the mission was to try to cover with green.” Wangari was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004.

14 Cows for America, Carmen Agra Deedy, Thomas Gonzalez and Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah

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This is story of Kimeli Naiyomah and how he and the Mesai people gave 14 cows to America to show solidarity after the attacks on September 11th.   As Kimeli states, “To heal a sorrowing heart, give something that is dear to your own.”

Twenty-Two Cents: Muhammad Yunus and the Village Bank, Paula Yoo and Jamel Akib

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This is the story of how Muhammad Yunus created the Grameen Bank, a bank in Bangladesh that loaned money to women to establish their own businesses.

Can We Help? Kids Volunteering to Help Their Communities, George Ancona

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From knitting hats, working on a community farm, to training service dogs, this book shows kids making a difference in their community. We love the real photographs of students helping out in their communities.

One Plastic Bag, Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia, Miranda Paul and Elizabth Zunon

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Isatou Ceesay saw a problem and decided to do something about it. Plastic bags were littering the land so she and a group of women washed the bags, cut them into strips, and turned them into handbags to sell.  What an unbelievable story of determination and ingenuity.

Seeds of Freedom: The Peaceful Integration of Huntsville, Alabama, Hester Bass and E.B. Lewis

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This is the story of how a group of citizens fought for their civil rights and won. In the author’s note, Hester Bass urges all of us to take action, “That’s what happened in Huntsville.   That’s what is still happening across America and throughout the world. Sometimes all it takes is one person to start something good. In your community, that person could be you.” 

Olivia’s Birds: Saving the Gulf, Olivia Bouler

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After the 2010 Gulf oil spill, 11-year old Olivia Bouler wrote this book to raise money to help with the clean up efforts.   Olivia’s brings this nonfiction book to life with her drawings of the birds and an important message about what we can all do to protect the planet.

Beatrice’s Goat, Page McBrier and Lori Lohstoeter

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This book is about a family in Kenya who are unable to afford to send their daughter Beatrice to school.   Then one day the family receives a goat from Heifer International.     With the addition of the goat, and the family’s own ingenuity and hard work, they earn enough money to send Beatrice to school.

31 Ways to Change the World by 4,386 Children, We are What We Do and You!

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We know this book isn’t “officially” a picture book but we had to include it in this post. The book is filled with ideas for how children can change the world. From smiling more, to taking care of your things to asking “why” questions, this book gives readers concrete ideas about how they can make a difference in the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

18 Comments
  • Avatar
    Amy Rudd
    Posted at 11:00h, 19 February Reply

    Thanks for sharing this great list! I have heard of two of them (14 Cows, Olivia’s Birds)! The theme of inspiring change is powerful for teachers and students too. I will definitely read and share the stories with others!

    • Avatar
      Tammy and Clare
      Posted at 13:09h, 21 February Reply

      Hi Amy,

      So glad the list was helpful. We love the 10 for 10 events and can’t believe all the creative ways other bloggers have organized their lists. It was so nice to see you in Ohio.

      Best,
      Tammy and Clare

  • Avatar
    Rose. Cappelli
    Posted at 12:07h, 19 February Reply

    Thanks for the great suggestions! I missed this event this year but hope to be back again.

    • Avatar
      Tammy and Clare
      Posted at 13:11h, 21 February Reply

      Hi Rose,

      The 10 for 10 event is so much fun! We love looking at all of the ways others organized their posts. We hope all is well with you. Perhaps we will see you at the Penn State Literacy Conference?

      Best
      Tammy and Clare

  • Avatar
    Shelly Moody
    Posted at 13:01h, 19 February Reply

    I love the theme of your collection! Many of the titles are new ones for me to check out. Thanks for sharing!

    • Avatar
      Tammy and Clare
      Posted at 13:12h, 21 February Reply

      Hi Shelly,

      We had a lot of fun putting this collection together. NF Picture Book 10 for 10 is such a wonderful way for all of us to learn about new titles.

      Happy Reading!
      Best
      Tammy and Clare

  • Avatar
    Linda Baie
    Posted at 16:32h, 19 February Reply

    I like that you gathered these wonderful books together, and found new ones, Olivia’s Birds and that final one. I do love 14 Cows for America and Beatrice’s Goat very much, although the others are great too.

  • Avatar
    Stacey
    Posted at 21:51h, 19 February Reply

    I love many of these. That said, I was delighted to see Can We Help? Kids Volunteering to Help Their Communities on your list. It’s one that deserves more recognition.

    • Avatar
      Tammy and Clare
      Posted at 13:16h, 21 February Reply

      Hi Stacey,

      We have been sharing Can We Help? Kids Volunteering to Help Their Communities with teachers in all different schools. It is such a powerful book for readers of all ages. We are looking forward to reading your new book this spring 🙂
      Best,
      Tammy and Clare

  • Avatar
    Tara
    Posted at 23:29h, 19 February Reply

    Such a thoughtful list, addressing so many global concerns. Thank you!

    • Avatar
      Tammy and Clare
      Posted at 13:18h, 21 February Reply

      Hi Tara,

      We love seeing the way other educators put texts together – Such wonderful ideas for how to organize books in the classroom.

      Best,
      Tammy and Clare

  • Avatar
    Erika Victor
    Posted at 00:05h, 20 February Reply

    I LOVE your theme and list- I will be buying so many books this weekend!

    • Avatar
      Tammy and Clare
      Posted at 13:19h, 21 February Reply

      Hi Erika,

      Our reserve list at the library grow with every NF10for10 post we read!

      Best,
      Tammy and Clare

  • Avatar
    Carrie Gelson
    Posted at 05:47h, 20 February Reply

    A great theme! I have many of these books – it’s obviously something that speaks to me so I keep buying the books! Seeds of Freedom is a title I need to still read.

    • Avatar
      Tammy and Clare
      Posted at 13:21h, 21 February Reply

      Hi Carrie,

      You are going to love Seeds of Freedom – such a thoughtfully written story. Your NF10for10 theme inspired us to think about new ways to organize books in classrooms. Thank you!

      Best,
      Tammy and Clare

  • Avatar
    Cathy
    Posted at 12:59h, 21 February Reply

    Clare and Tammy,
    This is such a smart lens for our nonfiction event. These titles really speak to being able to make change. What a strong message for young students who can already make a difference. My library card is filling fast.

    Thank you for joining the conversation,
    Cathy

    • Avatar
      Tammy and Clare
      Posted at 13:22h, 21 February Reply

      Hi Cathy,

      Thank you for organizing and hosting this event. Each time we read a post, we find new titles to add to our TBR list.

      Best,
      Tammy and Clare

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