18 Feb 10 For 10 Nonfiction Picture Book Event – Books That Inspire Change
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.