The following titles have been carefully selected by educational professionals. New titles are added every year. Titles in bold are the new books added for this year. Grade categories are only a guide. Children may choose from any level according to their interests and abilities. Books noted with an * are out of print and unavailable as a reward choice. They may, however, be checked out from the Central Plains Shalom Readers Library at our office in Freeman if they are not available in your church, school or public libraries. Please note that a $15.00 fee will be charged for each book that is borrowed from the SR library and not returned. This fee will be used to purchase replacement books.
Click here to download the 2020 new books.
Click here to download the 2019-2020 Book List.
Click here to download the list of out of print titles.
These books are still good and available in used bookstores, libraries or personal collections.
Books which are out of print (*) can often be found online.
Click here to download the 2020 new books.
Click here to download the 2019-2020 Book List.
Click here to download the list of out of print titles.
These books are still good and available in used bookstores, libraries or personal collections.
Books which are out of print (*) can often be found online.
Preschool thru Grade 2
A Crocodile for Aminata: A Story from Burkina Faso by Carol Shenk Bornman. Trafford Publishing, 2004. The people in Animata’s village work together to build a dam and eliminate their long walks to get fresh water.
All Kinds of Children by Norma Simon. Albert Whitman & Co. 1999. Children all over the world have many things
in common including their need for food, clothes, people to love them and a time to play.
All Things Bright & Beautiful by Cecil Frances Alexander. Ideals, 1992. A timeless message rings anew
in appreciation of God's creation.
Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman. Dial Books, 1991. What makes Grace so amazing? She'll surprise you.
Amelia’s Road by Linda J. Altman. Lee & Low, 1993. A young migrant girl finds a permanent home.
Beatrice’s Goat by Page McBrier. Atheneum, c2001. A young girl’s dream of attending school in her small
Ugandan village is fulfilled after her family is given an income-producing goat. Based on a true story about the work
of Heifer Project.
Being with You This Way by W. Nikola‑Lisa; ill. by Michael Bryant. Lee & Low Books, 1994. A lively rap poem
about human differences and similarities.
Best of All by Max Lucado. Illustrated by Sergio Martinez. Crossway Books Good News Publishers 2003. In a village where everyone has been carved from wood, an uppity Miss Bess Stovall claims her maple “ancestree” is
superior until the day a shunned willow fellow saves her life.
Cats in Krasinski Square by Karen Hesse. Illustrated by Wendy Watson. Scholastic, Inc. c2004. The cats in Krasinski Square once belonged to someone…And so did a young girl, whose family has been destroyed by war. Even
as she and her sister struggle to survive amid the war’s chaos, they risk their lives on a plan to help those still trapped behind Warsaw’s infamous Ghetto wall.
Cheyenne Again by Eve Bunting, illustrated by Irving Toddy c. 1995, 2002 by HMH Books for Young Readers. A boy named Young Bull is taken from his parents and sent to boarding school, where he struggles to hold on to his Cheyenne heritage even as he must learn the white man’s ways.
Cookies:bite-size life lessons by Amy Krouse Rosenthal; illustrated by Jane Dyer. HarperCollins, 2006. Cookies
is a new kind of dictionary, one that defines mysteries such as “fair” and “unfair” and what it really means to “cooperate.”
The Crayon Box that Talked by Shane DeRolf; illustrated by Michael Letzig. Random House 1997. Although they are many different colors, the crayons in a box discover that when they get together they can appreciate each other and make a complete picture.
The Curious Garden by Peter Brown, Little Brown & Company, c2009. Liam can be spotted on each page as he teaches himself to garden and his city becomes more vibrantly colorful.
Do Unto Otters: A Book About Manners by Laurie Keller. Henry Holt, 2007. Mr. Rabbit worries about getting along with his new neighbors, who are otters, until he is reminded of the Golden Rule.
Effie’s Image by N. L. Sharp; ill. by Dorothia Rohner. Prairieland Press, 2005. Through the love and acceptance of children, an elderly woman finds new meaning for her life.
Enemy Pie by Derek Munson. Chronicle Books, 2000. Hoping that the enemy pie which his father makes will help him get rid of his enemy, a young boy finds that instead it helps him make a new friend.
Everybody Cooks Rice by Norah Dooley. Carolorhada Books, 1991. A girl goes to find her brother and ends up in different households, each cooking rice in different ways.
Families are Different by Nina Pellegrini. Holiday House, 1991. Nico, an adopted Korean girl, realizes how different families can be and what makes each special.
Feathers and Fools: A Modern Fable by Mem Fox. Harcourt Brace, 1996. The mistrust of the swans and peacocks leads to a terrible fight but there is hope in the young who haven't learned to hate each other.
The First Strawberries: A Cherokee Story retold by Joseph Bruchac. Penguin Young Readers Group 1998. This legend explains the origins of strawberries, grown by the sun to help the first man and woman patch a quarrel.
Four Feet, Two Sandals by Karen Williams. Eerdmans, c2007. Two young Afghani girls living in a refugee camp in Pakistan share a precious pair of sandals brought by relief workers.
The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. Harper & Row, 1964. A boy and a tree are friends.
Good Rosie by Kate DiCamillo; illustrated by Harry Bliss. Candlewick, c2018. Rosie learns to make friends in the comic book panels of this book.
The Great Kapok Tree: A Tale of the Amazon Rain Forest by Lynne Cherry. Harcourt Brace, c1990. The many different animals that live in a great kapok tree in the Brazilian rain forest try to convince a man with an ax of the importance of not cutting down their home.
Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert. Harcourt Brace, 1987. Father and child share the simple joy of planting, watering and watching seeds grow in the family garden.
Henry and the Kite Dragon by Bruce Edward Hall; illustrated by William Low. Philomel Books, 2004. In a story based on real events in New York’s Chinatown in the 1920's, children from Little Italy keep demolishing Grandfather Chin’s magnificent kites. After Henry Chu and his friends discover why, the children negotiate a satisfying resolution for their problem.
How Full Is Your Bucket? For Kids by Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer. Gallup Press, 2009. A little boy named Felix learns that being kind to others not only helps them, but him as well.
If You Plant a Seed by Kadir Nelson c. 2015 Balzer & Bray. With spare text and breathtaking oil paintings, this story demonstrates not only the process of planting and growing for young children but also how a seed of kindness can bear sweet fruit.
I Know A Lady by Charlotte Zolotow. Puffin, 1986. A child describes the many things she enjoys about her elderly neighbor.
In the Trunk of Grandma’s Car: the Story of Edna Ruth Byler and Ten Thousand Villages by Donna J. Stoltzfus. Masthof Press, 2014. (Available at Mastof Press.com) The true story of Edna Ruth Byler and her trip to Puerto Rico in 1946, where she met women who struggled to find employment so they could feed their families. Her humble efforts to help the women by selling their hand-crafted items grew to become Ten Thousand Villages, a fair-trade company that markets hand crafted items from all around the world.
Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig; illustrated by Patrice Barton. Random House Children’s Books, c.2013. Brian Meet Brian, the invisible boy. Nobody ever seems to notice him or think to include him in their group, game, or birthday party . . . until, that is, a new kid comes to class. When Justin, the new boy, arrives, Brian is the first to make him feel welcome. And when and Justin team up to work on a class project together, Brian finds a way to shine.
It's Mine! a Fable by Leo Lionni. Alfred K. Knopf, 1985. It's better to share.
I Walk with Vanessa: A Story About a Simple Act of Kindness by Kerascoet. Schwartz & Wade c 2018. A single act of kindness leads to a community of upstanders in this wordless picture book.
Jamaica's Find by Juanita Havill. Houghton Mifflin, 1987. A girl finds a stuffed dog in the park and decides to take it home.
The Kindness Quilt by Nancy Wallace. M. Cavendish Children, c2006. Minna does a lot of thinking about her project to do something kind, make a picture about what she did, and share it with her classmates, but finally comes up with an idea that spreads to the whole school.
Last Stop on Market Street by Matt De La Pena; illustrated by Christian Robinson. Putman’s c2015. A young boy, CJ, rides the bus across town with his grandmother and learns to appreciate the beauty in everyday things.
Let's Be Enemies by Janice May Udry. Harper Collins, 1961. Two friends experience the happiness but also unexpected difficulties that go with a friendship relationship.
Listen to the Wind: The Story of Dr. Greg and the Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson. Dial, 2009. Tells the story of Dr. Greg Mortenson's promise to build a school in a remote Himalayan village after the villagers saved his life.
Maddi’s Fridge by Lois Brandt; illustrated by Vin Vogel. Flashlight Press, 2014. Maddi’s fridge is almost empty, while Sophia’s is full of food. How can Sophia help her friend Maddi without breaking her promise not to tell anyone?
Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match / Marisol McDonald no Combina by Monica Brown; illustrated by Sara Palacius. Lee and Low, 2011. Marisol McDonald, a biracial, nonconformist, soccer-playing pirate-princess with brown skin and red hair, celebrates her uniqueness.
Migrant by Maxine Trottier. Groundwood Books, c2011. Anna belongs to a group of Mennonites who moved to Mexico in the 1920s, but still migrate to Canada annually to labor in the fields. She wonders what it would be like to be a tree with deep roots as opposed to a feather in the wind.
Milo and the Magic Stone by Mark Pfister. Scholastic, 1995. A story with two endings. One shows the consequences of the failure to care for the earth and others, the other ending shows the reward of giving and sharing.
Odd Velvet by Mary Whitcomb. Chronicle Books, 1998. Although she dresses differently from the other girls and does things which are unusual, Velvet eventually teaches her classmates that even an “outsider” has something to offer.
Old Turtle by Douglas Wood. Pfeifer Hamilton, 1991. A wise old turtle reminds all the earth creatures, plants, and people that God is in everything.
On Meadowview Street by Henry Cole. Greenwillow Books, 2007. Upon moving to a new house, a young girl and her parents encourage wildflowers to grow and birds and animals to stay in their yard, which soon has the whole suburban street living up to its name.
One Green Apple by Eve Bunting. Clarion, 2006. What does it feel like to be different and alone? We learn that each person has something unique to contribute to the good of all.
One Smile by Cynthia McKinley; illustrated by Mary Gregg Byrne. Illumination 2002. When a child smiles at a stranger, she sets off a chain of kindness that eventually comes full circle.
The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson. GP Putnam's Sons, 2001. Two girls are forbidden to play with each other on the other side of the fence. They become friends anyway while sitting on the fence and talking.
A Pair of Red Clogs by Masako Matsuno. Purple House Press, 2002. (Reissue from 1981) A child’s delight in a new pair of shoes is the same all over the world, whether the shoes are patent leather sandals, deerskin moccasins, or wooden clogs.
Peace Begins With You by Katherine Scholes. Sierra Club Books/Little Brown, 1989. Poetic style of prose describes the many feeling and conditions of peace and the absence of peace.
The Peace Book by Todd Parr. Little Brown, 2004. Each page shows a different definition of peace.
Peace Week in Miss Fox’s Class by Eileen Spinelli. Albert Whitman & Company, 2009. For “Peace Week”, the animals in Miss Fox’s class find ways to be peaceful instead of squabbling with each other.
Peter's Chair by Ezra Jack Keats. Harper Collins, 1967. There is a new baby in the family and Peter needs to make adjustments.
The Quarreling Book by Charlotte Zolotow. Harper Collins, 1982. The reality and challenge of facing everyday encounters in story form.
The Rag Coat by Lauren Mills. Little Brown & Co., 1991. Minna wears her new coat to school, where she receives interesting responses.
Rainbow Fish and the Big Blue Whale by Marcus Pfister. North‑South Books, 1998. The fish with jagged fins wonders about the big blue whale. “Look out!” he warns. How do they find a way to make peace?
Say Something by Peggy Moss; ill. by Lea Lyon. Tilbury House, 2004. A child who never says anything when other children are being teased or bullied finds herself in their position one day when jokes are made at her expense and no one speaks up.
Seven Brave Women by Betsy Hearne. Greenwillow, 1997. A young girl tells a short story about the adventures of seven of her female ancestors including one who is a Mennonite.
Silent Music: A Story of Baghdad by James Rumford. Roaring Book Press, 2008. As bombs and missiles fall on Baghdad in 2003, a young boy uses the art of calligraphy to distance himself from the horror of war.
The Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler. Chicago Children’s Museum, 2005. A rhyming verse that looks at human diversity by focusing on skin.
Snow in Jerusalem by Deborah da Costa. Albert Whitman & Company 2001. Although they live in different quarters in Jerusalem, a Jewish boy and a Muslim boy are surprised to discover they have been caring for the same stray cat.
Somewhere Today: A Book of Peace by Shelley Moore Thomas. Albert Whitman & Co., 1998. This book gives examples of ways in which people bring about peace by doing things to help and care for one another and their world.
The Spelling Window by Dawn L. Watkins. Bob Jones University Press, 1993. Shelly doesn't like her deaf neighbor Seth's loud voice and exuberance the way her sister Kathy does, until a field trip and an emergency help her to better understand his feelings.
The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles. Scholastic, 1995. The story of six-year-old Ruby's faith and courage in 1960 as the first black child to attend an all-white elementary school in New Orleans.
The Story of Ferdinand by Monro Leaf. Viking Press, 1936. A bull would rather sit and smell the flowers than be a vicious bull for a matador in a bull fight.
Tap‑tap by Karen Lynn Williams: Clarion, 1995. A young Haitian girl is finally old enough to help her mother carry baskets of fruit to market and is rewarded with a ride on a “tap-tap”, a brightly painted truck/taxi.
This Is the Way We Go To School by Edith Baer. Scholastic, 1990. How do children around the world go to school? In many ways!
This Little Light of Mine ill. by E. B. Lewis. Simon and Schuster, 2005. An illustrated version of the traditional song about letting one's light shine. Illustrations show how one boy becomes a shining light in his own neighborhood.
Tomas and the Library Lady by Pat Mora. Random House, 1997. A young migrant worker boy is befriended by a small-town librarian and discovers the joy of books the summer he is in the area.
Too Many Carrots by Katy Hudson. Capstone c2016. Rabbit has lots of carrots, and he attempts to take them with him when he moves in with friends – until he realizes that the best thing to do is share his carrots with all his friends.
The Two of Them by Aliki. Greenwillow Books, 1979. The relationship between a grandfather and a granddaughter are described.
Walk in Peace by Ingrid Hess. Herald Press, 2009. This book depicts children from all over the world engaged in various activities, each ending with a prayer for God’s protection and a reminder to walk in peace.
Wake Up, Bertha Bear by Chad Mason. Down East Books, 2006. The animals of the forest hatch a plan to help a lost cub who has become separated from his mother.
Wangari's Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa by Jeanette Winter. Harcourt, 2008. Tells the story of Wangari Maathai, a Nobel Prize-winning environmentalist who, shocked to see entire forests being cut down in her native country of Kenya, decides to take action, beginning with the planting of nine seedlings in her own backyard.
The War Between the Vowels and the Consonants by Priscilla Turner. Farrar Straus Giroux, 1996. In the hidden life of letters, enemies become friends and discover that the pen really is mightier than the sword.
We Can Get Along; A Child's Book of Choices by Lauren Murphy Payne. Free Spirit Publishing, 1997. The simple text describes how it feels when people get along well together and when they do not. It explains that one has control over how one reacts in both kinds of situations.
We Planted a Tree by Diane Muldrow; illustrated by Bob Staake. Golden Books, 2010. Two young families in two very different parts of the world plant a tree. As the trees flourish, so do the families...while trees all over the world help clean the air, enrich the soil, and give fruit and shade.
We Share One World by Jane Hoffelt; illustrated by Marty Husted. Illumination 2006. A young boy dreams of world peace as he realizes that people everywhere are really the same.
The Wednesday Surprise by Eve Bunting; illustrated by Donald Carrick. Houghton Mifflin 1989. Anna and Grandma are planning a surprise for Dad’s birthday. Dad thinks he has received all his presents, but Grandma stands up and gives him the best one of all: she reads aloud the stories that Anna has taught her.
What Does It Mean To Be Global by Rana DiOrio; illustrated by Chris Hill. Source Books Little Pickle Press c. 2009 - Can you say "hello" in nine languages? You can! Join children from around the world as they play, sing, and travel, trying all types of food and experiencing other traditions. Living respectfully and peacefully with one another, they celebrate diversity, see how their actions affect another person's experience, and come to understand that being global means being a citizen of the world.
What Does Peace Feel Like? by V. Radunsky. Atheneum, 2004. Portrays what peace looks, sounds, tastes, smells, and feels like to children around the world.
What if the Zebras Lost Their Stripes by John Reitano. Paulist Press, 1998. Would zebras stop being friends and fight each other if they lost their stripes and became different from each other?
Where's Chimpy? by Bernice Rabe. Albert Whitman, 1988. A little girl and her father search for a lost stuffed monkey.
The Whispering Town by Jennifer Elvgren, illustrator Fabio Santomauro, c. 2014 by Kar-Ben Publishing. The dramatic story of Anett and her parents living in a small Danish fishing village who, during the Holocaust, shelter a Jewish family in their cellar until they can be ferried to safety in Sweden.
Whoever You Are by Mem Fox. Harcourt Brace, 1997. Although there are many differences between people throughout the world, there are similarities that join us together such as pain, joy and love.
Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox. Kane Miller, 1985. A young boy befriends residents in a nursing home and helps one find her memories.
You Are Special by Max Lucado. Crossway c1997. Eli the woodcarver helps Punchinello understand how special he is – no matter what other Wemmicks may think.
Abuele’s Weave by Omar Castaneda. Lee & Low Books, Inc., 1993. A girl and her grandmother take their weaves to the marketplace.
Angel Child, Dragon Child by Michele Maria Surat. Raintree Publishers, 1983. A Vietnamese girl is teased in her new American school by a boy who doesn’t know her story. They find a magnificent way to be friends.
The Animals’ Peace Day by Jan Wahl. New York, Crown: 1970 (Outstanding illustrations). The animals gather for a peace day and dinner, and in no time, they get entangled in a quarrel. When fighting ends, they say they will try again tomorrow.
Apples for Immigrants by Lois Thieszen Preheim. Blue River Publishing, 1999. The lessons of sharing with a new Mennonite immigrant group over 100 years ago prompt sharing again.
Are You My Friend? By Janice Derby. Herald Press, 1993. A child notices how much people are alike aside from the way they look.
Bully Bill by Joy Birky. Herald Press, c2007. Bully Bill is like all bullies in the world: he thinks that because he can fight, he can get his own way. But when he meets another boy who makes friends by helping others, Bill becomes curious about how this happens. When Hal introduces Jesus and the Golden Rule to Bill, things begin to change for the better.
Castle on Viola Street by DyAnne Disalvo. Harper Collins, 2001. When a young boy hears about an organization that turns abandoned houses into homes, he discovers that his “castle” is on Viola Street.
Chinese Eyes by Marjorie An Waybill. Herald Press, 1974. Schoolmates tease a young girl about her eyes but she learns from her mother how great her eyes are.
The Color of Home by Mary Hoffman. Phyllis Fogelman Books, 2002. Hasson, feeling homesick after being forced to flee war-torn Somalia, paints a picture at school that shows his old home in Africa as well as the reason his family had to leave.
The Cornhusk Doll by Evelyn Minshull. Herald Press, 1987. A white pioneer girl tries to befriend the daughter of an Indian man injured in the family’s bear trap.
Cups Held Out by Judith Roth. Herald Press, 2006. A young girl and her father cross the border into Mexico where the child encounters poverty for the first time. Together, she and her dad consider what they can do to help.
Doorway to the World by Ronald Kidd. Habitat for Humanity, 1996. Ben dreams he is flying on a door to many homes in different parts of the world and helping to build homes.
Faith the Cow by Susan Bame Hoover. Brethren Press, 1995. The story of how Heifer Project began.
A Farm Boy’s Year by David McPhail. Athenaeum, 1992. A boy’s life on a New England farm in the 1800’s as glimpsed throughout the year.
The Folks in the Valley—a Pennsylvania Dutch ABC by Jim Aylesworth. Harper Collins, 1994. A Pennsylvania Dutch alphabet book about the people and activities of a Pennsylvania Dutch settlement in a rural valley.
I Sing for the Animals by Paul Goble. Bradbury Press, 1991. Reflections on how all things in nature relate to their Creator.
It’s George by Miriam Cohen. Greenwillow, 1988. George’s classmates make fun of him until they have a surprise.
Just like Us by Hiaroyn Oram. MorehouseÄBarlow, 1987. Billy lives on one side of a wall and the others ide is forbidden. What is the surprise on the other side?
The Legend of the Valentine by Katherine Grace Bond; illustrated by Don Tate. Zonderkidz, 2001. On Valentine’s Day during the sixties, Marcus, an African-American boy in a newly integrated school, used St. Valentine as a role model to heal the hate in his classroom.
Let’s Make a Garden by Tamara Awad Lobe. Herald Press, 1995. Children from many different cultures work together.
Make Someone Smile, and 40 More Ways to Be a Peaceful Person by Judy Lalli. Free Spirit Publishing, 1996. A collection of photographs (with words) of children modeling the skills of peacemaking and conflict resolution.
My Favorite Place by Susan Sargent and Donna Aaron Wirt. Abingdon Press, 1987. A blind child describes a trip to the seashore telling of the sounds, smells, tastes and other wonderful things to be found.
Nicolas, Where Have You Been? By Leo Lionni. Knopf 1987. A mouse is caught up in the claws of a huge bird and carried into the sky. How does he get the berries he was hoping to find?
Not So Fast, Songolo by Niki Daly. Theneum, 1985. A young village boy helps his grandmother do errands in the big city and is surprised in the end.
Planting Seeds by Patricia Quinlan. Annick Press Ltd., 1988. Parents explain that, like children, countries need to cooperate instead of fight.
Potatoes, Potatoes by Anita Lobel. Harper & Row, 1967. An old woman had a potato farm and two sons. One son joined the army of the East. The other son joined the army of the West. Find out what happened when the army met in front of the potato farm.
Praying with our Feet by Lisa D. Weaver, illustrated by Ingrid Hess. A group of friends go on a special walk to remind their neighbors that war does not bring peace in our world. They are praying with their feet, walking with the God of Peace.
Raising Yoder’s Barn by Jane Yolen; illustrated by Bernie Fuchs. Little Brown, 2002. An Amish community comes together to help when a family is in need.
Rose for Abby by Donna Guthrie. Abingdon Press, 1988. Abby asks herself the question, “Why are people hungry, cold and living in the streets? Then she knows what she must do and she does it.
The Sun and the Wind: An Aesop Fable retold by Cornelia Lehn. Faith & Life Press, 1983. Who is stronger, the sun or the wind?
Thank You World by Alice McGinty; illustrated by Wendy Halperin. Dial, 2007. Children from eight different countries celebrate the common joys of childhood, with illustrations that show how each boy and girl experiences sunshine, clouds, swings, and a mother’s love.
Two Sides of the River by David Crippen. Abingdon Press, 1976. The author, who lives in Kenya, tells the story of two feuding Kenyan families who live on opposite sides of a river and must come to terms with the meaning of brotherhood.
Trouble by Jane Kurtz. Harcourt Brace, 1997. The father of a young goatherd makes him a gebeta board in hopes of keeping him out of trouble, but he finds adventure anyway.
What I Like by Catherine & Lawrence Anholt. Putnams, 1991. Children share likes and dislikes and discover they feel the same.
You Are Not My Best Friend Anymore by Charlotte Pomerantz. Dial Books, 1998. Best friends Molly and Ben share everything until their big fight. Then they find a way to work out their difference.
Grade 3 thru 5
Abby Takes a Stand by Patricia McKissack; ill. by Gordan C. James. Viking, 2005. A grandmother recalls for her grandchildren what happened in 1960 in Nashville, Tennessee, when at the age of ten she passed out flyers while her cousin and other adults held peaceful protests to end segregation.
Ada’s Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay by Susan Hood; illustrated by Sally Wern Comport. Simon & Shuster Books for Young Readers, c2016. The true story of an orchestra made up of children who play instruments made of recycled trash.
An Angel for Solomon Singer by Cynthia Rylant. Orchard Books, 1992. A sensitive treatment of loneliness.
Baseball Saved Us by Ken Mochizuki. Lee & Low Books, NY 1993. A Japanese‑American boy in an internment camp during WW II learns to funnel his anger into a baseball game.
Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea. Delacorte Press, 2010. Seven fifth-graders at Snow Hill School in Connecticut relate how their lives are changed for the better by “rookie teacher” Mr. Terupt.
The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond by Brenda Woods. Penguin, c2015. A biracial girl finally gets to meet the African American side of her family.
Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan by Mary Williams. Lee and Low Books, Inc. 2005. A young boy unites with thousands of other orphaned boys to walk to safety to a refugee camp in another country after war destroys their villages in southern Sudan. Based on actual events.
The Bracelet by Yoshiko Uchida. Philomel Books, NY, 1976. A Japanese‑American girl remembers her friends as she leaves home to live in an internment camp during WW II.
The Butter Battle Book by Dr. Suess. Random House, 1984. Engaged in a long-running battle, the Yooks and the Zooks develop more and more sophisticated weaponry as they attempt to outdo each other.
The Butterfly by Patricia Polacco. Philomel, 2000. During the Nazi occupation of France, a French girl discovers that a young Jewish girl has been hiding in her cellar.
Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco. Philomel Books, 1992. A Jewish girl and two African‑American friends win over a shopkeeper and get a sunbonnet for the boys’ grandmother.
Christmas Menorahs: How a Town Fought Hate by Janice Cohn. Albert Whitman & Co, 1995. Two families ‑ one Jewish, one Christian ‑ and a community resolve to stand together against hate filled actions in their community. The story is based on real events in Billings, Montana in 1993.
Dad, Jackie, and Me by Myron Uhlberg. Peachtree, 2005. In Brooklyn, New York, in 1947, a boy learns about discrimination and tolerance as he and his deaf father share their enthusiasm over baseball and the Dodgers' first baseman, Jackie Robinson.
El Deafo by Cece Bell. Harry N. Abrams, c2014. In this graphic novel, the author recounts her experiences with hearing loss at a young age, including a bulky hearing aid, learning how to lip read, and determining her “superpower.”
Every Last Drop: Bringing Clean Water Home by Michelle Mulder. Orca Book Publishers c2014 - In the developed world, if you want a drink of water you just turn on a tap or open a bottle. But for millions of families worldwide, finding clean water is a daily challenge, and kids are often the ones responsible for carrying water to their homes. Every Last Drop looks at why the world’s water resources are at risk and how communities around the world are finding innovative ways to quench their thirst and water their crops. Maybe you’re not ready to drink fog, as they do in Chile, or use water made from treated sewage, but you can get a low-flush toilet, plant a tree, protect a wetland or just take shorter showers. Every last drop counts!
Extra Credit by Andrew Clements. Atheneum, c2009. Three young middle-school-age children, Abby, Amira, and Sadeed, exchange letters back and forth between the prairies of Illinois and the mountains of Afghanistan and begin to bridge a gap across cultural and religious divides.
Fire on the Mountain by Jane Kurtz. Simon & Schuster, 1994. A clever young shepherd boy uses his wits to gain a fortune for himself and his sister from a boastful rich man.
14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra Deedy; illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez. Peachtree, 2009. Presents an illustrated tale of a gift of fourteen cows given by the Masai people of Kenya to the U.S. as a gesture of comfort and friendship in the wake of the attacks of September 11, 2001.
Freedom Train by Dorothy Sterling. Scholastic, 1970. A biography of Harriet Tubman, who escaped from slavery, then led others along the same underground railroad.
The Goat Lady by Jane Bregoli. Tilbury House, 2004. Tells the story of an elderly French‑Canadian woman who lived in Massachusetts and raised goats to provide milk for people who needed it. Heifer Project benefited from her generosity.
Gleam and Glow by Eve Bunting. Harcourt Press, 2001. When Viktor's family has to flee their home, he puts his pet goldfish in their backyard pond hoping they will somehow survive until he can return to care for them.
Goin' Someplace Special by Patricia McKissack: Atheneum 2001. A young girl visits a special place where all are welcome, regardless of their skin color.
The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes. Harcourt Brace, 1994. A story about friendships and hurtful teasing.
If the World Were a Village: A Book about the World's People by David J. Smith; illustrated by Shelagh Armstrong. Kids Can Press, 2002. Imagine the world as a village of just 100 people. This book tells us who we are, where we live, what languages we speak, and what religions we practice.
The Jacket by Andrew Clements. Simon and Schuster, 2002. Sixth‑grader Phil comes to an awareness of his own racial prejudice after he sees Daniel, an African‑American boy, wearing his brother's one‑of‑a‑kind jacket and leaps to the conclusion that Daniel has stolen the coat.
Jake Drake, Bully Buster by Andrew Clements; illustrated by Amanda Harvey. Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, 2001. Jake faces the challenge of cooperating with the school bully on a class project.
Just A Dream by Chris Van Allsburg. Houghton Mifflin, 1990. A young boy dreams about a future earth devastated by pollution and then understands the importance of caring for the earth now.
The Kid Who Changed the World by Andy Andrews. Thomas Nelson, c2014. Based on true stories, this book shows how ordinary kids can grow up and change the world.
Leagues Apart: The Men and Times of the Negro Baseball League by Lawrence S. Ritter. Morrow Jr. Books, 1995. A story of the players in the league and the racism they faced.
The Lemonade War by Jacqueline Davies. Houghton Mifflin, 2007. When a brother and sister set up competing lemonade stands, they see how arguments can escalate beyond anyone’s intent.
The Liberation of Gabriel King by K.L. Going. Putnam’s, c2005. Gabriel, a white boy who is being bullied, and Frita, an African-American girl facing prejudice, decide to overcome their many fears together as they enter fifth grade in Georgia in 1976.
A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park. Clarion, 2010. When the Sudanese civil war reaches his village in 1985, eleven-year-old Salva becomes separated from his family and must walk with other Dinka tribe members through southern Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya in search of safe haven. Based on the life of Salva Dut, who, after emigrating to America in 1996, began a project to dig water wells in Sudan.
The Lotus Seed by Sherry Garland. Harcourt Brace & Co., 1993. A grandmother recalls life in Vietnam and passes along her family's rich heritage to her grandchildren in America.
The Mangrove Tree: Planting Trees to Feed Families by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore. Lee & Low, 2011. With alternating verse and prose passages, this book invites readers to discover how Dr. Gordon Sato’s mangrove tree-planting project transformed an impoverished village into a self-sufficient community.
Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen Rappaport. Jump Sun, 2001. Provides information about King and his crusade for civil rights, as well as a sample of his own powerful words.
Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine. Philomel, 2010. Ten-year-old Caitlin, who has Asperger’s syndrome, struggles to understand emotions, show empathy, and make friends at school, while at home she seeks closure by working on a project with her father.
Molly's Pilgrim by Barbara Cohen. Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books, 1983. Molly brings her Pilgrim doll to school and the whole third grade learns that it takes all kinds of Pilgrims to make a Thanksgiving.
Mr. Lincoln’s Way by Patricia Polacco. Philomel, 2001. When Mr. Lincoln, the coolest principal in the whole world, discovers that Eugene the school bully knows a lot about birds, he uses this interest to help Eugene overcome his intolerance.
Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters: An African Tale by John Steptoe. Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books, 1987. One sister is rewarded for her kindness to the people and animals she meets on her journey.
My Name is Maria Isabel by Alma Flor Ada. Simon & Schuster, 1995. Maria Isabel, born in Puerto Rico and now living in the United States, wants badly to fit in at school, and the teacher’s writing assignment “My Greatest Wish” gives her that opportunity.
Navajo Long Walk by Nancy M. Armstrong. Scholastic, 1994. A young Navajo boy, Kee, must travel 300 miles with his family by order of the US cavalry. He makes friends with the Captain’s son, but still hopes they will be able to return to their beloved land and way of life.
One Grain of Rice by Demi. Scholastic, 1997. A mathematical tale that has a young peasant girl reminding the Ruler of the benefits of caring for and feeding the people around him.
Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper. Simon and Schuster, 2010. Considered by many to be mentally challenged, a brilliant young girl with cerebral palsy discovers a technological device that allows her to speak for the first time in her life. At last she has a voice, but not everyone is ready to hear it.
Peace Tales: World Folktales to Talk About by Margaret Read MacDonald. Linnet Books, 1992. Stories of peace from around the world.
Peace, Locomotion by Jacqueline Woodson. Putnam's, 2009. When war directly affects the family, 12-year-old Lonnie ("Locomotion") begins to hope and pray for peace and to grapple with its meaning.
People by Peter Spier. Double Day, 1980. Delightful illustrations with words celebrating the many differences of people around the world.
A Picture Book of Anne Frank by David A. Adler. Holiday House, 1994. An introduction to Anne Frank's life story in pictures and an outline of events in her life.
Pink and Say by Patricia Polacco. Philomel Books, 1994. Two young boys - one black, one white - desert the army during the Civil War. Only one lives to tell of their friendship and dangerous journey.
Playing War by Kathy Beckwith. Tilbury house, 2005. Four neighborhood boys enjoy dividing into soldiers and enemies to play war, but when Sameer, a new boy in the neighborhood tells of losing his family in a real war, they come to feel differently about the game.
The Pushcart War by Jean Merrill. Dell, 1987. A light hearted but perceptive satire on war. Pushcarts and giant trucks engage in the streets of New York.
The Quiltmaker's Gift by Jeff Brumbeau. Pfeifer‑Hamilton, 2000. A generous quiltmaker gives only to the poor, so how will the greedy king get one of her quilts? Through a change of heart, of course!
The Quiltmaker’s Journey by Jeff Brumbeau; ill. by Gail de Marcken. Orchard Books, 2004. Prequel to The Quiltmaker’s Gift. The quiltmaker grows up wealthy and sheltered, but radically changes her life after she discovers the poverty and need outside her town and finds happiness through giving.
Reign, Rain by Ann M Martin, Feiwel & Friends c2014 - Rose Howard is obsessed with homonyms. She's thrilled that her own name is a homonym, and she purposely gave her dog Rain a name with two homonyms (Reign, Rein), which, according to Rose's rules of homonyms, is very special. Not everyone understands Rose's “rules” and other things that make her different – not her teachers, not other kids, and not her single father. When a storm hits their rural town, the roads are flooded, and Rain goes missing. Now Rose has to find her dog, even if it means leaving her safe places to search.
Remember: Tthe Journey to School Integration by Toni Morrison. Houghton Mifflin, 2004. Photographs from the 1950s bring to life the experiences and emotions of the African‑American students who were at the center of school integration. The author imagines the thoughts and feelings of some of the people in the pictures to help us understand this time in history.
Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes by Eleanor Coerr. Putnam, 1977. Sadako is a Japanese heroine who died at age twelve of leukemia as a result of radioactivity after an atom bomb was dropped on the city of Hiroshima.
Sara, Plain and Tall by Patricia MacLachlan, Harper Collins, 1985. Sara answers an ad in the newspaper and moves from Maine to a prairie home. Happiness comes with hope and a loving family.
Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family’s Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh. Harry N. Abrams, c2014. Years before the US Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education, Sylvia Mendez, an eight-year-old of Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage, played an instrumental role in a landmark 1946 California desegregation case.
Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. Dell, 1992. A heartwarming story about a lost beagle and his search for a good home.
Shiloh Season by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. Simon and Schuster, 1996. A sequel to Shiloh. The boy uses his dog Shiloh to begin a friendship with Jeb, who had mistreated Shiloh.
Saving Shiloh by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. Simon and Schuster, 1999. The last in the trilogy. The boy and Shiloh help Jeb by compassionate caring and receive help from Jeb in return.
Sit-in: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down by Andrea Davis Pinkney; illustrated by Brian Pinkney. Little Brown, 2009. Tells the story of four young men who followed Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words of peaceful protest and dared to sit at the “whites only” Woolworths lunch counter.
Smoky Night by Eve Bunting. Harcourt Brace, 1994. When riots break out in the streets of their neighborhood in Los Angeles, a young boy and his mother learn the value of getting along with others no matter what their nationality.
Spy for the Night Rider by David and NEA Jackson. Bethany House Publisher, 1992. A biography of Martin Luther written through the eyes of a young person.
Sweet Clara and the Freedom Quilt by Deborah Hopkinson. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1993. A young slave girl stitches a quilt with a map pattern which guides her to freedom in the north.
Swords to Plowshares: The Creation of John P. Klassen’s MCC Medallion by Lisa Weaver: designed by Allison King; illustrated by Amanda Huston. Lion and Lamb Peace Arts Center of Bluffton, Ohio, 2014. (Available at http://bluffton.edu/lionlamb). This book shares the true story of Klassen gathering bullets scattered throughout his village in the Ukraine in the 1920’s and transforming them into a work of art, told through the eyes of young Isaak. Through his artistic gift, Klassen shares a message of transformation: bullets to bread, violence to peace, fear to courage, and despair to hope.
Sylvia & Aki by Winifred Conkling. Tricycle Press 2011. At the start of World War II, Japanese-American third-grader Aki and her family are sent to an internment camp in Poston, Arizona, while Mexican-American third-grader Sylvia’s family leases their Orange County, California, farm and begins a fight to stop school segregation.
The Table Where Rich People Sit by Byrd Baylor. Macmillan Publishing, 1994. Mountain Girl's parents help her understand that although they do not have lots of money they are rich in the things that matter, like seeing sunsets every day and hearing coyotes.
Tale of Three Trees Retold by Angela Elwell Hunt. David C. Cook c.1914. Featuring the wonderful illustrations of Tim Jonke, this best-selling children’s book tells the Easter story from a new and unusual point of view. Children will be deeply touched as they understand, perhaps for the first time, the significance of Christ’s life and his atoning sacrifice on the cross.
Talking Walls by Margy Burns Knight. Tilbury House Publishers, 1992. An illustrated description of walls around the world, from the Great Wall of China to the Berlin Wall, and information about their significance.
Teammates by Peter Golenbock, illustrator Paul Bacon c. 1990 HMH Books for Young Readers. The moving story of how Jackie Robinson became the first black player on a Major League baseball team when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1940s. On a fateful day in Cincinnati, Pee Wee Reese took a stand and declared Jackie his teammate. Illustrated with a blend of historic photographs and striking watercolors.
Tiger Boy by Mitali Perkins and Jamie Hogan. Charlesbridge, c2015. Neel races to find the escaped tiger cub before the poachers.
Train to Somewhere by Eve Bunting, illustrator Ronald Himler c. 1996, 2000 HMH Books for Young Readers. Historical fiction. Marianne, heading west in the 1920s with fourteen other children on an Orphan Train, is sure her mother will show up at one of the stations along the way. Stop after stop goes by, and there's no sign of her mother in the crowds that come to look over the children. No one shows any interest in adopting shy, plain Marianne, either. Then the train pulls into its final stop, a town called Somewhere in Iowa, where her new life begins, and hope and faith sustain her.
Treasure Hunt: A Shenandoah Valley Mystery by Eunice Geil Smith. Herald Press, 2006. An old diary hidden in the cellar leads Maggie to learn more about her family’s actions in the Civil War and their decision to be peaceful Mennonites.
Troublemaker by Andrew Clements. Atheneum, 2011. When his older brother gets in serious trouble, sixth grader Clay decides to change his own mischief-making ways, but he cannot seem to shake his reputation as a troublemaker.
Uncle Jed's Barbershop by Marjorie King Mitchel. Simon & Schuster, 1993. Despite some serious obstacles and setbacks, Sara Jean's Uncle Jed, the only black barber in the county, pursues his dream of opening his own barbershop.
Uncle Willie and the Soup Kitchen by Dyanne DiSalvo‑Ryan. Morrow Junior Books, 1991. A boy spends a day with Uncle Willie at the soup kitchen where he works preparing food for the hungry.
Walking With Jesus ‑ Stories About Real People Who Return Good For Evil by Mary Clemens Meyer. Herald Press, 1992. A collection of twenty short stories.
The Wall by Eve Bunting. Clarion Books, 1990. A boy and his father visit the Vietnam War Memorial to find the boy's grandfather's name.
Wish Tree by Katherine Applegate, illustrator Charles Santoso c. 2017 Feiwel Friends. Red, an oak tree who is many rings old, is the neighborhood "wishtree"—people write their wishes on pieces of cloth and tie them to Red's branches. You might say Red has seen it all, until a new family moves in. Not everyone is welcoming, and Red's experiences as a wishtree are more important than ever.
A Wolf at the Gate by Mark Van Steenwyck; illustrated by Joel Hedstrom. Mennonite Worker, 2015. An imaginative retelling of the legend of St. Francis and the Wolf. Red Wolf hates humankind for destroying the forest, but an encounter with a humble beggar teaches her a better way to confront injustice.
The World According to Humphrey by Betty G. Birney. Putnam's, 2004. Told from the point of view of Humphrey, the classroom pet hamster, this story could lead to a discussion of how we all make a contribution to learning if we see the needs of those around us. Humphrey's views underscore the importance of knowing the full story before making judgments, and his presence makes a positive difference in the lives of the people he meets.
The Wump World by Bill Peet. Houghton Mifflin, c1970. The Wump World is an unspoiled place until huge monsters bring hordes of tiny creatures from the planet Pollutus.
The Yellow Star by Carmen Agra Deedy. Peachtree Publishers, 2000. The story of how King Christian of Denmark led his people in civil disobedience by wearing the yellow star so that the occupying Nazi army could not tell who was a Jew and who was not.
The Bedford Adventure by Murial Leeson. Herald Press, 1987. While on vacation in England, Pete Murray learns personal lessons from the long dead John Bunyan, the author of the Pilgrim’s Progress.
The Big Book for Peace by various authors and illustrators. Dutton, 1990. Filled with stories, pictures, poems and even a song, this is a book about many kinds of peace. Funny, fanciful, serious and moving. It will be enjoyed by readers of all ages.
The Bully of Barkham Street by Mary Stolz. Harper and Row, 1963. School bully Martin struggles with his reputation—wanting to change but not knowing how.
Cecil’s Story by George Ella Lyon. Orchard Books, NY, 1991. A young farm boy faces his fears as his father goes to fight in the Civil War.
Coals of Fire by Elizabeth Hershberger Bauman. Herald Press, 1954. Seventeen stories from various geographic locations and religions in which people overcome evil with good.
Crossing Bok Chitto: A Choctaw Tale of Friendship and Freedom by Jim Tingle. Cingo Puntos Press, c2006. In the 1800’s, a Choctaw girl becomes friends with a slave boy from a plantation across the great river, and whens he learns that his family is in trouble, she helps them cross to freedom.
Dad, Why’d You Leave Me? By Dorothy Fast. Herald Press, 1992. When Ronnie’s father dies, he is confused and lonely, and he slowly learns to cope.
Desmond Tutu: Bishop of Peace by Carol Greene. Children’s Press, 1986. A picture story biography about a great South African anti-apartheid leader.
The Great Shalom by Peter J. Dyck. Herald Press, 1990. Another one of Peter’s delightful stories shared for young people growing in the Christian faith.
I’m Sorry Almira Ann by Jane Kurtz. Henry Holt & Co., 1999. Eight year old Sarah’s lively spirit helps make her family’s long journey from Missouri to Oregon by covered wagon more bearable. But her impulsiveness also causes major trouble for her best friend. Sara finds a way to make it up to her.
Jacob’s Little Giant by Barbara Smucker. Viking Kestral, 1987. A family becomes involved in an exciting experiment-raising geese to help save them from extinction.
Julia’s Words by Judith L. Roth; illustrated by Brooke Rothshank. Herald Press, 1990. At summer camp, a girl learns to experience the world more fully through all of her senses as her deaf bunkmate, Julia, teaches her to communicate through sign language.
A Leap of Faith, True Stories for Young and Old by Peter J. Dyck. Herald Press, 1990. A collection of true stories that are written to inform, motivate and educate.
Lenka of Emma Creek by Sophia Unruh. Faith & Life Press, 1989. Based on a true story of how a young girl discovered and helped a person treated unkindly by others.
The Lily Cupboard, A Story of the Holocaust by Shulamith Levey Oppenheim. A Trophy Picture Book, 1992. A young Jewish girl is sent into hiding during World War II to live with a non-Jewish farm couple.
The Long March: The Choctaw’s Gift to Irish Famine Relief by Marie-Louis Fitzpatrick. Tricycle Press, 2001. In 1847, when Choona and his Choctaw tribe hear of the famine in Ireland, they reach out across the ocean to help them.
Martha Berry: A Woman of Courageous Spirit and Bold Dreams by Joyce Blackburn. Peachtree, 1992. A farsighted pioneer in education started a school for underprivileged children in a tiny log cabin in the mountains of Georgia.
Martin Luther King: The Peaceful Warrior by Ed Clayton. Prentice Hall, 1967. The story of the life and ideas of this famous civil rights leader.
Mayfield Crossing by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson. Putnam Publishing, 1993. This is a story about baseball, school, friendships, and overcoming racial differences.
The Miracle Tree by Christobel Mattingley. Harcourt Brace, 1986. A tender sad story, and yet hope is expressed in this peace book.
Mother Theresa, Sister to the Poor by Patrica Reilly Giff. Puffin Books, 1986. A profile of the saint of Calcutta who cared for the starving and homeless whom others had abandoned.
My Hiroshima by Junko Morimoto. Viking, 1987 or Puffin Books, 1992. The author remembers her childhood in Hiroshima, the time of her country Japan during World War II and surviving the nuclear attack.
Nathan’s Secret by N Geraldine Plunkett. Brethren Press, 2000. Nathan’s father’s commitment to od does not allow him to fight in the Civil War. Although he is hiding from conscriptors, he risks his life to save a wounded soldier.
Peace Be With You by Cornelia Lehn. Faith & Life Press, 1980. But what of peace heroes? This book is filled with stories of heroes from biblical to present day “warriors” who have lived the Christian way of peace.
Peaceful Protest: The Life of nelson Mandela by Yona Zeldis McDonough; illustrations by Malcah Zeldis. Walker, 2002. A biography of the black South African leader who became a civil rights activist, political prisoner, and president of South Africa.
A Penny and Two Fried Eggs by Geraldine Gross Harder. Herald Press, 1991. Exciting stories about Christopher Dock, Christian Krehbeil and others. They had dreams to become leaders in early America.
Pink Paper Swans by Virginia Kroll. William B. Erdman’s Publishing Co., 1994. A young girl learns Japanese paper folding from a woman whose arthritic hands prevent her from doing the work.
The Queen’s Smuggler by Dave and Neta Jackson, Bethany House, 1991. A thrilling adventure story involving William Tyndale, a Christian hero of the past.
A Quiet Strength by Amelia Mueller. Faith & Life Press, 1992. The true story of Susana Ruth Krehbiel, a strong and brave woman.
Race for Land by Esther Loewen Vogt. Herald Press, 1992. Arriving from Russia, a Mennonite family participates in the Oklahoma Land Rush of 1893.
Rosa Parks, My Story by Rosa Parks. Deal, 1992. Rosa’s courage and extraordinary life show many accomplishments.
Selina and the Bear Paw Quilt by Barbara Smucker. Crown Publishers, 1996. Selina’s family’s Mennonite religion forbids them to go to war so they must leave their home in Pensylvania and flee to Canada.
Shalom At Last by Peter J. Dyck. Herald Press, 1992. Sequel to Great Shalom in which the forest animals make a real peace with Mr. Farmer and a happy ending results.
Starting School with an Enemy by Elisa Carbone. Cloonfad Press, 2005. (available directly from publisher: www.cloonfadpress.com) Worried about finding friends when she moves to a new school, ten-year-old Sarah gets off to a bad start by making an enemy of a boy, but with help works out a solution to the conflict.
Storytime Jamboree by Peter J. Dyck. Herald Press, 1994. Bible stories portrayed by animals: of peace, fairness, and living out the faith.
Ted Studebaker: A Man Who Loved Peace by Joy Hofacker Moore. Herald Press, 1987. The true story of a young conscientious objector from Ohio who went to Vietnam during the Vietnam War, not as a soldier, but as an agricultural worker.
A Toad for Tuesday by Russel Erickson. Beech Tree Books, 1974. An owl plans to keep and eat a toad he caught for a special birthday meal, but then a wonderful thing happens.
The War by Anais Vaugelade. Carolrhoda Books, Inc., 2001. Prince Favian does not want to fight his father’s war so he is sent into exile where he devises a clever plan to trick the Reds and Blues into stopping their war.
The White Father by Ruth Eitzen. Herald Press, 1995. Based on a true story experience near Cincinnati, Ohio in the early 1800’s, this is the story of a Quaker family who lived their peace convictions by treating the Indians as friends and equals.
Grade 6 thru 8
After Ever After by Jordan Sonnenblick. Scholastic, 2010. Jeffrey has been cancer-free for five years, but he and his friend Tad still have to cope with the emotional and physical aftermath of childhood cancer.
Aleutian Sparrow by Karen Hesse. McElderry, 2005. An Aleutian Islander recounts her suffering during World War II in American internment camps designed to “protect” the population from the invading Japanese.
Anything But Typical by Nora Raleigh Baskin. Simon and Shuster, 2009. Jason, a twelve-year-old autistic boy who wants to become a writer, relates what his life is like as he tries to make sense of his world.
Belle Teal by Ann M. Martin. Scholastic, 2001. A young white girl witnesses the integration of her public school in the early 1960's and realizes the importance of reaching out to others, even when it is difficult.
Blue Jasmine by Kashmira Sheth. Hyperion, 2004. When twelve-year-old Seema moves to Iowa City with her parents and younger sister, she leaves friends and family behind in her native India but gradually begins to feel at home in her new country.
Breaking Through by Francisco Jimenez. Houghton Mifflin, 2001. In this sequel to The Circuit, we learn about the prejudice and challenges a migrant family faces as they try to improve their lives and get an education.
The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare. Houghton Mifflin, 1961. This novel traces Daniel Bar Jamin's contact with Jesus and how it transforms his life.
The Circuit by Francisco Jimenez. Houghton Mifflin, 1999. Tells of a migrant family's experiences moving through labor camps and facing poverty, and discusses how they endure through faith, hope, and back‑breaking work.
Crash by Jerry Spinelli. Knopf Books for Young Readers. 1996. “Crash” has always been comfortable with his aggressive behavior, until his relationship with an unusual Quaker boy and his grandfather's stroke make him consider the meaning of friendship.
Darby by Jonathon Scott Fuqua. Candlewick Press, 2002. Darby stirs up strong emotions in her small South Carolina town when she writes a story for the local newspaper promoting racial equality.
Esperanza Rising by Pam Munoz Ryan. Scholastic, 2000. Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their life of wealth and privilege in Mexico to go work in the labor camps of Southern California, where they must adapt to the harsh circumstances facing Mexican farm workers.
The Fighting Ground by Avi. Harper & Row, 1984. The reader follows one day in the life of Jonathan, a Revolutionary War 13-year-old, as his view of war changes.
Finding Anna Bee by Cindy Snider. Herald Press, c2007. Anna Bee and her new friends at Camp Amani Ya Juu discover a mysterious bridge to the past where their adventures teach them first-hand about Christian faith heroes - and about themselves, each other, and the way of peace.
Fish by L. S. Matthews. Delacorte, 2004. Like the guide who looks out for Tiger's family as he leads them to safety, Tiger, a young child, protects a fish rescued before the family flees a war-torn country.
Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt. Penguin Random House c2015 very time she lands in a new school, Ally is able to hide her inability to read by creating clever yet disruptive distractions. However, her newest teacher Mr. Daniels sees the bright, creative kid underneath the trouble maker. With his help, Ally learns that dyslexia is nothing to be ashamed of.
Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson. Delacorte, 2004. Sixteen-year-old Hattie Brooks, who inherits her uncle's homesteading claim in Montana in 1917 while the U. S. is at war, encounters anti-German bias that endangers her new friends.
Henry's Red Sea by Barbara Smucker. Herald Press, 1955. A Mennonite history story of people fleeing homes and villages in Russia for new beginnings. The story of Mennonite Central Committee, Peter and Elfrieda Dyck, and the miracle of deliverance to freedom.
How Many Days to America? by Eve Bunting. Houghton Mifflin, 1990. A modern Thanksgiving story in which a boatload of Caribbean refugees wonders if they will make it to America and how they feel when they arrive.
I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Malala Yousafzai with Patricia McCormick. Young Readers Edition. Little Brown 2014. At the age of fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price for her desire to be educated. Malala has become the global symbol of peaceful protest and the youngest nominee ever for the Nobel Peace Prize.
Journey to Jo'burg by Beverly Naidoo. Harper & Row, 1986. Thirteen-year-old Naledi and her nine-year-old brother, Tiro, travel by themselves through more than 300 kilometers of South African countryside to save their baby sister.
The Land I Lost; Adventures of a Boy in Vietnam by Huynh Quang Nhuong. Harper Collins, 1982. The true story of a Vietnamese boy describes the tragedy caused by conflict.
Lizzie Bright and the Buckminster Boy by Gary D. Schmidt. Clarion, c2004. In 1911, Turner Buckminster hates his new home of Phippsburg, Maine. Things improve when he meets Lizzie Bright Griffin, a girl from a nearby poor island community founded by former slaves, which the town fathers - and Turner’s - want to change into a tourist spot
A Mango-shaped Space by Wendy Mass. Little Brown, 2005. Mia lives with synesthesia, an unusual condition she keeps a secret until 8th grade. When her condition makes learning impossibly confusing, she must go to her parents and a doctor for help.
Maniac McGee by Jerry Spinelli. Little Brown & Co. 1990. After his parents died his life changed and he became a legend. Kids still talk about how fast he could run and his fame at untangling a knot.
Night Diary by Veera Hiranandani, Puffin Books, c2019. Twelve year old Nisha writes letters to her deceased mother describing her life as a refugee in 1947 following India’s independence from Britain.
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. Dell, 1992. Somehow Anymore must find strength and courage to save her best friend's life in 1943 as Nazi soldiers march through towns and the war progresses. Life in Copenhagen, Denmark is experienced with food shortages and many changes.
Off to War: Voices of Soldiers' Children by Deborah Ellis. Groundwood Books, 2008. A collection of essays in which the children of Canadian and American soldiers who have been sent to war in Iraq share their feelings on their fathers' experiences and the impact they have had on their family.
On Fire For Christ by Dave and Neta Jackson. Herald Press, 1989. A collection of stories about Anabaptist martyrs.
Out of the Dust by Karen Hess c. 1997, 2005 Scholastic Inc. When Billie Jo is just fourteen she must endure heart-wrenching ordeals, but the quiet strength she displays is as surprising as it is inspiring. Written in free verse, this award-winning story is set in the heart of the Great Depression and chronicles Oklahoma's staggering dust storms, and the environmental--and emotional--turmoil they leave in their path.
Petey by Ben Mikaelsen. Hyperion, 1998. Through his friendship with Petey, whose cerebral palsy was misdiagnosed in his youth and who has spent his lifetime in institutions, a young teen learns that everyone deserves respect and dignity.
Plant a Seed of Peace by Rebecca Seiling. Herald Press, c2007. Forty-three illustrated stories of peacemakers from today and the past that tell of people whose lives point to something beyond themselves - a transforming faith in God.
Project Mulberry by Linda Sue Park. Clarion, 2005. Julia, a Korean‑American, and her friend Patrick learn about tolerance, friendship, and patience while working together on a project about silkworms.
Radical Jesus: A Graphic History of Faith edited by Paul Buhle et. al. c. 2013 Herald Press. This is arguably the first modern effort to convey through comic art the meaning of Jesus and his social message, not just in his own time, but also in the Radical Reformation, recent centuries, and in our own time.
Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry by Mildred Taylor. Dial Books 1991. During the 1930's the Logan family children struggle to understand and do not accept the disparities they face in their school and everyday lives compared to the white school and community.
Rules by Cynthia Lord. Scholastic 2006. Frustrated by life with an autistic brother, Catherine longs for a normal existence, but her world is further complicated by a friendship with a young paraplegic.
Shades of Gray by Carolyn Reeder. Macmillan, 1989. Fiercely loyal to the Confederate cause, twelve-year-old Will has lost all his immediate family in the Civil War and goes to live with his aunt and her family. There he learns that although Uncle Jed refused to fight, he is not a coward or a traitor.
The Shepherd’s Grand-daughter by Anne Laurel Carter. Groundwood Books, 2008. Amani, whose lifelong dream is to be a shepherd like her beloved grandfather, Seedo, is devastated to discover that the Israelis are going to build a settlement on the family homestead in Palestine. But while her uncle and brother prepare to take a militant stance, help comes from unexpected sources.
Silver People: Voices From the Panama Canal by Margarita Engle. Houghton Mifflin, c2014. Fourteen-year-old Mateo and other Caribbean islanders face discrimination, segregation, and harsh working conditions when American recruiters lure them to the Panamanian rain forest in 1906 to build the great canal.
Six Million Paper Clips: The Making Of A Children's Holocaust Memorial by Dagmar Schroeder-Hildebrand and Peter W. Schroeder. Kar-Ben Copies Ltd. c2004 describes the efforts of middle school students from the rural Tennessee town of Whitwell to create a Holocaust memorial, based on a collection of millions of paper clips intended to represent all of the victims exterminated by the Nazis.
So B. It by Sarah Weeks. Laura Geringer Books, 2004. After spending her life with her mentally disabled mother and being helped by their next-door neighbor’s loving attention, twelve-year-old Heidi sets out on a cross-country trip to find out who she is.
Sounder by William H. Armstrong. Harper & Row, 1969. This classic story tells what it is like to be poor, cold, and starving while your father is in jail.
Squint by Chad Morris and Shelly Brown. Shadow Mountain, c2018. Two new friends learn to trust each other and discover what matters most while dealing with their own challenges.
Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli. Scholastic c2000. A teen with a colorful personality, Stargirl, suddenly finds herself shunned because of her refusal to conform.
Sugar by Jewell Parker Rhodes. Little Brown, c 2013. In 1870, Reconstruction brings big changes to the Louisiana sugar plantation where a spunky girl named Sugar has always lived. Here is a story of unlikely friendships and how they can change our lives forever.
Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene. Dial Press, 1973. The story of an unlikely friendship between a twelve-year-old Jewish girl and an escaped German POW from an Arkansas camp during the 1940's.
Taste of Salt: A Story of Modern Haiti by Frances Temple. Orchard Books, 1992. Djo, a seventeen-year-old boy, tells his life story from a hospital bed after being beaten by government thugs. Jeremie listens and also tells her story. They both worked for Father (and later President) Aristide.
Thin Wood Walls by David Patneaude. Houghton Mifflin, 2004. When the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor, Joe Hanada and his family face growing prejudice, eventually being torn away from their home and sent to a relocation camp in California, even as his older brother joins the U.S. Army to fight in the war
Threads by Ami Polonsky. Chicken House c2009. To Whom It May Concern: Please, we need help! The day twelve-year-old Clara finds a desperate note in a purse in Bellman's department store, she is still reeling from the death of her adopted sister, Lola. Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, thirteen-year-old Yuming has lost hope that the note she stashed in the purse will ever be found. She may be stuck sewing in the pale pink factory outside of Beijing forever. Clara grows more and more convinced that she was meant to find Yuming's note. Lola would have wanted her to do something about it. But how can Clara talk her parents, who are also in mourning, into going on a trip to China? Finally, the time comes when Yuming weighs the options, measures the risk, and attempts a daring escape.
Three Cups of Tea: Young Reader's Edition by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin. Dial, 2009. Adapts for young readers Greg Mortenson's book in which he recounts the experiences he had while trying to help impoverished villages in Pakistan's Himalaya build schools for their children.
Trouble by Gary D. Schmidt. Clarion, 2008. Fourteen-year-old Henry, wishing to honor his brother Franklin’s dying wish, sets out to hike Maine’s Mount Katahdin with his best friend and dog, but fate adds another companion – the Cambodian refugee accused of fatally injuring Franklin – and reveals troubles that predate the accident.
Under the Same Sky by Cynthia DeFelice. Farrar Straus & Girous, 2003. While trying to earn money, a teen‑aged boy becomes involved with the Mexicans who work on his family's farm. A thought provoking book on the role and rights of migrant workers in the U.S.
Views from Our Shoes: Growing Up with a Brother or Sister with Special Needs; edited by Donald J. Meyer, illustrator Cary Pillo c. 1997 Woodbine House. Forty-five siblings, ages four to eighteen, share their experiences as the brother or sister of someone with a disability: autism, cerebral palsy, development delays, ADD, hydrocephalus, visual and hearing impairments, Down and Tourette syndromes. Their personal stories introduce young people to others like them, perhaps for the first time, and allow them to compare experiences. A glossary of disabilities provides easy--to--understand definitions of many of the conditions mentioned.
The Voice that Challenged a Nation: Marian Anderson and the Struggle for Equal Rights by Russell Freedman. Clarion Books 2004. Tells the life story of singer Marian Anderson, describing her famous 1939 Lincoln Memorial performance.
The War Game by Michael Foreman. Arcade Publishing, 1993. Some soldiers form friendships with "the enemy" in World War I.
The Well: David's Story by Mildred Taylor. Dial Books, 1995. When the wells run dry an African American family shares their well with all neighbors, including whites, who are not happy about the situation.
White Rose by Kip. Versify, c2019. This is the true story of a young nonviolent resister to Nazis during World War II, told in poetry form.
With the Might of Angels: The Diary of Dawnie Rae Johnson Hadley, Virginia 1954 by Andrea Davis Pinkney. Scholastic, 2011. Dear America Series. In the year 1955 in the state of Virginia, twelve-year-old Dawnie Rae, a tomboy who excels at baseball and at her studies, becomes the first African American student to attend the all-white Prettyman Coburn school, turning her world upside down.
The Witness by Karen Hesse. Scholastic Press, 2001. In a series of poems, people in a small Vermont town tell their story of how the KKK came and went.
Wonder by R.J. Palacio. Knopf 2012. Ten-year-old Auggie Pullman, who was born with extreme facial abnormalities and was not expected to survive, goes from being home-schooled to entering fifth grade at a middle school, which entails enduring the taunts and fear of his classmates as he struggles to be seen as just another student.
Words by Heart by Ouida Sebestyan. Bantam Books, 1981. A young black girl learns that winning a scripture memory contest may not overcome racial prejudices.
Zlata's Diary, A Child's Life in Sarajevo by Zlata Filipovic. Viking, 1994. A teenage girl chronicles her life while there is a war in her country and city.
Assassins in the Cathedral by Dave and NEA Jackson. Bethany House, 1999. A young Ugandan Christian boy learns the strength of loving enemies through tragedy in his family and the love of his church leaders during the terrible reign of Idi Amin.
The Betrayer’s Fortune by Dave and Neta Jackson. Bethany House Publishers, 1994. In Antwerp, Belgium in 1543 after his mother is arrested as a heretic, 15-year-old Adrien Wens flees with the Anabaptist preacher Menno Simons and must decide whether or not to turn Simons in to save his mother from death.
Blizzard’s Wake by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor. Atheneum, 2002. A survival story is combined with a teenage girl’s struggle to overcome hatred and learn to forgive.
The Christmas Surprise by Ruth Nulton Moore. Herald Press, 1989. Indians burn her home, kill her parents and take her brother captive. Kate is taken by her Uncle Josh to the Moravian town of Bethlehem, PA, here she experiences the love of peace and friendship for all people.
Color Me Dark by Patricia McKissack. Scholastic, 2000. Like many other African Americans, Nellie Lee’s family moves north in search of a better life, hoping to escape the racism of the rural south and take advantage of opportunities in the city.
Dakota Sons by Audree Distad. Harper & Row, 1972. The story ofa boy who finds out what friendship really means in the setting of American Indian Life.
The Day Pearl Harbor was Bombed-a Photo History of WWII by George Sullivan. Scholastic Books, 1991. A documentary containing historical photos and information about the Second World War.
The Fragile Flag by Jane Langton. Harper Collins, 1984. Georgie knew she had to march from her home in Massachusetts to Washington, DC with her fragile flag and her letter to the president. A serious, funny crisis-jammed story.
Friends and Enemies by Louann Gaeddart. Antheneum Books, 2000. In 1941 in Kansas, as America enters WWII, 14-year-old William finds himself alienated from his friend Jim, a Mennonite who does not believe in fighting for any reason and refuses to support the war effort in any way.
Gideon’s People by Carolyn Meyer. Gulliver Books, 1996. Two boys, one Jewish and the other Amish, face youthful rebellion against their traditional heritage and find similarities between the two religions.
Grab Hands and Run by Frances temple. Orchard Books, 1993. A boy, his younger sister and their mother make the dangerous journey north to Canada from El Salvador after the boy’s father disappears and is presumed murdered by government soldiers.
Jim Thorpe, 20th Century Jock by Rober Lipsyte. Harper Collins, 1993. A biography of an outstanding Native American athlete.
A Long Way From Home by Maureen Crane Wartski. Westminster, 1982. A Holocaust survivor recounts her liberation from a Nazi concentration camp, her search for surviving family members, and her struggle to reach America.
Oasis of Peace by Laurie and Ben Dolphin. Scholastic, 1993. Two Israeli boys, one Jewish and one Muslim meet at school and learn about each other’s cultures and ways of life. They confront their fears and develop a bond of respect and friendship.
The Ramsey Scallop by Francis Temple. Orchard Books, 1994. A betrothed young girl and young man in the early 14th century are sent by the village priest on a mission for the village. They learn each other’s strengths and how to work together.
Runaway to Freedom, a Story of the Underground Railroad by Barbara Smucker. Harper Collins, 1979. Two young slave girls escape from a plantation and wind a hazardous route toward freedom. Also published as Underground to Canada.
Running On Eggs by Anna Levine. Front Street/Cricket Books, 1999. When Karen and Yasmine become friends while members of a mixed Arab and Jewish track team, their family and friends disapprove. But the girls hold on to their friendship and the others learn from it.
Sara’s Summer by Naomi R. Stucky. Herald Press, 1990. A gentle story of everyday life in a Hutterite Colony.
The Second Bend in the River by Ann Rinaldi. Scholastic Press, 1997. An historical romantic novel about a friendship between a white pioneer girl and a powerful Indian chief.
The Storyteller’s Beads by Jane Kurtz. Harcourt Brace, 1998. Two Ethiopian girls face hardships and overcome prejudices in order to survive as they flee famine and war.
The Story of My Life: An Afghan Girl on the Other Side of the Sky by Farah Ahmedi. Farah, the victim of a land mine accident when she was a child, tells about her childhood in Afghanistan, a country trapped in war throughout her entire life. She discusses the challenges she has faced as a result of losing her leg, and in trying to adapt to living in the United States.
To Life by Ruth Minsky Sender. Puffin, 1990. A Holocaust survivor recounts her liberation from a Nazi concentration camp, her search for surviving family members and her struggle to reach America.
Tree Tall and the Whiteskins by Shirlee Evans. Herald Press, 1985. An Indian boy in frontier Oregon has his first encounter with white people and from one family learns to know Jesus and the Jesus way.
Waiting for the Rain: A Novel of South Africa by Sheila Gordon. Orchard Books, 1987. The story covers nine years in the lives of two friends—one black and one white—and the conflicts imposed on them by their cultures.
Winnie Mandela, the Soul of South Africa by Milton Meltzer. Viking, 1986. Winnie Mandela has endured hardship and banishment to challenge her nation’s racist policies.