Book by BookPeace is elu­sive. It is a goal of some peo­ple at some time in some parts of the world. As John Lennon wrote: “Imag­ine no pos­ses­sions / I won­der if you can / No need for greed or hunger / A broth­er­hood of man / Imag­ine all the peo­ple shar­ing all the world …”

Is peace pos­si­ble? Do we give up because there will always be peo­ple who want pow­er, mon­ey, land … or just plain don’t like the kid next door?

Kudos and plau­dits to teach­ers, par­ents, librar­i­ans, and chil­dren who con­tin­ue to talk about, teach, and mod­el peace­mak­ing, con­flict res­o­lu­tion, and get­ting along.

Here’s an impor­tant resource, pub­lished in 2010 by Edu­ca­tors for Social Respon­si­bil­i­ty: Book by Book, an anno­tat­ed guide to young peo­ple’s lit­er­a­ture with peace­mak­ing and con­flict res­o­lu­tion themes, pre­pared by Car­ol Spiegel. You will find 108 pages of pic­ture book rec­om­men­da­tions and 74 pages of chap­ter book rec­om­men­da­tions. There is an index arranged by book theme as well as an index of authors and illus­tra­tors.

I found Ms. Spiegel’s “theme clus­ters” to be valu­able. For exam­ple, Under the top­ic of Cul­tur­al Com­pe­tence and Social Respon­si­bil­i­ty, she has list­ed:

• Appre­ci­at­ing cul­tur­al diver­si­ty
• Com­mu­ni­ty in action
• Prej­u­dice and dis­like, stereo­types, oppres­sion, racism, dis­crim­i­na­tion
• Gen­der roles
• Peace­mak­ing
• Diver­si­ty of cul­tures
• Diver­si­ty of indi­vid­u­als
• Respect for elder­ly and dis­abled
• Respect in gen­er­al

Ms. Spiegel worked with ele­men­tary schools in Saint Paul, Min­neso­ta, to set up peace­mak­ing and con­flict res­o­lu­tion pro­grams. She began keep­ing an anno­tat­ed list of use­ful chil­dren’s books, com­pil­ing more and more good books until she real­ized she had enough to cre­ate her own book. We’re glad she has shared her work!

Here are just a few of the books list­ed in Book by Book:

Bauer, Mar­i­on Dane: Dou­ble-Dig­it Club; Ear­ly Win­ter; On My Hon­or; Rain of Fire
Bausum_Ann: WiIth Courage and Cloth: Win­ning the Fight for a Wom­an’s Right to Vote
Bruchac, Joseph: Heart of a Chief; War­riors
Bryant, Jen: Pieces of Geor­gia
Cal­men­son, Stephanie: May I Pet Your Dog?
Cameron, Ann: Most Beau­ti­ful Place in the World; Sto­ries Huey Tells
Carl­son, Nan­cy: Acci­dent; Har­ri­et and the Gar­den
Casano­va, Mary: Wolf Shad­ows
Casil­la, Robert: First Day in Grapes; Up Coun­try
Com­pes­tine, Ying Chang: Rev­o­lu­tion is NOT a Din­ner Par­ty
DiCamil­lo, Kate: Because of Winn-Dix­ie
Fleming_Candace: Box­es for Kat­je
Grimes, Nik­ki: Barack Oba­ma, Son of Promise, Child of Hope; Dani­ta Brown, Class Clown; Oh, Broth­er!, What is Good­bye?
Hesse, Karen: Cats in Krasin­s­ki Square; Out of the Dust; Wit­ness
Jonell_Lynne: When Mom­my Was Mad
Joosse, Bar­bara: Stars in the Dark­ness
Minor, Wen­dell: Sky Mem­o­ries
O’Con­nor, Bar­bara: How to Steal a Dog: Beethoven in Par­adise
Park_Lin­da-Sue: Project Mul­ber­ry; When My Name Was Keoko; Yum! Yuck! a Fold­out Book of Peo­ple
Rock­lin, Joanne: For Your Eyes Only
Sid­man, Joyce: This is Just to Say: Poems of Apol­o­gy & For­give­ness


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