Tag Archives: social justice kids books
picture books for pairing: we move together & together we march
These titles feel made for pairing. They inspire understanding and they inspire action—together!
We Move Together by Kelly Fritsch, Anne McGuire, Eduardo Trejos (2021).
This picture book is one of my favorites of this year (of any year). It shows the different ways people move. It shows community. It shows accessibility –and inaccessibility. It shows the way, together, we solve problems and “build something better” for disabled people, something better for all.
An absolutely vital book that is practical, informative, action-oriented, and full of JOY.
“Access is Love.”
Together We March: 25 Protest Movements That Marched Into History by Leah Henderson, illustrated by Tyler Feder (2021)
This picture book is an incredible resource of research and inspiration, “a rich history and the often over-looked stories, revered moments, and courageous people who continue to teach us the importance of coming together to march.”
It features 25 marches for all kinds of rights over the last century and a quarter, a number of which involved children as key to march or movement. Some may be familiar, some completely new. Some are from the early 1900s, some from just last year. The book balances showing how powerful protest is and what marches have accomplished toward change for the better—a great deal—with what remains ahead: many more marches to go, much more change to make.
“It [The Longest Walk] is a shining example that marches don’t end after the last step, and we must continue to stand together to protect vulnerable communities.”
Kids are sure to want to get moving and marching and taking action after experiencing this picture book pair. Alone or, even better, together! To that end, I’m including some ideas below that might help them get them started.
Please share other action ideas in the comments if you’d like to provide further resources!
*Read the poem “You Get Proud By Practicing” by disabled writer, Laura Hershey. Discuss it. Share it with someone.
*Join StopGap.CA and help build a portable wooden community ramp in your community so wheelchair-users can get where they want and need to go.
*Pay attention to surroundings and experiences. What might not be accessible to others, to all, in them? How can you advocate for a change that would remove a barrier to make your school or neighborhood or favorite place more accessible? As We Move Together’s back matter says, “Making things accessible can also mean removing financial barriers, using unscented products, learning new ways of communicating, and making sure friends feel welcome and included.” What are tangible ways to do this in the spaces and places you frequent?
*Pick one of the marches in Together We March. Ask a parent or educator about the ways in which what people were marching for then is still present today. Brainstorm ways to bring about change now.
*Write a letter to someone in power asking them to make a specific change. My This Writer’s Life video, Letter for Change, walks kids through this process.
*Visit The Conscious Kid, which I featured a few years ago here, and is a shining leader in the anti-racism field “dedicated to equity and promoting healthy racial identity development in youth.”
*Is there something unfair that has affected you or someone you care about? If you’re comfortable, you could create a piece of art about that experience, a drawing or poem or something else in order to share what it was/is like with others.
*Hold a gathering to hear from community members in your school or neighborhood about what needs to change where you go to school or live. Join with others because activism is best when shared and no one person is “in charge” of solving a problem.
*Visit The Tiny Activist, which has so many education and literature resources to support activists of any age.
*Make a sign about something you care about and hang it in your window.
*Coordinate with others to organize a new or join an existing march or protest addressing a cause that’s meaningful to you.
*Find a way to assist an organization that’s already doing good in your community. Invite a friend so you can volunteer together!
Big thanks to AK Press and Simon & Schuster for review copies and images!
You might also be interested in this blog post: Four 2020 Picture Books on Raising Your Voice.