A core component of social emotional health is teaching children about principles such as kindness, compassion and hope. In order to pursue these important skills, children need to be exposed to the realities of the world (in a developmentally-appropriate way) and taught about important people throughout history who have changed the world for the better. Learning about these figures, including those fighting for justice today, can inspire children to think about how they themselves can become changemakers in the world.

Here are a few of our favorite books about social justice issues, movements, and heroes.


Books about Social Justice Issues

1. Antiracist Baby by Ibram X. Kendi

2. Everything Naomi Loved by Katie Yamasaki

3. All the Colors of the Earth by Sheila Hamanaka

4. Hair Love by Matthew A. Cherry

5. Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal

6. The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi


Books about Social Justice Movements

1. Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and Her Family's Fight for Desegregation by Duncan Tonatiuh

2. A is for Activist by Innosanto Nagara

3. The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles

4. This is Your Time by Ruby Bridges


Books about Social Justice Heroes

1. The Youngest Marcher: The Story of Audrey Faye Hendricks, a Young Civil Rights Activist by Cynthia Levinson

2. She Spoke: 14 Women Who Raised Their Voices and Changed the World by Kathy MacMillan

3. Side by Side/Lado a Lado: The Story of Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez/La Historia de Dolores Huerta y Cesar Chavez by Monica Brown

4. Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez by Kathleen Krull

5. The Solar System with - El Sistema Solar con Ellen by Patty Rodriguez

6. Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History, Little Legends: Exceptional Men in Black History, and Little Dreamers: Visionary Women Around the World by Vashti Harrison

7. I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy 

Visit Momentous Institute's Shop for Teacher Tools

Share with

Related Resources


#Me Too: In Our Classrooms


How to Create an Inclusive Environment for LGBTQIA+ Youth


Does it Cost More to Educate a Child in Poverty?


Three Things Every Adult Should Know About Poverty

Momentous Institute Logo

Stay updated

Stay in the loop on upcoming events and latest resources.

© 2023 Momentous Institute. All rights reserved.