Fight for Justice | Social Justice Series Nonfiction

These series give children the tools necessary to help them formulate their own opinions about social justice issues and find ways they can participate in the efforts to create a more just and perfect world.

Children are witnessing the ways social injustice and climate change affect their communities and our world as a whole. The way we care for the Earth and each other can contribute to a healthier future for our nation and its citizens. There are many children who want to use their voices to bring attention to causes that are important to them. The following series cover social injustice, immigration, income inequality, climate change, volunteering, and more. These series give children the tools necessary to help them formulate their own opinions about social justice issues and find ways they can participate in the efforts to create a more just and perfect world.



Adams, Sabrina. Endangered Species and Our Future. ISBN 9781725323926.
––––. Equality, Social Justice, and Our Future. ISBN 9781725323971.
––––. Food Challenges and Our Future. ISBN 9781725324022.
Brooks, Gene. Plastic Pollution and Our Earth. ISBN 9781725324237.
––––. Poverty and Our Future. ISBN 9781725324282.
––––. Protecting Our Earth’s Land. ISBN 9781725324336.
––––. Technologies That Help Our World. ISBN 9781725324381.
Furgang, Kathy. Clean Air and Our Future. ISBN 9781725323728.
––––. Clean Water and Our Future. ISBN 9781725323773.
––––. Climate Change and Our Earth. ISBN 9781725323827.
––––. Energy Problems on Our Earth. ISBN 9781725323872.
Janari, Audra. The Future of Our Education. ISBN 9781725324077.
––––. Mental Health in Our World. ISBN 9781725324121.
––––. Physical Health in Our World. ISBN 9781725324183.
Keppeler, Jill. Pandemics: COVID-19 and Our World. ISBN 9781725332607.
ea vol: 32p. (Spotlight on Our Future). Rosen/PowerKids. Aug. 2021. Tr. $26.25.
Gr 3-5 –These titles focus primarily on the impact humans have on our environment. They examine how the air we breathe, energy we consume, and policies we enforce contribute to the health of our planet and to our quality of life, among other topics. The text helps readers connect our current habits to their impact on our environment. Readers also learn about some really interesting solutions that are being developed to help our planet. Back matter includes tips on how readers can help, as well as a glossary, index, and source list. VERDICT This is a good series for children interested in learning more about protecting our environment.

Chiarello, Emily. Respecting Diversity. ISBN 9781534187092.
––––. Seeking Justice. ISBN 9781534187108.
––––. Taking Action. ISBN 9781534187115.
––––. Understanding Identity. ISBN 9781534187085.
van der Valk, Adrienne. Social Justice All Around Us. ISBN 9781534187122.
––––. Speaking Up for Ourselves and Others. ISBN 9781534187139.
ea vol: 24p. (Anti-Bias Learning). Cherry Lake. Aug. 2021. Tr. $28.50.
Gr 2-4 –This series features concepts geared toward helping younger children learn about community. The topics of diversity, identity, social justice, and speaking up are covered in an easily understood format. The text uses a large font style and was written with early readers in mind. The layout uses bold colors to highlight chapter changes and to communicate key focal points, along with glossary words that are defined at the back of each book. The books contain segments that ask readers to think, ask questions, create, and find out more. The back matter also includes an index and list of websites for further reading. VERDICT The positive tenor of this series is perfect for early readers and great for classroom discussions.


Upper Elementary to Middle School

Gatling, Alex. Bias in Reporting on the COVID-19 Pandemic. ISBN 9781644938645.
––––. Fake News in Focus. ISBN 9781644938652.
Stratton, Connor. Bias in Reporting on Climate Change. ISBN 9781644938621.
––––. Bias in Reporting on Politics. ISBN 9781644938638.
ea vol: 48p. (Focus on Media Bias). North Star Editions/Focus Readers. Aug. 2021. Tr. $31.35.
Gr 6-8 –This series focuses on the way media reporting is conducted and how it impacts public opinion and action. It also highlights ways media coverage has changed over the years, the journalism code of ethics, and the implementation of fact checking. Readers are introduced to the topic of framing stories, confirmation bias, and the ways various media outlets package information differently. The books use a bold font and “Think About It” sections to bring readers’ attention to key concepts. Along with a “To Learn More” section and index, back matter also includes a quiz (with answer key) to reinforce understanding of topics covered. VERDICT A good resource teachers and parents can use to start a discussion on media coverage and ways to disseminate messages in the media.

Hudak, Heather C. Protests. ISBN 9781427150882.
––––. Vaccinations. ISBN 9781427150899.
Hyde, Natalie. Carbon Tax. ISBN 9781427150868.
––––. Housing and Homelessness. ISBN 9781427150875.
ea vol: 48p. (Get Informed—Stay Informed). Crabtree. Jul. 2021. Tr. $31.25.
Gr 4-7 –This series helps students evaluate information centered around several topics. Each book begins with a contents page that summarizes the chapters in the work, as well as a sidebar road map that explains what students need to be aware of as they read. Readers are introduced to the CRAAP (Currency, Relevance, Authority, Accuracy, Purpose) method of verifying the validity of a source and key terms are in bold font in the text. There is also a key symbol sidebar with some definitions of key terms. The layout of the books feature attention-grabbing pictures and densely worded text. Back matter includes a “Find Out More” section with best practices for students to source online information, a list of relevant websites and books, and an index. VERDICT The information provided in this series is outshined only by its ability to help students learn critical evaluation skills.

Loh-Hagan, Virginia. Animal Rights. ISBN 9781534187504.
––––. Education Activism. ISBN 9781534187566.
––––. Environmental Rights. ISBN 9781534187511.
––––. Indigenous Rights. ISBN 9781534187559.
––––. LGBTQ+ Rights. ISBN 9781534187542.
––––. Racial Rights. ISBN 9781534187528.
––––. Peace Activism. ISBN 9781534187573.
––––. Women’s Rights. ISBN 9781534187535.
ea vol: 32p. (Stand Up, Speak Out). Cherry Lake/45th Parallel. Aug. 2021. Tr. $29.93.
Gr 6-8 –This series features a colorful layout and youthful text that helps readers explore different social justice topics. The books begin with a short definition of the cause and use color to highlight key words important in the discussion centered around the cause. Different segments allow readers to engage with the cause in an accessible way. The “Get Started” segments provides a blueprint readers can follow; “Get in the Know” highlights historical events or people involved with the cause; “Get Inspired” showcases groups who are active in the movement; and “Get Involved” and “Stand Up, Speak Out” segments list the many ways kids can support the cause. VERDICT These books provide a quick primer on different social justice causes and are suitable for tweens and teens who are passionate about activism.

Moon, Walt K. Volunteering for Animal Welfare. ISBN 9781678201265.
––––. Volunteering for the Homeless. ISBN 9781678201340.
Ternus, Lynn. Volunteering for the Elderly. ISBN 9781678201289.
––––. Volunteering in Health Care. ISBN 9781678201326.
Xie, Chelsea. Volunteering for the Environment. ISBN 9781678201302.
ea vol: 80p. (Get Involved). ReferencePoint/BrightPoint. Oct. 2021. Tr. $31.95.
Gr 3-7 –This series focuses on volunteer opportunities in a variety of settings that help social justice causes. The books begin by conceptualizing the experiences of young volunteers as they go about a volunteer shift. Readers learn about the benefits of volunteering and the different activities volunteers do. The layout of the books is a mix of easily read large-text chapters with more highlighted informational text blocks. These books are longer than most of the series reviewed here, but the size of the text makes the reading experience feel shorter. The back matter includes a glossary, source notes, a further research section, a list of related organizations, and an index. VERDICT This series is a nice exploration of volunteer opportunities for students looking for a gentle way to get involved in social justice issues.

Smith, Elliott. Gun Violence and the Fight for Public Safety. ISBN 9781728423401.
––––. Immigration, Refugees, and the Fight for a Better Life. ISBN 9781728423418.
––––. Income Inequality and the Fight over Wealth Distribution. ISBN 9781728423456.
––––. Mass Incarceration, Black Men, and the Fight for Justice. ISBN 9781728423425.
––––. The Opioid Epidemic and the Addiction Crisis. ISBN 9781728423449.
––––. Use of Force and the Fight Against Police Brutality. ISBN 9781728428826.
ea vol: 32p. (Issues in Action: Read Woke). Lerner. Aug. 2021. Tr. $29.32.
Gr 3-6 –This series tackles issues including mass incarceration, gun violence, immigration, and police brutality. Each book opens with a personal letter from series executive editor Cicely Lewis that contains a little bit of the backstory in the creation of the book and what she wants readers to gain from it. The series is visually appealing and uses small text boxes to provide more information about the pictures included. Each book contains reflection points, take action segments, a time line of events, source notes, a list of suggested reading titles, an index, and a glossary of terms. VERDICT This series is perfect for classroom discussions on social justice.

Winn, Kevin P. & Kelisa Wing . Atrocities in Action. ISBN 9781534187498.
––––. Desegregation and Integration. ISBN 9781534187450.
––––. Jim Crow and Policing. ISBN 9781534187474.
––––. Juneteenth. ISBN 9781534187481.
––––. Tulsa Race Riots and the Red Summer of 1919. ISBN 9781534187443.
––––. Voting Rights. ISBN 9781534187467.
ea vol: 32p. (Racial Justice in America: Histories). Cherry Lake. Aug. 2021. Tr. $29.93.
Gr 4-6 –The books in this series are designed for kids who want to learn more about the history of racial injustice in America. The first chapter of each title begins with a question that highlights topics explored the work (e.g., “Desegregation and Integration: What’s the Difference?” in Desegregation and Integration). The books have succinct chapters and a vibrant color palette coupled with images to paint a compelling picture of social injustice. Key words are highlighted and a raised hand symbol highlights key reference points. Back matter includes an “Extend Your Learning” section with web resources, a glossary, and an index. VERDICT This series educates readers about the history of racial inequality in America and would be a great resource for social studies classes.

These social justice series will resonate with a lot of readers. Both the “Issues in Action: Read Woke” (Lerner) and “Racial Justice in America: Histories” (Cherry Lake) series educate in a thought provoking and accessible way. The structure of the “Stand Up, Speak Out” (Cherry Lake/45th Parallel) series is ideal for tween and newly emerging teen audiences. The “Focus on the Media” (North Star Editions/Focus Readers) series is a stand out in terms of providing a nuanced view of reporting. “Get Involved” (ReferencePoint/BrightPoint) presents a comprehensive snapshot of different volunteering opportunities for children. This collection of nonfiction series has titles that will engage every type of reader and provide an opportunity to continue the social justice conversation.

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