Teen Librarian Toolbox
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Books for Trying Times: A Resource List compiled by members of KidLit Resists!

aram kim

Art by Aram Kim Available for use here http://ow.ly/d/5Q4v

Today’s list of resources is brought to you by the members of KidLit Resists! We’re a Facebook group for members of the KidLit community (authors, illustrators, editors, youth librarians, booksellers, and others who create and support picture books, MG books, and YA books) who wish to organize against the current administration’s agenda and support those communities targeted by the administration.


If you have other resources to suggest, please put them in the comments or tag me on Twitter, where I’m @CiteSomething.




KidLit Resource List – Books for Trying Times
Compiled by members of the KidLit Resists! Facebook page


Lists of recommended books


Jane Addams Peace Award books (1953 – present) “The Jane Addams Children’s Book Award annually recognizes children’s books of literary and aesthetic excellence that effectively engage children in thinking about peace, social justice, global community, and equity for all people.”


35 Picture Books for Young Activists (from All The Wonders)




8 Empowering Middle Grade Novels for Kids Interested in Social Justice (from Barnes & Noble)


KitaabWorld: South Asian and diverse children’s books


The Brown Bookshelf: United in Story




Refugee picture books (on Pinterest)








Activist biographies (YA)




Books That Respect Kids with Unique Abilities (from All The Wonders)


Girl-empowering Books (from A Mighty Girl)


We Need Diverse Books


Penny Candy Books: A Mission Becomes a Moral Directive (from Publishers Weekly)


Teaching Tolerance – a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center


30 Of The Best Books To Teach Children Empathy (from TeachThought)


19 books to help children find hope and strength in stressful times: A librarian’s list (from The Washington Post)


13 Books to Teach Children About Protesting and Activism (from GeekMom)


Books inspiring activism and tolerance

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Their Great Gift: Courage, Sacrifice, and Hope in a New Land by John Coy, photos by Wing Young Huie

March (trilogy) by John Lewis (Author), Andrew Aydin (Author), Nate Powell (Artist)

Ruth Bader Ginsburg: I dissent by Debbie Levy

The Seeds of America Trilogy by Laurie Halse Anderson

Child of the Civil Rights Movement by Paula Young Shelton

This Side of Home by Renee Watson

Strictly No Elephants by Lisa Mantchev, illustrated by Taeeun Yoo

The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth & Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, illustrated by R. Gregory Christie

What Does It Mean To Be Kind? by Rana DiOrio

The Hunt (coming in 2/17) by Margaux Othats

A Gift From Greensboro by Quraysh Ali Lansana, illustrated by Skip Hill

Ambassador by William Alexander

Fred Korematsu Speaks Up by Laura Atkins and Stan Yogi, illustrations by Yutaka Houlette

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music by Margarita Engle


Recommendations for preschool storytime

A Chair For My Mother and sequels by Vera B. Williams

More, More, More Said the Baby by Vera B. Williams

A is for Activist and Counting on Community by Innosanto Nagara

The Bus for Us by Suzanne Bloom

Whoever You Are by Mem Fox

Mama’s Nightingale: A Story of Immigration and Separation by Edwidge Danticat, illustrated by Leslie Staub

Jacqueline Woodson’s picture books

Kadir Nelson’s picture books



10+ #SVYALit Project Resources

As part of the #SVYALit Project, we have spent a lot of time compiling statistics and looking for resources to help us talk with teens, parents, educators and librarians about the issues.  Today we are compiling some of the best resources we have found to help create a well rounded picture of the issues at hand and how various members of the community are trying to help make a difference in this very important issue. Here are several resources you can consult to get a more complete picture of what sexual violence is, how often it happens, and how we can talk with teens about making healthy sexual choices.


RAINN is the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network. This is the go to resource for information on sexual violence and they operate a 24 hour helpline that you can refer victims/survivors to for help and support.


ScarletTeen is a website dedicated to providing real and accurate sex education to teens. They cover a wide variety of topics, including menstruation and pregnancy. This is not just a resource on sexual violence, it is a resource for comprehensive sex and health education. But they also have discussion on things like how guys can prevent rape, what sexual violence is, and navigating consent.

The Good Men Project

In particular, The Good Men Project has a good discussion about teaching consent at various ages as a child grows (this refers to a piece called The Healthy Sex Talk: Teaching Kids Consent ages 1 through 21 which I believe originally appeared on Everyday Feminism). This isn’t a conversation you should wait to have when your kids are teens, because you begin laying the foundation early on as you teach your child they can’t take things that don’t belong to them, they have to wait their turn, etc. A Mighty Girl is a somewhat similar type of initiative aimed at empowering girls, they have a resource list of books to help tweens and teens talk about their bodies.

Stop Street Harassment

Street Harassment covers things like catcalling, whistling, and other forms of harassment that mostly women and members of the GLBTQ community experience as they walk down the streets. I would argue that it also includes the same types of harassment that our teens experience in the hallways of their middle and high schools, because those are the streets are teens are walking. I get email often from – again, mostly girls – who share the horrific stories of the verbal abuse and unwanted touching they experience on the way to and from school or in the school hallways. SSH has some great resources to understand what street harassment is and to engage in discussions on how to try and change the culture so that everyone can walk through their daily routine safely. Another great initiative that is addressing the issue of street harassment is HollaBack.

Act for Youth: Sexual Health

This resource has a look at what healthy sexuality is. It includes the WHO definition of sexual health which is defined as “a state of physical, mental and social well-being in relation to sexuality. It requires a positive and respectful approach to sexuality and sexual relationships, as well as the possibility of having pleasurable and safe sexual experiences, free of coercion, discrimination and violence.” This resource is important because it helps us all set up the goal posts. In our sex education with teens, this is what we are (should be) striving for.

The Teen Files Flipped: Date Rape/Abusive Relationships

This fully developed curriculum helps teens define date rape and looks at some of the identifying traits of an abusive relationship. It contains discussion questions, curriculum connections and more. It is part of the AIMS series, published in 2002. The CDC also has a Rape Prevention and Education resource and curriculum that you may want to look at.

The Consensual Project: Connecting Through Consent

According the The Consensual Project’s website, the project partners with schools to help teens gain a deep understanding of what consent is. The consent workshops were developed by Ben, who majored in Women and Gender studies. It seems fairly new, so do take a look around and investigate. Also, it has a great resource page.

Sexual Harassment: Prevention in the Schools, a facilitators manual and curriculum for grades 1 through 12

The Pennsyvania Coalition Against Rape has developed an extensive curriculum to help teach students in grades K-12 about sexual harassment. At 261 pages, it is pretty extensive and well developed. You can download it for free in PDF by clicking the link above.

Know the Price: Rape by Intoxication

Know the Price is a campaign recently introduced in San Diego which aims to help teens understand that having sex with someone who is intoxicated is in fact rape. Its underlying message is that a person must be cognitively able to consent in order for it to be consensual sex. This means that you can not have sex with someone who is wasted, unconscious, asleep, etc.

The Voices and Faces Project

According to its website: “The Voices and Faces Project is an award-winning documentary initiative created to bring the names, faces and stories of survivors of sexual violence and trafficking to the attention of the public.” By compiling the various stories of survivors in a permanent archive, The Voices and Faces Project seeks to help everyone better understand the issues surrounding sexual violence and the impact it makes on survivors, their families and their communities.

Project Unbreakable

Project Unbreakable is a Tumblr blog that operates primarily on anonymous submissions from sexual violence victims/survivors. The submissions are pictures of survivors sharing with us what their abuser said to them before, during or after their attack. They are definitely hard to read but such an important part of raising awareness and understanding of the dynamics that take place. There are quite a few Tumblr blogs dedicated to the topic including I Believe You, It’s Not Your Fault, which was recently discussed on NPR’s The Takeaway. Both of these Tumblr projects are run by survivors and encourage the named or anonymous submissions of other survivor stories.

The Consensual Project partners with schools and universities to bring students a fresh understanding of consent. The innovative curriculum, workshops, and website empower young people to incorporate consent into their daily lives. The Consensual Project is committed to helping students connect through consent. – See more at: http://www.theconsensualproject.com/vision#sthash.zl1xgs04.dpuf
The Consensual Project partners with schools and universities to bring students a fresh understanding of consent. The innovative curriculum, workshops, and website empower young people to incorporate consent into their daily lives. The Consensual Project is committed to helping students connect through consent. – See more at: http://www.theconsensualproject.com/vision#sthash.zl1xgs04.dpuf

The day after: resources to help children cope

Last night my 4-year-old slept in bed with me.  Some of the children that died yesterday in Newtown were only a year older than her.  I can’t even imagine. The tween had a friend spend the night and the two of them slept on the floor in the living room.  The fell asleep to the tunes of High School Musical 2, completely unaware of the violence that had occurred earlier in the day.  I met them at the bus stop and was surprised that they knew nothing, though grateful.  I decided not to tell them, yet.  Obviously they will find out, but after I had spent the day crying I decided to leave the innocence in place a little while longer.

I remember when the Tween started Kindergarten and she came home and told me how they had to turn off all the lights in the classroom and go hide in the corner.  I asked her why and she replied, “in case a person with a gun comes and tries to kill us.”  I was appalled.  When I was in school, we worried about our grades and sometimes bullies.  The only drills we had were fire drills and earthquake drills.  Now our schools have lockdown drills in case a person with a gun comes and the scary truth is, it happens more often than it should.  In fact, it shouldn’t happen at all.  Children should wake up in the mornings in a house full of love and go to school with a full belly and be ready to learn in a safe environment, but that doesn’t happen as often as it should.

Our world is broken. We are broken.  We are broken people living in a broken world and out of our brokenness, we continue to break the most vulnerable among us.  We need to fix it. 

Unfortunately, we need this information, so here are a variety of resources on how to talk to children about violence.  I share these resources with you now as long as you join me in making this promise: we will work together to help create a world where we need these resources far more less than we need them now.

Federal Occupational Health: Helping children cope with school violence

Education.com: Helping children cope with violence

Newtown, Old Story: This actually has a really good roundup of links so check it out