We envision a future where people actively work to dismantle injustices and build a more peaceful, equitable world.

Books and Pictures Change Lives!

“She looks like me! One day, I can do that too!”

That’s the message that children receive when they see and read about people who look like them.

In March and every month, we invite discussion & action about power, equality, and the worth and importance of Black girls and all children.

Women’s history is our history.

Black history is our history.

Until it’s shown that this is so, we do need designated months as reminders…

This March, and every month, we spotlight some people who are often excluded from history, stories, books, and narratives

In “This Books is Anti-Racist” Tiffany Jewell helps young people and their adults more deeply understand why this spotlight is necessary when she writes about the intersections of gender and race.

We dedicate this month to reflect on the often neglected contributions of women to history. We celebrate the important role women play in long-ago history as well as history in the making. We highlight books and resources to help people understand and act to eradicate oppression caused by sexism, racism, heteronormativity, and all hierarchies of power and opportunity and encourage the continuation of the integration of Black women’s voices and all women’s voices all year long.

Invite children to notice whose faces and stories are missing when viewing the news, media, and texts.

Cheryl Willis Hudson and Erin K. Robinson bring joy and inspiration to Black girls, all girls, and all children in the biographies in “Brave. Black. First.”

Jennifer King said that right after the Super Bowl she received messages of encouragement from parents telling her their daughters are interested in football and becoming football coaches.
Black women matter.
Black lesbians matter.
It’s easy to think people don’t matter when they aren’t visible.
Who children see in the media and in books matters.

These biographies invite discussion and action about power, equality and the worth and importance of Black girls and all children.

Readers will find lots of people that look like them and will be better able to imagine becoming change-makers themselves. Check out an interview with author Cheryl Willis Hudson and other resources at Teachingbooks.net. (can also be accessed via our website)

Black women, women, change-makers, and heroes rarely, if ever, made change on their own. How are we celebrating heroes this month and every month?

Read the @nytimes article here.

Help children understand how change happens and how they can work with others to be change makers with some books that focus on collective action.

Black women helped make suffrage and voting rights a reality for ALL women. For a long time suffrage history has been told mainly as the story of a few famous white women.

There are SO MANY women beyond Susan and Elizabeth’s demographic who helped make suffrage a reality for ALL women. Leaders such as Fannie Lou Hamer demanded that the nation make good on the promises of the Fifteenth and Nineteenth Amendments. She joined the brave ranks of activists who worked to help register people to vote. Fannie and activists like her helped pass the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which prohibited racial discrimination in voting.

Mary McLeod Bethune went to the polls the morning after the KKK showed up to scare her and her students away from voting. Mary, who later became known as the First Lady of Black America, spent her whole life working to make the United States more equal for everyone. And her story is just one of thousands.

Read more about the collective efforts of a large and diverse group of brave and revolutionary women who fought for the right to vote in “Finish the Fight” by Veronica Chambers and the staff of the New York Times.

“Now, we’ve got to have some changes in the is country, and not only changes for the Black man, and only changes for the Black woman, but the changes we have to have in their country are going to be for liberation of all people— because nobody’s free until everybody’s free.” -Fannie Lou Hamer

Help students understand the significance and relevance of Fannie Lou Hamer’s message then, today and every day with “Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer” by Carole Boston Weatherford and illustrated by Ekua Holmes.

Help children see the collective process of how change happens and invite children to see themselves as heroes and change makers.

“Kamala and Maya’s Big Idea” will inspire young people to be activists and know they can be effective agents of change if they think creatively, engage their communities, and never, ever give up.” -Meena Harris

How do children think about girls and women?

Invite children to expand their understanding of gender by reading and having deep discussion about books that show a wide range of occupations and achievements for all genders. Read books that show a wide range of achievements and emotions for all people that move beyond gender-role stereotypes. Help children see the limitations of gender stereotyping.

Welcoming Schools has some helpful resources for gender and LGBTQ inclusion.

And of course we have some books for that!

Read the Buzzfeed article here.

Julian is a Mermaid” is a story that joyfully affirms, accepts, and celebrates gender identity and gender expression of Black Latinx children and all children.

Since 2012, when author Jessica Love began writing this book there has been an enormous shift in our cultural awareness.

“ We have queer and trans folks in mainstream popular culture in numbers we’ve never seen before and that is so great. But as ever in this country, the rate of change varies depending on the color of skin and the amount of money you have.

(in 2019) so far there have been 18 murders of trans people….

…17 were Black trans women.

Those are the facts.  

So white people, straight people we  must recognize this as our fight …

These are our brothers and sisters too.

It cannot  be incumbent on the most vulnerable population in this country to fight this fight alone

If things don’t change, it’s on us. Period.

….let us honor the memories of those who died for no reason

by making this world safer for the next generation of beautiful mermaids.” 

Listen to all of author Jessica Love’s words as she accepts the 2019 Jane Addams honor book award here.

Read “Woke: A Young Poet’s Call to Justice” by Elizabeth Acevedo, Mahogany L. Browne, and Oliva Gatwood and illustrated by Theodore Taylor III with children. Explore some of the titles below.

Find these books and more on our website.

You can find resources associated with each of our winning and honor books from Teachingbooks.net. For resources for the recent Finalists, Winners, and Honor Books just click through on the book. For all other books go to Browse Books.

Find some Jane Addams books in excellent company at Teach for the Change

Use joyful anti-racist books that feature human characters that look, act, think and talk like the diverse and beautiful children that are reading them.

Help all children see themselves in Jane Addams by knowing what she fought for as well as who she loved.

Read more at Chicago LGBT Hall of Fame

Watch Asian Black Solidarity Movements for Liberation and more at Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center

Follow us on social media for more resources and book suggestions

Plan to join us:

Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Virtual Ceremony: April 28, 2021, at 1 pm

Know of a good book published or to be published in 2021 that helps children engage in deep dialogue that leads to positive change? 

Take a look at the Jane Addams Children’s Book Award criteria and guidelines here and submit your book suggestion here! Thank you!

Jane Addams Peace Association