Many children around the world are facing some type of crises from wondering where their next meal will come from to whether it is safe to walk down the street. We can all make a difference in the world. Empowering students to do just that at an early age will carry over and impact the rest of their lives too. Share these books for kids about people making a difference in the world to help other children in crisis.
You can even extend the discussion during a Family Dinner Book Club. See how-to below.
Books About Children in Crisis
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Some of the books that we have already included on the previous lists in our Kids Making a Difference series would easily fit on this list including A Shelter In Our Carby Monica Gunning and Maddi’s Fridge by Lois Brandt or the books on our bullying list.
But, there are so many types of crises that children encounter from poverty, refugee challenges, natural disasters, hunger, homelessness, etc. Below, we share some books that fall into these categories.
Immigration and Refugees
A family is separated while traveling in a boat from Haiti to New York in Calling the Water Drum by LaTisha Redding. A little boy has to learn to live life without his parents in a new country.
La Frontera by Mills, Alva, and Navarro tells the story in both English and Spanish of a boy and father who leave Mexico to immigrate to the US in the 1980s. It spotlights why people choose to leave their home country in search of a new home. There is also lots of back matter with information about immigration.
Transitioning to new surroundings can bring lots of feelings associated with it. In the beautiful book Lubna and Pebble by Wendy Meddour, Lubna decides to give her one comfort object up to a new arrival at the tent city.
Being separated from your family can be extremely difficult. That is illustrated in Between Us and Abuela: A Family Story from the Border by Mitali Perkins.
Wishes by Mu’o’n Thi Van is a beautiful illustrated book about a family having to pack and leave in the middle of the night not knowing what lay ahead but wishing it will be better than how they are living now.
To help further explain being forced from your homeland check out Crocodile’s Crossing: A Search for Home by Yoeri Slegers. It is an experience of a crocodile losing its home and having to travel to a new place all alone. Imagine all the emotions and feelings that come with such a journey. In the end, he finds a welcoming community and his crocodile family joins him.
A Journey Toward Hopeby Victor Hinojosa & Coert Voorhees is the story of four children from three families who are making the journey to safety and freedom by themselves. Each family is traveling from a different area which you can track on a map on the end pages. We experience what that journey looks and feels like and the helpers who assist along the dangerous way.
For older children try, Hear My Voice: The Testimonies of Children Detained at the Southern Border of the United States compiled by Warren Binford. The book is in English and then you can flip it and read it in Spanish too.
For older students, The Waiting Place: When Home is Lost and a New One Not Yet Found by Dina Nayeri is full of photographs and information about children from a refugee camp outside of Ioannina, Greece where we meet children from Iran and Afghanistan. Learn more about the global refugee crisis.
War is hard on all including children. After WWII, resources were scarce in the Netherlands. Thanks to care packages from the United States, Katje and her community received some much-needed gifts. Boxes for Katje by Candace Fleming is one of my favorites on this list.
A longer picture book but very powerful is Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan by Mary Williams. Seeking safety a group of thousands walks hundreds of miles across Africa. The hardships and dangers are numerous. Devasting but hopeful, this book will make you feel grateful for peace and safety.
Visiting Day by Jacqueline Woodson is the story of a little girl and her grandma who make the journey to see her Pop who is incarcerated.
There is always hope in a crisis. In October of 2016, Haiti suffered devasting loss from Hurricane Matthew. It’s not the first time that this country has been hit by a natural disaster. Hope for Haiti by Jesse Joshua Watson was written after a devasting earthquake struck the country of Haiti. The kids turned to soccer and learned a lot about hope in the process.
Flood by Alvaro Villa is a wordless book that depicts a family getting their house ready for the big flood.
For more book lists on children facing challenges see these book lists.
- Books About Hunger
- Books About Homelessness
- Books About Bullying
- Books About Death and Grieving
- Books About Feelings and Emotions
- Books About Divorce from Fantastic Fun and Learning
- Books to Combat Racism from What Do We Do All Day?
Printable Book List and Conversation Starters
Grab the printable booklist that you can take to the library or share with other families. You also get six conversation starters to spark discussion on the topic.
Just click the button below.
Create a Family Dinner Book Club
What is a Family Dinner Book Club?
- On the first of each month, we provide all the details for your dinner.
- Sarah from Chef Sarah Elizabeth shares a themed menu to compliment the theme for the month.
- Laura from Sunny Day Family shares an activity that relates to the theme.
- And, I share a book list that compliments the themes, conversation starters, and a family service project.
Books and Conversation Starters
For our theme of KIDS IN CRISIS, you have found the book list and discussion starters on this page. (see above)
Check out the themed menu you can eat with your family from Chef Sarah Elizabeth. —>Menu
Book Related Activity
And, visit Sunny Day Family for an activity to do with the theme.—>Helping Kids in Crisis
Family Service Project
This month check with your local church, YMCA, or community organization for giving angel opportunities. This is a chance to “adopt” a child and purchase something they need or want during the holidays.
This Family Dinner Book Club is the last one in our Kids Making a Difference Series. —>See All The Kids Making a Difference in the World Family Dinner Book Clubs
2020 Family Dinner Book Club begins January 2020. Our theme with books and movies through the ages. If you would like to be notified when a new Family Dinner Book Club releases, sign up for our special mailing list.—>SIGN UP HERE