#CybilsAward Book List: Civic Engagement

Election day was last Tuesday, and whatever you feel about the outcome, there is one thing I have noticed: there are more books talking about civil rights, voting, community building, sustainable living, environmentalism, and activism for kids! We thought we’d feature a few that were nominated this year.

This Little Voter
by Ann Bonnie, Illustrated by Carol Herring
little bee books

Our World is a Family
by Jennifer Jackson, Miry Whitehill, illustrated by Nomar Perez
Sourcebooks eXplore

Bonnie’s New Old Outfit
by Madison Moore, Danielle Bennett
Albert Whitman & Company

This Could Be You
by Cindy Williams Schrauben, illustrated by Julia Seal
Cardinal Rule Press

Who Are Your People?
by Reggie Sellers, illustrated by Reggie Brown

Alexander von Humboldt: Explorer, Naturalist & Environmental Pioneer
by Danica Novgorodoff
Crown Books for Young Readers

“The simple structure of the connectivity can make this book interesting to young readers: plants are connected, animals are connected, people area connected, volcanoes are connected, habitats are connected. There is some vocabulary specific to fields of environmental studies, but readers 8 through 12 can work it out, depending on their skill and interest.” – Karen D. Austin

I Am Ruby Bridges
by Ruby Bridges, illustrated by Nikkolas Smith

Orchard Books

“I Am Ruby Bridges is a cute and very young telling of what it felt like to be six, and the first black girl to integrate in American schools.” – TheBrookelist

The Mother of a Movement
by Rob Sanders, illustrated by Sam Kalda
Magination Press

A Kid’s Guide to Saving the Planet: It’s Not Hopeless and We’re Not Helpless
by Paul Douglas, illustrated by Chelen Écija

Beaming Books

“In-depth and nicely illustrated guide to climate change. Did a good job of present climate issues we’re facing, invites kids to think about ways and careers that may provide solutions, and then imagines a better future. Hopeful and motivating.” – TheBrookelist

Art of Protest: Creating, Discovering, and Activating Art for Your Revolution
by De Nichols, illustrated by Various
Big Picture press

Be the Change: Making a Difference in a Messed-Up World
by Rob Greenfield and Antonia Banyard
Greystone Kids

Choosing Brave: How Mamie Till-Mobley and Emmett Till Sparked the Civil Rights Movement
by Angela Joy, illustrated by Janelle Washington
Roaring Brook Press

Citizen She! A Global Campaign for Women’s Voting Rights
by Caroline Stevan, illustrated by Elina Braslina


“Citizen She! is a fascinating GLOBAL look at women’s rights. Who fought for them, how we’ve gotten them, and the progress of different countries throughout the world in advancing womanhood. While there is a large focus on voting, the book also touches on rights and privileges such as legal rights, property rights, salaries, childcare, menstruation, and even the right to drive.” – TheBrookelist

Hero for the Hungry: The Life and Work of Norman Borlaug
by Peggy Thomas, illustrated by Sam Kalda
Feeding Minds Press

Kid Trailblazers: True Tales of Childhood from Changemakers and Leaders
by Robin Stevenson, illustrated by Allison Steinfeld

Quirk Books

“This is a fantastic way to encourage tweens to take changemaking / leadership roles now and not to just dream of being an activist for change or a leader in the future.” – Karen D. Austin

The Antiracist Kid: A Book About Identity, Justice, and Activism
by Tiffany Jewell, illustrated by Nicole Miles

Cramm This Book: So You Know WTF Is Going On in the World Today
by Olivia Seltzer


“This really is a remarkably readable, infomative, balanced (neither left or right) and necessary resource for all of us.” – Sandy Brehl

Fight Back
by A M Dassu

Haven Jacobs Saves the Planet
by Barbara Dee

by John Cho
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

And We Rise: The Civil Rights Movement in Poems
by Erica Martin

Viking Books for Young Readers

“If you are a teen librarian, you must get this book for your collection, then get it into the hands of the teachers at your school who can bring it to the students attention. Fantastic.” – Anne@HeadFullofBooks

Pauli Murray: The Life of a Pioneering Feminist and Civil Rights Activist
by Terry Catasús Jennings and Rosita Stevens-Holsey, illustrated by Ashanti Fortson

Yellow Jacket

“Pauli Murray is told in verse, giving poetic gravitas to her life from her early childhood; the early death of her mother and separation of the siblings, which saw Pauli Murray move to Baltimore to live with her aunt, who eventually adopted her; her life in the Jim Crow South, which awakened the activist in her, and her work to dismantle the white male patriarchy that sought to “other” her and hold her, and other women and people of color, down. Queer and Black, she was a force for positive change.” – Rosemary Kiladitis

Rima’s Rebellion: Courage in a Time of Tyranny
by Margarita Engle

Atheneum Books for Young Readers

“I am not an expert on all the poetic forms but I do know good poetry when I read/feel it. That is how I know that Margarita Engle is a wonderful poet and her novels-in-verse are so excellent.” – Anne@HeadFullofBooks

Hollow Fires
by Samira Ahmed
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers