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Human Rights Day – Recommended Reading for Aspiring Changemakers
Human Rights Day – Recommended Reads for Aspiring Changemakers
Posted on 12/08/2021
Human Rights Day – Recommended Reads for Aspiring Changemakers

Dec. 10 is Human Rights Day, and this year, the United Nations is focused on the theme: EQUALITY - Reducing inequalities, advancing human rights.

This theme focuses on finding solutions for deep-rooted forms of discrimination that have affected the most vulnerable people in societies, including women and girls, indigenous peoples, people of African descent, LGBTQ+ people, migrants and people with disabilities, among others.

To honour Human Rights Day, we asked our UCDSB Learning Commons Team for their recommendations for age-appropriate and engaging books focused on the topic. All of these books are available on the free Sora reading app (All UCDSB staff and students have a login) or in your school’s library collection.

Take a look:

Kindergarten to Grade 3

Human Right day Books

I Have the Right to Be a Child, by Alain Serres (Author), Aurélia Fronty (Illustrator), Helen Mixter (Translator)
Available in hard copy through your school’s library collection.

A beautifully illustrated picture book that uses simple language to introduce that all children around the world have rights and are entitled to shelter, food, education, clean air, and to be free from violence. This book is gentle discussion starter for home or classroom.

All Are Welcome, by Alexandra Penfold
Available in hard copy through your school’s library collection and as an eBook on Sora.

With whimsical illustrations and sing-song text, adults and children alike will enjoy entering a school where every child is appreciated and celebrated for who they are.

Grade 4 and Up

Our Rights - How Kids Are Changing the World, by Janet Wilson
Available in hard copy through your school’s library collection.

Intermediate students will be inspired reading the stories of kids just like them who are taking action and making a difference.  From the story of Shannen Koostachin, a Cree from the community of Attawapiskat, who along with her fellow students brought their fight for a school all the way to the Government of Canada, to Ndale Nyengela who fled the life of a child soldier in the Congo, students will identify with the wishes and hopes of all the children profiled who want a better life for themselves and their community.  

Grade 5 and Up

I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World (Young Readers Edition) by Malala Yousafzai with Patricia McCormick
Ebook and audiobook available on Sora.

This is the story of Malala Yousafzai in her own words. The youngest Nobel Peace Prize winner, whose life was changed at the age of 10 when the Taliban took control of her region in Pakistan. All of a sudden, she was told that girls could no longer play on the street, go to the market or attend school. Malala fought for her right to an education, which nearly took her life. An important story for students and an affirmation that change is possible and to never give up hope.

Grade 8 and Up

Know Your Rights and Claim Them: A Guide for Youth by Amnesty International, Angelina Jolie, Geraldine Van Bueren
Ebook available on Sora.

For older students who would like a deeper dive into the history of child and human rights and a detailed discussion of each of the rights included in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. It also includes a comprehensive section on how to claim your rights and be a changemaker in your community and the world.

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