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Young people making a difference

freedman_we will not be silentFreedman, Russell  We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler
Gr. 4–6, middle school     104 pp.     Clarion

Freedman’s photohistory is an excellent overview of the White Rose resistance movement, a group of university students who, beginning in June 1942 in Munich, Germany, risked their lives to write and distribute leaflets denouncing the Nazi regime. Freedman not only writes with clarity and pace but augments his text with primary-source quotes and photographs that add power and immediacy. Bib., ind.
Subjects: Modern History; Activism; Colleges and universities; Germany; Prejudices; Hitler, Adolf; Jews; Nazism; History, Modern—World War II

goodman_first stepGoodman, Susan E.  The First Step: How One Girl Put Segregation on Trial
Gr. K–3, 4–6     40 pp.     Bloomsbury

Illustrated by E. B. Lewis. After Sarah Roberts was removed from her classroom by a police officer, a little-known 1847 Supreme Court case set the tone for Boston to eventually become the first major American city to end segregation in schools. Watercolor and gouache paintings capture the historical era. The valuable book’s extensive back matter includes “What Happened to Our Heroes?” and an author’s note. Reading list, timeline, websites. Bib.
Subjects: Government, Economics, and Education; Roberts, Sarah C.; Schools; Boston (MA); African Americans; Race relations; Prejudices; United States Supreme Court; Law

The Boys Who Challenged HitlerHoose, Phillip  The Boys Who Challenged Hitler: Knud Pedersen and the Churchill Club
Middle school, high school     198 pp.     Farrar

When Hitler invaded Denmark, teenaged Knud Pedersen (with his brother and some mates) engaged in civil disobedience, inspiring a larger-scale Danish revolt. Hoose brilliantly weaves Pedersen’s own words into the larger narrative of wartime Denmark, showing how the astonishing bravery of ordinary Danish teens started something extraordinary. An outstanding addition to the WWII canon. Bib., ind.
Subjects: Europe; Righteous Gentiles; Activism; Pedersen, Knud; Nazism; Denmark; History, Modern—World War II

social justice_sawyer_grace akalloSawyer, Kem Knapp  Grace Akallo and the Pursuit of Justice for Child Soldiers
Middle school, high school     64 pp.     Morgan

Out in Front series. At fifteen, Grace Akallo was abducted from her Catholic girls’ school and spent seven months as a child soldier in a Ugandan militia. Sawyer tells her story of capture, survival, and healing, while a historical overview of child soldiers being used in conflicts helps frame Grace’s tale. The clear, structured narrative and moving photographs impel readers’ empathy. Websites. Bib., ind.
Subjects: Social Issues; Children’s rights; War; Uganda; Child soldiers; Biographies; Women—Biographies; Akallo, Grace

winter_malala-iqbalWinter, Jeanette  Malala, a Brave Girl from Pakistan / Iqbal, a Brave Boy from Pakistan
Gr. K–3     40 pp.     Simon/Beach Lane

This picture book introduces two Pakistani children who fought for peace and justice and suffered violence: one side is Malala Yousafzai’s story; flip it for Iqbal Masih’s. Iqbal was killed in 1995; Malala was shot by the Taliban (but survived) in 2012 “for speaking out for the right of girls to attend school.” A great place to begin a young activist’s education.
Subjects: Individual Biographies; Children’s rights; Education; Peace; Violence; Activism; Pakistan; Masih, Iqbal; Yousafzai, Malala; Social reformers; Women’s rights

From the January 2017 issue of Nonfiction Notes from the Horn Book.

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