If you want to learn more about Social Justice a great book to read is The Locust Effect , by Gary A. Haugen, founder of International Justice Mission. It is painful to read at times because it has many first hand accounts of people who have endured forced labor, pre-trial detention, land grabbing, sex trafficking etc. I appreciate this book though because it speaks to the root cause of these injustices, namely violence.
There are great videos online from the Justice Conference. Donald Miller, Eugene Cho & Ken Wytsma do a great job of explaining a biblical perspective on Social Justice. There are also links to previous years conferences with great videos.
Here are some books suggestions for your kids. I would recommend reading them yourself first. Some children are more sensitive than others regarding some of the topics in these books, so use discretion Sometimes, I just leave out certain parts or paraphrase what the page is about for my younger children. I own all these books, so if you are interested I can loan them out.
The Can Man (Laura E. Williams) – helps readers think beyond themselves and encourages acts of kindness and sharing to make a difference in other people’s lives. I also like that the boy in this story is bi-racial. The story doesn’t speak to this at all but it’s good for kids who look different than their parents.
Yasmin’s Hammer (Ann Malaspina) – a young girl in India works in a brick yard and longs to go to school. Many children around the world have to work to help their families instead of going to school. This book encourages appreciating education as a blessing and privilege and encourages a worldview.
Only Passing Through (Anne Rockwell) – the story of Sojourner Truth. I love that she had every strike against her; she was black, female and an ex-slave, but she still had the strength to take a white man to court for selling her 5 year old son. She won!
Moses, When Harriet Tubman Led Her People to Freedom (Carole Boston Weatherford) – beautifully illustrated with dialog between Harriet and God through out the text. She was a slave who not only escaped to freedom herself, but went back 19 times to rescue more than 300 other slaves including her aging parents who she carried to Canada. She is an amazing person and worth learning about. I love underdogs winning!
This Child Every Child (Donald Smith) and For Every Child (Caroline Castle) – both books are about the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, an international agreement that was drawn up to protect children. The first is for older children. It has a lot of info that could be broken down into smaller teachable segments. The second is in language more easily understood by younger kids.
Ryan and Jimmy (Herb Shoveller) – has a ton of dialog, but it’s a great story. You might have to read a little every night to your kids. It’s about a boy who raises money for a water well in Africa and the friendship he shares with his pen pal. I like books that show kids can help make a difference too.