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6 children’s books that tackle big global issues

This week is Children’s Book Week which aims to instill a lifelong love of reading in children.

Our US intern Brittany Walters has tracked down six great books that tackle serious issues like HIV and globalisation, which can help young people develop an understanding of the world around them through storytelling.  You can buy them all online too.

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Little Feet, Big Steps by Brit Sharon

A coming of age story about Gabby, a young girl who signs up for an AIDS Walk in her city. She turns to her community to fundraise and is unstoppable on her journey to make a difference. Throughout the story, Gabby comes to terms with what AIDS is and why people come together to support causes that effect others.

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Little Things Make Big Differences: A Story About Malaria by John Nunes and Monique Nunes

This is a story about Rehema, a young girl who lives in Tanzania. When she was a baby, Rehema was infected with malaria, but because her parents were able to get treatment for her, she survived. In the book, Rehema describes what children in rich countries can do to help fight malaria.
 

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Ithemba Means Hope by Gcina Mhlophe

Ithemba becomes more hopeful for his own parents with HIV when he commits to help his neighbour and best friend remember to take her ARVs regularly.

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Rachel and the Lion by Stephanie Lainez

An excellent tool for parents, this book helps to create a platform in which to discuss pressing life issues, such as sickness, death, honesty and respect. Rachel is a 7-year-old girl in a small town in Africa that is struck by malaria. As tragedy hits her household, her special relationship with the Lion helps her cope and find inner strength through understanding grief, conflict, and truth.

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Brenda Has a Dragon in her Blood by Hiltje Vink

This true story of a girl from Africa, written by her adoptive mother Hijltje Vink, and deals with the day to day social and emotional challenges of a child and family living with HIV. The book addresses the stigma of living with HIV and the importance of the ARV medication regime to “keep the dragon sleeping” and remain healthy.

What Does It Mean To Be Global

What Does It Mean To Be Global by Rana DiOrio 

In this whimsically drawn and thoughtfully told story, children learn what it means to be global by visiting the pyramids, eating sushi, celebrating Kwanzaa, and learning how to say “hello” in Swahili. The book is a conversation starter for parents and educators to teach children about the goodness in exploring, appreciating, and respecting other children’s traditions, religions, and values the world over.

Do you have a book you’d like to recommend? Share it with us in a comment below.

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