The news can be hard to process these days—and it’s even harder to navigate talking about it with kids. Sharing books about peace can help reassure kids and inspire them to seek peace within themselves, in their classrooms, schools, and communities, and throughout the world. From sweet stories to share with little ones, to thought-provoking informational books for older kids, the titles on this updated list of books about peace belong on all classroom shelves.
1. Peace by Baptiste Paul and Miranda Paul
“Peace is on purpose/Peace is a choice/Peace lets the smallest of us have a voice.” This poetic definition of peace is worth sharing with any age. It would make a lovely whole-school read aloud. The author’s note gives added perspective for older kids.
Buy it: Peace on Amazon
2. You, Me, We: A Celebration of Peace and Community by Arun Gandhi and Bethany Hegedus
Written by Matahatma Ghandi’s grandson, this straightforward exploration of peace is a must-have for lower elementary-aged collections of books about peace. Use it to explore the questions, “How can we have a peaceful classroom?” and “How can we have a peaceful school?” with kids.
Buy it: You, Me, We: A Celebration of Peace and Community on Amazon
3. Wild Peace by Irene Latham
Where do you go to find peace when the world feels like too much? This child goes to the forest of her imagination. This is one of those brief books about peace perfect for sharing to launch a class discussion.
Buy it: Wild Peace on Amazon
4. I Am Peace: A Book of Mindfulness by Susan Verde
A lovely title from a reliable author-illustrator team. We love using this text as a guided meditation for kids. It reminds all of us, including adults, that peace starts within ourselves.
Buy it: I Am Peace: A Book of Mindfulness on Amazon
5. I Have the Right: An Affirmation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child by Reza Dalvand
This kid-friendly summary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of a Child is an essential message to kids about how they (and all kids) have the right to grow, think, and live in peace. Share it with all ages; for older students, it can inspire further research.
6. Good People Everywhere by Lynea Gillen
An encouraging picture book with vibrant illustrations that inspires children to grow into grateful, caring, and giving people.
Buy it: Good People Everywhere on Amazon
7. Peace is an Offering by Annette LeBox
A beautiful rhyming book that teaches that peace can be as simple and easy as being kind to one another and noticing the beauty in everyday things. “Peace is gratitude for simple things, Light through a leaf, a dragonfly’s wings.”
Buy it: Peace is an Offering on Amazon
8. The Peace Tree from Hiroshima: The Little Bonsai with a Big Story by Sandra Moore
This heartwarming picture book tells the story of an almost 400-year-old bonsai tree that survived the Hiroshima bombing that was donated to the US as a gesture of friendship.
Buy it: The Peace Tree From Hiroshima: The Little Bonsai with a Big Story on Amazon
9. What Does Peace Feel Like? by Vladimir Radunsky
Explore the concept of peace as a full sensory experience as kids from around the world share what peace feels, looks, tastes, smells and sounds like to them.
Buy it: What Does Peace Feel Like? on Amazon
10. Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa by Jeanette Winter
The inspiring true story of Wangari Maathai, environmentalist and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, whose passion, vision and determination profoundly improved her country’s health and economy through the simple act of planting trees. We love this title for teaching elementary school students about this iconic activist.
Buy it: Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa on Amazon
11. Planting Peace: The Story of Wangari Maathai by Gwendolyn Hooks
This impeccably organized and engaging nonfiction picture book for upper elementary and middle school students is so powerful. Wangari Maathai won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004, honoring a lifetime of work promoting peace and sustainability in Kenya. It’s an ideal title for inspiring a concept map and discussion of all the things peace can be.
Buy it: Planting Peace: The Story of Wangari Maathai on Amazon
12. Four Feet, Two Sandals by Karen Lynn Williams
Peace can prevail even in challenging situations. This is a moving story of two girls who learn to share and become friends in an Afghan refugee camp. It’s ideal for upper elementary classroom discussions.
Buy it: Four Feet, Two Sandals on Amazon
13. The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq by Jeanette Winter
Set in war-torn Iraq, this deeply touching story teaches how one person can make a difference in her community, against huge odds, and inspire others to help. Add this to your books about peace and activism.
Buy it: The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq on Amazon
14. Walking Toward Peace: The True Story of a Brave Woman Called Peace Pilgrim by Kathleen Krull
Share the fascinating true story of Peace Pilgrim with students. She left her former name and life behind to crisscross the country on foot (seven times!), denouncing war and spreading messages of peace. This is a great title for eliciting and discussing student questions during reading.
15. Peace by Wendy Anderson Halperin
A beautiful book, intricately illustrated with tiny, precisely rendered details of life across the globe with powerful quotations from famous peacemakers. One could look at this book for hours.
Buy it: Peace on Amazon
16. The Rare, Tiny Flower by Kitty O’Meara
This allegorical picture book is made for mulling over with upper elementary or middle school kids as they learn about world conflicts in social studies. A unique flower grows in the forest, and community members all disagree about its color. They learn crucial lessons about listening to each other and how different beliefs can coexist peacefully.
Buy it: The Rare, Tiny Flower on Amazon
17. A Bowl Full of Peace: A True Story by Caren Stelson
Here’s one to add to your books about peace for older students to expand their understanding of historical events. Don’t be swayed by its picture book format. This true story shares one family’s experience as victims of the atomic bomb in Nagasaki, Japan during World War II. A special bowl became a quiet symbol of activism for peace.
Buy it: A Bowl Full of Peace: A True Story on Amazon
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Plus, check out our list of Books About Activism and Speaking Up to inspire your students!