2012 Teaching for Change Staff Favorites

Here are some of our favorite children’s and young adult titles from 2012. Please read and share.





Each Kindness
by Jacqueline Woodson, E.B. Lewis

Chloe and her friends won’t play with the new girl, Maya. When Chloe’s teacher gives a lesson about how even small acts of kindness can change the world, Chloe is stung by the lost opportunity for friendship, and thinks about how much better it could have been if she’d shown a little kindness toward Maya.


Happy Like Soccer
by Maribeth Boelts, Lauren Castillo

A warmhearted story about a young girl who finds a way to bring together the two things that make her most happy- soccer and her family.

Me and Momma and Big John
by Mara Rockliff, William Low

Momma is a stonecutter at the cathedral called Big John — and little John and his sisters can’t wait to see her special stone — in this luminous true-life story.

Tea Cakes for Tosh
by Kelly Starling Lyons, E.B. Lewis

A young boy helps his beloved grandmother remember an important family story. A touching family tale, Tea Cakes for Tosh celebrates the important bond between grandchild and grandparent and the stories that make a family strong.

Middle School


101 Changemakers: Rebels and Radicals Who Changed U.S. History
by Michele Bollinger, Dao X Tran
Middle School

101 profiles of social justice leaders that changed the world, made accessible for students in grades 5-9.

The Wild Book
by Margarita Engle
Middle School

Newbery Honor-winner Margarita Engle tells her most personal story to date, a glowing portrait in verse of her Cuban grandmother as a young girl struggling with dyslexia.

by Louise Erdrich
Middle School

Twin brothers Chickadee and Makoons have spent every day side by side and have done everything together since they were born—until the day the unthinkable happens and the brothers are separated.

Young Adult


by Barbara Wright
Young Adult

One generation away from slavery, a thriving African American community—enfranchised and emancipated—suddenly and violently loses its freedom in turn of the century North Carolina when a group of local politicians stages the only successful coup d’etat in US history.

A Different Mirror for Young People: A History of Multicultural America
by Ronald Takaki, Rebecca Stefoff
Young Adult

Drawing on Takaki’s vast array of primary sources, and staying true to his own words whenever possible, A Different Mirror for Young People brings ethnic history alive through the words of people, including teenagers, who recorded their experiences in letters, diaries, and poems.

No Crystal Stair: A Documentary Novel of the Life and Work of Lewis Michaux, Harlem Bookseller
by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson, R. Gregory Christie
Young Adult

In this inspiring work of historical fiction, Nelson tells the true story of a man with a passion for knowledge and of a bookstore whose influence has become legendary.