Starting With Story- 45 Rich Texts to Explore Citizenship

In my previous post “Teaching Citizenship: Going Beyond the Bake Sale?” , I shared how important it was for students to be front loaded with a variety of diverse and rich texts.  Starting with story creates an emotional connection for students and it is through this emotional connection that they are able to make meaningful, personal connections to Citizenship. This shouldn’t be that surprising and there’s been a lot of research that explores the connection between reading (fiction in particular) and empathy. Empathy plays a major role in Citizenship.  Empathy is the motivator for action, and action is an essential part of Citizenship. And, as promised, here are some of my favourite rich texts, told with diverse voices that work as great places to “start with story”.

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Picture Books

The Water Walker by Joanne Robertson

Water Princess by Susan Verde and Georgie Badiel

Nya’s Long Walk by Linda Sue Park and Brian Pinkney

A Good Trade by Alma Fullerton


The Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park

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Picture Books

My Beautiful Birds by Suzanne Del Rizzo

Out by Angela May George

Migrant by Maxime Trottier

My Name is Not Refugee by Kate Milner

Feathers by Phil Cummings

The Forgiveness Garden by Lauren Thompson

Stepping Stones by Margariet Ruurs and Nazir al Badr

Graphic Novels

Escape From Syria by Samya Kullab

Illegal by Eoin Colfer


Escape from Aleppo by N.H. Senzai

Refugee by Alan Gratz

Non Fiction

We are Displaced by Malala Yousafzai

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Picture Books

Malala & Iqbal: Two Stories of Bravery by Jeanette Winter

One by Alliana Rempel

Ten Cents a Pound by Nhung N. Tran-Davies

The Youngest Marcher by Cynthia Levinson

If I Built a School by Chris Van Dusen

The Day the War Came by Nicola Davis

Stolen Words by Melanie Florence

Non Fiction

Fight to Learn: The Struggle to go to School by Laura Scandiffio

Playgrounds by James Mollison

I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai

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Picture Books

The Wall: A Timeless Tale by Giancarlo Macri

We Are All Dots: A Big Plan for a Better World by Giancarlo Macri

I Am Not a Number by Jenny Kay Dupuis


Internment by Samira Ahmed

All American Boys by Jason Reynolds and Brendan Kiely

The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas

Graphic Novels

They Call Us Enemy by George Takei

I am Alfonso Jones by Tony Medina

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For a more details on these titles, check out my previous post here

Picture Books

Louis I, King of the Sheep by Olivier Tallec

The Sad Little Fact by Jonah Winter

The Wall: A Timeless Tale by Giancarlo Macri

We Are All Dots: A Big Plan for a Better World by Giancarlo Macri

Rulers of the Playground by Joseph Kuefler

President of the Jungle by André Rodrigues 

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Non Fiction

Dreams of Freedom by Amnesty International

My Little Book of Big Freedoms by Chris Riddell

We Say No! A Child’s Guide to Resistance by John Seven and Jana Christy

Convention on the Rights of a Child – Child Friendly

Universal Declaration of Human Rights


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