Below is an annotated list of children's literature for the elementary classroom. The books are organized by the Six Elements of Social Justice Curriculum Design (Picower, 2007). It is based on work by pre-service teachers at Montclair State University. They have read and reviewed these books and provided insights into how they can be used in K-5 settings.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

As Good As Anybody

AuthorRichard Michelson 
Illustrator: Raul Colon
Grade level: 1-4
Summary: Martin Luther King, Jr. and Abraham Joshua Heschel whose names stand for the quest for justice and equality. This book discusses Martin who grew up at a time when this country was plagued by racial discrimination. He aimed to put a stop to it by preaching love, unity and acceptance and marching for his cause. Abraham grew up many years earlier, in a Europe that did not welcome Jews. He moved to America, where he became a rabbi carrying a message of peace and acceptance. The book tells their stories as icons for social justice, how they formed a remarkable friendship and turned their personal experiences of discrimination into a message of love and equality for all and how they took social action by marching.
Element #6: Social Action This book discusses the social actions that took place to fight against discrimination. It covers marches and boycotts and rallying from when Martin was young and continues to the marches, he took part in as a preacher and activist. It is a great resource to begin exposure to social action, more specifically marching and protests as a form of social action. Because this book not only covers the social action taken but also the events leading up to it, it also provides students with a greater understanding of issues that lead to people taking social action.  Students identify issues they feel passionate about and learn the skills of creating change firsthand. 
Activity: This book can be used in several ways to cover a variety of topics. It could be used component for students to gain information about the life of Martin Luther King as well as well Abraham Heschel. Students can complete a chart about what they knew previously about these activists and what they learned about them. It can also be incorporated when discussing the topic of unity. Students could answer a writing prompt regarding the commonalities in Martin and Abraham’s stories and how that helped them to unite in order to fight for justice. This book can also be used in conjunction with other books when introducing students to types of social actions that they can take.

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