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 22, 2018

Stay Solid! A Radical Handbook for Youth

Author:  Edited by Matt Hern (with various contributors)
Grade level: 6, 7, 8

Summary: This book serves as a handbook for budding young activists and allies and is complied as a series of articles, photos, essays and explanations from a variety of social justice advocates and writers.  The editor, Matt Hern is an academic and community organizer who lectures about Urban Radicalization, Democratic Education, and Ecology, among other topics.  He is an alternative educator and director of a not for profit co-op for young entrepreneurs.  SJE Element 6 is Social Action where teachers provide opportunities to take action that affect students and their communities.  This book will provide examples and instances of how people used activism, organizing, and protest to make change and disrupt  the societal status quo. The book lets young readers understand and learn about the ways in which they can engage with activism and social change movements. 

Activities:  Teachers can use writings from this book as a companion resource for letter writing campaigns, protests, social mobilization, art, or other activist activities that are focused on what the students have shown an interest or affinity for.  The books covers a range of social justice topics from police brutality, LGBTQI issues, mental health, racism, and classism so educators can find an excerpt that would support  the cause for which their students have shown passion and interest.   

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