Literature Guides

Learning to Give picture book and teen novel guides combine selected literature with thought-provoking discussions and activities that teach about giving and civic engagement.

The books we selected for our literature guides have themes of empathy, respect, kindness, inclusion, perseverance, responsibility, generosity, and citizenship. The guides provide before-, during-, and after-reading questions and suggested activities.

The shared experience of reading a book is powerful in many ways. Children learn reading, listening, and comprehension skills, while together you celebrate the joys and sorrows that good literature presents. Literature brings us closer and introduces real issues and broadens experience in a safe environment. Reading with someone younger or older is an opportunity for developing relationships and respect across generations or grade levels!  Reading Tutor Guide    

We highly recommend the book lists in The Conscious Kid for building inclusive environments. This PDF from The Conscious Kid has book lists and discussion guides, as well as a guide to selecting inclusive materials with identity-affirming attributes. In addition, the site We Need Diverse Books is a list of books from different cultures.

Searchable Literature Guide Lists

Begin with one of the following categories and add descriptions to the filtered search and narrow to titles that fit your interests. Search by specific title here.

Literature with Themes of Inclusion

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Literature with Themes of Inclusion

These selected books have themes related to inclusion along with characters that come from diverse backgrounds. Narrow the search by grade level or topic.

Literature about Community

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Literature about Community

These selected books have community themes related to our roles and responsibilites as part of a civil society. Narrow the search by grade level or topic.

Literature about Kindness

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Literature about Kindness

These selected books have themes related to kindness and using our gifts for the good of others. Narrow the search by grade level or topic.

Literature about Self-Awareness and Using Our Voice for Good

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Literature about Self-Awareness and Using Our Voice for Good

These selected books help listeners identify their gifts or voice and use it for good. Narrow the search by grade level or topic.

Literature about the Environment and Animals

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Literature about the Environment and Animals

These selected books have themes related to environmental stewardship and caring for animals. Narrow the search by grade level or topic.

Literature about Resilience and the Common Good

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Literature about Resilience and the Common Good

These selected young adult novels have themes related to challenges and perseverance. The characters make choices that impact themselves and their community. Narrow the search by grade level or topic.

We are a global community of diverse stories - past, present, and future. Valuing our communities and sharing our unique stories contribute to a more inclusive world. The following two resources were written by practicing teachers across the country to guide empathy, decision making, community building, and social justice. Social Emotional Learning (SEL) guides include suggested activities and videos to help young people reflect on their personal role in community. Social Justice activities and lesson plans by grade level culminate in a StoryCorps-style project.

Teacher-created philanthropy education lessons magnify the impact of any academic content with themes of generosity, community, and civic and social responsibility. Perfect base for PBL, service-learning, and student-centered instruction. Lessons align to state standards, including Common Core State Standards, and some international standards.