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For Children and Youth

One way to build children’s empathy, understanding, and awareness is for them to read books that feature characters with diverse life experiences, including those who may live within a range of financial circumstances. Although no single book could possibly demonstrate the many ways people experience and respond to poverty, one story can spark a young reader's understanding that the world is a bigger place than what they might have imagined, a place where accessible resources can be widely disparate. Reading has the potential to build compassionate curiosity, the type that is needed to inspire our future advocates and changemakers. We hope these books listed below encourage your children to start asking questions and seeking out ways they might contribute to creating a world where no child is hungry or without a home. 

“It is not enough to be compassionate. You must act.” -Dalai Lama

Early Elementary (K-3)

Tight Times by Barbara Shook Hazen

Last Stop on Market Street by Matt de la Peña

The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes

Enough is… by Jessica Whipple

The Bright Side by Chad Otis


Middle Grades (3-5)

Too Small Tola and the Three Fine Girls by Atinuke

A Sickness You Can’t See by Laura Washington (Read-aloud)


Middle School (5-8)

Eb & Flow by Kelly J. Baptist

Moon Pie by Simon Mason

Hey, Kiddo by Jarret J. Krosoczka (National Book Award Finalist)

Hooked: When Addiction Hits Home ed. by CHLOE SHANTZ-HILKES


Books for Older Teens

Imposter Syndrome and Other Confessions of Alejandra Kim by Patricia Park

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