Good Trouble: Being the Change

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”

Attributed to Mahatma Gandhi (although not actually said by him), this quote is nonetheless a fantastic statement of purpose and a call to activism.  This installment of Good Trouble features a few books which include words of inspiration from civil rights leaders and young activists, a “how to” guide for kids to be change makers, and more.

We Are the Change: Words of Inspiration from Civil Rights Leaders by Chronicle Books
Library Catalog
A gorgeously illustrated collection of inspirational quotes from famous, as well as not so well known, individuals such as Maya Angelou, Hellen Keller, Barack Obama, Frederick Douglass and many more.  In addition, the award-winning artists who provide the illustrations add commentary on the meaning of the quotes in their lives and how the words inspired their accompanying artwork.

Speak Up! Speeches by Young People to Empower and Inspire by Adora Svitak, illustrated by Camila Pinheiro
Library Catalog
A collection of forty-five quotes and speeches by younger activists alongside a brief biography of the individual which demonstrates that young people have the potential and power to make change.

You Are Mighty: A Guide to Changing the World by Caroline Paul, illustrated by Lauren Tamaki
Library Catalog
“Dear Reader, Kids have the power to change the world… This book doesn’t tell you what to stand up for, or against. Nor does it define right and wrong, because you have a good sense of that already. What this book does is offer much of what you’ll need in your own quest for justice. (Except the cape. That you will have to obtain on your own.”  A comprehensive guide, along with action items and workbook aspects, for the myriad of ways young people (and older people for that matter) can actively work to make change, from types of protests, to letter writing and petitions, to volunteering, social media campaigns, and more. In addition, the author includes many real-life examples of young people’s actions to create change.

Sofia Valdez, Future Prez by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts
Library Catalog
Part of the wonderful, and popular, Questioneers series (now also a show as Ada Twist, Scientist on Netflix!), this picture book introduces readers to another of Miss Lila Greer’s students, Sofia Valdez.  Sofia sees a problem in her community and through her courage, commitment and organizing is able to make a difference and change her community for the better, both physically and in the hearts and minds of its residents.

Sofia Valdez's Big Project Book for Awesome Activists by Andrea Beaty, illustrated by David Roberts
Library Catalog
A companion to the above picture book filled with projects and actions kids can take part in to begin activism and change making.

Why “Good Trouble”?

Among many important things, civil rights activist and Congressman John Lewis was famous for using the term “good trouble” when speaking on fighting against injustice in this country. This blog series will highlight books in our collection that might inspire you towards activism or provide you some ways to cause some “good trouble” fighting against societal injustices.

“Speak up, speak out, get in the way. Get in good trouble, necessary trouble, and help redeem the soul of America.”

“What can you do to get into good trouble? There is a light inside of you that will turn on when you get into good trouble. You will feel emboldened and freed. You will realize that unjust laws cannot stop you. These laws cannot stop the truth that is in your heart and soul.”

“Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.”

– John Lewis

Note: If you are interested in learning more about the life of  John Lewis, I highly recommend the March trilogy of graphic novels.
Categories: Authors & Books, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

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