Children's literature provides one of the most uplifting, energizing, and soul-freeing pursuits for any child—or any adult who cares about children. For those of us who live and breathe social justice or who grab at the edges of social justice whenever we can, children's literature can be visionary, comforting, and challenging as we think about our own role in the peace and justice universe.
The following books—for preschoolers to grade 3—are examples of the kind of children's literature that is rooted in gospel values and has a role in creating a more just world. The books reflect themes of respect for self and others, nonviolent communication, dealing with anger and forgiveness, respect for the environment, the importance of play and creativity, our global interdependence, and courage in the face of war and injustice. These values are shown in both practical and magical ways.