During the spring of 2011, a group of eight students from Earlham College–Carmen Black, Sophie Wood Brinker, Rachel Dana, Molly Malcolm, Jaclyn Parell, Kelsey Tackett, Megan Totzke, Abby Yeagle–and I set out to create an annotated bibliography of children’s books that address peace and social justice issues.

Back row, left to right: Sophie Wood Brinker, Jaclyn Parell, Megan Totzke, Carmen Black, Jennie Kiffmeyer. Front row, left to right: Rachel Dana, Kelsey Tackett, Molly Malcolm, and Abby Yeagle.

The result was a list of over 240 books that touch on a myriad of themes such as the environment, immigration, bullying, peaceful responses to violence, as well as specific turbulent periods in U.S. history. Several of the books in our bibliography are bilingual, in Spanish and English, and contribute to a thoughtful dialogue regarding the Latino immigration experience. Two themes that surfaced for several students were those of home and belonging–and how these narratives supported feelings of inner-peace and self-actualization.

During the spring of 2012, a second group of students took up the work of “Picturing Peace.” In addition to reading broadly from a variety of children’s books, Monterey Buchanan, Rosa Friedrichs, Q Gardere, Kayla Parks, Jaclyn Parell, Collin Schulze, Katie-Rose Taulbee, and Catalina Tudor responded to what they were reading through art. Some wrote and illustrated books, others collaborated with children in their art projects. One wrote music, another a play. Their creative projects are included as part of this blog. Please explore them while remembering they are the copyrighted property of the individual owners. If you would like to reuse any of the images or sound found here, you must first get permission of the creator(s).

For their annotations, both groups of students drew on summaries from CIP or their own readings and give a suggested age range. They then added a “peace perspective” for each book. When relevant, prominent award information is also provided.

We hope you enjoy exploring Picturing Peace. This is just a beginning, and we plan on continuing this work with the assistance of others. If you would like to recommend a book title, please contact me, Jennie Kiffmeyer .

Happy Reading!