Fiction and human rights
Children's novels and picture books possess great power to open up new worlds and inspire empathy.
'It is through literature, not simply literacy, that we learn to understand and empathise ... Through literature, we can find our place in the world, feel we belong and discover our sense of responsibility. Amnesty International understands this very well.'
Read the Introduction To Using Fiction To Teach Human Rights (pdf) and use our teachers notes to discuss and debate stories in all their multi-layered depth.
You can buy most of these books at Amnesty's online shop, knowing that your payment will benefit our work on human rights. Browse the shop
|I Have The Right To Be A Child by Alain Serres and Aurélia Fronty (translator Sarah Ardizzone)|
How To Heal A Broken Wing
UPPER PRIMARY/LOWER SECONDARY
|In The Sea There Are Crocodiles by Fabio Geda|
|Dark Parties by Sara Grant |
Amnesty endorsed books
Amnesty endorses a range of novels for young readers that contain human rights themes:
Books suitable for pupils aged 3+
Teacher Reviews + Lesson Plans
Free? Stories Celebrating Human Rights
PGCE English students Jessica Browning and Razina Ahmed from London Metropolitan University have developed this lesson plans linked to a selection of stories in the book Download the lesson plan (pdf)
Before we say Goodbye by Gabriella Ambrosio
Suzanne O'Connor, a teacher in Sydney, Australia, has written an informative review of one of our latest books Read her review
'A little girl once asked me at a book talk at Cheltenham, (and kids tend to do this, ask questions that come winging in like a guided missile) 'Bob Graham,' she said, 'why do you read books?' It set me back a peg I can tell you, and sweat broke out on my palms. After some nervous shuffling and throat clearing I answered, 'to imagine for just a moment what it might be like to be someone else - to live somewhere else, or to look out of someone else's eyes, even a dog's, or a pig in a waistcoat, or a duck in a truck.'
'It seems to me that here at such an early age, in children's books, we should be celebrating differences as well as cosy home grown certainties. And through books, and through libraries, so vitally important, our children can grow and imagine what it might be like to be in someone else's shoes. This is surely where empathy starts. And with empathy and understanding comes tolerance, and who knows? Then they may have a world with some of the fear taken out of it.'
Bob Graham, illustrator, on accepting the Kate Greenaway Award