Using novels to explore development issues: some initial ideas and suggestions

“Children of today face a society that is increasingly global in focus and are profoundly affected by decisions and events occurring beyond their own shores, whether they are World Trade Organisation agreements, terrorism in Pakistan, deforestation in the world’s largest rainforest, genetic engineering innovations, or a simple sneeze in China that evolves into a global influenza epidemic"

Debbie Bradbery

“The power of literature to effectively convey complex ideas should not be surprising”

Lewis, Rogers and Woolcock, 2005

Atticus Finch, the fictional character in Harper Lee’s legendary 1961 novel ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ famously said: “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view … until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”

In today’s globalised society where we are all increasingly becoming more interconnected at every level, it is ever more important to understand and be sensitive to the unique realities, experiences, perceptions and behaviours of lives and realities of others near and far. Everything we do has an impact or a consequence to something or someone else around the world. We need to know and appreciate this. We need to be aware of the climatic implications of, for example our overconsumption; the direct impact of buying unfairly traded food or the use of child labour in the clothes we buy; the neglect of the brutality and consequences of war throughout the world and our unwelcome of the refugee or asylum seeker.

But how can we know for example what it’s really like to have been a child soldier kidnapped and abused under the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda? Or the brutality of everyday life under apartheid in South Africa? Or life today for a teenager in war-torn Afghanistan or Syria?

Our exposure to world literature (and, in particular fiction) through novels and poetry can support exploration, understanding and active engagement in today’s global realities and interconnections (cultural, economic, environmental, geographical, political, religious, social and technological). Using novels and poetry to learn more about global issues can be a powerful tool; according to Amnesty International, even the story of Paddington Bear can support a discussion about refugees and the resilience of the human spirit.

“…novels and even picture books possess great power to open up new worlds and inspire a capacity for empathy. Being able to empathise makes it easier to be kind, tolerant and willing to consider other points of view. It makes it harder to adopt prejudiced stances, helps to guard against aggression and conflict and may even encourage people to take positive action on behalf of others. It also helps young people to put their own problems in perspective. These are all values that lie at the heart of human rights – and we can find them in novels and picture books for children.” – Amnesty International

Reading a variety of novels and literature through fictional characters from all over the world can open up a space that encourages people to begin to understand some of the increasingly complex issues that surround global injustices and the denial of human rights such as poverty, inequality, prejudice, racism, etc., that continues to plague the past, present and potentially the future.

World literature and novels can enrich our understanding of not only differences, but also parallels, hared experiences, needs, wants and hopes, which demonstrate that what divides us may not be as extensive as we routinely think. For example, how else would we have been exposed to the similarities between German and Jew during World War II without being immersed in the lives of Bruno and Shmuel who met in a concentration camp in the acclaimed novel ‘The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas’ written by Irish novelist John Boyne?

Welcome to our introductory guide to fiction and development.

7 exciting reasons to use novels in development education

“Children’s books with multicultural settings and characters can transport us on a global adventure, dispelling negative stereotypes, teaching tolerance and respect, encouraging pride in kids’ cultural heritage, and showcasing universal human emotions and feelings. When paired with extension activities, quality multicultural literature teaches kids about the world beyond our communities while sharpening their critical thinking skills”

  1. The diversity and vastness of the world is opened up to the reader from an exciting variety of perspectives other than the more familiar and often limited mainstream or social media perspectives.
  1. It provides a safe platform for exposure to and potential understanding of the daily lives of individuals and groups from around the globe; it can share stories, experiences, viewpoints and values which are revealed through the various character(s)/scenarios/issues portrayed in each novel.
  1. It encourages and promotes a wider perspective and a more critical understanding and appreciation of the multiplicity and diversity of cultures, religions, genders, ethnicity, etc., and their specific contexts and experiences. As such it encourages readers to access worldviews frequently ignored or neglected.
  1. It provides a reference point for exploring shared experiences and realities despite important and significant differences.
  1. It encourages curiosity and the desire to engage more broadly with development and related issues and perhaps to take relevant and appropriate action in support of others.
  1. Novels provide historical depth and understanding of issues in a format that is accessible to all age groups, and at the same time encourages skills in communication, creative thinking, problem-solving and informed decision-making.
  1. It encourages cross curricular teaching and learning in addition to growing our emotional intelligence (’emotional learning’).

Source: based on Weiss Reading Extravaganza, Amnesty International and the Asia Pacific Human Rights Information Centre

3 activities for teaching world literature (and a few more)

1. Dialogic Teaching

Robin Alexander developed the term ‘dialogic teaching’ to promote “the power of talk” in stimulating young people’s thinking and support their learning and understanding.

The Ubuntu Network encourage the use of dialogic teaching as critical in encouraging “everyday, ‘common sense’ perspectives and engage with their developing ideas. Dialogic teaching requires a particular interactive approach in the classroom which draws on questions, answers, and feedback.” Therefore, teaching and learning is through dialogue rather than transmissive, focusing on ‘talk’ to encourage young people’s thinking.

The ‘principles’ of Dialogic teaching’ include:

Source: Ubuntu Network
Source: Alexander R (2010) via IPPS 1, Ubuntu Network

Dialogic teaching is achieved through 9 key methods:

  1. Interactions which encourage students to think, and to think in different ways
  2. Questions which invite much more than simple recall
  3. Answers which are justified, followed up and built upon rather than merely received
  4. Feedback which informs and leads thinking forward as well as encourages
  5. Contributions which are extended rather than fragmented
  6. Exchanges which chain together into coherent and deepening lines of enquiry
  7. Discussion and argumentation which probe and challenge rather than unquestioningly accept
  8. Professional engagement with subject matter which liberates classroom discourse from the safe and conventional
  9. Classroom organisation, climate and relationships which make all this possible


2. Group discussions

As a class/group, read an engaging age-appropriate ‘realistic’ novel on a chosen development issue. Consider a reflection based on the ‘character face’ below using questions like:

  • What were you thinking about as the story began to unfold?
  • What did you see as you were reading the novel?
  • How would you feel under similar conditions as the character(s)?

Write your reflections on the ‘character face’. Perhaps design your own ‘character face.’

Adapted from Grimm (2011)

For further reflection consider additional questions such as:

  • What human development/human rights issue is the author describing in the novel?
  • What are the key themes/messages that you understand are being portrayed in the novel?
  • How do you feel/think about a) the issue, b) the novel, c) the author?
  • What did you learn?
  • What do you need to learn more about? Make a list of all the questions you’d like to ask the author
  • Does the author/characters suggest solutions?
  • How has the novel/poem influenced the way you see the issues?
  • What actions could you take on the issue(s)?

Source: adapted from Weiss’ Reading Extravaganza blog

3. Role play / presentations

  • Role play a character and/or situation or simulate a particular viewpoint/position from a selected novel. For example, role play the experiences of segregation South Africa under apartheid and/or reconciliation issues in Ireland (or in a democratic transition etc.)
  • Simulate a UN debate (with multiple ‘national’ or ‘regional’ perspectives – Indian, Australian or US for example) on the issue of water scarcity or on the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake in 2010, or an exchange on a specific situation at the International Criminal Court (e.g. the Rwandan Genocide or the war in Syria).
  • Research poetry on a particular development issue (such as the experiences of migration for young people/women, violence against women, gender-based discrimination etc.). Then organise a poetry reading of the materials collected.
  • Choose a specific novel or poem and identify particular passages, key words or phrases that describe an issue or feeling or perspectives. How are these different from the language and words we routinely use?  What is particularly striking about the language etc.?   
  • Organise a debate (class/year/school/youth group/etc.) on a global issue you read in a novel.
  • Raise awareness of issues to a wider audience through a presentation, role play, debate, discussion, information day, assembly, youth group meeting, community forum, etc., about a global issue.

Some ideas to get started

  • Use diaries, testimonies or case studies to explore the similarities and differences between the characters of the stories and those of the reader. List the commonalities, hopes/fears for the future, for example?
  • Select novels that represent various geographical areas that support a cross-section of curricula. For example, on a world map locate and mark a book’s country and region. Discuss the various geographical findings, the climactic and environmental considerations, its flora and fauna, etc.
  • Use stories to highlight current global issues, such as the refugees and asylum seekers or the rights of women or discrimination issues.
  • Develop a flyer/poster/news article on a particular global issue young people have read. Use the flyer/poster to raise the awareness of the issues and to encourage others to explore the options for taking action
  • Encourage readers to choose an issue that interests them and source a novel/poem that is relevant
  • Set up a ‘world book club’ in your school/group/area and focus on reading world literature. Discuss the book and then perhaps consider taking action on a particular development issue.

(adapted from Oxfam GB)

And a few more activity ideas…

  • Check through our resource library for resources on a variety of themed development issues and topics and book reviews
  • Amnesty International has an excellent informational resource entitled, “Using fiction to teach human rights”
  • Look through the Oxfam UK Recommended Booklist for English Teachers which lists age appropriate books from picture books (23 books), 7+ years (35 books), 14+ (20 books)
  • Check out the Africa Book Club that lists authors by country, has a comprehensive library under 9 separate sections, you can also buy books direct, find out about new authors, and new releases, featured books, etc.
  • Oxfam has some great Global Citizenship Guides to support educators across all subjects and age groups to teach about a variety of global issues

For academic and practitioner perspectives on the value of using literature in development education see:

3 websites to explore and learn more about world literature

African Books Collective    

African Books Collective is a great site to introduce yourself to historical and contemporary African authors and African literature. It is a non-profit organisation that is based in Oxford in the UK, but founded, owned and governed by a group of African publisher across some 24 countries on the continent. African Books Collective has some 2,500 print titles from Africa, of which 800 are also ebooks – scholarly, literature and children’s books. The books are categorised into 17 separate titles:


I have been a member of Goodreads for some years now. It is like a global book club. The website is free and has a huge library of world literature from individuals around the world. It’s a bit like TripAdvisor for book lovers! You can view everyone’s bookshelves, their reviews, and their ratings. You can post your own reviews and catalogue what you have read, are currently reading, and plan to read in the future. The world book club dimension is where you can join a discussion group, start a book club, contact an author, and even post your own writing. You can check out books, authors, etc,, from around the world. For example the great list of African literature is accessed at

Poetry International Rotterdam

This website lists world poets A-Z from  93 countries around the world, provides a bio and has some interesting links in each. There are some audio poems and videos by the authors – but in their local language!

Top 10 Latin American books

According to The Telegraph,in 2014.

  1. The Time of the Hero, Mario Vargas Llosa (1963)

The debut novel of the experimental writer sometimes described as “the national conscience of Peru”, this story of teenage boys at a military academy has shades of Lord of the Flies. The outraged academy authorities burned 1,000 copies on publication.

2. Hopscotch, Julio Cortázar (1963)

Pablo Neruda said that those who do not read this great Argentinean author are suffering from “a serious invisible disease”. This ludic, meandering and multiple-ended “counter-novel” is about lovers who refuse to make arrangements.

3. One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez (1967)

Dreamily exploring Colombian myths and history through the magical, multigenerational story of the Buendía family by the late Gabriel García Márquez. Writing in the New York Times Book Review, William Kennedy declared that the novel should be required reading for the human race. Print out the family tree before you start or you’ll get lost.

4. The Power and the Glory, Graham Greene (1940)

In Greene’s masterpiece, a nameless Roman Catholic whiskey priest goes on the run in 1930s Mexico during the Red Shirts’ persecution of the clergy. As he exchanges sacred rites for sanctuary, the vultures look down on him with “shabby indifference”

5. The Motorcycle Diaries, Ernesto Che Guevara (published 1993)

Leaving Argentina for a lark on a sputtering motorbike, the young Marxist revolutionary returns as a man with a mission. He becomes, in his daughter’s words: “increasingly sensitive to the complex indigenous world of Latin America”.

6. The Labyrinth of Solitude, Octavio Paz (1950)

“Solitude is the profoundest fact of the human condition,” writes the Mexican poet in this celebrated collection of essays. “Man is nostalgia and a search for communion. Therefore, when he is aware of himself he is aware of his lack of another, that is, of his solitude.”

7. The House of the Spirits, Isabel Allende (1982)

Beginning life as a letter to her dying, 100-year-old grandfather, the Peruvian-born novelist’s debut is a history of Chile told as a family saga through the female line. “At five,” she has said, “I was already a feminist but nobody used the word in Chile yet.”

8. The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho (1988)

Holding the Guinness World Record for the most translated book by a living author, this Brazilian-born author’s allegorical novel follows a youthful Andalusian shepherd’s journey to Egypt. When you want something badly enough, he is told, then you can make it happen.

9. The Savage Detectives, Roberto Bolaño (1998)

Born in Santiago in 1953 – “the year that Stalin and Dylan Thomas died,” he wrote – dyslexic Bolaño lived a fractured, wanderer’s life, which may have fed into his playful, non-linear fiction. The poet-hero of his masterpiece is called Ulises.

10. Like Water for Chocolate, Laura Esquivel (1989)

“Each of us is born with a box of matches inside us but we can’t strike them all by ourselves,” writes Esquivel in this sumptuous, magical realist Mexican melodrama. The heroine Tita’s emotions spill into the delicious food she prepares.

Other Contenders:

  • The President by Miguel Ángel Asturias (1946)
  • Pedro Páramo by Juan Rulfo (1955)
  • The Death of Artemio Cruz by Carlos Fuentes (1962)
  • Labyrinths by Jorge Luis Borges (1962)
  • I, the Supreme by Augusto Roa Bastos (1974)

12 ‘must read’ Indian authors

  • Jhumpa Lahiri – Indian American of Bengali origin. Her first novel, “The Namesake” was a major national bestseller and was named the New York Magazine Book of the Year. Jhumpa Lahiri became the first Asian to win the Pulitzer Prize when she won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for fiction for her book “Interpreter of Maladies.”Her second book “Inheritance of Loss” was also hugely successful.
  • Salman Rushdie – best known for his controversial book The Satanic Verses (1988), which was banned in India and provoked the Muslim community and there so much so that a “fatwa” (calling for Rushdie’s assassination) was declared on the author for “blas” by Iranian spiritual leader Ayatollah Khomenei.
  • S. Naipaul (Sir Vidiadhar Surajprasad Naipaul). Naipual’s grandparents migrated from India to Trinidad as indentured servants. Born and raised in Trinidad, Naipaul’s early novels centred on the country of his birth. He studied at the University of Oxford and since then has written over 50 books on a variety of issues, countries and experiences. His novel A Bend in the River chronicles both an internal journey and a physical trek into the heart of Africa as it explores the themes of personal exile and political and individual corruption. It expresses Naipaul’s scepticism about the ability of newly decolonized nations to forge independent and politically viable identities.
  • Kiran Desai is a well-known Indian author. She is the winner of the 2006 Booker prize. She spent the early years of her life in Pune and Mumbai. Her powerful book The Inheritance of Loss is set in the Himalayas and is about a young Indian girl, Sai, who lives with her grandfather, a retired judge, in a damp and crumbling house. Sai has started a relationship with her Nepalese maths tutor, Gyan. But, unknown to her, Gyan has become seduced by a group of Nepalese insurgents, some of whom are, as the book opens, marching to Sai’s house to steal food, Pond’s Cold Cream, Grand Marnier, and her grandfather’s old rifles. The book tackles issues of colonialism and its legacy, love and its limits – but it is attached to the small details of life.
  • K. Narayan is one of the most famous and widely read Indian novelists. His stories were grounded in a compassionate humanism and celebrated the humour and energy of ordinary life. He was born in Madras, South India, in 1906, and educated there and at Maharaja’s College in Mysore. His first novel, Swami and Friends and its successor, The Bachelor of Arts, are both set in the enchanting fictional territory of Malgudi and are only two out of the twelve novels he based there. In 1958 Narayan’s work The Guide won him the National Prize of the Indian Literary Academy, his country’s highest literary honour.
  • Arundhati Roy is a famous Indian novelist and social activist. Arundhati Roy came into limelight in 1997 when she won the Booker Prize for her first novel The God of Small Things. She was awarded Sydney Peace Prize in 2004. Roy’s debut novel is a masterpiece. The book pivots around tragedy and hope. The book also explores the full range of human emotion.
  • Aravind Adiga– winner of The Man Booker Award for his book The White Tiger.  The novel examines issues of religion, caste, loyalty, corruption and poverty in India. The story revolves around Balram, who worked his way out from his low social caste and how he became successful and how he overcame all the social obstacles.
  • Anita Desai is an Indian novelist and short story writer. She is known for her sensitive portrayal of the inner feelings of her female characters. Many of Anita Desai’s novels explore tensions between family members and the alienation of middle-class women. Her published works include adult novels, children’s books and short stories. She is a member of the Advisory Board for English of the National Academy of Letters in Delhi and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in London. She has been shortlisted for the Booker prize three times.
  • Vikram Seth – author of A Suitable Boy. The book is a story of ordinary people set in post- independence Indian background, who are looking for a suitable boy for Lata’s marriage. Lata is 19 and she believes in falling in love first. There’s not only the pursuit of marriage and happiness but heartache and disappointment, which is universal.
  • Rohinton Mistry is a famous Indian-Canadian writer. His works include Long Journey, A Fine Balance, Family Matters which are all set in India’s Parsee community.
  • Ramachandra Guha is a prominent Indian writer who has written on different topics such as social, political, historical, and environmental, also on the history of cricket. Besides this, he is a well-known columnist who writes for The Telegraph, The Hindu and The Hindustan Times and is also an Indian historian.
  • Upamanyu Chatterjee, best remembered for his debut novel English, August: An Indian Story. The story revolves around Agastya Sen and how his life changes when he goes to Madna, a small town. The author has also drawn heavily from his own experience in the Indian administrative service to paint a picture of rural India.

Sources: Famous Indian writers,

See also: 12 excellent books by Indian authors that you must read (October 23rd, 2015) on

Top 10 Africa Books

According to The Telegraph (2014):

  • Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe (1958) 

Set in Nigeria at the turn of the 19th century, this is a heartbreaking modern Greek tragedy in which a flawed hero finds himself at odds with the rapidly changing world. It is the classic modern African novel.

  • Children of Gebelawi, Naguib Mahfouz (1981)

Originally serialised in a Cairo newspaper, Children of Gebelawi is an allegory for the religious history of the Jews, the Muslims and the Christians set in an alleyway in Cairo. It earned Mahfouz the Nobel Prize and an assassination attempt.

  • Season of Migration to the North, Tayeb Salih (1966)

Beautifully rendered in lush poetic language, Salih’s story of a man returning to his Sudanese village from England is a bleak meditation on cross-cultural misunderstandings, as well as the confusions and contradictions within the human heart.

  • A Bend in the River, VS Naipaul (1979)

An East African Indian, Salim leaves the east coast of Africa to set up shop in a little town on the bend of a river in an unnamed country deep in the interior, but he is plagued by disappointment and failure as the country falls to ruin. It is hardly a cheery book, but compelling and resonant.

  • My Traitor’s Heart, Rian Malan (1990)

Rian Malan, from a family that included the architect of apartheid, left a divided South Africa only to return to confront his “tribe” of white Africans and – just as much – himself. There is something unsettling about his findings, but this is never less than totally absorbing.

  • The Poisonwood Bible, Barbara Kingsolver (1998)

Set in the 1960s, The Poisonwood Bible concerns a family of missionaries from the American South who are moving to the Congo. It is at once a family drama and a study of the impact of one culture on another.

  • The No1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, Alexander McCall Smith (1998)

Not even the author would claim this was a “great” book, but it earns its place by being overtly cheerful and for bringing a rare “good news” story out of an Africa that is too often characterised as a grim, barbaric, hopeless and miserable place.

  • Disgrace, J M Coetzee (1999)

Winner of the Booker Prize and later awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, Coetzee’s novel follows a disgraced university lecturer, David Lurie, who is forced out of his post after an affair and is beginning to come to terms with his powerlessness. Bleak and powerful, with just a hint of the possibility of redemption.

  • Half of a Yellow Sun, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (2006)

Another Nigerian modern classic, set before and during the BiafranWar in the late 1960s, Adichie’s novel won the Orange Prize for fiction in 2007. It describes the impact of a civil war on ordinary people and in its moral seriousness – it acts almost as a book end to Chinua Achebe’s Things Fall Apart.

  • In the Country of Men, Hisham Matar (2006)

A beautiful description of growing up in Gaddaffi’s Libya finds nine-year-old Sulaiman trying to make sense of a life where his father is a dissident and his mother on drugs. Meanwhile, the police are closing in…

Some others: 

  • Cry, the Beloved Country, Alan Paton (1948)
  • The Grass is Singing, Doris Lessing (1950)
  • The Bride Price, Buchi Emecheta (1976)
  • A Dry White Season, André P Brink (1979)
  • July’s People, Nadine Gordimer (1981)

35 novels – a table organised by issue, subject and age range

Novel/poem Title Author Issue/Topic Curriculum Age-appropriate Activity
Country of My Skull Antje Krog Truth and Reconciliation in South Africa History, English, Politics and Society Senior Cycle, youth and community Book review,
Long Road to Freedom Nelson Mandela Autobiography. Apartheid, reconciliation, politics, history, (in)justice, (in)equality, poverty, racism, History, Geography, Politics and Society, English Senior Cycle, youth Book review, Ideas for lesson plans: 9 lessons on Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom (hero or villain?; impact of apartheid; lessons in leadership etc) on Share My Lesson (2016) Nelson Mandela – Enchanted learning website (tools, colouring pages, quiz sheets, printouts etc.) Nelson Mandela – 5 global citizenship and literacy lesson plans (2007) Oxfam GB Nelson Mandela’s autobiography for kids (2011), Kid World Citizen Nelson Mandela – teacher’s resources (2014) BBC schools (primary history)
Long Road to Freedom. Illustrated Children’s edition Nelson Mandela Autobiography. Apartheid, reconciliation, politics, history, (in)justice, (in)equality, poverty, racism, Civic Social and Political Education, English, Geography, History Junior Cycle
Stories from Haiti Oxfam Geography, history, Civic Social and Political Education, Environmental Social Studies Junior Cycle See Oxfam 7-11 teaching and learning resource on Haiti
Stories from Haiti Oxfam History, Geography, English, Agricultural Science, Physics and Chemistry, Politics and Society, music Senior Cycle See Oxfam 11-14 teaching and learning resource on Haiti
Memory of Water Emmi Itaranta Water Scarcity, global warming, environment, injustice, History, Geography, English, Physics and Chemistry, Politics and Society, Senior Cycle, youth Introduction
Emotional Euthanasia Sadia Ahmed Poem. Identity, human rights, gender, inequality, culture Politics and Society, Religious Education, English, Geography, History Senior Cycle This is for my sisters across the world: Sadia’s inspirational poem (July 1st, 2014) Oxfam GB blog
Allah is not Obliged Ahmadou Kourouma Child Soldiers, Africa, conflict, culture, democracy, drugs, inequality, ivory coast, Liberia, military, politics, violence, war Politics and Society, English, Geography, History Senior Cycle Book review, Organise a class/year/school debate on a particular global issue such as Child. Follow up on the facts about child soldiers from Human Rights Watch or Child Soldiers International, the Red Cross (including teaching resources) or WarChild.
A Long Way Gone Ishmael Beah Child Soldiers, Africa, conflict, culture, democracy, drugs, inequality, ivory coast, military, politics, violence, war Politics and Society, English, Geography, History Senior Cycle Organise a class/year/school debate on a particular global issue such as Child. Follow up on the facts about child soldiers from Human Rights Watch or Child Soldiers International, the Red Cross or Oxfam International.
If I Were President Oxfam This resource provides photographs and quotations from children living in Mukuru, a slum area in Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi. Ten children were asked: “What would you do if you were president for the day?” Politics and Society, English, Geography, History, Civic Social and Political Education, Junior and Senior Cycle If I were president – teaching resources, Oxfam GB
To Kill a Mockingbird Harper Lee inequality, racism, injustice, school kids, civil rights, white supremacy Politics and Society, English, Geography, History Senior Cycle Try out the quiz, study guide, facts and questions, games
The Other Side of Truth: Beverley Naidoo political refugees, Nigeria, human rights, asylum, migration, racism, inequality, (in)justice, History, English, Geography, Politics and Society Senior Cycle Study and activity Guide, About the book by author
In the Sea there are Crocodiles Fabio Geda Afghanistan, Italy, Taliban, human trafficking, asylum seekers, refugee, war, conflict, inequality, Check out the Amnesty International guide to the novel
I stand here: stories that speak for freedom Amnesty International stories and poems of hate crimes, bullying, racism, child abuse, (un)freedom of speech, identity, gang honour, human rights, UNDHR, slavery, women’s rights. History, English, Geography, Politics and Society 12+ Educational Activities
Oliver Birgitta Sif Difference, human rights, Civic Social and Political Education, English, Geography, History Junior Cycle Amnesty International Support materials
A birthday for Ben Kate Gaynor Disability, difference, human rights, diversity, inclusion Civic Social and Political Education, English, Geography, History Junior Cycle Amnesty International Support Materials
I Have the Right to Be a Child by Alain Serres and Aurélia Fronty Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), human rights, food and water, healthcare, housing, gender, the environment, race, education, poverty, disability, citizenship, family, war and freedom of speech Civic Social and Political Education, English, Geography, History, Environmental Social Studies Junior Cycle Amnesty International Support materials
How To Heal A Broken Wing Bob Graham Human Rights, right to life, right to freedom, right to safety, nature, war, urban living, compassion Civic Social and Political Education, English, Geography, Art Craft and Design, Science Junior Cycle Amnesty International Support materials Walker Books Classroom Ideas
Dreams of Freedom Amnesty International Universal, Human Rights, human freedoms, quotations from famous human rights activists Civic Social and Political Education, English, Geography, Art Craft and Design, 7-11 years Amnesty International Support materials See illustrations from the book in the Guardian
Two Weeks with the Queen Morris Gleitzman discrimination, LGBTI rights, social stigma, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS). Civic Social and Political Education, English, Social Personal and Health Education, Politics and Society 9-14 years Amnesty International support materials
FREE? Stories celebrating Human Rights Walker books/Amnesty International Human Rights stories, right to education, freedom of speech, faith, asylum and law, racism, cultural diversity Civic Social and Political Education, English, Social Education, Politics and Society, Geography, Religious Education, 9-15 years Amnesty International support materials Walker Books Classroom ideas
The Kites are Flying Michael Murpugo West Bank, Palestine, Israel, conflict, war, human rights, peace, UDHR Civic Social and Political Education, English, Social Education, Politics and Society, Geography, Religious Education 9-15 years Amnesty International support materials
The Unforgotten Coat Frank Cottrell Boyce Mongolia, refugees, human rights, freedom, safety, right to life, right to belong. Civic Social and Political Education, English, Social Education, Politics and Society, Geography, 9-15 years Amnesty International support materials
Noughts and Crosses (Series) Malorie Blackman Discrimination, human rights, civil rights, terrorism, racism, inequality, slavery, UDHR, Identity, conflict, death penalty Politics and society, English, history, 11+ years Amnesty International Support materials
Chalkline: the fine line between boy and soldier Jane Mitchell Kashmmir, slavery, child soldiers, freedom, human rights, right to an education, religion Politics and society, English, history, geography Senior Cycle Amnesty International Support Materials
Dark Parties Sara Grant slavery, torture, imprisonment, asylum, equality, freedom of thought, freedom of expression, right to independence Politics and society, English, history, geography Senior Cycle Amnesty International Support Materials
Daughter of the Wind Suzanne Fisher Staples girls’ and women’s rights, (in)equality, freedom of choice, child brides, nomadism, Pakistan Politics and society, English, history, geography Senior Cycle Amnesty International Support Materials
Dream Land Lily Hyde Crimea, World War II, imprisonment, relocation, returning refugees, land reclamation Politics and society, English, history, geography Senior Cycle Amnesty International Support Materials
Ketchup Clouds Annabel Pitcher Death row, human rights Politics and society, English, history, Art, Design and Communication Graphics 11+ years Amnesty International Support Materials
Red Leaves Sita Brahmachari Refugees, Asylum Seekers, Somalia, Syria, Sri Lanka, culture, isolation, belonging, war, religion, homelessness Politics and society, English, history, Art, Design and Communication Graphics, geography Senior Cycle Amnesty International Support Materials
Refugee Boy Benjamin Zephaniah Ethiopia, Eritrea, war, asylum seekers, refugees, basic human rights, Politics and society, English, history, geography Senior Cycle Amnesty International Support Materials
Revolution is not a dinner party Ying Chang Compestine China, Cultural Revolution, abuses of human rights, Politics and society, English, history, geography, art Senior Cycle Amnesty International Support Materials
Secrets In The Fire Henning Mankell Mozambique, war, landmines, disability, human rights, inequality, poverty Politics and society, English, history, geography, art Senior Cycle Amnesty International Support Materials
Shadow Michael Morpurgo Afghanistan, Immigration, war, Taliban, poverty, human rights, asylum seekers, Politics and society, English, history, geography 11-14 years Amnesty International Support Materials
The Voices Of Silence Bel Mooney Romania, poverty, inequality, revolution, food scarcity, Politics and society, English, history, geography 11-14 years Amnesty International Support Materials
To Kill a Mocking Bird Harper Lee inequality, racism, civil rights, injustice, slavery, Politics and society, English, history, geography Senior Cycle Amnesty International Support Materials