Books about peace don’t have to include ‘peace’ in the title. Any book that illustrates the resolution of conflict, obstacles overcome, friendship lost and regained, and children who grow in their understanding of themselves and others will do the job.


Can You Say Peace? By Karen Katz. NY: Henry Holt and Co., 2006. Charmingly illustrated with images of children in countries worldwide, in celebration of the UN’s Int’l Day of Peace, this teaches the word for Peace in 22 languages.

The Peace Book By Todd Parr. NY, Boston: Little Brown & Co., 2004.This is about defining peace for the very young, encouraging students to come up with illustrated definitions for themselves. Examples include: “Peace is keeping the water blue for all the fish, giving shoes to someone who needs them, watching it snow, listening to music, new babies being born, having enough pizza in the world for everyone, saying you’re sorry when you’ve hurt someone “etc.

The Sandwich Swap By Queen Rania al Abdullah of Jordan, Kelly Di Pucchio and Tricia Tusa. Disney–Hyperion Books, 2010. A simple tale of two young friends, Lily and Salma, one American, one Middle Eastern. Having their usual lunch together in the school cafeteria, they are each put off by the other’s sandwiches (one has hummus, the other pb&j), and the negative comments precipitate a food fight. When the issue is finally resolved, each ends up tasting the other’s offering, discovering that they are not so far apart after all.

What Does Peace Feel Like? By Vladimir Radunsky. NY: Athenaeum Books for Young Readers, 2004.

Another definition book, with responses from children 8-10 worldwide. All the senses are brought into play i.e. “What does peace look like, sound like, smell like, taste like” etc. Includes a list of the word for peace in almost 200 languages.



The Big Book for Peace By Ann Durrell and Marilyn Sachs (eds.) NY: Dutton Books, 1990. Seventeen stories and poems on the theme of war and peace by best known children’s authors and illustrators, including Lloyd Alexander, Natalie Babbitt, Katherine Patterson, Jean Fritz, Maurice Sendak, Stephen Kellogg and many others.

Hiroshima no Pika By Toshi Maruki. NY: Lothrop, Lee Shepard Books, 1980 This picture book also illustrates the effects on a Japanese family of the “Flash of Hiroshima” and their attempts to escape and survive the atomic blast.

Marie in the Shadow of the Lion By Jerry Piasecki , 2001. Moving story that illustrates how war changes the life of a young girl in Africa instantly and tragically.

Paths to Peace: People Who Changed the World By Jane Breskin Zalben. NY: Dutton Children’s Books, 2006. Beauti-fully illustrated one -page bios of peacemakers, quotes and related work of art. Art notes index explains symbolic con-nections; glossary, and bibliog. on the peace-makers: Emerson, Ghandi, Einstein, E. Roosevelt, Bunche, Mother Teresa, JFK, Sadat, C. Chavez, E. Wiesel, M.L. King, A. Frank, Dalai Lama, Wangari Maathai, Aung San Suu Kyi and Princess Diana.

Peace One Day: The Making of World Peace Day By Jeremy Gilley. Illus. by Karen Blessen. G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 2005. Chronicles the two -year journey of British filmmaker Jeremy Gilley to convince world leaders and the UN to create a specific date for an annual global ceasefire (Sept.21st). Documented on film as well. Go to

Peace Tales: World Folktales to Talk About By Margaret Read MacDonald (ed.). Linnet Books: 1992. Folktales and proverbs on Pathways to War and Pathways to Peace for oral storytellers. Contains notes and source materials for all the stories, a source list for collections of proverbs, and recommended books for children and adults .

Rose Blanche By Roberto Innocenti. Mankato MN: Creative Education, 1985 The touching story, in picture book format, of a young girl in a German village during World War II, who, at her own risk, gives up her lunches to feed hungry children behind barbed wire. Symbolism in the colors of the illustrations, and the name, Rose Blanche. add depth.

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes By Eleanor Coerr and Ronald Himler. Puffin Modern Classics, 2004.

The classic true story of the young Japanese girl who struggled with leukemia as a result of radiation sickness, from the attack on Hiroshima in 1945, and the thousand origami cranes completed by the schoolchildren of Japan in her honor. A teacher’s guide and novel-ties study guide, student packet, origami projects and information on the children’s peace statue in Hiroshima are all available on Amazon.

The Thing About Georgie By Lisa Graff. NY: Laura Geringer Books, Harper Collins, 2006. Peopled with wonderfully 3-dimensional characters, told from the POV and in the language of a 4th grader who is all boy but also a dwarf; inter-spersed with experiments for children, to help understand what a dwarfed person can and cannot do, this is about sense of self and losing the anger that acts as a barrier to inner peace. It’s funny, creative and has great child appeal

Thanks You, Mr. Folker By Patricia Polacco. P/I NY: Philomel Books, 1998. An autobiographical picture book of a young dyslexic girl who is isolated by her classmates, until a 5th grade teacher works with her to change her reading life.


Girl Soldier: A Story of Hope for Uganda’s Children By J.H. McDonnell, Grace Akallo and Dan Haseltine. Grand Rapids, MI: Chosen Books, 2007. The moving story of Grace Akallo, a former child soldier, her reliance on Faith and her final escape.

Hammarskjold: A Life By Roger Lipsey. University of Michigan Press, 2013.This is not a conventional biography. The author attempts to connect Hammarskjold’s inner thoughts, as revealed in his profoundly spiritual Markings, to his political interactions with Cold War leaders, especially in the Congo crisis of 1960-61. It also sheds new light on the circumstances of the plane crash that took his life. Hammarskjold emerges as the quintessential peacemaker, whose heroic life and mindset make critical reading for our time.(For information on Markings, see our resources on the UN.)

My Name is Jody Williams: A Vermont Girl’s Winding Path to the Nobel Peace Prize By Jody Williams and Eve Ensler. University of California Press, 2013. A candid, straightforward and intimate memoir of the founder of the Int’l Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL), who is also a passionate advocate of the abolition of nuclear weapons.

Peace They Say: A History of the Nobel Peace Prize, the Most Famous and Controversial Prize in the World By Jay Nordlinger. Encounter Books, 2012. How Alfred Nobel, inventor of dynamite, established the Peace Prize, and the full panoply of winners, those who might or should have won, and perhaps a few who shouldn’t, but did; 1901-present.

Teaching Like Your Hair’s on Fire: The Methods and Madness Inside Room 56 By Rafe Esquith. Penguin Group, 2007.Esquith, a fifth grade teacher, won the National Medal of the Arts, and the Compassion in Action Award by the Dalai Lama, for successful methods of teaching problem solving, cooperation and kindness. Includes how-to directions.

Zen Under Fire: How I Found Peace in the Midst of War By Marianne Elliot. Sourcebooks, 2013. A human rights lawyer working for the UN in Afghanistan, left in charge to prevent further bloodshed when a tribal leader is assass-inated; illustrates the psychological and emotional challenges in a woman’s attempt at peacemaking in a country under siege from within. Reads like a thriller, with insights into a part of the world that we know too little about. On Amazon.



Adelphi University, Garden City, NY Their Levermore Global Scholars Program addresses issues such as climate change, sustainability, world health, poverty and human rights. In addition they offer cultural excursions, internships, study abroad, service projects and activities at the UN.

Cyberschoolbus Their peace curriculum for ages 10-18 has five teaching units focusing on non-violence, respect for human rights, social justice and civic responsibility, global awareness and environmental sustainability.  click on Peace Ed. under curriculum

A Curriculum of Hope for a Peaceful World Printed three times annually, newsletter contains articles, resources and websites focused on peace education, environment, diversity, conflict resolution and critical thinking. It can be found online at To receive by PDF contact

Fellowship of Reconciliation Their goal is to shift the collective unconscious from a fear-based military culture to one grounded in faith and justice. One initiative is their “I will not kill” youth movement against gun violence and war. They supply videos, a fellowship magazine “Witness”, a newsletter, a blog, books, pamphlets, greeting cards, postcards, music and films on the theme of peace.

Global Campaign for Peace Education:

Global Peacebuilding Center: US Institute of Peace Interactive multimedia exhibits, and a virtual destination, home to online resources and activities for students and educators. Peacebuilding Toolkit for Educators in two volumes –for middle school, and for high school. Available in English, French, Spanish and Arabic.

Hague Appeal for Peace: Global Campaign for Peace Education Deeply committed to promoting peace and abolishing war, they publish a newsletter- Peace Matters, and provide Peace Lessons from Around the World for high school students and beyond, guidelines for creating a peace lesson, as well as Learning to Abolish War: Teaching Toward a Culture of Peace, and Peace and Disarmament. see also

International Institute for Peace Education:

Institute of International Education Offers two courses at the Kent State University campus in Florence Italy, on internationalizing the curriculum. For the flyer, visit For young people interested in the foreign service, The American Foreign Service Assn. is conducting their annual National High School Essay Contest, in partnership with the Semester at Sea study abroad program. The winning essayist will receive a $2500 cash prize, an all-expense- paid trip to Washington, DC to meet the Secretary of State, and full tuition for a Semester at Sea voyage, once enrolled at an accredited university. The runner-up will win a full scholarship to the International Diplomacy Program of the National Student Leadership Conference. Deadline for the essay contest is March15, 2014. For information contact Perri Green, at or 202-719-9700.

Miracle Corners of the World They work to empower youth to become positive agents of change in their local communities. Two initiatives of interest to teachers are: An annual Global Youth Development Program, bringing participants worldwide to youth leadership retreats in NY and Burlington, VT, and their Alumnae Ventures Fund, where recent retreat graduates can receive a year of start –up funding and mentorship, to turn their visions plans into concrete projects. They will also provide speakers to schools and other community organizations.

Nuclear Age Peace Foundation To abolish nuclear weapons and foster global attention to the rule of law, they run an annual poetry contest on visions of peace in three categories: adult, youth 13-18, and age 12 and under. Winners are published in Waging Peace, their quarterly report. On or around Aug. 6th, the anniversary of Hiroshima, they have a commemorative Sadako Peace Day, with music, poetry and reflection at La Casa de Maria Peace Center in Montecito, CA. (See also Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes –above.)

Universal Peace Federation Of interest to teachers is their Character Education Initiative. They offer a textbook series in workbook format called “Discovering the Real Me” for grades  k-12.



Bridge Over the Wadi A group of Arab and Jewish parents in Israel have established a bi-national, bi-lingual school inside an Arab village.  This documentary follows the school’s first year, through the personal stories of its characters, and illustrates the attempt to create a climate of coexistence against a backdrop of complicated reality.  Also on

Determined to Save Succeeding Generations From the Scourge of War A graphic and moving portrayal of what war feels like to real people and why ending it is of utmost urgency; 1/31/14. (11 min.)

Holding Up the Sky: Peace Tales for Kids With Storyteller Sara Malone. A CD of peace tales, poetry and music for ages 6 and beyond; contains lessons in forgiveness, friendship and peacemaking.

One Day After Peace Robi Damelin, a Jewish mother whose son was killed by a Palestinian while serving in the Occupied Territories attempts to connect with the man responsible, is rejected, and goes to South Africa to watch the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in action. The film’s one–on-one interactions are thought–provoking, personal and uplifting. Intended for community groups and students in Middle School and above.

Teaching Tolerance Magazine – Promotes diversity for all levels through articles, projects, teacher idea exchange and extensive listing of teaching tools. Free to requesting schools at www.teachingtolerance,org

War Letters Film on PBS’s American Experience 1/21/14, of articulate, heart-wrenching, poetic and sometimes ironic letters sent home during America’s wars from the Revolution to the Kuwait conflict, and some sent to soldiers from home. Visuals are beautifully edited to match the letters. Available on DVD at or 1-800-playpbs.

UN Chronicle – Vol. 1#4, December 2013 is devoted entirely to education.  Look for an article by Anne- Marie Carlson, chair of CTAUN, entitled “Is it Still Necessary to teach About the UN?”



Children and Armed Conflict A department of the United Nations that works to oppose and eliminate child recruitment, killing and maiming, sexual violence, attacks on schools and hospitals, abduction and denial of humanitarian access, as well as providing information on the changing nature of conflict, internally displaced children, children in detention, small arms, landmines etc.

Hand in Hand: Center for Jewish-Arab Education in Israel Builds networks of integrated schools and shared com-munities throughout the country. (See the media section above for their film Bridge Over the Wadi). Also provides ideas about starting a hand-in-hand group in your community, hosting an educational event etc.

Operation Respect Founded in 2000 by Peter Yarrow (Peter, Paul and Mary); they use music, video, classroom active-ities and professional development for teachers to assure a safe and compassionate climate for children, free of bullying, ridicule and violence. Download a free packet of their DLAM (Don’t Laugh At Me) program.

Peace Jam: Youth and Nobel Laureates Working Together to Change the World Uses the life, struggles and work of Nobel laureates as role models for children. Program is divided into five groups: Jrs.–ages 5-11 explores the childhood of 13 Nobelists; Leaders–ages 11-14, explores their adolescence; Ambassadors–ages14-19, confronts issues of peace, violence and social justice in the work of Nobel laureates; Juvenile Justice Program–for youth in prison, addresses issues of gangs, drugs, alcohol, etc. and works toward anger control, reconciliation and leadership; Scholars Program–ages 18-25, for those who serve as mentors for participants at Peace jam Youth Conferences. They study int’l. issues connected to the work of Nobel laureates, and are given opportunities for service and research.  In addition, Peace Jam is available for presentations: write to or download a presentation request form from their website.

Seeds of Peace They bring together youth from opposite sides of the global political divide, each summer hosting future leaders at a camp in Maine to foster trust, challenge assumptions and narrow the psychological distance between them. At the Center for Coexistence in Jerusalem, year-round activities reinforce the camp experience.  They also publish the Olive Branch Magazine, and, convene high-level int’l youth conferences.

The Tony Blair Faith Foundation Supports the prevention of religious prejudice, conflict and extremism; initiatives include policy courses examining religion, conflict and foreign policy, free syllabi resources to academic institutions who teach aspects of faith and globalization, and in-country training for religious leaders to assist in reconciliation efforts. Their youth program Face to Faith, for 12-17 year-olds, connects students worldwide, via a secure website, where they discuss global issues from a variety of belief perspectives in a respectful and safe way. Mr. Blair is a strong proponent of cross-cultural education in all schools, and believes it should be government funded.

Vision of Humanity To raise awareness of 21st century issues, they provide solution-based articles, a Global Peace Index, ranking countries on a peace scale, and a US one as well, with rankings of states. Current articles include “Blue Helmets” –the positive effect of women as UN peacekeepers, a Jon Stewart interview with Malala Yousafzai, the young activist against cruelty and prevention of education for girls, and lessons on peacemaking by Jeffrey Sachs, as well as peace quotes.