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Peace and War: History and Possibilities

War and peace are tough topics for adults to wrap their minds around. Deciding when and how to talk with young children about conflict and cooperation on a global scale can be challenging too, but there are plenty of books that offer opportunities to consider how people can work and play well together--and what happens when we don't. Older children may want to talk things over also if they decide to read some of the novels listed below.

Good Night, Commander

Good Night, Commander

A child who has survived the Iraq-Iran War finds himself playing an imaginary war in his room, but when he confronts an enemy soldier, he finds that, like himself, this soldier is missing a leg.

The Enemy: A Book about Peace

The Enemy: A Book about Peace

After watching an enemy for a very long time during an endless war, a soldier finally creeps out into the night to the other man's hole and is surprised by what he finds there.

The General

The General

After falling off his horse, General Jodpur discovers the beauty of flowers and nature and vows to change the world around him by bringing peace.

Gregor the Overlander

Gregor the Overlander

When eleven-year-old Gregor and his two-year-old sister are pulled into a strange underground world, they trigger an epic battle involving men, bats, rats, cockroaches, and spiders while on a quest foretold by ancient prophecy.

Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle

Nubs: The True Story of a Mutt, a Marine & a Miracle

The story of a wild dog who befriended Marine Major Brian Dennis in Iraq, and, when they were separated, trekked seventy miles through the desert winter to rejoin his friend.

No!

No!

In this almost wordless picture book, a small boy sets out to deliver a letter and experiences acts of war on his way.

Afghan Dreams: Young Voices of Afghanistan

Afghan Dreams: Young Voices of Afghanistan

From street workers to female students in newly formed academies, children who work in family businesses, and pickpockets who steal from visiting photographers, these are the faces of young Afghanis who universally wish for peace in their neighborhoods, in their country, in their lifetimes.

Woods Runner

Woods Runner

From his 1776 Pennsylvania homestead, thirteen-year-old Samuel, who is a highly-skilled woodsman, sets out toward New York City to rescue his parents from the band of British soldiers and Indians who kidnapped them after slaughtering most of their community. Includes historical notes.

Paulie Pastrami Achieves World Peace

Paulie Pastrami Achieves World Peace

Seven-year-old Paulie, an ordinary boy, brings peace to his home and school through small acts of kindness, but needs help to achieve his goal of world peace.

Three Cups of Tea

Three Cups of Tea

A middle-grade adapted version of the New York Times bestseller about humanitarianism and providing Muslim children around the world with an education is enhanced with photos, maps, illustrations, and a special afterword by the author's daughter who worked with him as an advocate for the Pennies for Peace program.

Countdown

Countdown

Franny Chapman just wants some peace. But that's hard to get when her best friend is feuding with her, her sister has disappeared, and her uncle is fighting an old war in his head. Her saintly younger brother is no help, and the cute boy across the street only complicates things. Worst of all, everyone is walking around just waiting for a bomb to fall. It's 1962, and it seems the whole country is living in fear.

Wangari's Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa

Wangari's Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa

This true story of Wangari Maathai, environmentalist and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, is a shining example of how one woman's passion, vision, and determination inspired great change.

Peaceful Heroes

Peaceful Heroes

A series of stories about the bravest people history has known.

Peace, Locomotion

Peace, Locomotion

Through letters to his little sister, who is living in a different foster home, sixth-grader Lonnie, also known as "Locomotion," keeps a record of their lives while they are apart, describing his own foster family, including his foster brother who returns home after losing a leg in the Iraq War.

The Brave Women of the Gulf wars: Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom

The Brave Women of the Gulf wars: Operation Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom

Traces the roots of the Persian Gulf War and the role women played in the military, as correspondents, as medics, and on the homefront.