It’s the 25th anniversary of World Book Day in the United Kingdom and Ireland, which was celebrated in the US yesterday. What began as a UNESCO-sponsored day on April 23, 1995, has expanded to more than 100 countries worldwide, a global celebration of reading for pleasure.
For the March celebration, it’s an occasion to appreciate books—both their authors and their readers, particularly children. “You are a reader,” asserts the 2022 World Book Day theme, and the focus is on getting books into the hands of kids.
UNESCO’s celebration is officially World Book and Copyright Day. April 23 was chosen because it marks the day in 1616 when both playwright/poet William Shakespeare and novelist Miguel de Cervantes died.
Without further ado, here are some amazingly, inspiring non-fiction reads for the kids in your life:
📚 I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban by Christina Lamb and Malala Yousafzai – There is absolutely no explanation needed for this. The Nobel Prize-winning young woman has achieved so much in her life already.
📚 Speak Up! Speeches by Young People to Empower and Inspire by Adora Svitak – Greta Thunberg’s condemnation of climate crisis apathy and Malala Yousafzai’s heartfelt call to keep girls in education are just two of the 45 stirring speeches to feature in this absorbing book.
📚 How to be Extraordinary by Rashmi Sirdeshpande – This eclectic collection of tales of exceptional people includes a clutch of famous names, including David Attenborough, Nelson Mandela and Michelle Obama as well as some unsung heroes who are less well known, such as Krystyna Skarbek, Britain’s first female spy, who was parachuted into occupied France in 1944.
📚 You Got This: A Fabulously Fearless Guide to Being You by Bryony Gordon – You Got This is journalist Bryony Gordon’s first book for teenage girls and includes some of the life lessons she wishes she’d been taught when she was younger.
📚 Protect the Planet by Jess French – This book teaches children how acts of kindness can help to protect our planet.
📚 She Persisted by Chelsea Clinton – Every little girl deserves to grow up knowing she can change the world. And Chelsea Clinton’s book full of stories about Marie Curie, and Wangari Maathai (among others) prove that kids can do anything they set their minds to.
📚 I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark by Debbie Levy – Chief Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was one of the most fascinating women alive today!
📚 Everything & Everywhere: A Fact-Filled Adventure for Curious Globe-Trotters by Marc Martin – Curious kids will devour this book of incredible facts from around the globe — from Hong Kong to the ocean.
📚 The Street Beneath My Feet by Charlotte Guillain- Your kid will be enthralled by this fascinating book about what’s going on underneath the ground we walk on — and you might learn a few things too, just sayin’.
📚 A Head Full of Everything: Inspiration for Teenagers With the World on Their Mind by Gavin Oattes – The book demonstrates that being a teenager doesn’t have to suck. And when it does, there’s some cool things you can do to make it suck a little less.
📚 On the Origin of Species by Sabina Radeva – This is a stunning book to look at and will get young children interested in science and nature.
📚 Grow by Nicola Davies and Emily Sutton – Explaining the concept of DNA to young children sounds like a tall order, but Grow does exactly that.
📚 The Element in the Room by Mike Barfield – this colourful guide to the chemical elements explains that almost everything in the universe is made from them – from aluminium to zinc.
Here are a few ways to support World Book Day:
- Shop at independent bookstores around the world.
- Give used books to your local public library.
- Make donations to such book charities as Bibliothèques Sans Frontières (Libraries Without Borders), Books for Africa, and Book Aid International, which all supply books to the poor and to libraries in refugee camps, hospitals, and schools.
- Donate to local schools.
- Set up mobile book libraries.