With all the political craziness of late, kids can become as confused and as stressed as their parents. These books can help them find comfort and realize that even as children, they have power.

What Can a Citizen Do?

By Dave Eggers and Shawn Harris; Chronicle Books; 48 pages; $17.99

Shawn Harris’ quirky but warm illustrations in What Can a Citizen Do? show off a world, really an island, where “a citizen is just like you,” can plant a tree, help a neighbor or join a cause.

What Can a Citizen Do?

Dave Eggers’ simply effective wording lets youngsters know citizens can write a letter, (in this case, a boy’s note says “No trumpets!”), help change laws, (“OK, trumpets!”), and where a “citizen can get things ride side that have been upside down.” Humor is added, as a boy turns a turtle right side up and sends him on his way.

The multicultural cast of young characters and animals calmly co-exist, and Eggers’ reminders about being a part of society and the importance of helping one lonely soul can make an impact on “a bigger big than you.”

Bravo for this empowering, appealing picture book.

Wild Rescuers: Guardians of the Taiga

By StacyPlays; HarperCollins; 205 pages; $17.99

Face it; kids are on YouTube. Wild Rescuers: Guardians of the Taiga author StacyPlays runs a Minecraft-inspired tween fantasy adventure of videos called Wild Rescuers, about a girl who commands a pack of wolves.

She’s translated that popularity into this adventurous book, perfect for animal lovers and budding environmentalists. Animal rescue seems to be a cause many middle-school kids are passionate about; Plays knows that, and her love for creatures shines through on every page.

Peppered with a few black-and-white illustrations, the intriguing novel stars Stacy, raised by a pack of wolves that patrols the forest to keep other animals safe. But the forest changes, and new human dangers begin lurking.

Teamwork, a lost dog and the pluckiness of all characters will inspire readers. The strength of the wolves and the human working together is obvious, and the book is fast-paced like a video game. Most important, young animal advocates will recognize there’s a real need out there for their passion and efforts.

Girls Resist!

By KaeLyn Rich; Quirk Books; 238 pages; $14.99

KaeLyn Rich’s book, Girls Resist!, subtitled “A Guide to Activism, Leadership, and Starting a Revolution,” is for girls “who have something to say,” for girls “who are smart enough to be mad and bold enough to demand change” and “who believe in a world where all are treated fairly.”

With guides for picking a cause, planning a protest and promoting awareness on social media (plus a lot more), feminist organizer Rich inspires kids above age 10 to take action as much as it teaches them the ropes.

Incredibly detailed and extensive but fun and easy to read, Girls Resist! offers lots of tips on donation drives, how to prepare for a live interview, how to plan for a good lobby visit, and explains about the lack of women in politics and leadership.

This is a superb book for strong, bold young ladies who want to make a difference in the world.

Princesses Save the World

By Savannah Guthrie and Allison Oppenheim; illustrated by Eva Byrne; Abrams Books for Young Readers; 32 pages; $17.99

Younger girls ages 3 to 7 will enjoy co-author Savannah Guthrie’s latest book, Princesses Save the World, about a need for teamwork when the bees of Strawberry Kingdom disappear. Princess Penelope Pineapple rallies her friends and calls a meeting of the Fruit Nations, and the girls devise a plan to bring bees from one shore to another with a creative scent spray.

With lots of magical names — Princess Beatrice Blueberry, Princess Kira Kiwi — the book reads like a zesty fairy tale, but with a lovely message of the power of friendship, creative thinking and helping the environment.

Girl power, especially, reigns “queen” here. Preschoolers will love the colorful fashions and rhyming text.

Undocumented: A Worker’s Fight

By Duncan Tonatiuh; Abrams ComicArts; 24 pages; $19.99

Older kids need to know about the unfounded attacks on undocumented immigrants and how they are just people like the rest of us trying to work hard and raise their families. Duncan Tonatiuh’s innovative book, Undocumented: A Worker’s Fight, folds out accordion style and is a cartooned story of one Mexican teen’s journey over the U.S. border, all the jobs he persevered at, and his plight to gain citizenship and rights.

With a focus on the need for laws to protect all workers, this thoughtful book acknowledges the country’s immigration system needs to be fixed, but not through deportations and a wall.

A smart, interactive means to educate children (and adults), about the vital need to help empower undocumented workers in America who make a positive contribution to society, Undocumented is also stylish and includes ancient Mixtec codices.

Truly a beautiful work.

— Lee Littlewood writes the Kids’ Home Library column for Creators. The San Diego wife and mom’s pure love of children’s literature helps her stay interested in words and pictures meant for tots to teens. Click here to contact her, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are her own.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.