The Jane Addams Award
See the Winners. Read the Reviews.

The Jane Addams Children's Book Awards are for people who can imagine a better world.

Skip to the awards.

If you want to raise children who are open-minded, who can celebrate different cultures, and who aren't afraid to learn about historic unfairness, Jane Addams books are the books for you.

The Jane Addams Children's Book Award: The Women's Int'l League for Peace and Freedom

The Jane Addams Award is for books that promote

  • peace
  • social justice
  • world community, and
  • equality among races, ethnicities, and genders

The award dates back to 1953, and it has evolved over the years. It has come to include chapter books and picture books, and it now includes not just winners but honors (honorable mention) books.

The current version of the award separates "books for older children" from "books for younger children." We've attempted to apply that distinction for years prior to when it was made.

You'll find the Jane Addams Award winners in bold, and the honors books in plain type. When we've reviewed the book, you'll see a link to that review.

Jane Addams Award
books for younger children


New Shoes, by Susan Lynn Meyer

Lillian’s Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by Jonah Winter

Mama’s Nightingale: A Story of Immigration and Separation by Edwidge Danticat

The Book Itch: Freedom, Truth & Harlem’s Greatest Bookstore by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson


Separate is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez and her family’s fight for desegregation, by Duncan Tonatiuh

Whispering Town by Jennifer Elvgren

Shooting at the Stars: The Christmas Truce of 1914 by John Hendrix


Brave Girl: Clara and the Shirtwaist Makers’ Strike of 1909, by Michelle Markel

We Shall Overcome: The Story of a Song, by Debbie Levy

Razia’s Ray of Hope: One Girl’s Dream of an Education by Elizabeth Suneby


Each Kindness, by Jacqueline Woodson

Dolores Huerta: A Hero to Migrant Workers, by Sarah Warren


The Mangrove Tree: Planting Trees to Feed Families, by Susan L. Roth and Cindy Trumbore

Peaceful Pieces: Poems and Quilts about Peace, by Anna Grossnickle Hines

Belle, the Last Mule at Gee's Bend, by Calvin Alexander Ramsey and Bettye Stroud


Emma's Poem: The Voice of the Statue of Liberty, by Linda Glaser

Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down, by Andrea Davis Pinkney

Ruth and the Green Book, by Calvin Alexander Ramsey


Nasreen's Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan, by Jeanette Winter

Sojourner Truth's Step-Stomp Stride, by Andrea Davis Pinkney & Brian Pinkney

You and Me and Home Sweet Home by George Ella Lyon and Stephanie Anderson


Planting the Trees of Kenya: The Story of Wangari Maathai, by Claire A. Nivola

The Storyteller's Candle / La Velita de los Cuentos, by Cuento Lucía González

Silent Music: A Story of Baghdad, by James Rumford


The Escape of Oney Judge: Martha Washington's Slave Finds Freedom, by Emily Arnold McCully

One Thousand Tracings: Healing the Wounds of World War II, by Lita Judge


A Place Where Sunflowers Grow, by Amy Lee-Tai

  • A girl with an artistic bent struggles to find beauty in a WWII internment camp.

Night Boat to Freedom, by Margot Theis Raven

Crossing Bok Chitto, by Tim Tingle


Delivering Justice: W. W. Law and the Fight for Civil Rights, by Jim Haskins

Poems to Dream Together / Poemas Para Soñar Juntos, by Francisco X. Alarcón


Sélavi, That is Life: A Haitian Story of Hope, by Youme Landowne

  • A child victim of political violence struggles to find friends and a voice on the streets of Port-au-Prince.

Hot Day on Abbott Avenue, by Karen English

Henry and the Kite Dragon, by Bruce Edward

Sequoyah: The Cherokee Man Who Gave His People Writing, by James Rumford


Harvesting Hope: The Story of Cesar Chavez, by Kathleen Krull

  • A picture book biography of the man who fought for fairness for migrant farm workers.

Girl Wonder: A Baseball Story in Nine Innings, by Deborah Hopkinson

Luba: The Angel of Bergen-Belsen, by Luba Tryszynska-Frederick


Patrol: An American Soldier in Vietnam, by Walter Dean Myers

¡Si, Se Puede! Yes We Can! Janitor Strike In L.A., by Diana Cohn

The Village That Vanished, by Ann Grifalconi


Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., by Doreen Rappaport

  • A biography of MLK, beginning with childhood.

Amber Was Brave, Essie Was Smart, by Vera B. Williams


The Composition, by Antonio Skármeta

The Yellow Star: The Legend of King Christian X of Denmark, by Carmen Agra Deedy


Molly Bannaky, by Alice McGill

A Band of Angels: A Story Inspired by the Jubilee Singers, by Deborah Hopkinson

When Sophie Gets Angry -- Really, Really Angry..., by Molly Bang

  • A book for little ones about recognizing when you feel anger.


Painted Words / Spoken Memories: Marianthe's Story, by Aliki

Hey, Little Ant, by Phillip and Hannah Hoose

  • An ant pleads his case to the kid bully who's preparing to squish him.

i see the rhythm, by Toyomi Igus

This Land Is Your Land, by Woody Guthrie


Seven Brave Women, by Betsy Hearne

Celebrating Families, by Rosmarie Hausherr

Passage to Freedom: The Sugihara Story, by Ken Mochizuki


Wilma Unlimited, by Kathleen Krull

The Day Gogo Went to Vote, by Elinor Batezat Sisulu


Sitti's Secrets, by Naomi Shihab Nye

Bein' with You This Way, by W. Nikola-Lisa


This Land Is My Land, by George Littlechild

Soul Looks Back in Wonder, by Tom Feelings


Aunt Harriet's Underground Railroad in the Sky, by Faith Ringgold

Mrs. Katz and Tush, by Patricia Polacco


The Wednesday Surprise, by Eve Bunting


Nicolas, Where Have You Been? by Leo Lionni


Nobody Wants a Nuclear War, by Judith Vigna

All in a Day, by Mitsumasa Anno


Music, Music for Everyone, by Vera B. Williams


If I Had a Paka: Poems in Eleven Languages, by Charlotte Pomerantz

Special Recognition:

Children as Teachers of Peace, by Our Children


Special Recognition:

Natural History, by M. B. Goffstein


Special Recognition:

Amifika, by Lucille Clifton


Paul Robeson, by Eloise Greenfield


The Princess and the Admiral, by Charlotte Pomerantz


The Monkey and the Wild, Wild Wind, by Ryerson Johnson


Stick-in-the-Mud, by Jean Ketchum

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Jane Addams Award
books for older children


Turning 15 on the Road to Freedom: My Story of the 1965 Selma Voting Rights March by Lynda Blackmon Lowery as told to Elspeth Leacock and Susan Buckley

Full Cicada Moon by Marilyn Hilton


The Girl From the Tar Paper School: Barbara Rose Johns and the advent of the Civil Rights Movement by Teri Kanefield

Revolution by Deborah Wiles

Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal by Margarita Engle


Sugar by Jewell Parker Rhode

Seeing Red by Kathryn Erskine

Brotherhood by Anne Westrick


We’ve Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children’s March, by Cynthia Levinson

Marching to the Mountaintop: How Poverty, Labor Fights and Civil Rights Set the Stage for Martin Luther King Jr.’s Final Hours, by Ann Bausum

Temple Grandin: How the Girl Who Loved Cows Embraced Autism and Changed the World, by Sy Montgomery


Sylvia & Aki, by Winifred Conkling, published by Tricycle Press

Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans, and illustrated by Kadir Nelson

Inside Out & Back Again, by Thanhha Lai


A Long Walk to Water: Based on a True Story, by Linda Sue Park

The Ninth Ward, by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Birmingham Sunday, by Larry Dane Brimner


Marching for Freedom: Walk Together, Children, and Don’t You Grow Weary, by Elizabeth Partridge

Almost Astronauts: 13 Women Who Dared to Dream, by Tanya Lee Stone

Claudette Colvin, by Phillip Hoose


The Surrender Tree: Poems of Cuba's Struggle for Freedom, by Margarita Engle

The Shepherd's Granddaughter, by Anne Laurel Carter

Ain't Nothing But a Man: My Quest to Find the Real John Henry, by Scott Reynolds Nelson


We Are One: The Story of Bayard Rustin, by Larry Dane Brimner

Rickshaw Girl, by Mitali Perkins

Elijah of Buxton, by Christopher Paul Curtis

Birmingham, 1963, by Carole Boston Weatherford


Weedflower, by Cynthia Kadohata

  • A 12-year old Japanese-American girl in a WWII internment camp finds comfort in her talent for growing greenery.

Freedom Walkers, by Russell Freedman

Counting on Grace, by Elizabeth Winthrop


Let Me Play: The Story of Title IX, the Law that Changed the Future of Girls in America, by Karen Blumenthal

The Crazy Man, by Pamela Porter

Sweetgrass Basket, by Marlene Carvell


With Courage and Cloth: Winning the Fight for a Woman's Right to Vote, by Ann Bausum

The Heaven Shop, by Deborah Ellis


Out of Bounds: Seven Stories of Conflict and Hope, by Beverley Naidoo

Getting Away with Murder: The True Story of the Emmett Till Case, by Chris Crowe

Shutting Out the Sky: Life in the Tenements of New York 1880-1924, by DeborahHopkinson

Special Commendation:

The Breadwinner Trilogy, three books by Deborah Ellis:

  • The Breadwinner
  • Parvana's Journey
  • Mud City


Parvana's Journey, by Deborah Ellis

The Same Stuff as Stars, by Katherine Paterson

When My Name Was Keoko, by Linda Sue Park


The Other Side of Truth, by Beverley Naidoo

A Group of One, by Rachna Gilmore

True Believer, by Virginia Euwer Wolff


Esperanza Rising, by Pam Muñoz Ryan

The Color of My Words, by Lynn Joseph

Darkness over Denmark: The Danish Resistance and the Rescue of the Jews, by Ellen Levine

Walking to the Bus-Rider Blues, by Harriette Gillem Robinet


Through My Eyes, by Ruby Bridges

  • As a 7 year old, Ruby Bridges was the first child to attend a white elementary school in New Orleans. Now grown, she tells her story.

The Birchbark House, by Louise Erdrich

Kids on Strike! by Susan Campbell Bartoletti


Bat 6, by Virginia Euwer Wolff

The Heart of a Chief, by Joseph Bruchac

No More Strangers Now, by Tim McKee

Restless Spirit: The Life and Work of Dorothea Lange, by Elizabeth Partridge


Habibi, by Naomi Shihab Nye

The Circuit: Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child, by Francisco Jimenez

Seedfolks, by Paul Fleischman


Growing Up In Coal Country, by Susan Campbell Bartoletti

Behind the Bedroom Wall, by Laura E. Williams

Second Daughter: The Story of a Slave Girl, by Mildred Pitts Walter


The Well, by Mildred D. Taylor

From the Notebooks of Melanin Sun, by Jacqueline Woodson

On the Wings of Peace: Writers and Illustrators Speak Out for Peace, in Memory of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963, by Christopher Paul Curtis

  • An African-American family from Michigan visits the heart of the south at the height of the civil rights conflict.

Special Commendation:

The Middle Passage, by Tom Feelings


Kids at Work: Lewis Hine and the Crusade Against Child Labor, by Russell Freedman

Cezanne Pinto, by Mary Stolz

I Hadn't Meant to Tell You This, by Jacqueline Woodson


Freedom's Children: Young Civil Rights Activists Tell Their Stories, by Ellen Levine

Eleanor Roosevelt: A Life of Discovery, by Russell Freedman


A Taste of Salt: A Story of Modern Haiti, by Frances Temple

Letters from a Slave Girl: The Story of Harriet Jacobs, by Mary E. Lyons


Journey of the Sparrows, by Fran Leeper Buss

Now Is Your Time! The African-American Struggle for Freedom, by Walter Dean Myers


The Big Book for Peace, edited by Ann Durell and Marilyn Sachs

The Journey: Japanese-Americans, Racism and Renewal, by Sheila Hamanaka

The Middle of Somewhere: A Story of South Africa, by Sheila Gordon


A Long Hard Journey: The Story of the Pullman Porter, by Patricia and Fredrick McKissack

Number the Stars, by Lois Lowry

  • The Newbery winner focused on the resistance movement that smuggled 7000 Jews out of Denmark ahead of the Nazis.

Shades of Gray, by Carolyn Reeder

1989 (Tie):

Anthony Burns: The Defeat and Triumph of a Fugitive Slave, by Virginia Hamilton

Looking Out, by Victoria Boutis

December Stillness, by Mary Downing Hahn

The Most Beautiful Place in the World, by Ann Cameron

Rescue: The Story of How Gentiles Saved Jews in the Holocaust, by Milton Meltzer


Waiting for the Rain: A Novel of South Africa, by Sheila Gordon

Trouble at the Mines, by Doreen Rappaport


Children of the Maya: A Guatemalan Indian Odyssey, by Brent Ashabranner


Ain't Gonna Study War No More: The Story of America's Peace Seekers, by Milton Meltzer

Journey to the Soviet Union, by Samantha Smith


The Short Life of Sophie Scholl, by Hermann Vinke

The Island on Bird Street, by Uri Orlev


Rain of Fire, by Marion Dane Bauer


Hiroshima No Pika, by Toshi Maruki

The Bomb, by Sidney Lenz

West Coast Honor Book:

People at the Edge of the World: The Ohlone of Central California, by Betty Morrow

Special Recognition:

All the Colors of the Race, by Arnold Adoff


A Spirit to Ride the Whirlwind, by Athena V. Lord

Let the Circle Be Unbroken, by Mildred D. Taylor

Lupita Mañana, by Patricia Beatty


First Woman in Congress: Jeannette Rankin, by Florence Meiman White

Chase Me, Catch Nobody! by Erik Haugaard

Doing Time: A Look at Crime and Prisons, by Phyllis Clark and Robert Lehrman

We Are Mesquakie, We Are One, by Hadley Irwin


The Road from Home: The Story of an Armenian Girl, by David Kherdian

West Coast Honor Book:

Woman from Hiroshima, by Toshio Mori


Many Smokes, Many Moons: A Chronology of American Indian History through Indian

Art, by Jamake Highwater

Escape to Freedom, by Ossie Davis

The Great Gilly Hopkins, by Katherine Paterson


Child of the Owl, by Laurence Yep

Alan and Naomi, by Myron Levoy

Mischling, Second Degree, by Ilse Koehn

Special Recognition:

The Wheel of King Asoka, by Ashok Davar


Never to Forget: The Jews of the Holocaust, by Milton Meltzer

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry, by Mildred D. Taylor


Dragonwings, by Laurence Yep

Song of the Trees, by Mildred D. Taylor

Z for Zachariah, by Robert C. O'Brien


The Eye of Conscience, by Milton Meltzer and Bernard Cole

My Brother Sam Is Dead, by James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier

Viva la Raza! by Elizabeth Sutherland Martinez and Enriqueta Longeaux y Vasquez.


Nilda, by Nicholasa Mohr

A Hero Ain't Nothin' but a Sandwich, by Alice Childress

Men Against War, by Barbara Habenstreit

A Pocket Full of Seeds, by Marilyn Sachs


The Riddle of Racism, by S. Carl Hirsch

The Upstairs Room, by Johanna Reiss


The Tamarack Tree, by Betty Underwood


Jane Addams: Pioneer of Social Justice, by Cornelia Meigs


The Cay, by Theodore Taylor


The Endless Steppe: Growing Up in Siberia, by Esther Hautzig


The Little Fishes, by Erick Haugaard


Queenie Peavy, by Robert Burch


Berries Goodman, by Emily Cheney Neville


Meeting with a Stranger, by Duane Bradley


Profiles in Courage: Young Readers Memorial Edition, by John F. Kennedy


The Road to Agra, by Aimee Sommerfelt


What Then, Raman? by Shirley L. Arora


Champions of Peace, by Edith Patterson Meyer


The Perilous Road, by William O. Steele


Blue Mystery, by Margot Benary-Isbert


Story of the Negro, by Arna Bontemps


Rainbow Round the World: A Story of UNICEF, by Elizabeth Yates


People Are Important, by Eva Knox Evans

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Jane Addams, 1860-1935, was a humanitarian and social reformer. She was instrumental in getting women the vote in the U.S., where she helped recent immigrants while promoting world peace. She was the first American woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

Learn more about the Jane Addams Book Award.

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