Social Activism Books for Fourth Grade

Books can encourage kids of all ages to enact change in their communities. Because it’s never too early to make a difference, we’ll be sharing a list of social activism books for each grade level. Check out our social activism book roundup for fourth grade below and for more social activism titles, check out our full printable Social Activism Diverse Reading List!

The People Shall Continue

The People Shall Continue
written by Simon J. Ortiz, illus. by Sharol Graves

Renowned Acoma Pueblo poet and storyteller Simon J. Ortiz traces the progress of Native/Indigenous people of North America from the time of creation to the present.

Find the Teacher’s Guide here.

Ira's Shakespeare Dream

Ira’s Shakespeare Dream
written by Glenda Armand, illus. by Floyd Cooper

This biography chronicles the life of Ira Aldridge, an African American man who is considered to be one of the greatest Shakespearean actors of the nineteenth century.

Find the Teacher’s Guide here.

Seven Miles to Freedom

Seven Miles to Freedom: The Robert Smalls Story
written by Janet Halfmann, illus. by Duane Smith

The true story of Robert Smalls, an enslaved steamboat wheelman who commandeered a Confederate ship during the Civil War and escaped with his family and crew to freedom.

Find the Teacher’s Guide here.

Passage to Freedom

Passage to Freedom: The Sugihara Story
written by Ken Mochizuki, illus. by Dom Lee

As a Japanese diplomat in Lithuania in the 1940s, Chiune Sugihara had a chance to help thousands of Jews escape the Holocaust, but to do so would go against his government’s orders. When his five-year-old son asked, “If we don’t help them, won’t they die?” Sugihara decided to assist the refugees.

Find the Teacher’s Guide here.

Irena's Jars of Secrets

Irena’s Jars of Secrets
written by Marcia Vaughan, illus. by Ron Mazellan

Irena Sendler, a Polish Catholic social worker, helped save nearly 2,500 Jewish children during the Nazi occupation of Poland during World War II.

Find the Teacher’s Guide here.

Silent Star

Silent Star: The Story of Deaf Major Leaguer William Hoy
written by Bill Wise, illus. by Adam Gustavson

Meet William Ellsworth Hoy, the first deaf player to have a long and statistically distinguished career in professional and major league baseball.

Find the Teacher’s Guide here.

Midnight Teacher

Midnight Teacher: Lilly Ann Granderson and Her Secret School
written by Janet Halfmann, illus. by London Ladd

This historical fiction picture book reveals the unknown story of Lilly Ann Granderson, an African American teacher who risked her life to teach others during slavery.

Find the Teacher’s Guide here.

More in this series:

Additional Resources:

Additional resources about Social Activism work with students: