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The Giving Square Selects

The Giving Square Selects raises up beautifully told and illustrated children’s stories that bring readers deeper into the human experience. This designation helps both families and educators identify books that spark meaningful conversations with kids about the myriad ways we can look out for each other.


On behalf of the Children and Youth team at Politics and Prose and an esteemed group of reading specialists and literature experts, we are excited to launch The Giving Square Selects and our 2023 recipients of the designation. 


The Proudest Blue

Written by Ibtihaj Muhammad with S.K. Ali

Illustrated by Hatem Aly

Published by Little, Brown and Company


Lubna and Pebble

Written by Wendy Meddour

Illustrated by Daniel Egnéus

Published by Dial Books for Young Readers


Benji, the Bad Day, and Me

Written by Sally J. Pla

Illustrated by Ken Min

Published by Lee & Low Books Inc.


The One Day House

Written by Julia Durango

Illustrated by Bianca Diaz

Published by Charlesbridge


The Wave

Written and illustrated by Tyler Charlton

Published by Roaring Brook Press


Strictly No Elephants

Written by Lisa Mantchev

Illustrated by Taeeun Yoo

Published by Simon & Schuster


While there is ample supply of children’s literature about giving, there is a wide range of quality and intended messages. We launched The Giving Square Selects to help families and educators identify the books that help readers: 

  1. develop empathic connections to pressing social issues

  2. explore their own unique philanthropic capacity 

  3. understand the broader responsibility we all have to help each other

  4. connect with a range of challenges that kids and adults might face

Thanks to the experts who participated in the selection process. We especially thank the hundreds of elementary students (Kids for Kids Intro participants) who gave us their honest feedback on several books. We also thank the many advisors and experts who participated in the selection process including Melanie Goldstein, Donna Wells, Maria Salvadore, Heidi Yoon, Nehal Gandhi, Karen Leggett, Rebecca Silverman, and Jean Dugan.

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