God’s Heart

Children in Crisis: A New Commitment by Phyllis Kilbourn (MARC Publishing, 1996). This book acquaints you with the problems of children at risk and spells out the role of the church in offering a biblical, God-directed response. This compilation of articles is a good reader for those who want to reflect critically and learn of practical ideas for ministry. Paperback, 272 pp., adult. Available from

Fields of the Fatherless: Discover the Joy of Compassionate Living by C. Thomas Davis (David C. Cook, 2008). With compassion and insight, Davis shows you how to reach out to the weak and needy—those who are most on God’s heart. Paperback, 192 pp., adult. Available from

Good News about Injustice: A Witness of Courage in a Hurting World by Gary A. Haugen (InterVarsity Press, 1999). Accounts of injustice from around the world often leave us feeling outraged, helpless, and wondering how to respond. The good news about injustice is that God is against it. God is in the business of using the unlikely to perform the holy, Haugen contends. He offers stories of courageous witnesses, past and present; he also calls the body of Christ to action. Paperback, 200 pp., adult. Available from International Justice Mission or from

Just a Minute: In the Heart of a Child, One Moment … Can Last Forever by Dr. Wess Stafford and Dean Merrill, (Moody Publishers, 2012). Inspiring stories reinforce the value of children in God’s eyes and demonstrate how our interactions with them can change them forever. Hard cover, 224 pp. Adult. Available from

Too Small to Ignore: Why children are the Next Big Thing by Dr. Wess Stafford (Waterbrook Press, 2007). A leader of Compassion International shares his boyhood adventures growing up in an African village, and challenges us to change the world one child at a time. Includes true stories of how God has used children for his purposes, both in biblical and modern times. Paperback, 304 pp., adult. Available from


Beatrice’s Goat by Page McBrier (Atheneum, 2001). Beatrice longs to attend school with other children in her Ugandan village, but instead she must tend her five younger siblings and help her mother in the fields. Everything starts to change when her family receives a goat. Based on the true account of one family who received aid from Heifer Project International, a nonprofit organization working to end global hunger by donating livestock to poor communities around the world and training people in need. 40 pp., ages 4-8. Available from Heifer International or from

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer (Dial, 2012). When a drought devastates the family farm, William’s father reduces meals to one a day and pulls his son out of school for lack of fees. Creative and persistent, William decides to construct a windmill that will bring power to his village, power that will irrigate the parched earth. True story of a family in Malawi banding together to overcome adversity. Hard cover, 32 pp., ages 6-11. Available from

The Can Man by Laura E. Williams (Lee & Low Books Inc., 2010). Tim wants a new skateboard and decides to make money by collecting cans. He’s seen Mr. Peters, the Can Man, doing it. As Tim becomes more aware of the needs of this homeless man, Tim faces a difficult decision. A simple message sheds light on wants versus needs. Hard cover, 40 pp., ages 4-8. Available from

Cups Held Out by Judith L. Roth (Herald Press, 2006). On a trip to Mexico, a girl describes meeting children and mothers with hands and cups held out for money. She and her father talk about what they might do to be helpful, but don’t have any easy answers. A simple story that is helpful in teaching children to think of others. Paperback, 35 pp., ages 4-8. Available from

Exodus from Hunger: We Are Called to Change the Politics of Hunger
by David Beckmann (Westminster John Knox Press, 2010). Beckmann, President of Bread for the World, believes that the problem of hunger must be addresses through both grassroots and political means. The book describes the causes of hunger, provides case studies of countries who are making strides to eradicate it, and lays out a plan for using political channels to advance progress on the issue. The author puts a face on the problem by sharing stories of real people who are hungry every day. Beckmann challenges Christians to get involved and suggests ways to do so. Paperback, 192 pp., adult. Available from

The Hole in Our Gospel: What Does God Expect of Us? The Answer that Changed My Life and Might Just Change the World by Richard Stearns (Thomas Nelson, 2009). Stearns, President of World Vision, says Christians have a huge hole in their lives—an emptiness that comes from ignoring the plight of the poor. The author traces his own spiritual journey from having it all to sacrificial living on behalf of those who have nothing. With passionate urging and earnestness, Stearns challenges Christians to embrace the whole gospel of Jesus Christ by embracing the most needy and vulnerable among us. Hardcover, 320 pp., adult. Available from

Home Away from Home: How Children Find Hope When they Lose Their Homes (World Vision, 2010). 1–hour lesson explores reasons for homelessness with an emphasis on refugees. Grades 1-3. Available at

Hope Lives: A Journey of Restoration by Amber Van Schooneveld (Group Publishing, 2008). Compassion changes everything: how you view your world … yourself … even Jesus. This five-week exploration of compassion is aimed at both head and heart, inspiring a new way to interact with the world. These 25 daily readings address poverty of the heart, what the Bible says about poverty, prayer, discovering the causes of poverty, and becoming part of the solution to local and global poverty. Paperback, 192 pp., adult. Available from Compassion International or from

How Shall We Feed Them?: A Practical Guide for Organizing a Food Pantry by Marty Girardier (Pleasant Word, a division of WinePress, 2010). Practical advice for setting up a food pantry: building a team, stocking shelves, serving and ministering to food recipients. Includes a detailed action plan, sign-up sheets for donors and volunteers, and food-recipient information forms. Paperback, 76 pp., adult. Available from

A Hungry World: Understanding the Global Food Crisis (World Vision, 2005). Booklet provides 8 hours of material for teaching about global food insecurity. Includes background information, case studies, group activities, prayer materials and action ideas. Grades 6-12. Available at

Kids Against Hunger by Jon Mikkelsen, (Stone Arch Books, 2008). Greg skips soccer practice once a week and is able to impact the world with a heart of compassion. Easy reader with short chapters and many illustrations. Hardcover, 40 pp., ages 9-12. Available from Stone Arch Books or from

The New Friars: The Emerging Movement Serving the World’s Poor
by Scott A. Bessenecker (InterVarsity Press, 2006). There’s a significant movement going on throughout the world: young people serving in solidarity with the poorest of the poor. This movement shares values and goals with ancient monastic and missional orders known as friars. Bessenecker looks at the new friars in the context of the old, inspiring us to look at the world differently: every person, regardless of station, is our brother or sister, and our love for God must translate into love for them. Paperback, 199 pp., high school/adult. Available from

Not Just a One-Night Stand: Ministry with the Homeless by John Flowers and Karen Vannoy, (Discipleship Resources, 2009). Based on the ministry experiences at their own church in Texas, the authors gives creative approaches to ministry among the marginalized. Paperback, 128 pp. Adult. Available from

One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference
by Katie Smith Milway (Kids Can Press, 2008). Inspired by true events, One Hen tells the story of Kojo, a boy from Ghana who turns a small loan into a thriving farm and a livelihood for many in Ghana. Hardcover, 32 pp., ages 6-9. Available from Kids Can Press or from

The Poor Will Be Glad: Joining the Revolution to Lift the World Out of Poverty by Peter Greer and Phil Smith (Zondervan, 2009). Presents a model to help break the cycle of poverty by offering a hand up rather than a handout. Practical advice on how individuals, businesses, and churches can partner with communities through microfinance. Both authors have practical experience in this area. Hardcover, 288 pp., adult. Available from

Same Kind of Different As Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together by Ron Hall, Denver Moore, and Lynn Vincent (Thomas Nelson, 2008). Switching back and forth in short segments, authors Hall and Moore share their separate stories that begin in distant walks of life and intersect in a homeless shelter. The book offers a glimpse into two worlds that are nearly opposite and shows what happens when these worlds come into contact with each other in a way that can only be explained as “God ordained.” Paperback, 224 pp., adult. Available from

Sheba’s Song: The Story of an Indian Girl and Her American Sponsor
by J.A. Harbison (World Christian Books, 2002). The true story of a little Indian girl and her sponsor, a farmer in North America. It sensitively chronicles Sheba’s life through many testing circumstances from childhood till the time when she lives her dreams. The book is written in hindsight to tell Mr. Crenshaw her story and the things that she could never express as a child. Paperback, 183 pp., adult. Available from Compassion International or from

What Does It Mean to Be Poor?
by Joye Smith (Woman’s Missionary Union, 2004). Simple introduction to different facets of poverty, God’s love for the poor, and ways children can help. Hardcover, 30 pp., ages 4-6. Available from Woman’s Missionary Union.

When Do We Eat? Understanding World Hunger and Doing Something About It (World Vision, 2010) 1-hour lesson to help children understand the causes of world hunger and learn how they can make a difference. Grades 1-3. Available at


Adopted for Life: The Priority of Adoption for Christian Families and Churches by Russell D. Moore (Crossway Books, 2009). The gospel of Jesus Christ, the good news that through Jesus we have been adopted as sons and daughters into God’s family, means that Christians ought to be at the forefront of the adoption of orphans in North America and around the world. Moore, who adopted two boys from Russia, charges the Church to see adoption as part of the Great Commission mandate and as a sign of the gospel itself. Paperback, 232 pp., adult. Available from

Castaway Kid: One Man’s Search for Hope and Home by R.B. Mitchell (Tyndale House, 2007). Rob Mitchell is one of the last “lifers” raised in an American orphanage. Left by a dysfunctional family in an Illinois children’s home, he grew up with kids who were not friends but rather “co-survivors.” After becoming a Christian as a teenager, Rob found what he was looking for—home and family—in a relationship with God. Rob was able to overcome his past, forgiving his relatives and forging healthy family relationships of his own. His memoir will appeal to adults with difficult pasts, those who work with troubled kids, and anyone who revels in seeing God change a life. Paperback, 272 pp., high school/adult. Available from Focus on the Family or from

The Connected Child: Bring Hope and Healing to Your Adoptive Family by Karyn Purvis, David Cross, and Wendy Lyons Sunshine (McGraw Hill, 2007). Compassionte insight and concrete practices for parents who have adopted children from difficult backgrounds. Addresses ways to connect with children and build bonds of affection, deal with learning and behavior disorders, and discipline with love. Paperback, 288 pp., adult. Available from

George Mueller: The Guardian of Bristol’s Orphans (Christian Heroes: Then & Now) by Geoff Benge and Janet Benge (YWAM Publishing, 1999). With scarcely enough food or money for his own family, George Mueller opened his heart and home to 30 orphans in Bristol, England. Sustained by God’s provision, the ministry grew from one home to five large houses that ultimately more than 10,000 children would call home. Paperback, 203 pp., ages 9-12. Available from YWAM Publishing or from

Launching an Orphans Ministry in Your Church
by Jason Weber and Paul Pennington (FamilyLife, 2007). This step-by-step guide gives the principles and practical tools needed to launch an effective church orphans ministry. Includes a vision-casting DVD that introduces you and your church’s leaders to existing church orphans ministries around the country. Paperback, 57 pp., adult. Available from Hope for Orphans or from

Love Has a Face: Mascara, a Machete and One Woman’s Miraculous Journey with Jesus in Sudan by Michele Perry (Chosen, 2009). Perry, born without her left hip and leg, did not let physical difficulties prevent her from obeying God’s call to the least of these. After serving in the slums of India, she felt led to open a home for orphaned children in one of the most war-torn areas of Sudan. Inspiring story of faith. Paperback, 217 pp., adult. Available from

Orphanology: Awakening to Gospel-Centered Adoption and Orphan Care by Tony Merida and Rick Morton (New Hope Publishers, 2011). Book discusses the motivation behind orphan care — extending the grace God gave to us through Christ to others. The authors give a breadth of action steps and feature churches doing orphan ministry, faith-based children’s homes, orphan-hosting groups, and other resources. Paperback, 192 pp., adult. Available from New Hope Publishers or from

Orphans and the Fatherless Making Ourselves Known by Julie Chandler (The 7 Towers Inc, 2010). Written in a blog-like short chapters, Chandler’s book is divided into three main sections: who are the orphans and fatherless, what is the role of a father, and what are other issues surrounding the poor. Paperback, 144 pp., adult. Available as a Kindle e-book from or order the book from

Saving Levi: Left to Die Destined to Live by Lisa Misraje Bentley (Tyndale House, 2006). Lisa and John Bentley went to China to build an orphanage in a village near Beijing. Soon after their arrival, a 6-week-old baby boy, with burns on over 70% of his body, was found in a field and brought to them. This is just the beginning of Levi’s story. Saving Levi brings together the stories of believers and non-believers alike that God used to save the life of this little boy and help him heal. Paperback, 140 pp., adult. Available from

Silent Tears: A Journey of Hope in a Chinese Orphanage
by Kay Bratt (CreateSpace, 2008). An American volunteer in a Chinese orphanage learns to pull from the hidden strength within her to improve conditions for the children. If you have ever wondered what day-to-day life is like in a Chinese orphanage, this will tell it. If you have ever wondered what it is like to love a child so deeply, even though they aren’t yours, this will tell it. Paperback, 430 pp., adult. Available from

Small Town, Big Miracle: How Love Came to the Least of These
by W.C. Martin (Tyndale House, 2007). On one memorable day, while Bishop W.C. Martin and his wife, Donna, were in prayer together, God gave them a one-word message: “Adopt!” They were called to carry out literally James 1:27. Over the next five years, the Martins would adopt four kids, including two with special needs. Though they didn’t make adoption a “cause” at that time, the members of their church of 200 soon caught the same vision. The church has now adopted 72 children and counting. Paperback, 168 pp., adult. Available from Focus on the Family or from

The Strength of Mercy: Making a Difference in the World One Child at a Time
by Jan Beazely (WaterBrook Press, 1999). Witness God’s compassion as he leads a family to Romania in search of one special child. Watch God orchestrate a dramatic series of events that would bring help and hope to abandoned children around the world. Your faith will be bolstered by this powerful, modern-day example of how God speaks to us and asks us to risk for him. Paperback, 168 pp., adult. Available from

Three Names of Me
by Mary Cummings (Albert Whitman & Company, 2006). A gentle, sensitive story of international adoption told through the eyes of a Chinese-American girl. The theme of family should interest most children, but adopted youngsters will relate to Ada’s feelings as she considers her past as well as present circumstances. Hardcover, 40 pp., ages 6-9. Available from

Street Kids

At Home in the Street: Street Children of Northeast Brazil by Tobias Hecht (Cambridge University Press, 1998). Street children in Brazil describe their families, the violence in their everyday lives, their futures, and interventions from welfare organizations. Paperback, 279 pp., adult. Available from

Carlos: The Street Boy Who Found a Home
by Marcos Carpenter (Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1987). Beautiful story of faith, love, and family. This book is about adoption of older children. Hardcover, 32 pp., ages 9-12. Available from

A Cry from the Streets: Rescuing Brazil’s Forgotten Children
by Jeannette Lukasse (YWAM, 2002). When a young Dutch couple asked God if he could use them to do something about the immense suffering they saw in the world, he led them on a winding path from their home in the Netherlands to the streets of Belo Horizonte, Brazil. Their calling was clear: millions of orphaned and abandoned children were living and dying on the streets, caught in the deadly grip of drugs, violence, prostitution, and abuse. What followed the Lukasses’ step of faith is a stunning example of how God miraculously uses the surrendered lives of believers to transform the lives of others with his hope and healing. Paperback, 224 pp., adult. Available from YWAM Publishing or from

The Least of These: Lessons Learned from Kids On the Street by Ron Ruthruff (New Hope Publishers, 2010). Ruthruff relates biblically relevant stories of the real young people whom he and his family have loved and served—and what these kids have taught him in return about truly Christ-centered ministry. With 25 years of experience ministering to street kids, Ruthruff shares a tried model for serving troubled youth. Hard cover, 208 pp., adult. Available from

Lessons from a Street Kid by by Craig Kielburger (Me to We, 2011). On the streets of Salvador, Brazil, Craig learns the firsthand stories of street children. He sees their creativity as they play soccer using a plastic bottle for a ball. After the game, a young child named José shows Craig the true meaning of selflessness by giving him his prized possession—literally the soccer jersey off his back. Hard cover, 36 pp., ages 6-9. Available at

Little Nomads, the Journeys of India’s Street Children by Urban Ethnographic Associates (Urban Mind Books, 2002). First-hand accounts of 14 street children living in and around New Delhi’s railway station. 30 pp., ages 9-12. Available from

Little Outlaws, Dirty Angels by Tom Hewitt (Hodder & Stoughton, 1999). Hewitt tells of his experiences rescuing children who would otherwise be lost to a life of homelessness, addiction, prostitution, and AIDS. A true story of new direction for a forgotten generation struggling to find their place in the new South Africa. Paperback, 201 pp., adult. Available from

Nothing but a Thief by Danielle Speakman (Sovereign World, 2003). First-hand accounts of the lives of street children in Lima, Peru. This powerful and moving book aims to bring the plight of children into sharp focus again for the Church. Paperback, 192 pp., adult. Available from

Street Boy by Fletch Brown (Authentic Media, 2006). When a street boy in Manila steals a wallet, money is not all that he finds. Born out of Action International’s ministry, this true-to-life story reveals the plight of street children worldwide and shows that they, too, can be won to Christ and have their lives transformed.140 pp., ages 9-12. Available from Authentic Media or from

Street Children: The Tragedy and Challenge of the World’s Millions of Modern-day Oliver Twists by Andy Butcher (Authentic, 2006). The result of extensive research, this book combines hard statistics with individual stories to challenge our indifference and awaken our conscience. Andy Butcher compares the situation facing street children today with that epitomized in the Dickens novel, Oliver Twist. Frighteningly, he concludes that if we look at a global perspective, little progress has been made. Paperback, 224 pp., adult. Available from

Street Girls: Hope on the Streets of Brazil by Matt Roper (Authentic, 2007). Story of a successful project to reach out to the street girls of Brazil, offering security, safety, rehabilitation, and reintegration into society. Paperback, 176 pp., adult. Available from

Through the Eyes of a Child: Amazing Stories of Hope by Angela Murray (Monarch Books, 2007). A rare, personal look at life on the streets, told from the perspective of the children themselves. Through honest, moving, shocking, and often harrowing stories, children describe how they long to be free from the streets and their search for a home, family, and an education. Paperback, 160 pp., adult. Available from or from

When Invisible Children Sing by Chi Cheng Huang and Irwin Tang (SaltRiver, 2006). Huang went to Bolivia to work with homeless children when he was fresh out of Harvard Medical School. Looking to fulfill a sense of Christian mission, he committed to spending a year caring for homeless children in an orphanage. His ministry quickly expanded to include nighttime care for children on the streets of La Paz, and it is these later stories that Huang tells. Told simply and without exaggeration, each child’s account speaks for itself, demonstrating the humanity of those who are usually invisible. Huang inspires readers to reach out, even to just one child, and make a difference in a life. Hardcover, 320 pp., adult. Available from

Working with the Street Children: An Approach Explored by Andrew Williams (Russell House Publishing, 2011). Williams, who has worked with street children in Africa, relates a 5-pronged approach to ministering to street children: holistic, relational, transitional, child-centered, and professional. Incorporates stories and accounts of lessons learned. Paperback, 160 pp., adult. Available from

Child Laborers

The Carpet Boy’s Gift by Peigi Deitz Shea (Tilbury House Publishers, 2006). Inspired by the true story of Iqbal Masih, a boy from Pakistan who fought for the rights of child laborers. Paperback, 32 pp., ages 9-12. Available from or from

Deliver Me from Evil
by Kathi Macias (New Hope Publishers, 2011). Mara has been a trafficking victim for 12 years. Her uncle brought her across the U.S. border from Mexico when she was six. Jonathan and Leah are pastor’s kids who have been oblivious to the seedy undercover world around them. When Jonathan delivers a pizza to a motel, he crosses paths with Mara and starts his family on a journey they never could have anticipated. Paperback, 320 pp., adult. Available from

Growing Up in Coal Country
by Susan Campbell Bartoletti (Houghton Mifflin, 1996). True accounts and photos of children at work in the coal mines of Pennsylvania 100 years ago. Describes heartfelt memories of long hours, hard labor, and extremely dangerous working conditions. 128 pp., ages 9-12. Available from

Not for Sale: The Return of the Global Slave Trade – and How We Can Fight It by David Batstone (HarperOne, 2007). An estimated 27 million people suffer in situations of forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation from which they cannot free themselves. As many as half of all those trafficked worldwide for sex and domestic slavery are children under 18. Batstone carefully weaves the narratives of 21st century activists and those in bondage in a way that not only raises awareness of the modern-day slave trade, but also serves as a call to action. Paperback, 320 pp., adult. Available from

Not In My Town Exposing and Ending Human Trafficking and  Modern Slavery by Dillon Burroughs and Charles Powell (New Hope Publishers, 2011). Answers questions and promotes discussion about the slavery system in the United States and across the world, including agricultural slavery, forced labor, sexual exploitation, and human trafficking. Includes a DVD for small group use. Paperback, 192 pp., adult. Available from

We Need to Go to School: Voices from the Rugmark Children by Tanya Roberts-Davis (Groundwood Books, 2003). A moving account of child labor today. Twenty former child carpet weavers in Nepal talk about their lives in this compilation of essays, drawings, and poems about the harsh poverty that drove their families to send them to work, the virtual slave labor in the factories, and the hope they feel after being freed from their jobs and given the chance to go to school. Paperback, 48 pp., ages 9-12. Available from

Working Children: Picture the American Past
by Carol Saller (Carolrhoda Books, 1998). In 1900, more than two million American youngsters worked instead of attending school. Photos and descriptions of the various jobs children performed, reasons for employment, their working conditions, and the efforts of reformers. Includes references to child labor around the world today. Hardcover, 48 pp., ages 9-12. Available from


Listen to the Wind by Greg Mortenson (Dial Books, 2009). Greg Mortenson stumbled, lost and delirious, into a remote village in Pakistan after a failed climb up K2. The villagers of Korphe saved his life, and he vowed to return and build them a school. Told in the voice of Korphe’s children, this story illuminates the humanity and culture of a relevant and distant part of the world in gorgeous collage, while sharing a riveting example of how one person can change thousands of lives. Hardcover, 32 pp., ages 4-8. Available from

Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan by Jeanette Winter (Beach Lane Books, 2009). Young Nasreen has not spoken a word to anyone since her parents disappeared.In despair, her grandmother risks everything to enroll Nasreen in a secret school for girls. Will a devoted teacher, a new friend, and the worlds she discovers in books be enough to draw Nasreen out of her shell of sadness? Based on a true story from Afghanistan, this inspiring story will touch readers deeply as it affirms both the life-changing power of education and the healing power of love. Hardcover, 40 pp., ages 9-12. Available from

On My Way to School by AfricAid and Losinoni Primary School (First Person Publishing, 2009). Created by students in Tanzania in partnership with AfricAid. Shows the value of education and the sacrifices that many African chlidren make for a chance to go receive schooling. Hardcover, 43 pp., ages 5-10. Available from

Running Shoes by Frederick Lipp (Charlesbridge Publishing, 2008). A young girl in Cambodia cannnot attend school because it is too far away and she has no shoes. A gift of running shoes changes her life. Hardcover, 32 pp., ages 4-8. Available from

Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Journey to Change the World … One Child at a Time by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin (Penguin Books, 2007). This New York Times bestseller recounts the journey that led Greg Mortenson, Central Asia Institute co-founder, from a failed attempt to climb Pakistan’s K2 to successfully establish dozens of schools and promote girls’ education in rural Afghanistan and Pakistan. An inspirational story of one man’s efforts to address poverty, educate girls, and overcome cultural divides. Paperback, 368 pp., adult. Available from

The Young Reader’s Edition, Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Journey to Change the World … One Child at a Time by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin; adapted by Sarah Thomson (Puffin, 2009). Abbreviated, simplified account of Mortenson’s life-saving mountain rescue by Pakistani villagers that inspired his life’s work: building schools in Pakistan and Afghanistan. This version emphasizes young people, with new photographs of youth and an extended interview with Mortenson’s 12-year-old daughter, Amira. 240 pp., ages 9-12. Available from

Children of War

Abe in Arms by Pegi Deitz Shea (PM Presss, 2010). Abe was forced to fight as a child soldier in Liberia. Now living in the United States as the adopted son of a doctor, Abe suffers flashbacks from his traumatic experience. This book explains the Liberian conflict and shares ways of treating children and youth traumatized by war.  Paperback, 172 pp., high school/adult. Available from

Brothers of Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan by Mary Williams (Lee & Low Books, 2005). Driven from his village home by the soldiers, Garang treks with other boys nearly 1,000 miles across the Sudan border—first to Ethiopia, and later to Kenya. He finds shelter in refugee camps and meets an American aid worker. Can Tom help? Hardcover, 40 pp., ages 9-12. Available from

Children at War by P.W. Singer (University of California Press, 2006). Chilling study of the now-conventional use of children in modern warfare. Singer details many of the underlying causes of the practice, explains how the children are recruited, explores the full implications for using children in combat, and discusses how the problem can be addressed. Paperback, 279 pp., adult. Available from

Girl Soldier: A Story of Hope for Northern Uganda’s Children by Faith J.H. McDonnell and Grace Akallo (Chosen, 2007). Kidnapped by the Lord’s Resistance Army at age 15, Grace Akallo offers a disturbing, deeply personal account of being forced to march with the rebel army, fight, and raid villages for food and water. Includes historical background and insights from Faith McDonnell. Paperback, 240 pp., adult. Available from

A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier by Ishmael Beah (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2008). Firsthand account of a 12-year-old boy displaced by war and recruited by the rebel army in Sierra Leone. Paperback, 240 pp., high school/adult. Available from

Making It Home: Real-life Stories from Children Forced to Flee by Beverly Naidoo (Puffin, 2005). Displaced by war, children talk about the horror left behind, the family separation, and the struggle to adjust to a new place, whether as a refugee in a camp or as an asylum seeker in the U.S. Their first-person accounts, many with full-color photos, have been collected by the International Rescue Committee (IRC), which runs programs to aid war-traumatized children. A short introduction to each set of narratives includes a map and background on the country’s conflict. Paperback, 128 pp., ages 9-16. Available from

My Father, the Maker of Trees: How I Survived the Rwandan Genocide
by Eric Irivuzumgabe and Tracey D. Lawrence (Baker Books, 2010). At 16, Eric survived the slaughter in Rwanda by climbing a cypress tree and staying hidden for 15 days. This is a true story of God’s care and protection of Eric, how Eric is reunited with two brothers he assumed were dead, and Eric’s spiritual rebirth. Eric now ministers to orphans of genocide, bringing them hope and healing. Paperback, 208 pp., adult. Available from

One Day the Soldiers Came: Voices of Children of War by Charles London (Harper Perennial, 2007). Interviews of child soldiers and other young people affected by ethnic conflict in Africa, Burma, and the Balkans. Paperback, 304 pp., high school/adult. Available from

Selavi, That Is Hope: A Haitian Story of Hope by Youme Landowne (Cinco Puntos Press, 2005). Young people caught up in the terror of war join together to survive on the streets of Port-au-Prince. This is a complex, true story of hardship and resourcefulness, persecution and triumph. 40 pp., ages 5-9. Available from


AIDS Orphans Rising: What You Should Know and What You Can Do to Help Them Succeed by Sister Mary Elizabeth Lloyd (Loving Healing Press, 2007). Imagine watching your mother and father slowly die before your eyes, leaving you to bury them and then to raise and care for your younger brothers and sisters. Step into the daily lives of these children. Provides information on organizations working with these children, as well as real solutions—actions that you can take now to help these children not only survive, but succeed. Paperback, 120 pp., adult. Available from

God’s Golden Acre: The Inspirational Story of One Woman’s Fight for Some of the World’s Most Vulnerable AIDS Orphans by Dale le Vack (Monarch Books, 2005). A little community in South Africa, God’s Golden Acre, is home to many orphaned children—mostly due to the AIDS pandemic. Heather and Patrick Reynolds care for these children. Their story is one of ministering selflessly in the name of Christ. Paperback, 344 pp., adult. Available from

Is It Okay With You?
by Janine Maxwell (WinePress, 2010). Digs into the AIDS pandemic and the plight of millions of orphans in Africa. Tells stories of how ordinary individuals have taken action and made a difference.

The Skeptic’s Guide to the Global AIDS Crisis: Tough Questions, Direct Answers (Revised Edition) by Dale Hanson Bourke (Authentic, 2006). Guide to AIDS in a simple question-and-answer format that explains medical and political issues in everyday language. Answering the questions the average person asks about this topic, the book is a valuable tool for personal information or group study. Paperback, 96 pp., adult. Available from

There Is No Me Without You: One Woman’s Odyssey to Rescue Africa’s Children by Melissa Fay Green (Bloomsbury, 2007). True story of an Ethiopian widow and the hundreds of children she takes in and cares for in Addis Ababa. This hopeful account exposes the plight of children orphaned by HIV/AIDS, the complexity of responding wisely, and the beauty found when we do. Paperback, 480 pp., adult. Available from

Take a Stand!

Amy Carmichael: Rescuer of Precious Gems by Janet and Geoff Benge (YWAM, 1998). Driven by love and compassion, and sustained by faith and determination, Amy Carmichael defied the cruel barriers of India’s caste system. The story of this young woman from Northern Ireland is a brilliant, sparkling example of God’s love generously poured out to “the least of these among us,” and a vivid example of the impact of one person who fears God and nothing else. Paperback, 202 pp., ages 9-12. Available from YWAM Publishing or from

Be the Change: Your Guide to Freeing Slaves and Changing the World by Zach Hunter (Zondervan/Youth Specialties, 2007). Zach Hunter may only be 15, but he’s taking on issues that affect the world—and he’s making a change. Find out how Zach is working to end slavery, and how you can make a change in the things you see wrong with our world. Paperback, 160 pp., young adult. Available from Focus on the Family or from

Do Something! A Handbook for Young Advocates by Nancy Lublin (Workman Publishing Company, 2010). Helps young activists discover their passion, design an action plan, find their audience, recruit others, and more. Spiral-bound book, 280 pp., middle school/high school. Available from

Free the Children: A Young Man Fights Against Child Labor and Proves that Children Can Change the World by Craig Kielburger (Me to We, 2007). At only 12 years old, Craig Kielburger was shocked to discover the realities of child labor faced by kids his own age throughout the developing world. Along with a mentor, Craig traveled to South Asia, exploring slums and sweatshops. Driven to take action, Craig convinced friends back home to form a group to advocate for children’s rights, launching Free the Children. Paperback, 321 pp., high school/young adult. Available from

Generation Change: Roll Up Your Sleeves and Change the World by Zach Hunter (Zondervan/Youth Specialties, 2008). Read stories of real students changing the world, and find tangible ideas you can use to be the generation of change. Read about people who are feeding the hungry, healing the sick, providing clean water for the thirsty, clothing the poor, housing the homeless, protecting human rights, taking the Bible to new people, and improving the environment. Paperback, 176 pp., young adult. Available from Focus on the Family or from

It Takes a Child by Craig Kielburger and TurnStyle Imaging (Me to We, 2009). Follow 12-year-old Craig’s eye-opening journey through South Asia, learning about global poverty and child labor. This story shows young readers that you’re never too young to change the world. Paperback, 46 pp., ages 6-9. Available at

Love Has a Face by Michelle Perry (Chosen, 2009). Termits for dinner. Bombs in the backyard. A nation torn by decades of war. Can one life really make a difference? Amazing story of one woman’s ministry in Sudan amidst a war-torn populace. She opened a home for orphaned children and has now become “mama” to over one hundred. Paperback, 217 pp., adult. Available from

The One Factor: How One Changes Everything by Doug Sauder (4Kids of South Florida, 2008). Real stories of children from foster care and examples of how God is using the Church to love the fatherless. Invites us to look at the Source behind the one. Paperback, adult. Available from 4Kids of South Florida or

Take Your Best Shot: Do Something Bigger than Yourself by Austin Gutwein and Todd Hillard (Thomas Nelson, 2009). Amazing story of how God used a nine-year old boy’s passion for basketball to help AIDS orphans in Africa. Austin founded Hoops of Hope to engage other young people in helping orphans, too. Money raised has sponsored orphans, built a school and medical clinic, and supplied caregivers with supplies needed to help those suffering and dying from AIDS. This 14-year-old author challenges young people to follow the vision God has given them. Paperback, 240 pp., young adult/adult. Available from

Trevor’s Place: The Story of the Boy Who Brings Hope to the Homeless by Frank Ferrell (HarperCollins, 1990). In December of 1983, 11-year old Trevor Ferrell felt disbelief while watching a news program on the street people of Philadelphia. Unable to understand how people could live without a home just miles from his suburban community, he coaxed his parents that very night to take him to the inner city where the dispossessed live. Trevor’s Place tells the full story that began that winter evening when Trevor shared a yellow blanket and a pillow from his own bed with a man huddled on a subway grate in the freezing weather. Paperback, 159 pp., young adult/adult. Available from