‘Reading rebels’ instils kindness in kids

Amnesty International is the world’s leading human rights organisation, campaigning against injustice and inequality everywhere – but did you know it has a book club?

Reading Rebels encourages children to dream big and help shape a fairer world, as 83% of British children aged 8-15 said they know little or nothing about their own rights. The books cover a range of human rights issues in a child-friendly way like refugees, racism, disability, LGBTIQ and women’s rights.

Those who join receive a book and activities once a month – and the Crown star Olivia Colman, television presenter and Paralympic medallist Ade Adepitan and radio presenter Vick Hope have also joined, to help educate children on social justice issues.

“Books have a unique power to teach young people about the world, to stir curiosity and foster empathy,” said Amnesty ambassador. Olivia Colman. 

(Read more about this initiative to send literacy boxes to children) 

Sacha Deshmukh, Amnesty International UK CEO, added: “Most British children are unaware of their rights and that needs to change.

“Books are a wonderful way to access the lives of others and they allow children to explore human rights whatever their age. Joining the club will help children understand equality and know how they should be treated, as well as how they should treat others.”

The book club is for children with a reading age of 4-7 years or 8-10 years. Each group will receive different books and activities, written to handle human rights topics in age-appropriate ways. For example, children with a reading age of 4-7 years old will get books like We’re All Wonders by R. J. Palacio and Dare by Lorna Gutierrez. 

Those with a reading age of 8-10 will get books like The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q. Raúf and War is Over by David Almond.

(Read more about these doorstop libraries bringing smiles to kids)

All children develop and learn at different paces; so the discussion questions, tips for parents and challenge activities are all designed to offer parents and carers flexibility so they can cater to every child – and explore the stories in a way that makes sense for them.

Amnesty chooses books that are diverse, so every child has the chance to see themselves in their stories. They celebrate human rights values like truth and fairness, help build empathy and confidence and encourage children to stand up and take action for themselves and others.

The book club is funded by the players of the People Postcode Lottery, and a subscription costs £12 a month. 

Join the Reading Rebels book club for yourself and help Amnesty International UK stand up for equality and justice around the world.