Everyone deserves to have a good job that is safe and pays them well. Many jobs around the world put workers in danger, do not pay them enough to live comfortably, or do not employ men, women, or people with disabilities equally. People in unsafe work environments are at risk of health problems, injuries, and some lose their lives due to poor conditions. Without a job, or one that pays well, people cannot always visit the doctor when they are sick for example. Good, safe, well-paid jobs should be available for everyone — men and women, young people, and people with disabilities.
If people have a good job in their own community it also helps achieve other Sustainable Development Goals. If their job pays them well, they can afford nutritious food for their family (SDG2: Zero Hunger), they can afford a home in a safe neighborhood (SDG1: No Poverty, SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities) and buy school supplies for their children to get a good education (SDG4: Quality Education). The reality though is that in 2018, one in five young people were not getting the education or training they need to get jobs.
Our new reading list covers many of these topics and we hope the stories will inspire you to stand up for equal opportunity for everyone to get safe, well-paying jobs to live healthy, fulfilling lives.
The SDG Book Club makes content available in the six official languages of the United Nations – please see our other pages for more recommendations in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish.
On the importance of reading
A Basket of Bangles: How a Business Begins
A bank helps a woman start a small business by giving her a loan. She and her friends find success in the business and improve their lives, underlining the power of decent work on one’s quality of life.
Authors: Ginger Howard | Illustrator: Cheryl Kirk Noll | ISBN: 978-0761319023| Publisher: Millbrook Press
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.
Author: Katie Smith Milway | Illustrator: Eugenie Fernandes | ISBN: 978-1-55453-028-1 | Publisher: Kids Can Press
Twenty-Two Cents: Muhammad Yunus and the Village Bank
Twenty-two Cents is an inspiring story of economic innovation and a celebration of how one person—like one small loan—can make a positive difference in the lives of many.
Author: Paula Yoo | Illustrator: Jamel Akib | ISBN: 978-1600606588 | Publisher: Lee & Low Books
We encourage you to host book club meetings around the world and share your photos via hashtag #SDGBookClub. If you would like to organize a public book club meeting, we recommend contacting your local book store, library or school and set it up with them. Please share the planned event on social media using #SDGBookClub and we will add it to the list of events. Click the button below to download our tips to organize a successful event!
Help us spread the word by downloading our promotional materials. You will find a horizontal banner, bookmark, placard and easy-to-print sign-up sheet for your friends, family and community to join the SDG Book Club!
The SDG Book Club aims to use books as a tool to encourage children ages 6-12 to interact with the principles of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through a curated reading list ofbooks from around the world related to each of the 17 SDGs in all six official UN languages—Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish.
A selection committee works together to make the final selection for each of the 17 SDGs, in all six official UN languages —Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish. The selection committee consists of members from the United Nations, International Publishers Association (IPA), the International Federation of Librarian Associations (IFLA), European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBA), International Authors Forum (IAF), and International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY).
Fiction, non-fiction, and other genres that our panel thinks will help educate children about SDGs will be considered.
The reading list is meant for children ages 6-12. However, we encourage parents, educators, and everyone who is interested to read the selected books and help children understand the importance of the SDGs.
The reading list will be published during the first week of every month for 17 months, starting with Goal 1: No Poverty in April 2019 and culminating with Goal 17: Partnerships for the Goals in September 2020 for the 5th anniversary of the SDGs.
Yes. Sign up on our homepage to get a monthly email on news and updates. Your privacy is important to us so we would never share your information with third parties or spam your inbox.
No. We do not intend to sell or promote the sale of the books featured in the reading list. If you chose to, you can buy the books online, wherever books are sold, or get a copy at your local bookstore or library.
Yes, there are book club meetings taking place all over the world. Check back for a link to the list! (Coming soon)
People can host book club meetings around the world and share their photos via #SDGBookClub. If you would like to organize a public book club meeting, we recommend contacting your local book store, library or school and set it up with them. Please share the planned event on social media using #SDGBookClub and we will add it to the list of events.
We sincerely appreciate your interest. However, we are not currently accepting recommendations.
There are actions that you can take beyond just reading the books.
A/ Help your kids to create a poster with a photo or drawing and interesting facts about their favourite character(s) of the book.
B/ Design a reading scavenger hunt for kids using drawings and pictures instead of questions and help them search for things mentioned in the book.
C/ Help your kids write a letter to the local government representative and tell them what you learned in the book and ask them what action(s) they are taking toward a specific Goal.
D/ Organize a parent-child facilitated book discussion for younger kids. Invite your child’s friends and their parents to discuss a book from the reading list at your local library or children’s book store.
E/ Spread the word on social media, using the hashtag #SDGBookClub. We’d love to feature your pictures/videos on our social media.
You can find plenty of Student Resources here. You will find other books aimed at children, as well as the SDG board game. The game aims to help teach children around the world about the Sustainable Development Goals in a child-friendly and straightforward way.
Read to a Child campaign: A global campaign on reading to children to encourage literacy and global citizenship, incorporating the priorities youth and quality education. It is planned to take place in September 2020. More information to come. Please sign up to stay informed.