The SDG Book Club, launching in April 2019, will be based on a reading list of titles aimed at children age 6-12, to teach them about the importance of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Reading and learning are essential to children’s growth and development; stories can fuel their imagination and raise awareness of new possibilities. As young people everywhere are a key asset in achieving the Goals, the SDG Book Club aims to encourage them to learn about the Goals in a fun, engaging way and help them realise what actions they can take, empowering them to make a difference.
Maher Nasser, Director of the Outreach Division in the UN Department of Global Communications, said “Knowledge has always been key to progress; and books, in any form, are the means by which knowledge is preserved and shared. Our collaboration with the International Publishers Association on an SDG Book Club is an important initiative to reach children and youth with books and stories in multiple languages that introduce them to the Sustainable Development Goals and the importance of action to achieve them.”
Multilingualism is of essence in reaching a broad, global audience. Titles will be selected for each Goal, in each of the official languages of the United Nations – Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish.
During the announcement of the SDG Book Club, Dr Michiel Kolman, President of the IPA, said: “Imagine children in Asia reading about diversity and inclusion in Chinese; kids in South America enjoying Spanish language books on the importance of water in their lives. All children should have the opportunity to learn about and shape their world through the prism of the SDGs. We are convinced that the SDGs are attainable by 2030 and we hope that we can contribute to achieving this important goal.”
The book selection for each goal will be announced monthly for seventeen months, starting with Goal 1 in April 2019 and culminating with Goal 17 in September 2020.
About the International Publisher’s Association (IPA)
The International Publisher’s Association (IPA) is a federation of publishing associations from around the world. The main mandate of the IPA is to promote and defend copyright, support the freedom to publish, promote literacy and reading. IPA is an accredited NGO in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the UN. IPA supports the SDGs and works particularly closely with WIPO and UNESCO.
About the SDGs
The 17 Sustainable Development Goals were adopted by world leaders at the historic Sustainable Development Summit in September 2015. Encompassing everything from health, to gender equality, and education, the Goals will mobilize efforts around the world to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind.
Frequently Asked Questions
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 panel 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 panel consists of members from the United Nations, International Publishers Association (IPA), the International Federation of Librarian Associations (IFLA), European and International Booksellers Federations (EIBA), International Authors Federation (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.
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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.