When you think about your daily life, you will notice that you use energy all the time. We use energy to cook and store our food, when we take the bus to school or turn on the lights when it gets dark. Now think about all the other people around the world needing energy for their lives too. That is a lot of energy we need every day and at the same time, we want to use energy which doesn’t pollute the air.
In many places around the world, there is still no access to clean energy. For example, many families still cook with wood, charcoal or dung which causes indoor air pollution and can make them sick. That’s why it is important to provide renewable energy sources, like solar panels.
There are also close to one billion people living without electricity at all and 50 percent of those people are in Sub-Saharan Africa. This means that many children can’t do their homework at night because they don’t have light, or store their food safely in a fridge to keep it fresh. Giving them access to energy would help them to have more time to study and do better in school.
Our new reading list covers many of these topics and we hope the stories will inspire you to take action for all children to live with affordable and clean energy.
On the importance of reading
The boy who harnessed the wind
This story about a boy growing up in poverty in Malawi is an inspirational story of strength.
Setting the scene in the first part of the book helps the reader to understand the environment William lived in. William had a curious mind growing up and the book illustrates how to be resourceful in his situation. The book also reminds us of the difference one person can make in this world, and aligns very well with the theme of SDG 7, which are Affordable and Clean Energy and where we are all encouraged to live more sustainably in our beautiful world.
Author: William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer| Illustrator: Elizabeth Zunon | ISBN: 978-0147510426 | Publisher: Puffin Books
Iqbal and his Ingenious Idea
It’s monsoon season in Bangladesh, which means Iqbal’s mother must cook the family’s meals indoors, over an open fire. The smoke from the fire makes breathing difficult for his mother and baby sister, and it’s even making them sick. Hearing them coughing at night worries Iqbal. So when he learns that his school’s upcoming science fair has the theme of sustainability, Iqbal comes up with the perfect idea for his entry: he’ll design a stove that doesn’t produce smoke! With help from his teacher, Iqbal learns all about solar energy cooking, which uses heat from the sun to cook – ingenious! Has Iqbal found a way to win first prize in the science fair while providing cleaner air and better health for his family at the same time?
Author: Elizabeth Suneby | Illustrator: Rebecca Green | ISBN: 978-1771387200| Publisher: Kids Can Press
What If We Run out of Oil?
We use oil every day – whether on the bus to school or writing with a pen. But where does it come from? What impact is our use of it having on the environment? What will happen when we run out completely? Explore the answers to these questions in this detailed information book, with stunning photographs and clear diagrams.
Author: Nick Hunter| ISBN: 978-0007428342| Publisher: Collins Educational
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.