book club for boys, books that teach compassion, advance multicultural picture books

Picture Books to Teach Compassion: Book Club for Boys

Picture Books That Teach Compassion

The first idea is paring this non-fiction picture on Everything Ancient Egypt from National Geographic Kids with an outing. I found several. The Museum of Science in Boston has a virtual tour on Ancient Egypt that might be fun to incorporate. For a road trip, there are these other Egyptian exhibits around Boston:

  • An ongoing exhibit at the MFA.
  • Conservation Project: A Monumental Egyptian Gateway in Boston.
  • The Semitic Museum at Harvard University also highlights Ancient Egyptian artifacts.

National Geographic Kids Everything Ancient Egypt: Dig Into a Treasure Trove of Facts, Photos, and Fun  by Crispin Boyer

Another fun project might be to mummify an apple.


Another advanced picture book idea that I have been DYING to do is based on One Hen which is a TRUE STORY about the power of micro-loans in Africa. I would donate a hen through Heifer International to make this idea real for the boys. A flock of chicks is $20. I wonder what information we will get from Heifer International to make this gift something that kids can relate to.

If the boys are motivated, they could even donate money to co-purchase another animal. My son earns allowance so even $5 (he makes $7/week) from each boy would be enough to buy another flock of chicks. A flock of ducks or geese is also $20. Honeybees are $30 (and another great book club topic!). I am excited to introduce multicultural picture books to the boys.

One Hen – How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference (CitizenKid) by Katie Smith Milway

Chicks: A Good Choice

A flock of chicks can help families from Cameroon to the Caribbean add nourishing, life-sustaining eggs to their inadequate diets.

The protein in just one egg is a nutritious gift for a hungry child. Protein-packed eggs from even a single chicken can make a life-saving difference.

Heifer helps many hungry families with a starter flock of 10 to 50 chicks. A good hen can lay up to 200 eggs a year – plenty to eat, share or sell. With Heifer recipients’ commitment to pass on the offspring and training, the exponential impact of adding chickens to communities in poverty is truly a model that helps end hunger and poverty.

Because chickens require little space and can thrive on readily available food scraps, families can make money from the birds without spending much. And chickens help control insects and fertilize gardens.

One Hen, advanced picture book, micro loans, book club for boys, boys book club

In Tanzania, Omari and Kulwa were struggling to raise a family on just 50 cents a day. With the training and chicks they received from Heifer, egg sales have boosted their daily income to $2, so they can now buy food and still pay school fees. Now, through passing on the gift, all of the children in their village are going to school.


Mimi’s Village And How Basic Health Care Transformed It by Katie Smith Milway and Eugenie Fernandes

The Citizen Kid series is such a wonderful way to make the world a little smaller. These advanced picture books help kids learn empathy as well as open their eyes to the world all around them. We are fortunate to take clean drinking water for granted here in North America but Mimi and her little sister who live in Kenya have to walk miles filled with dangers in order to bring back water. When Mimi gives her little sister water that has not been boiled, she becomes dangerously ill. Fortunately, they are able to take her to a clinic an hour away to get her medical help. Mimi wonders why her village can’t have their own medical clinic and with the help of her community, her dream becomes a reality.

The P&G Children’s Safe Drinking Water Program partnered with Children’s Safe Drinking Water to provide clean drinking water to people who really need it using water purification packets.

Since CSDW’s creation, P&G has distributed over 300 million packets to 63 countries and has partnered with 110 organizations. Through these efforts over 3 billion liters of clean water have been made available to people around the globe. The program has saved more than 16,000 lives and prevented over 120 million days of diarrhea.

Each packet costs only 3.5 cents and safely treats 2.5 gallons of water.

One idea for a book club around Mimi’s Village would be to read the book and watch the video and then talk about the importance of safe water. I like the idea of brainstorming ideas to raise money and then perhaps executing one of them as the activity for the book club meeting.

Team building, leadership, entrepreneurship, empathy, salesmanship, creativity are all areas that would be tapped and even raising as little as a dollar to donate would feel like a huge contribution!


National Geographic Readers: Tigers by Laura F. Marsh

I’d love to do book club based on endangered animals. My son has always loved tigers. He read the non-fiction picture book Tigers and loved it, but it is probably too easy for the other boys who are in 2nd and 3rd grade. The chapter book below is probably a better fit.

National Geographic Kids Chapters: Tiger in Trouble!: and More True Stories of Amazing Animal Rescues (National Geographic Kids Everything) by Kelly Milner Halls

I’m not sure how to tie this in so that kids feel that they can help tigers in a way that feel significant. I found this website that had great advice. I am not sure if the boys would want to do this, but writing a letter to their congress person was advice from that site that they could do:

Write A Letter – You can write a short letter to your U.S. Senators and Representative, the people who are in charge of the Endangered Species Act, the U.S. law that protects endangered species. Write in your own words how you feel about endangered species and when you think it is important to protect them. You can use information on our endangered species web pages for ideas. In your letter, you might select a species that is of particular interest to you and discuss why you feel so strongly about that species. Letters like yours help senators and representatives know how people in the districts they represent feel about endangered species protections.


To a Representative:

To a Senator:

The Honorable (name)

The Honorable (name)

U.S. House of Representatives

U.S. Senate

Washington, DC 20515

Washington, DC 20510

book club for boys, books that teach compassion, advance multicultural picture books

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By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. Ann

    These are such great ideas! Love them and I really would love to read One Hen – thanks!!!
    Ann recently posted…Hiya HawkMy Profile

  2. These look like wonderful books, and I love your ideas for bringing them to life for your boys by getting them involved!
    Leanna recently posted…Cinderella Around the World: US Southwest and AppalachiaMy Profile

    • Hi Leanna,
      I’m experimenting with a little boys’ book club to see what works for them; they are so much more active than the girl book clubs I’ve done. I’m excited that they like non-fiction and hopeful that if we expose them to the world around them via books, it will leave an impression somehow to make them better world citizens.

  3. What a wonderful opportunity to teach your children about giving to others. I love that! The books you chose are great. I have to look for each of the at the library.

    Thank you for linking to Read.Explore.Learn. I have just started a Facebook page for Read.Explore.Learn and will be featuring this post on it this week. Here is how to get to the Facbook page
    JDaniel4’s Mom recently posted…Creating a Tide Pool at the Beach- Read.Explore.Learn.My Profile

    • Hi JDaniel4’s Mom,
      So nice to meet you as well! Thank you for coming to my blog! I will check out your Facebook page too! I am hoping that these kinds of books and experiences will help my kids realize that they live a privileged life and make them think about the world as place they can impact with their thoughts and actions.

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