Book Round-up: Talking to Kids About Current Events

Not sure how to talk to kids about tough topics like how germs spread or why everyone seems so worried and saddened by the news? These books provide an accessible way to talk to kids about those big topics, what lessons we can learn from history, and how small acts of kindness can help their community. Plus, watch author Sarah Lynne Reul read aloud from her picture book, THE BREAKING NEWS.


THE BREAKING NEWS by Sarah Lynne Reul
Ages 4-8

When devastating news rattles a young girl’s community, her normally attentive parents and neighbors are suddenly exhausted and distracted. At school, her teacher tells the class to look for the helpers—the good people working to make things better in big and small ways. She wants more than anything to help in a BIG way, but maybe she can start with one small act of kindness instead…and then another, and another. Small things can compound, after all, to make a world of difference.

The Breaking News by Sarah Lynne Reul touches on themes of community, resilience, and optimism with an authenticity that will resonate with readers young and old.

★ “Featuring a multi-ethnic neighborhood of individuals connected—for better or worse—through their shared disquiet, this is a wise and timely book.” — Publishers Weekly, starred review

“The ambiguous nature of the circumstances makes [The Breaking News] appropriate for many situations children face in today’s never-ending news cycle. An absolute-must for…libraries.” — School Library Journal

Watch author and illustrator Sarah Lynne Reul’s read-aloud of the book here:

Small acts of kindness can add brightness to your day and your community. Look inside the book here.

DO NOT LICK THIS BOOK by Idan Ben-Barak and Julian Frost
Ages 4-8


In this interactive children’s picture book, microbiologist Idan Ben-Barak and award-winning illustrator Julian Frost zoom in on the microscopic world found on everyday objects—and in our bodies.

Min is a microbe. She is small. Very small. In fact, so small that you’d need to look through a microscope to see her.

With a touch of their finger, young readers can bring Min on an adventure to amazing places she’s never seen before, like your teeth or the front of your shirt. This interactive book provides an introduction to germs and how they spread in an accessible way for young readers.

★ “Science at its best: informative and gross.” —Kirkus, starred review

“Barak avoids complex terms and discussion of cell structure, reproduction, and disease that might confuse or frighten the intended audience, but an afterword identifies each microbe and offers additional information. This friendly introduction to the microscopic world is appropriate even for the squeamish.” — Booklist

Min the microbe gives young readers an introduction to germs and how they spread. Look inside the book here.

MORE DEADLY THAN WAR: The Hidden History of the Spanish Flu and the First World War by Kenneth C. Davis
Ages 10-14

Older kids may wonder: Has something like this ever happened before? And what can history teach us about epidemics? New York Times bestselling author Kenneth C. Davis explores the hidden history of the Spanish influenza pandemic during World War I.

Complete with photographs, period documents, modern research, and firsthand reports by medical professionals and survivors, More Deadly Than War provides captivating insight into a catastrophe that transformed America in the early twentieth century.

★ “Davis once again makes history accessible for students from the middle grades through high school.” —VOYA, starred review

Davis’ account untangles the scientific advances, international conflicts and cultural currents that shaped this catastrophic event.” —The Washington Post

Learn more from the author:
Historian and author Kenneth C. Davis joined the CBS This Morning podcast to talk about his book More Deadly Than War and explain the lessons we can take away from the 1918 flu pandemic.

Listen to the podcast here: https://apple.co/2UtpOac

Find more books for Social Emotional Learning units here.