In celebration of Mother’s Day: Titles for peace

Celebrated the second Sunday each May (and this year on May 10), Mother’s Day was first proposed by abolitionist and poet Julia Ward Howe. In her 1872 “Mother’s Day Proclamation,” Howe suggested that people observe Mother’s Day as a day dedicated to peace and supported the importance of coming together during challenging times.

In honor of these early roots, each May the local grassroots group Mothers and Others for Peace explores the history and commitment of women working for peace.

Learn more about Mother’s Day from World Book Online, available with your Oak Park library card and PIN, and browse these digital titles about peace, suggested by your Oak Park librarians.


Fiction & nonfiction for kids

Hiawatha and the Peacemaker by Robbie Robertson

Description: Hiawatha was chosen to translate the Peacemaker’s message of unity for the five warring Iroquois nations during the 14th century. This message not only succeeded in uniting the tribes but also forever changed how the Iroquois governed themselves.

Stream & download with: Hoopla (ebook)

Ahimsa by Supriya Kelkar

Description: When her mother is jailed for being one of Gandhi’s freedom fighters, 10-year-old Anjali overcomes her own prejudices and continues her mother’s social reform work, befriending Untouchable children and working to integrate her school.

Stream & download with: Hoopla (digital audiobook), Media on Demand & Libby (digital audiobook)

Peace and Me by Ali Winter

Description: Draws from the lives and actions of Nobel Peace Prize winners, including Desmond Tutu, Jane Addams, and Jean Henry Dunant, to explore what peace means.

Stream & download with: Hoopla (ebook)

Putting Peace First: 7 Commitments to Change the World by Eric David Dawson

Description: Seven strategies that children can use to make an impact in their communities and promote peace and tolerance.

Stream & download with: Media on Demand & Libby (ebook)

Nobel’s Women of Peace by Michelle Benjamin

Description: Profiles the 12 female recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize since its creation, including how they became activists for peace and their accomplishments before and after winning the prestigious award.

Stream & download with: Hoopla (ebook)

Wangari’s Trees of Peace: A True Story from Africa by Jeanette Winter

Description: A beautiful picture book tells the story of an amazing woman and an inspiring idea. Wangari Maathai received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her efforts to lead women in a nonviolent struggle to bring peace and democracy to Africa through its reforestation. Her organization planted over 30 million trees in 30 years.

Stream & download with: Media on Demand & Libby (ebook)


Nonfiction for adults & teens

Being Peace by Thich Nhat Hanh

Description: An ideal starting point for those interested in Buddhism, Being Peace contains Thich Nhat Hanh’s teachings on peace and meditation.

Stream & download with: Hoopla (digital audiobook), Media on Demand & Libby (digital audiobook)

Anatomy of Peace: Resolving the Heart of Conflict by The Arbinger Institute

Description: This new edition explores how we misunderstand the causes of our conflicts and shows us the paths to achieving true peace within ourselves, in our relationships, and even between nations.

Stream & download with: Hoopla (ebook and digital audiobook)

Teaching Peace: Students Exchange Letters With Their Teacher by Colman McCarthy

Description: McCarthy has taught peace studies courses for more than 10,000 college and high school students. Large numbers of those students have faithfully kept in touch with him through letters, and he has answered them with the same seriousness he brought to his columns and books.

Stream & download with: Hoopla (ebook)

Stop the Next War Now: Effective Responses to Violence and Terrorism by Medea Benjamin

Description: Outlines a series of grassroots actions that are designed to prevent the outbreak of war, presenting action stops and checklists from peace activists and advocates for global justice. 

Stream & download with: Hoopla (ebook)

Peaceful Revolution: How We Can Create the Future Needed for Humanity’s Survival by Paul K. Chappell

Description: Makes a call for peace between countries and groups and within individuals through discussions of seven virtues needed to achieve the feat.

Stream & download with: Hoopla (ebook)

The Nonviolence Handbook: A Guide for Practical Action by Michael N. Nagler

Description: Offers a step-by-step guide to creatively using nonviolence to confront any problem and to build change movements capable of restructuring the very bedrock of society.

Stream & download with: Hoopla (ebook & digital audiobook)

Documentaries for adults & teens

Peace in Our Pockets

Description: Follows inspirational Kenyan activists as they promote civic engagement, build democracy, and defuse violence in the lead up to historic 2013 national elections.

Stream & download with: Kanopy

Oscar Arias: Without a Shot Fired

Description: Profiles the life and career of Oscar Sanchez Arias, former president of Costa Rica and recipient of the 1987 Nobel Peace Prize.

Stream & download with: Kanopy

King: A Filmed Record … Montgomery to Memphis

Description: Using archival footage, follows Martin Luther King Jr.’s life from 1955 to 1968 as he became a leader in the civil rights movement.

Stream & download with: Hoopla

Road to Peace

Description: This award-winning film goes on an extraordinary journey with the Dalai Lama, demonstrating how any one of us can create change and transform the world in which we live.

Stream & download with: Hoopla

Paying the Price for Peace

Description: Profiles peace activist and Vietnam veteran S. Brian Willson whose political convictions changed as a result of his involvement in the Vietnam War and later lost his legs during a nonviolent protest.

Stream & download with: Hoopla

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