The Humane Education movement began in the United States with George Angell, founder of the Massachusetts SPCA, who in 1889 founded the American Humane Education Society. Storybooks were an important part of Angell’s Humane Education initiative. By 1909 Angell had distributed three million copies of the novel Black Beauty to American schoolchildren. Because Black Beauty inspired so many to join the animal protection movement, Angell ran a contest soliciting stories that would engender the same sympathy for dogs that Black Beauty, had for horses. The winning entry was Margaret Marshall Saunders' book Beautiful Joe.
Humane Education creates a kinder world for all having evolved to include the teaching of human rights and environmental ethics in addition to animal concerns and revealing how interconnected the issues are. Titles, primarily picture books, that foster a humane ethic in youth as well as a love of literature were selected for this book list that provides a literature-centered resource for those working to create a compassionate world through education. Award-winning children's literature, recently published and forthcoming titles may be found here. The Professional Collection features many teaching resources including links to many free downloadable lessons and audio visual materials. Lessons and links are also being added to each children's literature page.
To learn how to evaluate and select books that promote humane values and how to use literature to talk about real-life animal issues, read the ASPCA Animal Lessons Newsletter - Humane Literature. The Animal Rescue League of Southern Rhode Island's Animals in Literature page and Dumb Friends League's Humane Education Guidelines for Children's Literature provide tips that are helpful too. To learn how to analyze children's books for bias, read "10 Quick Ways to Analyze Children's Books for Racism and Sexism." from The Council on Interracial Books for Children. And for the topics of peace, social justice, world community, as well as equality, the Jane Addams Children's Book Awards Official Guidelines page is another helpful document.
Stories as Teaching Tools. Humane Society Youth [Online Resources].
ASPCA Henry Bergh Book Award Winners
Doris Day Animal League Book Bag
Humane Society Youth Best Books
Institute for Humane Education Children's Literature Section
Love Canada Geese Bookshop
Bark Notable Reads
HSUS Humane Bookshelf
Institute for Humane Education Resources for Humane Educators
In Defense of Animals Bookshelf
Boycott Amazon.com: The Humane Society of the United States has sued Amazon because they have refused to stop selling animal fighting magazines. Click to learn more.
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