The SDG Book Club uses 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.
SDG Book Club Storytime Online
Goal 1: No Poverty
There are many reasons why people are poor including unemployment, natural disasters, social and economic changes, and lack of access to basic services. Sustainable Development Goal 1, No Poverty aims to help people who are suffering and lack the means to prosper.
We encourage you to read these books and hope they will inspire you to take action and help us to make this world a better place for everyone.
Goal 2: No Hunger
There are many reasons why people can’t afford enough food: a family might lose their harvest in a storm or parents without a job can’t go to the supermarket to buy food for their children. Sustainable Development Goal 2, Zero Hunger aims to end hunger and provide access to healthy food for all people.
We encourage you to read these books and hope they will inspire you to take action for a world with zero hunger.
Goal 3: Good Health & Well being
There are many ways to achieve good health for all: grant access to hospitals and doctors when people need it, construct better roads and regulate traffic to prevent injuries from car accidents, promote mental health, ensure children around the world can get vaccinated and are protected from diseases like malaria or environmental pollution in the air or water.
The reading lists cover many of these topics and we hope the stories will inspire you to take action for everyone to live a healthy life.
Goal 4: Quality Education
Poor education can be due to lack of trained teachers, poor conditions of schools without electricity and running water, dangerous commutes to school or a family’s lack of money to afford children’s education.
Education is also important to help us achieve many other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). How? Let’s look at some examples: When we get quality education we can more easily get ourselves out of poverty by finding a job that pays well. Education also helps to us to make better choices for our health, like eating more vegetables or drinking less sugary beverages. In countries where all children can go to school, boys and girls enjoy an equal place in society and the same rights.
The reading lists cover many of these topics and we hope the stories will inspire you to take action for all children to get quality education.
Goal 5: Gender Equality
While the world has worked hard towards gender equality in areas such as equal access to primary education for girls and boys, women and girls continue to suffer from disadvantages. What do these disadvantages look like? They come in many forms, for example in some countries, girls are not sent to school but must help at home with housework, some girls are being married before they are 18 years old, women earn less money than men for the same job and are not equally represented in governments.
Providing women and girls with equal access to schools, medical services, well-paid work, and a role in politics will benefit society and humanity at large. We need laws to ensure equality in all these areas and end harmful practices targeting women to stop all gender-based discrimination which still exists in many countries.
The reading lists cover many of these topics and show brave girls and boys standing up for gender equality rights, so that everyone can enjoy the same opportunities.
Goal 6: Clean Water & Sanitation
Clean water is an essential part of our daily lives. Many of you took a hot shower last night, went to a toilet that flushes with water or cooked pasta or rice with clean water while drinking from the tap. Yet, many people around the world don’t have access to clean water and ways to deal safely with human waste. This can be because of many different reasons, such as a city that might not have a working sewage system or waste water treatments. This has severe consequences as people get sick from unclean water and germs can spread more easily.
Not having access to clean water also has an impact on other parts of our lives. If you don’t have clean water to prepare your food, you might get sick and not be able to attend school or meet your friends. Having clean water is important to help us achieve many other Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), like Goal 4: Quality Education. When we have access to clean water, we are healthier, can go to school, learn new things and live an active life.
The reading list covers many of these topics and we hope the stories will inspire you to take action for all children to have access to clean water and toilets.
Goal 7: Affordable & Clean Energy
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.
The 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.
Goal 8: Decent Work & Economic Growth
Everyone deserves to have a good job that is safe and pays them well. Many jobs around the world put workers in danger, do not pay them enough to live comfortably, or do not employ men, women, or people with disabilities equally. People in unsafe work environments are at risk of health problems, injuries, and some lose their lives due to poor conditions. Without a job, or one that pays well, people cannot always visit the doctor when they are sick for example. Good, safe, well-paid jobs should be available for everyone — men and women, young people, and people with disabilities.
If people have a good job in their own community it also helps achieve other Sustainable Development Goals. If their job pays them well, they can afford nutritious food for their family (SDG2: Zero Hunger), they can afford a home in a safe neighborhood (SDG1: No Poverty, SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities) and buy school supplies for their children to get a good education (SDG4: Quality Education). The reality though is that in 2018, one in five young people were not getting the education or training they need to get jobs.
The reading list covers many of these topics and we hope the stories will inspire you to stand up for equal opportunity for everyone to get safe, well-paying jobs to live healthy, fulfilling lives.
Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure
How did you get to school today? Walk? Bike? Bus? If you are lucky, you got there by taking paved roads and safe sidewalks. Not everyone in the world has access to the same efficient modes of transportation, some do not have safe roads leading to school or home – making it much harder to get from one place to another.
Infrastructure, meaning roads, bridges, tunnels, water supplies, sewers, electric grids, internet and phone networks, are essential for people to access good education, jobs, healthcare, and sanitation. Three billion people worldwide do not have basic sanitation like toilets and three in 10 people do not have access to safe drinking water.
Can you imagine life without the internet? 3.8 billion people do not have access to the internet, that is 80 percent of the population in least developed countries. Additionally, 18% of people do not have mobile networks to use cellphones.
While major improvements are being made to infrastructure, providing roads, public transport, electricity, connectivity to the internet, and clean water and sanitation to people around the world, billions of people still live without good services.
The reading list covers many of these topics and we hope the stories will inspire you to take action for all children to get to school safely and have access to infrastructure where they live.
What does inequality look like? Around the world, we see inequality in many different forms. Even in the richest countries, there are children who cannot afford lunch at school and go hungry. Women don’t get paid as much as their male coworkers for the same job. People are treated differently because of their religion, age or where they are from. Although we have seen some progress, inequalities still exist.
The reading list for SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities shows children what life can look like when everyone has the same chances to grow and make their dreams come true. We hope the stories inspire our readers to take action towards reducing inequalities in their own communities.