We’ve never needed a day like World Kindness Day more and it is actually today November 13, 2016. Seriously, it’s a real thing and feels ironically timely. In a world where children chant “build a wall” at a soccer game in Wisconsin, or reduce other kids to tears with the same type of rhetoric, or bully Muslim girls in school to take off their hijabs, or have to see racist graffiti scrawled in bathrooms. If this is Making America Great Again, I’m terrified.

That said, today is a day to be positive and to try to squash fear, anger, and hatred with kindness. In honor of that, I pledge to pay more attention to saying something kind to every person I talk to or seek out more ways to spread kindness and goodness, not just today, but every day going forward. I pledge to set a better example for our children than what is being set right now.

Also, I pledge to read more books about goodness and kindness overcoming obstacles and prejudice. And, I pledge to talk about those books with my daughter and other children and young adults to help spread kindness rather than hate. Books can change the world, if we just read them. Therefore, here is a World Kindness Day book YA list of books that I want to read to help fulfill my pledge. I’d love more suggestions for adding to the list!

WONDER by R. J. Palacio

wonderAugust Pullman was born with a facial difference that, up until now, has prevented him from going to a mainstream school. Starting 5th grade at Beecher Prep, he wants nothing more than to be treated as an ordinary kid—but his new classmates can’t get past Auggie’s extraordinary face. WONDER begins from Auggie’s point of view, but soon switches to include his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. These perspectives converge in a portrait of one community’s struggle with empathy, compassion, and acceptance.

My daughter read and loved this book. I have not yet, but it is now at the top of my must read list. This book is credited with inspiring a movement called Choose Kind Movement, an anti-bullying campaign.

How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr 

Fat Kid Rules the World by K. L. Going

Echo by Pam Munoz Ryan

Also for younger readers, here are other options