Dictionary for a Better World

Written By: Irene Latham & Charles Waters

Illustrated by: Mehrdohkt Amini

For Ages: 8-12 years (middle grades)

Language: English

Topics Covered: Activism, Social Justice, Education, Social-Emotional Learning, Global Community.


This is a fantastic book that pairs together important definitions for a social justice education and personal anecdotes from the authors. The layout of this dictionary is so unique and engaging I couldn’t stop reading it! I love that with each definition, there is a poem and a story along with an activity. This makes the book engaging, educational, and empowering. I really enjoy books that have activities with the topic, instead of clustered in the back. I think this gives the reader immediate opportunity to imagine the projects that they could accomplish!

I care passionately about social justice education, and we need various modalities to reach every reader and inspire social change. I love how eclectic this book is, and the authors weave together the terminology expertly to create a cohesive book that could be read cover to cover or flipped to a specific term. These illustrations are beautiful and colorful, and I really love the anecdotal piece. It brings a personal touch to the educational aspect and language of the book. This is a gorgeous reference text to have on hand in a classroom or on a shelf, and definitely worth tracking down!

I was granted ebook access for this book from Lerner Books, but all opinions are my own!

Irene Latham & Charles Waters

Irene Latham is the author of more than a dozen current and forthcoming works of poetry, fiction, and picture books, including Can I Touch Your Hair? Poems of Race, Mistakes, and Friendship (co-written with Charles Waters). Winner of the 2016 ILA Lee Bennett Hopkins Promising Poet Award, she became obsessed with octopuses after reading The Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery. Just like Agnes, she enjoys sending–and receiving–postcards. Visit her at http://www.irenelatham.com.

Charles Waters is a children’s poet, actor, and author. His poems have appeared in various anthologies including: One Minute Till Bedtime and The National Geographic Book of Animal Poetry . Charles performs his one-person show as well as conducts poetry performance and writing workshops for elementary and middle school audiences. He lives in New York City.

Mehrdokht Amini

Mehrdokht Amini has illustrated several books for children including Chicken in the Kitchenby Nnedi Okorafor, which won the 2016 Children’s Africana Best Book Award, and Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns by Hena Khan. She has illustrated books published in Iran, Poland, Korea, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Mehrdokht grew up in Iran and now lives in Surrey, England. Visit her website at MyArt2C.com!

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