TLN Blog: Opening Hearts and Minds


The Linking Network and Amnesty Resources

Some books excite, others make us belly laugh.  Books can lift us up or break our hearts – if only for a short while.  But the best books?  The best books open our eyes to the world.

Do you know the story about The Wall in the Middle of the Book? Our foolish hero is so frightened by what is on the other side of the wall that he does not see the creeping danger on his.  And his rescue comes from a place he would never expect.

How about the tale of Migrations?  Illustrators from all over the world sent images exploring themes from departure to arrival.  Each picture post card printed in the book illustrates that, ‘All migration is an act of imagination… A hope that frequently exercises a previously unknown human potential’ – Shaun Tan.

Or We are all Born Free?  This beautiful and thoughtfully illustrated book has helped countless schools we work with explain human rights to children. As a starting point to help pupils explore the meaning of the enduringly crucial concepts underpinning Human Rights, Democracy, Rule of Law, Individual Liberty and Respect for Diversity this book is our go-to resource.

The Linking Network supports schools and communities to develop a positive, cohesive ethos by helping children, young people and adults to explore identity, celebrate diversity, promote community and champion equality.

As part of our Linking journey we recommend many of the thoughtful, sometimes challenging, always eye opening books published or endorsed by Amnesty International.  They are key resources in helping our children consider the complex issues surrounding the UN Rights of the Child.

The fact that so many of the texts are beautifully illustrated picture books is helpful in supporting teachers to address tricky subjects from a safe distance.  We can talk about how a character feels without personalising the issue and risking a child’s feelings.

Many of Amnesty International’s books come with free resources for use in the classroom.  The Linking Network website also has a number of activities designed to be used alongside the books.

The right books sing to our humanity and feed our soul: We Are All Born Free.