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My original posting first, and then the responses I've received.

Two English teachers and I are submitting a grant to our local Quakers.
We will be forming reading circles and are looking for fiction and
nonfiction on pacifism or moving to a more peaceful society.  Biographies
on Gandhi and others would also be very welcome.  The most important
factor, beyond the subject is that it should be very readable.  We hope to
include a wide range of students in these groups, many of whome are not
readers.  One of the reasons we started discussing this topic is that so
many of the books that are "quality" YA reading are so depressing; we want
to be able to offer some hope.  I will be glad to share any title that I
Here are a couple of books of peace folktales that are wonderful! Both
contain helpful bibliographies of more books, stories and other sources.
August House Publishers has an anthology of justice tales, too.

_Peace Tales:  World Folktales to Talk About_ by Margaret Read MacDonald -
Linnet Books

_Spinning Tales, Weaving Hope: Stories of Peace and Justice & the
Environment_ Edited by Ed Brody, Jay Goldspinner, et al...  New Society
I seem to recall that a science fiction trilogy by Piers Anthony - "Sos
the rope", "neq the sword" and "Var the stick" is principly about violence
and establishing a peaceful society (also available in one volume as
"Battle Circle") I've no idea if its still available and I may be
misremembering. Also Sherri Tepper's "The Gate to Women's Country" another
sf book with a strong feminist perspective.
One of the greatest pacifistic books in _Johnny Got His Gun_ by Dalton
Trumbo. However, don't operate under the idea that works that are
pacifistic are not depressing. Far from it. Pacificism requires a stand, a
will, a level of integrity that often leads to great tension even violent
reaction. Witness the civil rights movement in the South during the 1960s.
One title is _Who comes with cannons?_ by Patricia Beatty.    Another that
is usually found in juvenile, but the reading level isn't too low is _Thee
Hannah_ by Marguerite deAngeli.  I'm not sure if the this one is still in
print, but it's a good Quaker story.

I can certainly understand your concern with quality in YA literature.  I
worked for some time in a public library in the YA section, and it could
become very depressing.  I was always on the lookout for humrous books.
It's not easy to find anything current that is funny.
I'm afraid this book might be out of print, but it's quite a nice story
about a young man's decision vis a vis the draft-it was published in
association with the  ennonite Church, so does have a  definite point of
view: Joel Kauffmann, _The Weight_, Herald Press, l983.

Another one that might work is Theresa Nelson's _And one for all_ -which
deals with the differing decisions a group of friends makes about the
Vietnam War/draft during the l960's.

Jeez, this makes me feel like a dinosaur having lived thru all that....
If you have not read the _Rifle_ by Gary Paulsen do so, it is a great
commentary on guns don't kill people, I wished it was several hundred
pages longer.

Margaret Shaffer                                Easton High School
Library Media Specialist                        723 Mecklenburg Ave
410-822-4180x118                                Easton MD 21601
410-819-5814 (fax)

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