In honor of School Library Month in April and School Library Week April 7 to 13) we’re highlighting some of our favorite films that inspire a love of learning while they celebrate the critical importance of mentors and educators. These four films from our Global Education Series also encourage cross-cultural understanding, empathy, and knowledge of the people and environments around the world. They are great choices to fire up students and teachers alike, this month and all year long.

Like Stars on Earth

Acclaimed family film Like Stars on Earth (original title: Taare Zameen Par) explores the life and imagination of an artistically-gifted boy who struggles with dyslexia until his new art teacher helps him to thrive. It’s a heartwarming story about how a teacher can transform the life of a student and what students can achieve when they receive the support they need. We offer a Like Stars on Earth Curriculum Guide with nine classroom-ready lessons across ten subjects. For grades 4-12.

He Named Me Malala

Acclaimed documentary He Named Me Malala charts the journey of Malala Yousafzai as an 11-year-old blogger detailing her experiences in the Swat Valley of Pakistan for the BBC, the assassination attempt against her at 15, and her determined rise as an education and human rights advocate. We offer a Curriculum Guide and a Discussion Guide for this film, that both explore Malala’s inspirational story and celebrate the importance of education. Many educators pair this film with Malala’s biography I Am Malala in English Language Arts and Social Studies classes. For grades 7-12.

The Neighborhood Storyteller

In award-winning documentary The Neigbhorhood Storyteller, a young Syrian mother in Jordan’s Zaatari refugee camp empowers young girls through transformative reading circles, igniting hope and change. The film celebrates the importance of reading and sharing stories to find one’s voice. Our Discussion Guide explores the topics of Girls and Education, as well as Reading, Literacy and Storytelling. The Guide also features a Literary Connection with Muzoon: A Syrian Refugee Speaks Out by Muzoon Almellehan with Wendy Pearlman, and includes discussion questions about the connections between the book and the film. For grades 9-12 and higher education.

Queen of Katwe

Hit Disney Movie Queen of Katwe is based on the inspiring true story of Phiona Mutesi, a young girl selling corn on the streets of rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she meets Robert Katende who introduces her to the game of chess. With the support of her family, her community and Katende as her coach and mentor, she is determined to pursue her dream of becoming an international chess champion. Our free Discussion Guide helps students learn more about Phiona Mutesi and Robert Katende, and explores the power and potential of mentoring young people. The film is based on the book The Queen of Katwe: A Story of Life, Chess, and One Extraordinary Girl’s Rise from an African Slum by Tim Crothers, for a powerful film and book pairing. For grades 9-12.

collage of film posters for He Named Me Malala, Like Stars on Earth, The Neighborhood Storyteller, and Queen of Katwe.