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January Is Poverty in America Awareness Month

Poverty is pervasive. The United States is considered the richest country in the world, yet 37.9 million of its residents live in poverty. Over 12.5 million of these people are children.  

Poverty is destructive. Studies show living in poverty increases the risk of chronic illness, toxic stress, discrimination, and exposure to violence. Children in poverty experience higher rates of cognitive, emotional, and health-related problems than higher-income youth.  

Poverty is caused by systemic and societal factors: stagnant wages; a shrinking middle class; high incarceration rates; expiration of government social programs to name a few.  

If you need help, the Library can guide you to community assistance organizations that are relevant to your need. Here are a few we recommend:   

Additionally, fictional and nonfiction accounts of poverty are proverbial mirrors, windows, and sliding glass doors. Such books acknowledge the experiences of those in poverty, expose higher-income readers to issues they may not have faced, and encourage empathy and connection.  

The following titles can help start a conversation with young ones, deepen perspectives about the realities of poverty, or inspire hope and action. 

Early Learners

School Age




You can sign up for a free library card here.  

If you are new to our eResources, check out these tutorial videos on how to get started.     

If you’re looking for more book suggestions, we’re happy to recommend them to you! Use this Book Recommendation form to send us some information about what you like to read and we’ll curate a list just for you.    

If you have any additional questions, you can contact a librarian through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. You can also call us at 412.622.3114 or email us at   

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