People Who Said No Share this with a friend

Courage Against Oppression

by Laura Scandiffio

Skipping Stones Honor Award Independent Publishers Book Award Eric Hoffer Book Award Best Books for Kids & Teens, starred selection, Canadian Children’s Book Centre Eureka Honor Award, California Reading Association Next Generation Indie Book Award finalist White Pine Award nomination

When saying no is the right thing to do.

Sometimes it’s okay to ignore the rules or break the law. In fact, it’s essential! This thought-provoking book features people who did just that: Sophie and Hans Scholl, siblings who distributed antigovernment pamphlets in Nazi Germany; and Andrei Sakharov, who helped develop the nuclear bomb in Cold War Russia, but then spoke out against its use.

Some, like Rosa Parks, were not originally in positions of political power but came out of the ranks of regular citizens to stand up for human rights. Others, like Oscar Romero, archbishop of El Salvador, used their power to change the status quo.

Also included are Helen Suzman, a South African member of parliament who fought apartheid; Aung San Suu Kyi, who spent years under house arrest for protesting the dictatorship in Burma; and the people of Egypt, who recently brought down the repressive government of Hosni Mubarak.

These inspirational profiles of people who followed their moral compass make for riveting stories as well as excellent starting points for discussions about ethics and morality.


“These inspiring stories of people who challenged the status quo make for riveting reading, as well as excellent starting points for research and discussions about civil disobedience, ethics and morality.”
—Kirkus Reviews, 08/12

“Reads like good historical fiction.”
—School Library Journal, 09/12

“Themes described here are universal but especially relevant to the intended audience, with highly engaging and up-to-date exemplars of the right ways to say no.”
—Booklist, 11/12

“This superb book should be on every library shelf and should be mandatory reading for high school students.”
—Foreword Reviews, 10/12

“The text is very informative and well-grounded in a historical context.”
—CM Reviews, 10/12

“An excellent resource book and information text supporting research projects, literature study groups studying global social justice themes, and global issues.”
—Resource Links, 12/12

“By blending storytelling with non-fiction elements, Scandiffio helps readers to relate to these figures as real people, giving life to what may otherwise seem like a distant historical event.”
—Canadian Children’s Book News, 04/13

“An informative and motivational read.”
—Green Teacher, 03/14

“This is a book that is worthy of sharing in middle and high school classrooms one at a time in connection with curricular study, or as compelling stories of bravery in the face of oppression and worthy of our attention.”
—Sal’s Fiction Addiction, 09/02/12

“Something that rarely gets covered in schools, making the subject that much more interesting and a great resource for history reports.”
—, 12/10/12

“The author has woven in scenes and conversations that serve to personalize these stories, while remaining true to history.”
—Mackin Books in Bloom, 01/04/13

“I could see my students being fascinated by these true tales of courage.”
—Libby Blog, 08/09/12n

“I found this book very inspirational. It made me think about how I can change injustice in my everyday life and around the world.”
—East Van Bookworm, 08/24/13

“Scandiffio brings a compelling immediacy and sense of adventure to historical facts that young readers will enjoy as though it was fiction.”
—The Muskokan, 09/14