Curiosity Unbound | Social Science Series Nonfiction

These nine new series empower readers to learn about the people in their communities, explore potential future careers, and care for their physical and mental health. 


Every day we encounter new people, places, and situations without giving them another thought. The books in these series force us to think about our neighbors, communities, and our preconceived notions about the larger world around us. This season’s social science books feature a wide range of topics. Students can read about life as a princess, learn about great engineering failures, understand how to do yoga, or gain an awareness of what it’s like to have an anxiety disorder. Every reader will find something to grab their interest and pique their curiosity.



Finn, Peter. Go Camping! ISBN 9781538244791.
––––. Go Fishing! ISBN 9781538244838.
––––. Go for a Hike! ISBN 9781538244876.
––––. Go for a Swim! ISBN 9781538244913.
––––. Go to the Park! ISBN 9781538244951.
––––. Play Hide-and-Seek! ISBN 9781538244999.
ea vol: 24p. (Go Outside!). Rosen/Gareth Stevens. Jan. 2020. Tr. $22.60.
PreS-Gr 2 –This series celebrates the fun outdoor activities children can enjoy. The layout uses a short sentence or two on a white page with an accompanying full-page image. For example, in Go Camping! the sentence about pitching a tent is reinforced with a photo of children in a tent. Each book includes an index and a visual glossary. The selection of words for the glossary is uneven. Flashlights and sleeping bags are featured but hike and nature walk are absent. VERDICT A good resource for beginning readers who like the outdoors.


Geister-Jones, Sophie. At the Apple Orchard. ISBN 9781646190263.
––––. At the Factory. ISBN 9781646190270.
––––. At the Farm. ISBN 9781646190287.
––––. At the Fire Station. ISBN 9781646190294.
––––. At the Library. ISBN 9781646190300.
––––. At the Museum. ISBN 9781646190317.
––––. At the Nature Center. ISBN 9781646190324.
Rebman, Nick. At the Zoo. ISBN 9781646190331.
ea vol: 24p. (Field Trips). North Star Editions/Little Blue Readers. Jan. 2020. Tr. $27.07.
PreS-Gr 2 –Everyone’s favorite school activity comes to life in this eight-book series. Popular educational locations (libraries, farms, and factories) are depicted in vivid full-page images with vocabulary labels. Accompanying the images are two to three simple sentences. For example, At the Fire Station features an image of children examining the tools described. The text reads, “We learn about fires. We learn about the tools firefighters use. The tools put out fires.” This series contains a great variety of topics and images that will make readers want to visit an apple orchard, library, or nature reserve. VERDICT Great for new readers.


Ayarbe, Heidi. Electricians on the Job. ISBN 9781503835511.
––––. Millwrights on the Job. ISBN 9781503835498.
Ford, Jeanne Marie. Dental Hygienists on the Job. ISBN 9781503835528.
Havemeyer, Janie. Carpenters on the Job. ISBN 9781503835474.
Huddleston, Emma. Plumbers on the Job. ISBN 9781503835504.
––––. Ultrasound Technicians on the Job. ISBN 9781503835535.
––––. Veterinary Technicians on the Job. ISBN 9781503835559.
Lane, Laura. Automobile Mechanics on the Job. ISBN 9781503835566.
MacCarald, Clara. Wind Turbine Technicians on the Job. ISBN 9781503835580.
Petrie, Sean. Welders on the Job. ISBN 9781503835573.
Rea, Amy C. Brick Masons on the Job. ISBN 9781503835542.
Tortland, Christy. Heavy-Machine Operators on the Job. ISBN 9781503835481.
ea vol: 32p. (Exploring Trade Jobs). The Child’s World/Momentum. Jan. 2020. Tr. $29.93.
Gr 3-6 –Electrician, dental hygienist, welder, and wind turbine technician are just some of the trade jobs featured in this informative series. Each book begins with fast facts: the average salary, required training, and future outlook regarding changes in the field. The chapters describe the training and daily experiences of trade workers. Each chapter shares short tales of people on the job, making the books highly readable. VERDICT An entertaining introduction to trade jobs.

Campbell, Grace. Great Sports Fails. ISBN 9781541577367.
Krasner, Barbara. Great Engineering Fails. ISBN 9781541577343.
––––. Great Invention Fails. ISBN 9781541577336.
––––. Great Medicine Fails. ISBN 9781541577350.
––––. Great Science Fails. ISBN 9781541577329.
––––. Great Technology Fails. ISBN 9781541577312.
ea vol: 32p. (Searchlight Books™—Celebrating Failure). Lerner. Jan. 2020. Tr. $30.65.
Gr 3-5 –“When a player fails, it’s just one moment and one loss in a long career.” This quote from Great Sports Fails best encompasses the uplifting tone of this series. These unique books repackage failure from something kids fear into an unavoidable part of life that can lead to eventual success. Fascinating examples include the original use of bubble wrap (textured wallpaper), the first synthetic dye, and unbelievable sports losses. Exciting pictures of football games, early airplanes, and mammoth bridges accompany the text. A glossary, resources, and an index are included. VERDICT This series will lift the spirits of any child worried about their own failures.

Cords, Sarah. The Truth About Life as a YouTube Star. ISBN 9781543590715.
Kirkman, M. The Truth About Life as a U.S. Army Soldier. ISBN 9781543590692.
London, Martha. The Truth About Life as a Princess. ISBN 9781543590654.
O’Neal, Ciara. The Truth About Life as a Pro Gamer. ISBN 9781543590678.
ea vol: 32p. (The Real Scoop). Capstone. Jan. 2020. Tr. $28.65.
Gr 4-6 –This series shines a spotlight on unusual careers that children might not understand. Many misconceptions are addressed and set straight: YouTube stars spend a lot of time and money on their videos; soldiers perform many types of jobs other than combat; the everyday life of a princess involves many rules and protocols she must follow; pro gamers often hold side jobs and must remember to exercise. The books do a good job of highlighting diversity in the fields by showcasing women gamers and non-European royals. A glossary, an index, resources, trivia, and an activity are included. VERDICT An informative look at unusual lives.


Honders, Christine. Bakers. ISBN 9781725308046.
––––. Barbers. ISBN 9781725308084.
––––. Bus Drivers. ISBN 9781725308121.
––––. Coaches. ISBN 9781725308169.
––––. Construction Workers. ISBN 9781725308206.
––––. Farmers. ISBN 9781725308244.
––––. Mechanics. ISBN 9781725308282.
––––. Truck Drivers. ISBN 9781725308329.
ea vol: 24p. (Helpers in Our Community). Rosen/PowerKids. Jan. 2020. Tr. $23.60.
Gr 1-3 –This series offers a glimpse into the lives of workers in their neighborhoods. The text describes a short history of the trade, the required tools and training, and the routine tasks in the field. Readers will come away with an understanding that many jobs are more complex than they may appear. A glossary and an index are included. Each page of text is accompanied by a full-page image, but the vocabulary will still be difficult for some young readers. VERDICT This series celebrates community members but might be too advanced for some readers.

Villano, Laura. Balancing Yoga. ISBN 9781645271819.
––––. Breathing and Meditation. ISBN 9781645272236.
––––. Chair Yoga. ISBN 9781645271840.
––––. Seated Yoga. ISBN 9781645271871.
––––. Standing Yoga. ISBN 9781645271901.
––––. Yoga on Your Back and Belly. ISBN 9781645271932.
ea vol: 24p. (Yoga for Everyone). Jump!/Blue Owl. Aug. 2020. Tr. $26.99.
Gr 2-5 –This colorful series introduces young readers to different types of yoga. There is also a book on breathing and meditation. Each title begins with helpful tips for caregivers (such as reflection questions and how yoga will help improve the lives of children) and closes with practice goals, reflections, a glossary, and an index. Throughout the book, the poses are described in numbered steps and accompanied by illustrations of the poses. Information boxes with tips and relevant facts are interspersed throughout. VERDICT While a child who is serious about learning yoga would be better served watching video tutorials, this series provides an opportunity to introduce body-centric vocabulary to those interested in the practice.



Abramovitz, Melissa. Dealing with Bipolar Disorder. ISBN 9781682827871.
Bryan, Bethany. Dealing with Eating Disorders. ISBN 9781682827895.
Buckey, A.W. Dealing with Anxiety Disorder. ISBN 9781682827857.
Gagne, Tammy. Dealing with Self-Injury Disorder. ISBN 9781682827956.
Lundin, Martha. Dealing with Gender Dysphoria. ISBN 9781682827918.
Miller, Marie-Therese. Dealing with Psychotic Disorders. ISBN 9781682827932.
ea vol: 80p. (Dealing with Mental Disorders). ReferencePoint. Mar. 2020. Tr. $30.95.
Gr 6 Up –This series provides a thorough examination of common mental disorders. Each book opens with a story of a fictional person with a mental health issue and proceeds to detail their illness and how it is diagnosed and treated. The information is frank; the text does not make judgments. Readers learn about the history of the disorder and how society’s perceptions of the affliction have changed over time. Sources and resources for further learning are included. VERDICT This factual series serves as an excellent resource for research assignments and personal exploration of mental health disorders.

Hudak, Heather C. Education Equality. ISBN 9780778772729.
––––. Universal Health Care. ISBN 9780778772750.
Hyde, Natalie. Legalizing Marijuana. ISBN 9780778772736.
––––. Plastics Dependency. ISBN 9780778772743.
ea vol: 48p. (Get Informed—Stay Informed). Crabtree. Mar. 2020. Tr. $31.32.
Gr 5-9 –Four hot topics are examined in this series that combines current affairs with digital literacy instruction. The pros and cons of issues are presented with current statistics. What sets this series apart from others are the chapters on finding and evaluating sources. This combination provides important context that other digital literacy books lack. Unfortunately, the series’ source list only includes websites instead of proper citations. The URLs are shortened links; readers cannot see what website it directs to unless they visit the site. Each page is filled with text, information boxes, and images. Some readers will find it difficult to concentrate on the text with so much going on. A glossary, an index, further reading, and a detailed table of contents are included. VERDICT An interesting concept that doesn’t quite hit the mark.

These series show how much there is to discover about everyday life. “Helpers in Our Community” (Rosen/PowerKids) broadens our understanding of our neighbors and their work. “Searchlight Books ™ — Celebrating Failure” (Lerner) describes an entertaining history of products we use every day yet rarely think about. “The Real Scoop” (Capstone) is an important reminder that what we see on TV only scratches the surface of the true story. “Dealing with Mental Disorders” (ReferencePoint) helps us empathize with the invisible suffering taking place around us. These series prove that you do not have to look far to learn something new.

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