Global Citizens: Social Science | Series Nonfiction

How can we prompt young people to become more involved in their communities? Start by reading on.

1611-sms-socialsciDiscovering how society works and finding one’s place in it can be an ongoing quest for children and teens. From preschoolers to teenagers, students are present in an environment in which media keeps them constantly connected, reminding them that they are all part of something larger than themselves. Whether they are learning about citizenship or human advocacy groups, or are seeking to overcome negative stereotypes, the following books are designed to inform, support, and help readers navigate the greater communities to which they belong.


Bjornlund, Lydia. Modern Political Parties. ISBN 9781680782424; ISBN 9781680779288.

Conley, Kate. Our Elected Leaders. ISBN 9781680782431; ISBN 9781680779295.

––––. Voting and Elections. ISBN 9781680782448; ISBN 9781680779301.

MacCarald, Clara. Becoming an American Citizen. ISBN 9781680782400; ISBN 9781680779264.

Sherman, Jill. The American Identity. ISBN 9781680782394; ISBN 9781680779257.

––––. Constitutional Rights. ISBN 9781680782417; ISBN 9781680779271.

ea vol: 48p. (American Citizenship). charts. diag. glossary. maps. photos. reprods. ABDO. Aug. 2016. lib. ed. $22.95. ebk. $37.95.

Gr 3-5 –A journey through the inner workings of the U.S. government. From what it means to be American to the mechanics of lawmaking and elections, each slim volume covers a lot of ground. A nice mix of contemporary and archival photos accompany the text. Complex issues are simplified in a way that is easily understandable for the audience. The section “Straight to the Source” uses excerpts from primary source documents (e.g., Washington’s farewell address, Louis Brandeis’s “Right to Privacy”) to introduce discussion points. Numerous writing prompts and activities are judiciously interspersed throughout. A “Stop and Think” section also provides critical thinking exercises. VERDICT A current and visually appealing guide to U.S. government with applicable activities useful to Common Core curriculums.

Bullard, Lisa. This Is My Continent. illus. by Paula J. Becker. ISBN 9781467795258; ISBN 9781467797337.

––––. This Is My Country. illus. by Doreen Mulryan. ISBN 9781467795241; ISBN 9781467797351.

––––. This Is My Neighborhood. illus. by Holli Conger. ISBN 9781467795210; ISBN 9781467797375.

––––. This Is My State. illus. by Holli Congor. ISBN 9781467795234; ISBN 9781467797399.

––––. This Is My Town. illus. by Paula J. Becker. ISBN 9781467795227; ISBN 9781467797412.

ea vol: 24p. (Cloverleaf Books: Where I Live). further reading. glossary. index. maps. websites. Lerner/Millbrook. Oct. 2016. lib. ed. $25.32. pap. $6.99.

PreS-Gr 2 –Using relatable scenarios, this series introduces little ones to the concept of community. Each begins with a simple conceit (e.g., helping a neighbor find her dog in Neighborhood or pen pals in Country). In addition to the main narrative, reoccurring sidebars provide more specific information (“Neighborhoods just outside of bigger cities are called suburbs.”). The storylike format and colorful cartoon illustrations add to the kid-appeal. Each volume concludes with an interactive map activity featuring the locations named within the text. VERDICT A good resource for preschool collections to introduce children to the emergent world around them.

Cohn, Jessica. 10 Fascinating Facts About Chewing Gum. ISBN 9780531228166; ISBN 9780531229415.

––––. 10 Fascinating Facts About Toys. ISBN 9780531228180; ISBN 9780531229439.

Jozefowicz, Chris. 10 Fascinating Facts About Dollar Bills. ISBN 9780531228159; ISBN 9780531229408.

––––. 10 Fascinating Facts About Sneakers. ISBN 9780531228173; ISBN 9780531229422.

ea vol: 32p. (Rookie Star: Fact Finder). chron. glossary. index. photos. websites. Children’s Pr. Sept. 2016. lib. ed. $23. pap. $5.95.

Gr 3-5 –Which famous baseball player owned the world’s largest piece of bubblegum? Exactly how does a vending machine determine the value of the paper money you put into it? What classic children’s toy was created from empty thread spools? These are just some of the many quirky facts students will find in this series. The topics covered offer a lot of appeal in a fun, informative format. Each fact is presented as a short chapter with accompanying sidebar information. Bright photographs accompany the text. Each volume includes a related but rather basic activity. For example, in Sneakers, kids are given instructions on a “cool way” to lace their sneakers. VERDICT These volumes may be brief but they likely won’t sit on the shelves. Consider for collections in need of browsable materials.

Dickmann, Nancy. What You Need to Know About Allergies. ISBN 9781491480489; ISBN 9781491482445.

––––. What You Need to Know About Head Lice. ISBN 9781491482421; ISBN 9781491482469.

––––. What You Need to Know About Obesity. ISBN 9781491482438; ISBN 9781491482476.

––––. What You Need to Know About Pink Eye. ISBN 9781491482414; ISBN 9781491482452.

ea vol: 32p. (Focus on Health). chart. further reading. glossary. index. photos. websites. Capstone. Aug. 2016. lib. ed. $20.49. pap. $7.95.

Gr 4-6 –In this enlightening set, the causes, testing, treatment, and prevention of four health conditions familiar to children are addressed. Sidebars are interspersed throughout the text highlighting health facts, explaining related concepts, or relaying an individual’s experiences. Charts and graphics further illuminate the subjects, making up for the adequate, albeit less than inspiring, stock photos that predominate. In addition to appearing in the glossary, vocabulary words are also defined at the bottom of the page they appear on, a nice feature for readers who dislike flipping to the book’s end for clarification. is the only Internet source listed for further research. VERDICT A child-friendly look at common health concerns. Recommended for most collections.

Green, Sara. Dairy Queen. ISBN 9781 626174078.

––––. Ford. ISBN 9781626174085.

––––. Kraft. ISBN 9781626174092.

––––. Minecraft. ISBN 9781626174108.

––––. Nickelodeon. ISBN 9781626174115.

––––. Sony. ISBN 9781626174122.

ea vol: 24p. (Brands We Know). chron. ebook available. further reading. glossary. index. photos. Bellwether. Aug. 2016. lib. ed. $25.95.

Gr 4-6 –While Minecraft and Nickelodeon will garner the most interest, students will recognize all of these businesses and brands. Vintage photographs and catchy slogans document the evolution of each business. Not limited to successes, setbacks and flops are mentioned and subtly affirm the value of trial and error. In addition to being informative, the books are a good introduction to business building in a free market society where changing one’s products to reach new markets and address new niches is commonplace. Information is provided on each brand’s charitable contributions and volunteer efforts. Suggestions for further research online are limited to, but instructions on how to navigate the website are given—a helpful addition. VERDICT A current look at popular companies and products. Consider for discussions and reports on economics.

Marsico, Katie. Greenpeace Fund. ISBN 9781634710497; ISBN 9781634712477; ISBN 9781634713467.

––––. Humane Society. ISBN 9781634710503; ISBN 9781634712484; ISBN 9781634713474.

––––. The Nature Conservancy. ISBN 9781634710510; ISBN 9781634712491; ISBN 9781634713481.

––––. Oxfam International. ISBN 9781634710527; ISBN 9781634712507; ISBN 9781634713498.

––––. Rotary Clubs. ISBN 9781634710534; ISBN 9781634712514; ISBN 9781634713504.

––––. United Way. ISBN 9781634710541; ISBN 9781634712521; ISBN 9781634713511.

––––. World Wildlife Fund. ISBN 9781634710558; ISBN 9781634712538; ISBN 9781634713528.

––––. YMCA. ISBN 9781634710565; ISBN 9781634712545; ISBN 9781634713535.

ea vol: 32p. (How Do They Help?). further reading. further reading. glossary. index. photos. Cherry Lake. Aug. 2016. lib. ed. $18.95. pap. $8.95. ebk. $30.95.

Gr 3-5 –With a broader scope than most (the United States and Canada are represented), this set discusses various social advocacy groups. Each organization’s history and their ongoing efforts to carry out their missions are discussed. Funding and educational efforts, as well as statistical information regarding their societal impacts, are described. A unique feature is the way this set encourages readers to come to their own conclusions—a useful tie-in to Common Core curricula in which information synthesis is vital. Each spread features text accompanied by a visual with sidebars promoting activities and questions to encourage critical thought. The photos mostly feature children and are a mix of stock and organization-provided images. VERDICT A useful tool with Common Core applications that introduces humanitarian aid organizations.

Mattern, Joanne. Facebook. ISBN 9781680781885; ISBN 9781680778489.

––––. Instagram. ISBN 9781680781908; ISBN 9781680778502.

––––. Twitter. ISBN 9781680781939; ISBN 9781680778533.

Owings, Lisa. YouTube. ISBN 9781680781953; ISBN 9781680778557.

Spalding, Madeleine R. Snapchat. ISBN 9781680781922; ISBN 9781680778526.

Wheeler, Jill C. Flickr. ISBN 9781680781892; ISBN 9781680778496.

––––. Pinterest. ISBN 9781680781915; ISBN 9781680778519.

––––. Vine. ISBN 9781680781946; ISBN 9781680778540.

ea vol: 32p. (Social Media Sensations). chron. glossary. photos. websites. ABDO. Aug. 2016. lib. ed. $18.95. ebk. $33.95.

Gr 4-6 –If not already active users, most students will at least be familiar with these social media tools. This set excels at relating the stories behind each media outlet (rather than instructing readers in their use). Company history, funding sources, news stories, politics, and societal impacts are discussed. The constant need to evolve and the future of each medium are also addressed. The layout and format are very appealing. However, most of the graphics fall short of actually representing the sites. Each volume concludes with etiquette and safety tips while a simplified “Guide To…” section succinctly teaches newcomers the operational basics. VERDICT A relevant and satisfactory tool for introducing young readers to popular social media outlets.

Orr, Tamra B. Anger. ISBN 9781634710411; ISBN 9781634712392; ISBN 9781 634713382.

––––. Excitement. ISBN 9781634710428; ISBN 9781634712408; ISBN 9781634713399.

––––. Fear. ISBN 9781634710466; ISBN 9781634712446; ISBN 9781634713436.

––––. Friendliness. ISBN 9781634710435; ISBN 9781634712415; ISBN 9781 634713405.

––––. Joy. ISBN 9781634710442; ISBN 9781634712422; ISBN 9781634713412.

––––. Sadness. ISBN 9781634710459; ISBN 9781634712439; ISBN 9781634713429.

––––. Shyness. ISBN 9781634710473; ISBN 9781634712453; ISBN 9781634713443.

––––. Surprise. ISBN 9781634710480; ISBN 9781634712460; ISBN 9781634713450.

ea vol: 24p. (Feelings). further reading. glossary. index. photos. Cherry Lake. Aug. 2016. lib. ed. $16.95. pap. $8.95. ebk. $28.95.

PreS-Gr 2 –Though a difficult concept for many youngsters to understand, feelings are a part of everyday life. In these brief, kid-friendly scenarios, children will recognize their own experiences, whether it’s feeling fear at being in bed alone in the dark, excitement at an upcoming visit from grandma, or sadness at a friend’s move. Concise language describes the different feelings and healthy tactics for emotional release while acknowledging that emotions are impermanent. Photos, which at times visually break up the plot continuity of the text, positively reinforce that the expression of emotion is universal across all races and ethnicities. In addition to the standard glossary, index, and suggested readings section, this series includes a “Home and School Connection” vocabulary list to aid in sight word recognition within the text while applying the words to daily life. VERDICT A useful resource for the emotional well-being of our very youngest.

Staniford, Linda. How Do Animals Give Us Food? ISBN 9781484633502; ISBN 9781484633540.

––––. Where Do Grains Come From? ISBN 9781484633496; ISBN 9781484633533.

––––. Where Do Vegetables Come From? ISBN 9781484633519; ISBN 9781484633557.

––––. Where Does Fruit Come From? ISBN 9781484633526; ISBN 9781484633564.

ea vol: 24p. (From Farm to Fork: Where Does My Food Come From?). further reading. glossary. index. photos. websites. Heinemann-Raintree. Aug. 2016. lib. ed. $17.99. pap. $6.99.

PreS-Gr 2 –Designed for inquisitive minds, this series follows food from production to consumption. Simple language and bright visuals will attract children as they learn about farming and harvesting and food processing by either factory or butcher. Large- scale agriculture and small farming and gardening practices are included, as are hand harvesting and machine methods. Each volume provides a general introduction to its respective food group and then focuses on one particular item. (Animals mentions dairy products, then addresses cows and beef, while carrots are the star of Vegetables.) Some oversimplifications do occur, as in Grains when millet is said to grow in Africa, or “In Asia, rice seeds are planted in a seedbed.” While the photos are all large and colorful, they are mostly stock images. VERDICT Consider for collections interested in agricultural basics.

Middle to High School

Gitlin, Marty. Combatting Discrimination Against Women in the Gamer Community. ISBN 9781508171188; ISBN 9781508171133.

Hamilton, Tracy Brown. Combatting Internet Shaming. ISBN 9781508171164; ISBN 9781508171119.

Leavitt, Amie. Combatting Toxic Online Communities. ISBN 9781508171171; ISBN 9781508171126.

Meyer, Susan. Combatting “Slut” Shaming. ISBN 9781508171157; ISBN 9781508171102.

Orr, Tamra. Combatting Body Shaming. ISBN 9781508171140; ISBN 9781508171096.

ea vol: 64p. (Combatting Shaming and Toxic Communities). bibliog. further reading. glossary. index. photos. websites. Rosen YA. Aug. 2016. lib. ed. $34.45. ebk. $34.45.

Gr 6 Up –Growing up comes with challenges, a truth that is magnified for young people in the social media environment. Using a variety of resources including anecdotes from celebrities and ordinary folk, personal interviews, and study-based research, different forms of shaming in our society are discussed in this series. Adopting a response versus react stance with strategies for addressing and preventing on and offline toxicity, the books provide readers with empowering tools to combat this type of behavior. Cyberpsychology, online inhibition effect, and the cloak of anonymity pervading online communities are addressed. Useful advice is also offered on building healthy relationships to foster a sense of self-worth. This se is top of the line. The back matter of each title is extensive and includes a contact information list for relevant social agencies. VERDICT Timely and relevant. Essential purchases for teen nonfiction collections.

Poole, H.W. Adoptive Families. ISBN 9781422236130; ISBN 9781422282571.

––––. Disability and Families. ISBN 9781422236147; ISBN 9781422282588.

––––. Foster Families. ISBN 9781422236154; ISBN 9781422282595.

––––. Homelessness and Families. ISBN 9781422236161; ISBN 9781422282601.

––––. Immigrant Families. ISBN 9781422236178; ISBN 9781422282618.

––––. Incarceration and Families. ISBN 9781422236185; ISBN 9781422282625.

––––. LGBT Families. ISBN 9781422236192; ISBN 9781422282632.

––––. Military Families. ISBN 9781422236208; ISBN 9781422282649.

––––. Multigenerational Families. ISBN 9781422236215; ISBN 9781422282656.

––––. Multiracial Families. ISBN 9781422236222; ISBN 9781422282663.

––––. Single-Parent Families. ISBN 9781422236239; ISBN 9781422282670.

––––. Teen Parents. ISBN 9781422236246; ISBN 9781422282687.

ea vol: 48p. (Families Today). further reading. glossary. index. photos. websites. Mason Crest. Sept. 2016. lib. ed. $20.95. ebk. $26.95.

Gr 6-9 –This series strives to represent the variety of families and their experiences that exist in today’s society. Each title addresses the history, current trends, issues, challenges, and social impacts of each situation in a straightforward, nonjudgmental manner. Relevant photographs, both contemporary and archival, support the text. Unfamiliar words are highlighted and defined at the start of each chapter. Print resources are dated in some volumes, but the contact information for community resources and agencies are current. Much of the content addresses the daily lives of these families, focusing on issues and emotions children might be feeling and affirming their concerns. An underlying goal of the set is to also instill empathy in readers, something it does quite well. VERDICT A great resource that reflects the many manifestations of family with an emphasis on social acceptance.

Rodi, Robert & Laura Ross. Coming Out and Seeking Support. ISBN 9781422235034; ISBN 9781422283769.

––––. Confronting Stereotypes. ISBN 9781422235096; ISBN 9781422283820.

––––. Engaging with Politics. ISBN 9781422235041; ISBN 9781422283776.

––––. Facing Homophobia. ISBN 9781422235089; ISBN 9781422283813.

––––. Finding Community. ISBN 9781422235058; ISBN 9781422283783.

––––. Keeping Physically Healthy. ISBN 9781422235065; ISBN 9781422283790.

––––. Living Proud! Being Transgender. ISBN 9781422235027; ISBN 9781422283752.

––––. Living with Religion and Faith. ISBN 9781422235072; ISBN 9781422283806.

––––. Staying Mentally Healthy. ISBN 9781422235102; ISBN 9781422283837.

––––. Understanding Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. ISBN 9781422235119; ISBN 9781422283844.

ea vol: 64p. (Living Proud! Growing Up LGBTQ). glossary. index. photos. websites. Mason Crest. Sept. 2016. lib. ed. $23.95. ebk. $29.95.

Gr 9 Up –“Much of how we think about sexuality and gender has more to do with culture than with biology.” Whether one is or isn’t a member of the LGBTQ community, this commendable resource offers personal anecdotes, historical and current events, and informational sidebars accompanied by relevant, recent photographs to explore the issues facing LGBTQ youth. Gender identity, political advocacy, marriage equality, and self-acceptance are just some topics, each with a perspective extending far beyond U.S. borders. However, Being Transgender does include a few uses of the word transvestite, which is an outdated and potentially problematic term. Each chapter concludes with text-related questions and ideas for independent research. The further resources section limits its scope to online resources. VERDICT A starting point for libraries that serve LGBTQ youth and those looking to educate themselves on this topic.

Interpersonal relationships play a key role in the social sciences. The following titles perfectly fill this niche while offering top-notch coverage of their subjects. Cherry Lake’s “Feelings” provides a simple, spot-on treatment of human emotions for young readers. Tweens will certainly be interested in the platforms explored in ABDO’s “Social Media Sensations.” For a more realistic, all-inclusive look at family life, Mason Crest’s “Families Today” is a well-balanced resource for middle schoolers. Rosen YA’s “Combatting Shaming and Toxic Communities,” is an informative yet empowering view into on and offline negativity prevalent among teens. Finally, consider Mason Crest’s “Living Proud! Growing Up LGBTQ” for those who would like to know more about the political, social, and cultural issues affecting the LGBTQ community.

Rebecca Gueorguiev, New York Public Library

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