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Notable Social Studies Trade Books For Young People


2016 Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People (NCSS member login required) 

The following books were inadvertently left off of the printed list, but have been included in the online list: Seeds of Freedom by Hester Bass, published by Candlewick Press, and Wangari Maathai: The Woman Who Planted Millions of Trees by Franck Prévot, published by Charlesbridge.

Download pdfs of previous Notables (by year) that are attached at the bottom of this page.

The books that appear in these annotated book lists were evaluated and selected by a Book Review Committee appointed by National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) and assembled in cooperation with the Children's Book Council (CBC). NCSS and CBC have cooperated on this annual bibliography since 1972.

Books selected for this bibliography are written primarily for children in grades K-8. The selection committee looks for books that emphasize human relations, represent a diversity of groups and are sensitive to a broad range of cultural experiences, present an original theme or a fresh slant on a traditional topic, are easily readable and of high literary quality, and have a pleasing format and, when appropriate, illustrations that enrich the text. Each book is read by several reviewers, and books are included on the list by committee assent; annotations do not necessarily reflect the judgment of the entire committee.

Publishers' names appear in abbreviated form; complete names and addresses are available in such standard reference works as Literary Market Place (Bowker) and from the Children's Book Council (CBC). Titles are arranged by broad subject categories and subthemes. Although many are appropriate for more than one subject category, they have been placed where their usefulness in social studies education appears greatest. Annotators have also indicated the thematic strand of National Curriculum Standards for Social Studies to which the book relates. Although many titles have multistrand applications, space restraints dictate including a maximum of three strands per title.

The Notable Trade Books for Young People list is published each year as an insert to the May/June issue of Social Education.

Single printed copies of the current list are available from the Children’s Book Council for $5.00 per copy. Send payment and orders to Children’s Book Council, attn.: Social Studies, 54 West 39th Street, 14th floor, New York, NY 10018.

FOR PUBLISHERS WISHING TO SUBMIT A BOOK: CBC receives submissions beginning in June (for books published the previous year). Check for updates at

Further questions can be addressed to Alexa Frank, Children’s Book Council, at 212-966-1990, e-mail (NCSS helps with the review of books for the list, but CBC manages the process.)

* Information on the Notable Tradebooks Selection Committee

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