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Civic Engagement
Selected K-5 Books for Reflecting on
One’s Place in the World

Compiled by Megan Schliesman and Merri V. Lindgren
© 2012 Cooperative Children's Book Center; updated anually

This bibliography suggests titles that connect to common themes and subject areas (with the exception of history) in the K-5 social studies curriculum, from how young children understand themselves to how they begin to understand their role and place in family, community, and the wider world.

Books have been broadly organized into three sections:

• Me, My Family, My Community (K-3 emphasis)
• Have and Have Not: Economics and Personal Finance (K-5 emphasis)
• From Here to There: Geography (K-5 emphasis)

A number of other CCBC bibliographies offer additional suggestions for K-5 students and beyond. Those connecting most closely to the themes above are Images of Community and Global Reading

Click on the complete list of CCBC bibliographies below to see all of our offerings.

Finally, no single bibliography can meet the needs of all teachers, schools and districts as they implement their specific curriculum and approaches to the Common Core Standards. The CCBC welcomes questions from Wisconsin teachers and librarians in need of book suggestions for specific subjects or topics. Email us with your questions.


Click on underlined book titles to see the CCBC review of the book, and/or the cover image.
Complete list of CCBC bibliographies


Me, My Family, and My Community

    Atinuke, . Anna Hibiscus. Illustrated by Lauren Tobia. U.S. edition: Kane/Miller, 2010. 112 pages. Ages 4-8

    Bang, Molly. When Sophie’s Feelings Are Really, Really Hurt. The Blue Sky Press / Scholastic, 2015. 32 pages. Ages 4-8

    Compestine, Ying Chang. Crouching Tiger. Illustrated by Yan Nascimbene. Candlewick Press, 2011. 40 pages. Ages 4-8

    Couloumbis, Audrey. Jake. Random House, 2010. 162 pages. Ages 7-11

    Cousins, Lucy. I'm the Best. U.S. edition: Candlewick Press, 2010. 32 pages. Ages 3-6

    Croza, Laurel. I Know Here. Illustrated by Matt James. Groundwood Books / House of Anansi Press, 2010. 40 pages. Ages 4-8

    Cumpiano, Ina. Quinito's Neighborhood = El Vecindario de Quinito. Illustrated by José Ramírez. Children's Book Press, 2005. 22 pages. Ages 3-5

    Danticat, Edwidge. Mama's Nightingale: A Story of Immigration and Separation. Illustrated by Leslie Staub. Dial, 2015. 32 pages. Ages 4-8

    Dunklee, Annika. My Name Is Elizabeth!. Illustrated by Matthew Forsynthe. Kids Can Press, 2011. 24 pages. Ages 3-6

    Graham, Bob. A Bus Called Heaven. U.S. edition: Candlewick Press, 2012. 40 pages. Ages 3-7

    Han, Jenny. Clara Lee and the Apple Pie Dream. Illustrated by Julia Kuo. Little, Brown, 2011. 149 pages. Ages 6-9

    Heller, Linda. How Dalia Put a Big Yellow Comforter Inside a Tiny Blue Box and Other Wonders of Tzedakah. Illustrated by Stacey Dressen McQueen. Tricycle Press, 2011. 32 pages. Ages 4-7

    Isabella, Jude. The Red Bicycle: The Extraordinary Story of One Ordinary Bicycle. Illustrated by Simone Shin. CitizenKid / Kids Can Press, 2015. 32 pages. Ages 6–9

    Isol, . Petit, the Monster. Translated by Elisa Amado from the Spanish. U.S. edition: Groundwood Books, 2010. 32 pages. Ages 4-8

    Jukes, Mavis. The New Kid. Alfred A. Knopf, 2011. 277 pages. Ages 7-9

    Khan, Rukhsana. Big Red Lollipop. Illustrated by Sophie Blackall. Viking, 2010. 32 pages. Ages 6-9

    Krishnaswami, Uma. Book Uncle and Me. Illustrated by Julianna Swaney. Groundwood, 2016. 149 pages. Ages 7-10

    Lazo Gilmore, Dorina K.. Cora Cooks Pancit. Illustrated by Kristi Valiant. Shen's Books, 2009. 32 pages. Ages 3 - 7

    Lo, Ginnie. Auntie Yang's Great Soybean Picnic. Illustrated by Beth Lo. Lee and Low, 2012. 32 pages. Ages 7-10

    Manushkin, Fran. Happy in Our Skin. Illustrated by Lauren Tobia. Candlewick Press, 2015. 24 pages. Ages 1–4

    Martin, Jacqueline Briggs. Farmer Will Allen and the Growing Table. Illustrated by Eric-Shabazz Larkin. Afterword by Will Allen. Readers to Eaters, 2013. 32 pages. Ages 5 - 14

    Medina, Meg. Mango, Abuela, and Me. Illustrated by Angela Dominguez. Candlewick Press, 2015. 32 pages. Ages 4–8

    Mills, Claudia. Zero Tolerance. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2013. 240 pages. Ages 9-12

    Mora, Pat. Gracias / Thanks. Translated by Adriana Dominguez. Illustrated by John Parra. Lee & Low, 2009. 32 pages. Ages 3 - 7

    Mora, Pat. I Pledge Allegiance. Illustrated by Patrice Barton. Alfred A. Knopf, 2014. 32 pages. Ages 5-9

    Myers, Walter Dean. Looking Like Me. Illustrated by Christopher Myers. Egmont, 2009. 32 pages. Ages 5 - 9

    Rocco, John. Blackout. Disney / Hyperion, 2011. 40 pages. Ages 4-8

    Schimel, Lawrence. Let’s Go See Papá!. Translated by Elisa Amado from the Spanish. Illustrated by Alba Marina Rivera. Groundwood, 2011. 40 pages. Ages 5-9

    Shannon, George. One Family. Illustrated by Blanca Gómez. Frances Foster Books / Farrar Straus Giroux, 2015. 24 pages. Ages 3–6

    Smith, Cynthia Leitich. Jingle Dancer. Illustrated by Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu. Morrow/HarperCollins, 2000. 32 pages. Ages 5 - 8

    Williams, Karen Lynn and Khadra Mohammed . My Name is Sangoel. Illustrated by Catherine Stock. Eerdmans, 2009. 32 pages. Ages 5 - 10

    Woodson, Jacqueline. This Is the Rope: A Story from the Great Migration. Illustrated by James Ransome. Nancy Paulsen Books, 2013. 32 pages. Ages 5-8

    Yum, Hyewon. The Twins' Blanket. Frances Foster Books / Farrar Straus Giroux, 2011. 32 pages. Ages 3-6


Have and Have Not: Economics and Personal Finance

    Balliett, Blue. Hold Fast. Scholastic, 2013. 288 pages. Ages 8-11

    Boelts, Maribeth. Happy Like Soccer. Illustrated by Lauren Castillo. Candlewick Press, 2012. 32 pages. Ages 5-8

    Boelts, Maribeth. Those Shoes. Illustrated by Noah Z. Jones. Candlewick Press, 2007. 32 pages. Ages 5-8

    Boelts, Maribeth. A Bike Like Sergio's. Illustrated by Noah Z. Jones. Candlewick Press, 2016. 32 pages. Ages 5-8

    Boyce, Frank Cottrell. Millions. HarperCollins, 2004. 247 pages. Ages 9-14

    Bunting, Eve. Yard Sale. Illustrated by Lauren Castillo. Candlewick Press, 2015. 32 pages. Ages 4-7

    Cole, Brock. The Money We’ll Save. Margaret Ferguson Books / Farrar Straus Giroux, 2011. 32 pages. Ages 4-8

    Gregory, Nan . Pink. Illustrated by Luc Melanson. 2007, Groundwood. 32 pages. Ages 5-8

    Grimes, Nikki. Rich (A Dyamonde Daniel Book). Illustrated by R. Gregory Christie. Putnam, 2009. 95 pages. Ages 6 - 9

    Hawkins, Aaron R.. The Year Money Grew on Trees. Houghton Mifflin/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2010. 293 pages. Ages 9 - 12

    Herrera, Juan Felipe. Grandma and Me at the Flea / Los Meros Meros Remateros. Illustrated by Anita DeLucio-Brock. Children's Book Press, 2002. 32 pages. Ages 7 - 10

    Jacobson, Jennifer Richard. Paper Things. Candlewick Press, 2015. 216 pages. Ages 9–12

    Jenkins, Emily. Lemonade in Winter: A Book about Two Kids Counting Money. Illustrated by G. Brian Karas. Schwartz & Wade, 2012. 40 pages. Ages 4–8

    Kelly, Erin Entrada. The Land of Forgotten Girls. Greenwillow / HarperCollins, 2016. 304 pages. Ages 9-12

    Kittinger, Jo S. The House on Dirty-Third Street. Illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez. Peachtree, 2012. 32 pages. Ages 6-9

    Lyon, George Ella. You and Me and Home Sweet Home. Illustrated by Stephanie Anderson. A Richard Jackson Book / Atheneum, 2009. 40 pages. Ages 4 - 8

    Medina, Meg. Tía Isa Wants a Car. Illustrated by Claudio Muñoz. Candlewick Press, 2011. 32 pages. Ages 4-8

    Michael, Jan. City Boy. U.S. edition: Clarion/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2009. 188 pages. Ages 10 - 13

    Mollel, Tololwa M. My Rows and Piles of Coins. Illustrated by E.B. Lewis. Clarion Books, 1999. 32 pages. Ages 4-8

    O'Connor, Barbara. How to Steal a Dog. Frances Foster Books / Farrar Straus and Giroux, 2007. 170 pages. Ages 9-11

    Perkins, Mitali. Rickshaw Girl. Illustrated by Jamie Hogan. Charlesbridge, 2007. 91 pages. Ages 8-10

    Sneve, Virginia Driving Hawk. The Christmas Coat: Memories of My Sioux Childhood. Illustrated by Ellen Beier. Holiday House , 2011. 32 pages. Ages 4-8

    Williams, Vera B.. A Chair for My Mother. Greenwillow, 1982. Ages 4 - 9

    Yoo, Paula . Twenty-two Cents: Muhammad Yunus and the Village Bank. Illustrated by Jamel Akib. Lee & Low, 2014. 40 pages. Ages 7-10


From Here to There: Geography

    Fleming, Denise. Buster. Henry Holt, 2003. 32 pages. Ages 4 - 7

    Graham, Bob. How the Sun Got to Coco's House. Candlewick Press, 2015. 32 pages. Ages 3-6

    Hennessy, B.G.. The Scary Places Map Book: Seven Terrifying Tours. Illustrated by Erwin Madrid. Candlewick Press, 2012. 32 pages. Ages 7–11

    Keller, Laurie . The Scrambled States of America. Henry Holt, 1998. 32 pages. 6-10

    Keller, Laurie. The Scrambled States of America Talent Show. Henry Holt, 2008. 32 pages. Ages 7-10

    Kelly, Irene. A Small Dog's Big Life: Around the World with Owney. Holiday House, 2005. 32 pages. Ages 5-8

    Marshall III, Joseph. In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse. Illustrated by Jim Yellowhawk. Amulet / Abrams, 2015. 165 pages. Ages 9-12

    Martins, Isabel Minhós. The World in a Second. Translated by Lyn Miller-Lachmann from the Portuguese. Illustrated by Bernardo P. Carvalho. U.S. edition: Enchanted Lion, 2015. 56 pages. Ages 6-11

    Pattison, Darcy. The Journey of Oliver K. Woodman. Illustrated by Joe Cepeda. Harcourt, 2003. 32 pages. Ages 5 - 10

    Siebert, Diane. Tour America: A Journey Through Poems and Art. Illustrated by Stephen T. Johnson. Chronicle, 2006. 56 pages. Ages 8-14

    Williams, Vera B and Jennifer Williams . Stringbean's Trip to the Shining Sea. Greenwillow, 1988. 48 pages. Ages 5-10



This list may be reproduced and distributed by educational and/or nonprofit organizations so long as credit is given to the Cooperative Children's Book Center, School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison.



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