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Wisconsin Social Studies Standards: Suggested Trade Books for K-5

©2023, 2020 Cooperative Children’s Book Center

Compiled by Megan Schliesman

This list was created to identify engaging, high-quality trade books for K-5 that support broad concepts and, in some cases, specific standards found under several of the discipline content areas for the Wisconsin Standards for Social Studies for kindergarten through grade 5.

Books on this list were chosen to align to the following content areas:

  • Behavioral Sciences (Who I Am, What I Believe)
  • Geography (Here and There)
  • History and Politics (Rights and Responsibilities) (two disciplines combined)
  • Economics (Goods and Services, Wants and Needs)

While the books are organized into single categories, some books will be good fits for more than one of these content areas.

Creating a bibliography of books that align to each specific standard under the disciplines would be impossible—often there isn’t a trade book available on a specific concept, let alone one we recommend. Likewise, there is a dearth of Wisconsin-specific trade book titles. (For educational titles, check out the offerings of the Wisconsin Historical Society Press.)

However, across this list we believe you’ll find books that can generate discussion, underscore many ideas and concepts, and, perhaps most important, offer stories that examine these ideas and concepts in human, relatable terms for children.

Other CCBC bibliographies you may find useful in supporting teaching of Wisconsin Social Studies Standards for K-5 include:

Who I Am, What I Believe: Behavioral Sciences

Barnes, Derrick Crown: An Ode to the Fresh Cut. Illustrated by Gordon C. James. A Denene Millner Book/Bolden, 2017. 32 pages. Ages 6-10

Britt, Paige Why Am I Me?. Illustrated by Sean Qualls and Selina Alko. Scholastic, 2017. 32 pages. Ages 5-8

Cartaya, Pablo Each Tiny Spark. Kokila/Penguin Random House, 2019. 315 pages. Ages 9-12

Collier, Nicole D. Just Right Jillian. HarperCollins/Versify, 2022. 215 pages. Ages 8-12

de la Pena, Matt Carmela Full of Wishes. Illustrated by Christian Robinson. Putnam, 2018. 32 pages. Ages 4-8

Diakite, Penda I Lost My Tooth in Africa. Illustrated by Baba Wague Diakite. Scholastic Press, 2006. 32 pages. Ages 4-7

Edwards, Michelle Me and the Boss: A Story about Mending and Love. Illustrated by April Harrison. Anne Schwartz Book/Random House, 2022. 32 pages. Ages 4-8

Ellis, Sarah As Glenn as Can Be. Illustrated by Nancy Vo. Groundwood/House of Anansi, 2022. 32 pages. Ages 6-9

Fajardo, Anika What If a Fish. Simon & Schuster, 2020. 231 pages. Ages 9-12

Kelkar, Supriya The Many Colors of Harpreet Singh. Illustrated by Alea Marley. Sterling Children's Books, 2019. 24 pages. Ages 3-7

LaRocca, Rajani Where Three Oceans Meet. Illustrated by Archana Sreenivasan. Abrams, 2021. 40 pages. Ages 3-7

Lilly, Elizabeth Let Me Fix You a Plate: A Tale of Two Kitchens. Illustrated by Elizabeth Lilly. Holiday House/Neal Porter Books, 2021. 32 pages. Ages 3-7

Loomis, Ilima 'Ohana Means Family. Illustrated by Kenard Pak. Holiday House/Neal Porter Books, 2020. 32 pages. Ages 3-7

Lukoff, Kyle Too Bright to See. Dial/Penguin Random House, 2021. 188 pages. Ages 8-12

Park, Linda Sue The One Thing You'd Save. Illustrated by Robert Sae-Heng. Clarion/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2021. 65 pages. Ages 7-11

Sima, Jessie Not Quite Narwhal. Illustrated by Jessie Sima. Simon & Schuster, 2017. 32 pages. Ages 3-8

Smith, Cynthia Leitich Indian Shoes. Illustrated by Jim Madsen. HarperCollins, 2002. 66 pages. Ages 6-9

Sorell, Traci Powwow Day. Illustrated by Madelyn Goodnight. Charlesbridge, 2022. 32 pages. Ages 4-8

Srinivasan, Divya What I Am. Illustrated by Divya Srinivasan. Penguin Random House/Viking, 2021. 32 pages. Ages 5-9

Yamanaka, Lois-Ann Snow Angel, Sand Angel. Illustrated by Ashley Lukashevsky. Make Me A World/Random House, 2022. 32 pages. Ages 5-8

Here and There: Geography

Atinuke, Too Small Tola. Illustrated by Onyinye Iwu. Candlewick, 2021. 88 pages. Ages 6-9

Balasubramaniam, Saumiya Two Drops of Brown in a Cloud of White. Illustrated by Eva Campbell. Groundwood/House of Anansi, 2020. 32 pages. Ages 5-8

Bowles, David My Two Border Towns. Illustrated by Erika Meza. Kokila/Penguin Random House, 2021. 32 pages. Ages 5-8

Charles, Tami My Day with the Panye. Illustrated by Sara Palacios. Candlewick, 2021. 32 pages. Ages 3-7

Cline-Ransome, Lesa Leaving Lymon. Holiday House, 2020. 199 pages. Ages 8-12

Coy, John My Mighty Journey: A Waterfall's Story. Illustrated by Gaylord Schanilec. Minnesota Historical Society, 2019. 40 pages. Ages 5-11

Croza, Laurel From There to Here. Illustrated by Matt James. Groundwood/House of Anansi, 2014. 32 pages. Ages 5-9

Ejaita, Diana Olu & Greta. Illustrated by Diana Ejaita. Penguin Random House/Rise x Penguin Workshop, 2021. 32 pages. Ages 4-8

Farish, Terry Luis Paints the World. Illustrated by Oliver Dominguez. Carolrhoda, 2016. 32 pages. Ages 5-8

Hodgkinson, Leigh Martha Maps It Out. Illustrated by Leigh Hodgkinson. Kane Miller, 2022. 32 pages. Ages 5-8

Jamieson, Victoria and Omar Mohamed When Stars Are Scattered. Illustrated by Victoria Jamieson. Dial/Penguin Random House, 2020. 256 pages. Ages 9-13

Johnson, Mariana Ruiz The Book that Kibo Wrote. Illustrated by Mariana Ruiz Johnson. Translated by Lawrence Schimel. Eerdmans, 2022. 28 pages. Ages 4-8

Khan, Hena Amina's Song (Amina's Voice, #2). Salaam Reads/Simon & Schuster, 2021. 280 pages. Ages 9-12

Kheiriyeh, Rashin The Shape of Home. Illustrated by Rashin Kheiriyeh. Levine Querido, 2021. 40 pages. Ages 4-8

Martinez, Libby The Homesick Club. Illustrated by Rebecca Gibbon. Groundwood/House of Anansi, 2020. 32 pages. Ages 5-8

Meshon, Aaron Take Me Out to the Yakyu. Illustrated by Aaron Meshon. Atheneum, 2013. 36 pages. Ages 3-6

Newman, Patricia A River's Gifts: The Mighty Elwha River Reborn. Illustrated by Natasha Donovan. Lerner/Millbrook, 2022. 50 pages. Ages 8-12

Phung Nguyen, Quang and Lien Huynh Kim My First Day. Illustrated by Quang Phung Nguyen and Lien Huynh Kim. Make Me A World, 2021. 40 pages. Ages 4-8

Quintero, Isabel My Papi Has a Motorcycle. Illustrated by Zeke Pena. Kokila/Penguin Random House, 2019. 32 pages. Ages 4-8

Tan, Sheri Follow That Map!. Illustrated by Shirley Ng-Benitez. Lee & Low, 2019. Ages 5-7

Rights and Responsibilities: History and Politics

Allen, Tessa Sometimes People March. Illustrated by Tessa Allen. Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins, 2020. 32 pages. Ages 4-8

Brockenbrough, Martha and Grace Lin I Am an American: The Wong Kim Ark Story. Illustrated by Julia Kuo. Little, Brown, 2021. 32 pages. Ages 7-10

Cartaya, Pablo The Epic Fail of Arturo Zamora. Viking, 2017. 236 pages. Ages 10-13

Dairman, Tara The Great Hibernation. Illustrated by Rebecca Green. Random House/Wendy Lamb Books, 2017. 260 pages. Ages 7-10

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

Davids, Sharice and Nancy K. Mays Sharice's Big Voice: A Native Kid Becomes a Congresswoman. Illustrated by Joshua Mangeshig Pawis-Steckley. Harper/HarperCollins, 2021. 40 pages. Ages 6-9

Floca, Brian Keeping the City Going. Illustrated by Brian Floca. Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books/Simon & Schuster, 2021. 32 pages. Ages 4-8

Giles, Chrystal D. Take Back the Block. Random House, 2021. 229 pages. Ages 8-12

Gravel, Elise Killer Underwear Invasion! How to Spot Fake News, Disinformation & Conspiracy Theories. Illustrated by Elise Gravel. Chronicle, 2022. 88 pages. Ages 8-12

Kerley, Barbara Those Rebels, John & Tom. Illustrated by Edwin Fotheringham. Scholastic Press, 2012. 48 pages. Ages 6-9

King, Thomas Borders. Illustrated by Natasha Donovan. Little, Brown, 2021. 171 pages. Age 8 and older

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

Lindstrom, Carole We Are Water Protectors. Illustrated by Michaela Goade. Roaring Brook, 2020. 40 pages. Ages 6-10

McGinty, Alice Blumenthal The Water Lady: How Darlene Arviso Helps a Thirsty Navajo Nation. Illustrated by Shonto Begay. Schwartz & Wade, 2021. 36 pages. Ages 5-10

Miller, Sharee Don't Touch My Hair!. Illustrated by Sharee Miller. Little, Brown, 2018. 40 pages. Ages 5-8

Nilsson, Ulf A Complicated Case. Illustrated by Gitte Spee. Translated by Julia Marshall. Gecko, 2016. 104 pages. Ages 4-8

Pimentel, Annette Bay All the Way to the Top: How One Girl's Fight for Americans with Disabilities Changed Everything. Illustrated by Nabi H. Ali. Sourcebooks/Sourcebooks eXplore, 2020. 32 pages. Ages 6-9

Weatherford, Carole Boston Unspeakable: The Tulsa Race Massacre. Illustrated by Floyd Cooper. Carolrhoda, 2021. 32 pages. Ages 8-12

Williams, Alicia D. Shirley Chisholm Dared: The Story of the First Black Woman in Congress. Illustrated by April Harrison. Anne Schwartz Book/Random House, 2021. 40 pages. Ages 6-9

Yang, Kelly Three Keys (Front Desk, #2). Scholastic, 2020. 288 pages. Ages 9-12

Goods and Services, Wants and Needs: Economics

Archer, Micha Daniel's Good Day. Illustrated by Micha Archer. Nancy Paulsen Books/Penguin Random House, 2019. 32 pages. Ages 4-8

Atinuke, Too Small Tola and the Three Fine Girls (Too Small Tola, #2). Illustrated by Onyinye Iwu. Candlewick, 2022. 88 pages. Ages 5-8

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

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

Brisson, Pat Before We Eat: From Farm to Table. Illustrated by Mary Azarian. Tilbury House, 2014. 32 pages. Ages 3-7

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

Burgos, Hilda Eunice Ana Maria Reyes Does Not Live in a Castle. Lee & Low/Tu, 2018. 284 pages. Ages 8-11

Burgos, Hilda Eunice The Cot in the Living Room. Illustrated by Gaby D'Alessandro. Kokila/Penguin Random House, 2021. 32 pages. Ages 4-7

Durango, Julia The One Day House. Illustrated by Bianca Diaz. Charlesbridge, 2017. 32 pages. Ages 4-8

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

Magoon, Kekla The Season of Styx Malone. Random House/Wendy Lamb Books, 2018. 297 pages. Ages 9-12

Marshall, Linda Elovitz Rainbow Weaver = Tejedora del arcoíris. Illustrated by Elisa Chavarri. Lee & Low, 2016. 32 pages. Ages 4-8

McCarthy, Meghan Earmuffs for Everyone! How Chester Greenwood Became Known as the Inventor of Earmuffs. Illustrated by Meghan McCarthy. Paula Wiseman Books/Simon & Schuster, 2015. 40 pages. Ages 6-9

Medina, Meg Tia Isa Wants a Car. Illustrated by Claudio Munoz. Candlewick, 2011. 32 pages. Ages 4-8

Paul, Miranda One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia. Illustrated by Elizabeth Zunon. Millbrook, 2015. 32 pages. Ages 7-10

Rockliff, Mara Try it! How Freida Caplan Changed the Way We Eat. Illustrated by Giselle Potter. Beach Lane/Simon & Schuster, 2021. 32 pages. Ages 6-9

Stone, Tanya Lee Pass Go and Collect $200: The Real Story of How Monopoly Was Invented. Illustrated by Steven Salerno. Christy Ottaviano Books/Henry Holt, 2018. 32 pages. Ages 8-12

Williams, Vera B. A Chair for My Mother. Illustrated by Vera B. Williams. Greenwillow, 1983. 32 pages. Ages 4-8

Wolff, Kathy All We Need. Illustrated by Margaux Meganck. Bloomsbury, 2021. 32 pages. Ages 3-7

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

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Our Recommended Book Search includes subject access to CCBC-recommended titles based on subject headings created by our staff.