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NCSS-IRA Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People

Jump into the Sky

By: Shelley Pearsall

Levi Battle's been left behind all his life. His mother could sing like a bird and she flew away like one, too. His father left him with his grandmother so he could work as a traveling salesman—until...

The Genius of Islam

By: Bryn Barnard

The Middle Ages were a period of tremendous cultural and scientific advancement in the Islamic Empire—ideas and inventions that shaped our world.  Did you know that:• The numbers you use...

Never Forgotten

By: Patricia C. McKissack
illustrated by: Leo and Diane Dillon

A 2012 Coretta Scott King Author Honor BookThis gorgeous picture book by Newbery Honor winner Patricia C. McKissack and two-time Caldecott Medal-winning husband-and-wife team Leo and Diane Dillon is sure...


Mrs. Harkness and the Panda

By: Alicia Potter
illustrated by: Melissa Sweet

In 1934, Ruth Harkness had never seen a panda bear.  Not many people in the world had.But soon the young Mrs. Harkness would inherit an expedition from her explorer husband: the hunt for a panda. ...

Here Comes the Garbage Barge!

By: Jonah Winter
illustrated by: Red Nose Studio

This New York Times Best Illustrated Book is a mostly true and completely stinky story that is sure to make you say, “Pee-yew!” Teaching environmental awareness has become a national priority,...

Ostrich Boys

By: Keith Gray

"It's not really kidnapping, is it? He'd have to be alive for it to be proper kidnapping."Ross is dead, and Blake, Sim, and Kenny are furious. To make things right, they steal Ross's ashes and set out...


Born and Bred in the Great Depression

By: Jonah Winter
illustrated by: Kimberly Bulcken Root

East Texas, the 1930s—the Great Depression. Award-winning author Jonah Winter's father grew up with seven siblings in a tiny house on the edge of town. In this picture book, Winter shares his family...

The Mighty Lalouche

By: Matthew Olshan
illustrated by: Sophie Blackall

Caldecott Medal-winning illustrator Sophie Blackall brings to life this marvelous story, which is full of humor and heart. In Paris, France, there lived a humble postman named Lalouche. He was small,...

A Passion for Victory

By: Benson Bobrick

From the barefoot races of 8th century BC to the underwater obstacle courses in the early 20th century to the high-tension Berlin Games preceding World War II, the Olympics have always been exciting dramas...


Flesh and Blood So Cheap: The Triangle Fire and Its Legacy

By: Albert Marrin

On March 25, 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory in New York City burst into flames.  The factory was crowded.  The doors were locked to ensure workers stay inside.  One hundred forty-six...

One Came Home

By: Amy Timberlake

A Newbery Honor BookAn ALA-ALSC Notable Children's BookWinner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Juvenile Novel “An adventure, a mystery, and a love song to the natural world. . . . Run out and...

Harlem's Little Blackbird

By: Renee Watson
illustrated by: Christian Robinson

From Caldecott Honor winner Christian Robinson and acclaimed author Renee Watson, comes the inspiring true story of Florence Mills.Born to parents who were both former slaves, Florence Mills knew at an...


Deep in the Sahara

By: Kelly Cunnane
illustrated by: Hoda Hadadi

"Poetic language, attractive illustrations and a positive message about Islam, without any didacticism: a wonderful combination," declares Kirkus Reviews in a starred review.Lalla lives in the Muslim...

When You Reach Me

By: Rebecca Stead

This Newbery Medal winner that has a fantastic puzzle at its heart has been called “smart and mesmerizing,” (The New York Times), “superb” (The Wall Street Journal), and “incandescent”...

Moon Over Manifest

By: Clare Vanderpool

Winner of the 2011 Newbery Award.The movement of the train rocked me like a lullaby. I closed my eyes to the dusty countryside and imagined the sign I’d seen only in Gideon’s stories: Manifest—A...


Nine Days

By: Fred Hiatt

A fast-paced contemporary thriller in the vein of James Patterson and Anthony Horowitz set against the bustling backdrop of Hong Kong, Vietnam, and the border of China. This heart-pounding adventure takes...

Mountains Beyond Mountains (Adapted for Young People)

By: by Tracy Kidder, adapted for young people by Michael French

Tracy Kidder's critically acclaimed adult nonfiction work, Mountains Beyond Mountains has been adapted for young people by Michael French. In this young adult edition, readers are introduced to Dr. Paul...

Enrique's Journey (The Young Adult Adaptation)

By: Sonia Nazario

 “A heartwrenching account. Provides a human face, both beautiful and scarred, for the undocumented. A must read."--Kirkus Reviews, StarredAdapted for young people, this edition of Enrique’s...


Brendan Buckley's Universe and Everything in It

By: Sundee Frazier

Winner of the Coretta Scott King / John Steptoe New Talent Award, this acclaimed, multicultural book about a biracial boy with a passion for science will resonate with children everywhere who can’t—or...

Counting on Grace

By: Elizabeth Winthrop

1910. Pownal, Vermont. At 12, Grace and her best friend Arthur must leave school and go to work as a “doffers” on their mothers’ looms in the mill. Grace’s mother is the best worker,...

It's Mine!

By: Leo Lionni

Four time Caldecott Honor winner Leo Lionni's beloved tale about three young frogs learning to work together.Three selfish frogs live together on an island in the middle of Rainbow Pond. All day long they...


The Firehouse Light

By: Janet Nolan

Day after day, year after year, the lightbulb did not burn out.  Here is the true story of a little lightbulb, located in a firehouse, that has stayed lit for more than one hundred years. As...

For the Love of Music

By: by Elizabeth Rusch
paintings by: Steve Johnson and Lou Fancher

By the time she was 12, she was considered one of the finest pianists in Europe, but today few people know her name. Maria Mozart, like her famous brother Wolfgang, was a musical prodigy. The talented...