An Award-Winning Book Club for Kids
Shop Now

Social Science: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about social science?

Children’s literature has many notable options when it comes to social science. To help you find the right books for you and your young reader, we’ve compiled a list of the best kids books about social science.

Our list includes board books, picture books, and chapter books. Board books are best for babies and toddlers from ages newborn to 2 or 3. Picture books are generally great options for toddlers and for preschool and kindergarten age children. Picture books are especially enjoyable for adults to read aloud with young kids. The chapter books on our list are generally best for elementary through early middle school age tween kids. You can filter to sort by the best book type for your kid, and you can also use our table of contents to jump to particular topics you think your kid will enjoy.

When it comes to children’s stories about social science, there are a variety of titles. This list covers everything, from classics like The Juniper Tree: And Other Tales from Grimm to popular sellers like A Gathering of Days: A New England Girl’s Journal, 1830-32 to some of our favorite hidden gems like Her Right Foot.

We hope this list of kids books about social science can be a helpful resource for parents, teachers, and others searching for a new book!

Share this list

Top 10 Books About Social Science

#1
Add to list
This Bridge Will Not Be Gray
Written by Dave Eggers & illustrated by Tucker Nichols
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

In this delightfully original take on nonfiction, bestselling author Dave Eggers tackles one of the most famous architectural and natural monuments in the world: the Golden Gate Bridge. Cut-paper illustrations by Tucker Nichols ensures that this book feels like a special object, and the revised edition includes real-life letters from constituents making the case for keeping the bridge orange. The narrative’s sly humor makes the topic perfectly accessible for kids enthusiastic about nonfiction. This one-of-a-kind book transports readers to the glorious Golden Gate, no matter where they live.

Buy book
$19.99
Bookshop
$16.99
Amazon
$16.29
Used $4.00
Prices as of Jan 24
#2
Add to list
Pig War: How a Porcine Tragedy Taught England and America to Share
Written by Emma Bland Smith & illustrated by Alison Jay
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10
Here is a true story of how the great nations of America and England almost went to war in 1859 over a pig--but learned to share instead.
Buy book
$18.99
Bookshop
$16.14
Amazon
$18.99
Used $18.99
Prices as of Jan 24
#3
Add to list
Her Right Foot
Written by Dave Eggers & illustrated by Shawn Harris
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

If you had to name a statue, any statue, odds are good you’d mention the Statue of Liberty. Have you seen her? She’s in New York. She’s holding a torch. And she’s taking one step forward. But why? In this fascinating, fun take on nonfiction, uniquely American in its frank tone and honest look at the literal foundation of our country, Dave Eggers and Shawn Harris investigate a seemingly small trait of America’s most emblematic statue. What they find is about more than history, more than art. What they find in the Statue of Liberty’s right foot is the powerful message of acceptance that is essential to an entire country’s creation. Can you believe that?

Buy book
$19.99
Bookshop
$16.99
Amazon
$15.63
Used $3.71
Prices as of Jan 24
#4
Add to list
This Little President: A Presidential Primer
Written by Joan Holub & illustrated by Daniel Roode
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Learn all about the US presidents with this fun and colorful board book perfect for leaders-in-training! Leading our country. Helping you and me. Keeping all fifty states safe, happy, and free. Little presidents have a great big job. Now even the youngest patriots can learn about America’s presidential history with this bright and playful board book. Highlighting ten of the most memorable presidents—and featuring all forty-four on the last page—parents and presidents-in-training alike will love sharing this fun primer full of age-appropriate facts, leadership skills, and White House history.

Buy book
$7.99
Bookshop
$6.79
Amazon
$5.99
Used $1.13
Prices as of Jan 24
#5
Add to list
V Is for Voting
Written by Kate Farrell & illustrated by Caitlin Kuhwald
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

V Is for Voting is an ABC book that introduces progressive families to concepts like social justice and civil rights and reminds readers that every vote counts!

A is for active participation.
B is for building a more equal nation.
C is for citizens’ rights and our duty.
D is for difference, our strength and our beauty.

An engaging introduction to the tenets of democracy, V Is for Voting is a playful, poetic, and powerful primer about the importance of voting and activism. Featuring Kate Farrell’s rhyming text and Caitlin Kuhwald’s bold art, plus thoughtful back matter, the book is a gorgeous, and crucial, addition to every young reader’s library. It makes the perfect gift for fans of A Is for Activist, Woke Baby, and Feminist Baby.

Buy book
$18.99
Bookshop
$16.14
Amazon
$16.29
Used $4.80
Prices as of Jan 24
#6
Add to list
My Bed: Enchanting Ways to Fall Asleep Around the World
Written by Rebecca Bond & illustrated by Salley Mavor
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Delightful rhymes and charming hand-stitched art celebrate the many ways we sleep across the world. Perfect for a baby shower gift and for fans of This Is How We Do It.

My bed rocks on water
My bed sways in the breeze.
My bed’s beneath a curtain
My bed’s aloft in trees . . .

In the Netherlands, some beds rock on water. In Brazil they might sway in the breeze. From Canada to Japan, Afghanistan to Norway, sleep has taken many forms and shapes throughout history. Astonishing, hand-stitched illustrations and a delightful narrative tell the story of sleeping traditions across the world.

Buy book
$18.99
Bookshop
$16.14
Amazon
$12.99
Used $12.38
Prices as of Jan 24
#7
Add to list
Free for You and Me: What Our First Amendment Means
Written by Christy Mihaly & illustrated by Manu Montoya
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

It’s a free country! But what does that mean? Find out the five liberties protected by the First Amendment. Vivid examples from history and everyday life demonstrate the meaning of freedom of religion, speech, and the press, and the rights to assemble peacefully and to petition the government.

Buy book
$16.99
Bookshop
$14.44
Amazon
$13.99
Used $12.01
Prices as of Jan 24
#8
Add to list
I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark
Written by Debbie Levy & illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Get to know celebrated Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg—in the first picture book about her life—as she proves that disagreeing does not make you disagreeable! Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has spent a lifetime disagreeing: disagreeing with inequality, arguing against unfair treatment, and standing up for what’s right for people everywhere. This biographical picture book about the Notorious RBG, tells the justice’s story through the lens of her many famous dissents, or disagreements.

Buy book
$18.99
Bookshop
$16.14
Amazon
$14.99
Used $6.01
Prices as of Jan 24
#9
Add to list
My Weird School Fast Facts: Mummies, Myths, and Mysteries
Written by Dan Gutman & illustrated by Jim Paillot and Dan Gutman
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Think fast with A.J. and Andrea from My Weird School! Did you know that ancient Egyptians treated infections by putting moldy bread on them? Did you know that ancient Roman workers would stomp around barefoot in big tubs filled with urine to clean their clothes? Learn more weird-but-true ancient history facts with A.J. and Andrea from Dan Gutman’s bestselling My Weird School series. This highly illustrated series of nonfiction books features hundreds of hysterical facts, plus lots of photos and illustrations. Whether you’re a kid who wants to learn more about ancient history or simply someone who wants to know what came out of the very first vending machine, this is the book for you! With more than 23 million books sold, the My Weird School series really gets kids reading!

Buy book
$16.89
Bookshop
$14.36
Amazon
$16.89
Used $16.89
Prices as of Jan 24
#10
Add to list
The Next President: The Unexpected Beginnings and Unwritten Future of America’s Presidents
Written by Kate Messner and Adam Rex
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

An inspiring and informative book for kids about the past and future of America’s presidents.

Who will be the NEXT president? Could it be you? When George Washington became the first president of the United States, there were nine future presidents already alive in America, doing things like practicing law or studying medicine.

When JFK became the thirty-fifth president, there were 10 future presidents already alive in America, doing things like hosting TV shows and learning the saxophone.

And right now—today!—there are at least 10 future presidents alive in America. They could be playing basketball, like Barack Obama, or helping in the garden, like Dwight D. Eisenhower. They could be solving math problems or reading books. They could be making art—or already making change.

• A breezy, kid-friendly survey of American history and American presidents
• Great for teachers, librarians, and other educators
• Kate Messner’s nonfiction picture books have been lauded by critics and received a variety of awards.

For young readers and students who loved The New Big Book of Presidents, Lincoln and Kennedy: A Pair to Compare, and Kid Presidents: True Tales of Childhood from America’s Presidents.

A helpful addition to curriculums of 5th- to 8th-grade students studying U.S. History and civics and the federal government.

• For readers ages 8–12
• U.S. history for kids
• Students, librarians, teachers
• 5th–8th-grade kids

From award-winning author Kate Messner and New York Times bestselling artist Adam Rex comes a timely and compelling compendium about the U.S. presidents—before they were presidents.

Kate Messner is an award-winning author whose many books for kids have been selected as Best Books by the New York Times, Junior Library Guild, IndieBound, and Bank Street College of Education. She lives on Lake Champlain with her family.

Adam Rex is the author and illustrator of many beloved picture books and novels, including Nothing Rhymes with Orange and the New York Times bestseller Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich. He has worked with the likes of Jon Scieszka, Mac Barnett, Jeff Kinney, and Neil Gaiman. He lives in Tucson, Arizona.

Buy book
$18.99
Bookshop
$16.14
Amazon
$14.47
Used $4.00
Prices as of Jan 24
Table of Contents
Scroll to books about Social Science and...

Books About Social Science and 1850-1899

Add to list
This Bridge Will Not Be Gray
Written by Dave Eggers & illustrated by Tucker Nichols
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

In this delightfully original take on nonfiction, bestselling author Dave Eggers tackles one of the most famous architectural and natural monuments in the world: the Golden Gate Bridge. Cut-paper illustrations by Tucker Nichols ensures that this book feels like a special object, and the revised edition includes real-life letters from constituents making the case for keeping the bridge orange. The narrative’s sly humor makes the topic perfectly accessible for kids enthusiastic about nonfiction. This one-of-a-kind book transports readers to the glorious Golden Gate, no matter where they live.

Buy book
$19.99
Bookshop
$16.99
Amazon
$16.29
Used $4.00
Prices as of Jan 24
Add to list
Pig War: How a Porcine Tragedy Taught England and America to Share
Written by Emma Bland Smith & illustrated by Alison Jay
picture book
Recommend Ages: 7-10
Here is a true story of how the great nations of America and England almost went to war in 1859 over a pig--but learned to share instead.
Buy book
$18.99
Bookshop
$16.14
Amazon
$18.99
Used $18.99
Prices as of Jan 24
Add to list
Her Right Foot
Written by Dave Eggers & illustrated by Shawn Harris
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

If you had to name a statue, any statue, odds are good you’d mention the Statue of Liberty. Have you seen her? She’s in New York. She’s holding a torch. And she’s taking one step forward. But why? In this fascinating, fun take on nonfiction, uniquely American in its frank tone and honest look at the literal foundation of our country, Dave Eggers and Shawn Harris investigate a seemingly small trait of America’s most emblematic statue. What they find is about more than history, more than art. What they find in the Statue of Liberty’s right foot is the powerful message of acceptance that is essential to an entire country’s creation. Can you believe that?

Buy book
$19.99
Bookshop
$16.99
Amazon
$15.63
Used $3.71
Prices as of Jan 24
Honorable Mentions
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  1. Rescuing the Declaration of Independence: How We Almost Lost the Words That Built America - He saved the words that built America! Emmy Award–winning journalist Anna Crowley Redding and Sibert Honor illustrator Edwin Fotheringham bring to life the riveting true story about the lowly clerk who saved the Declaration of Independence from being destroyed by the British army in the War of 1812. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” These are the words that helped found our nation. Today the Declaration of Independence is one of the United States’ most heavily guarded treasures, but during the War of 1812 it would have been destroyed if not for one man whose story has nearly been forgotten by time. Come along on this historic adventure and learn how one ordinary clerk did a truly extraordinary thing. As a clerk for the State Department, Stephen Pleasonton spent his days quietly immersed in paperwork. He never expected to receive an urgent message telling him that the British army was on its way to the capital. And that the documents that Stephen was entrusted with—such as the original Declaration of Independence and the original Constitution—were all in danger! It fell on Stephen to get our nation’s most cherished and priceless artifacts safely out of Washington!

  2. Where's Your Hat, Abe Lincoln? - Abe Lincoln is worried. He cannot find his hat anywhere. Will his friends help him find it? Frederick Douglass is busy writing a book. Clara Barton is busy nursing wounded soldiers. What will Abe do? From Harriett Tubman to Ulysses S. Grant, nobody seems to have the time to join the search. Will Abraham Lincoln find his hat in time to deliver the Gettysburg Address? This colorful and humorous board book primer features some of the most prominent figures of American history and introduces historians of all ages to the incredible beginning of the United States of America.

  3. How Kate Warne Saved President Lincoln - In 1856, when Kate Warne went to see Allan Pinkerton, only men were detectives. But Kate convinced Allan to hire her for his detective agency. She explained that she could worm out secrets where men could not go—in disguise as a society lady! Join Kate on her most important mission—to thwart a plot to assassinate Abraham Lincoln on the way to his inauguration.

Want to see books about 1850-1899?

Books About Social Science and Us Presidents

Add to list
This Little President: A Presidential Primer
Written by Joan Holub & illustrated by Daniel Roode
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Learn all about the US presidents with this fun and colorful board book perfect for leaders-in-training! Leading our country. Helping you and me. Keeping all fifty states safe, happy, and free. Little presidents have a great big job. Now even the youngest patriots can learn about America’s presidential history with this bright and playful board book. Highlighting ten of the most memorable presidents—and featuring all forty-four on the last page—parents and presidents-in-training alike will love sharing this fun primer full of age-appropriate facts, leadership skills, and White House history.

Buy book
$7.99
Bookshop
$6.79
Amazon
$5.99
Used $1.13
Prices as of Jan 24
Add to list
The Next President: The Unexpected Beginnings and Unwritten Future of America’s Presidents
Written by Kate Messner and Adam Rex
picture book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

An inspiring and informative book for kids about the past and future of America’s presidents.

Who will be the NEXT president? Could it be you? When George Washington became the first president of the United States, there were nine future presidents already alive in America, doing things like practicing law or studying medicine.

When JFK became the thirty-fifth president, there were 10 future presidents already alive in America, doing things like hosting TV shows and learning the saxophone.

And right now—today!—there are at least 10 future presidents alive in America. They could be playing basketball, like Barack Obama, or helping in the garden, like Dwight D. Eisenhower. They could be solving math problems or reading books. They could be making art—or already making change.

• A breezy, kid-friendly survey of American history and American presidents
• Great for teachers, librarians, and other educators
• Kate Messner’s nonfiction picture books have been lauded by critics and received a variety of awards.

For young readers and students who loved The New Big Book of Presidents, Lincoln and Kennedy: A Pair to Compare, and Kid Presidents: True Tales of Childhood from America’s Presidents.

A helpful addition to curriculums of 5th- to 8th-grade students studying U.S. History and civics and the federal government.

• For readers ages 8–12
• U.S. history for kids
• Students, librarians, teachers
• 5th–8th-grade kids

From award-winning author Kate Messner and New York Times bestselling artist Adam Rex comes a timely and compelling compendium about the U.S. presidents—before they were presidents.

Kate Messner is an award-winning author whose many books for kids have been selected as Best Books by the New York Times, Junior Library Guild, IndieBound, and Bank Street College of Education. She lives on Lake Champlain with her family.

Adam Rex is the author and illustrator of many beloved picture books and novels, including Nothing Rhymes with Orange and the New York Times bestseller Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich. He has worked with the likes of Jon Scieszka, Mac Barnett, Jeff Kinney, and Neil Gaiman. He lives in Tucson, Arizona.

Buy book
$18.99
Bookshop
$16.14
Amazon
$14.47
Used $4.00
Prices as of Jan 24
Add to list
Worst of Friends: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and the True Story of an American Feud
Written by Suzanne Tripp Jurmain & illustrated by Larry Day
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson were good friends with very different personalities. But their differing views on how to run the newly created United States turned them into the worst of friends. They each became leaders of opposing political parties, and their rivalry followed them to the White House. Full of both history and humor, this is the story of two of America’s most well-known presidents and how they learned to put their political differences aside for the sake of friendship.

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$16.80
Used $4.91
Prices as of Jan 24
Honorable Mentions
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  1. The Presidents - Fine artist Leah Tinari, turns her formidable and singular talents to the presidents of the United States. Each engaging portrait—and the accompanying facts—paint a powerful and playful picture of the presidents, introduce readers to the personable side of these leaders and make them more relatable, approachable, human, and even fun! Before these forty-four men (over forty-five presidencies; Grover Cleveland served as the twenty-second and twenty-fourth president) were elected to the highest office in the land, they experienced rich and varied lives: they had childhoods and mothers and fathers and favorite foods. They were brothers and sons and had hobbies and pets. Did you know that James Buchanan (number fifteen) had one brown eye and one green eye? Or that William Henry Harrison (number nine) was the only president who studied to be a medical doctor? Or that Teddy Roosevelt (number twenty-six) could walk on stilts and George W. Bush (number forty-three) paints portraits? Meet the wrestlers, revolutionaries, writers, and radio stars as Tinari brings bold color to our presidents and our remarkable US story.

  2. Lincoln and Kennedy - President Abraham Lincoln grew up in a one-room log cabin. President John F. Kennedy was raised in the lap of luxury. One was a Republican and one a Democrat. They lived and served a hundred years apart. Yet they had a number of things in common. Some were coincidental: having seven letters in their last names. Some were monumental: Lincoln’s support for the abolitionist movement and Kennedy’s support for the civil rights movement. They both lost a son while in office. And, of course, both were assassinated. In this illuminating book, Gene Barretta offers an insightful portrait of two of our country’s most famous presidents.

  3. Cheer Up, Ben Franklin! - Can this Founding Father find a friend? Introducing a new board-book series perfect for even the youngest historian! Ben Franklin is sad.No one has time to fly kites with him today.Betsy Ross is busy sewing a flag.Alexander Hamilton is busy counting money…Will things change for Ben when he reaches Independence Hall?The first volume of this new board-book series takes a tongue-in-cheek look at American history to introduce the youngest historians to some of the most prominent characters during our nation’s exciting beginning. Readers will love the amusing story, and biographies in the back of the book will ensure they’ll learn even more along the way.

Books About Social Science and Activism

Add to list
I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark
Written by Debbie Levy & illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Get to know celebrated Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg—in the first picture book about her life—as she proves that disagreeing does not make you disagreeable! Supreme Court justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has spent a lifetime disagreeing: disagreeing with inequality, arguing against unfair treatment, and standing up for what’s right for people everywhere. This biographical picture book about the Notorious RBG, tells the justice’s story through the lens of her many famous dissents, or disagreements.

Buy book
$18.99
Bookshop
$16.14
Amazon
$14.99
Used $6.01
Prices as of Jan 24
Add to list
Ballots for Belva
Written by Sudipta Bardhan-Quallen & illustrated by Courtney A. Martin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

A timely true tale for the 2008 presidential election In 1884, when men were the only people allowed to vote in national elections, Belva Lockwood took a bold but legal step: She ran for president! Women did not have the same rights as men, but Belva went on undeterred—and she got votes! Her run for office was based on experience and merit: Unlike many women of the time, she went to college, then to law school, and even argued cases before the Supreme Court. Though her campaign was difficult, Belva never wavered in her commitment to equality, earning the respect of many fellow citizens. A little-known but richly deserving American historical figure, Belva is an inspiration for modern-day readers. Despite all the changes in society since Belva’s time, there is still a lot to fight for, and Belva shows the way. The book also includes a glossary and a timeline of women’s suffrage events. F&P level: Q

Buy book
$10.99
Bookshop
$9.34
Amazon
$10.99
Used $10.99
Prices as of Jan 24
Add to list
V Is for Voting
Written by Kate Farrell & illustrated by Caitlin Kuhwald
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

V Is for Voting is an ABC book that introduces progressive families to concepts like social justice and civil rights and reminds readers that every vote counts!

A is for active participation.
B is for building a more equal nation.
C is for citizens’ rights and our duty.
D is for difference, our strength and our beauty.

An engaging introduction to the tenets of democracy, V Is for Voting is a playful, poetic, and powerful primer about the importance of voting and activism. Featuring Kate Farrell’s rhyming text and Caitlin Kuhwald’s bold art, plus thoughtful back matter, the book is a gorgeous, and crucial, addition to every young reader’s library. It makes the perfect gift for fans of A Is for Activist, Woke Baby, and Feminist Baby.

Buy book
$18.99
Bookshop
$16.14
Amazon
$16.29
Used $4.80
Prices as of Jan 24
Honorable Mentions
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  1. Free for You and Me: What Our First Amendment Means - It’s a free country! But what does that mean? Find out the five liberties protected by the First Amendment. Vivid examples from history and everyday life demonstrate the meaning of freedom of religion, speech, and the press, and the rights to assemble peacefully and to petition the government.

  2. For Which We Stand: How Our Government Works and Why It Matters - Discover everything you ever wanted to know about how the government really works with this accessible, highly designed and illustrated handbook from Marjory Stoneman Douglas AP government teacher Jeff Foster. Now more than ever, it’s so important for everyone to understand our government: where it came from, how it works, and how we can bring about change. And, after all, in the words of author and government teacher Jeff Foster, If you don’t participate, you can’t complain. This book is a comprehensive and entertaining guide that answers questions like: What is the Constitution? What are the branches of the government? What is the Electoral College? What are the political parties? What are the different responsibilities of the city, state, and federal governments? Plus, discover the complete backstory on some of our government’s most important moments, like why we wrote the Declaration of Independence, and how people since then have worked with–and protested against–the government to improve the lives of all Americans. Each spread features a mix of black-and-white and full-color art, including infographics, charts, maps, political caricatures, and other engaging visual elements that will be fun and easy for kids to understand. Includes a foreword from Yolanda Renee King, an activist and the granddaughter of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King, plus lots of amazing back matter about how kids can participate and get involved.

  3. A is for Activist - “Reading it is almost like reading Howard Zinn’s A People’s History of the United States, but for two-year olds–full of pictures and rhymes and a little cat to find on every page that will delight the curious toddler and parents alike.”–Occupy Wall Street A is for Activist is an ABC board book written and illustrated for the next generation of progressives: families who want their kids to grow up in a space that is unapologetic about activism, environmental justice, civil rights, LGBTQ rights, and everything else that activists believe in and fight for. The alliteration, rhyming, and vibrant illustrations make the book exciting for children, while the issues it brings up resonate with their parents’ values of community, equality, and justice. This engaging little book carries huge messages as it inspires hope for the future, and calls children to action while teaching them a love for books.

  4. I Voted: Making a Choice Makes a Difference - With the next presidential election upon us, this witty, nonpartisan book will help explain the concept of voting to the youngest readers. I Voted explains the concept of choosing, individually, and as a group, from making a simple choice: “Which do you like better, apples or oranges?”, to selecting a class pet, to even more complicated decisions, like electing community representatives. You may not always get want you want, but there are strategies to better your odds! Serge Bloch’s effortless and charming illustrations paired with Mark Shulman’s funny and timely text create a perfect resource for discussing current events with your children. Backmatter includes information about the United States electoral process. A Junior Library Guild Selection!

Want to see books about activism?

Books About Social Science and Culture

Add to list
The Fabled Life of Aesop
Written by Ian Lendler & illustrated by Pamela Zagarenski
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

Honoring the path of a slave, this dramatic picture-book biography and concise anthology of Aesop’s most child-friendly fables tells how a child born into slavery in ancient Greece found a way to speak out against injustice by using the skill and wit of his storytelling—storytelling that has survived for 2,500 years. Stunningly illustrated by two-time Caldecott Honor winner Pamela Zagarenski.

The Tortoise and the Hare. The Boy Who Cried Wolf. The Fox and the Crow. Each of Aesop’s stories has a lesson to tell, but Aesop’s true-life story is perhaps the most inspiring tale of them all.

Gracefully revealing the genesis of his tales, this true story of Aesop shows how fables not only liberated him from captivity but spread wisdom over a millennium. This is the only children’s book biography about him.

Includes thirteen illustrated fables:  The Lion and the Mouse, The Goose and the Golden Egg, The Fox and the Crow, Town Mouse and Country Mouse, The Ant and the Grasshopper, The Dog and the Wolf, The Lion and the Statue, The Tortoise and the Hare, The Boy Who Cried Wolf, The North Wind and the Sun, The Fox and the Grapes, The Dog and the Wolf, The Lion and the Boar.

Buy book
$18.99
Bookshop
$16.14
Amazon
$14.39
Used $13.41
Prices as of Jan 24
Add to list
The Hair Book
Written by Graham Tether & illustrated by Andrew Joyner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

An easy reader about hair—and all the things you can do with it—that’s perfect for fans of classic Dr. Seuss concept books like The Foot Book and The Eye Book! Full Color Illustrations.

Buy book
$9.99
Bookshop
$8.49
Amazon
$9.07
Used $2.30
Prices as of Jan 24
Add to list
12 Lucky Animals: A Bilingual Baby Book
Written by Vickie Lee & illustrated by Joey Chou
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Vickie Lee and Joey Chou’s illustrated 12 Lucky Animals is a young, dual-language animal concept book introducing Chinese characters and the animals of the Chinese zodiac…

Buy book
$7.99
Bookshop
$6.79
Amazon
$7.99
Used $7.99
Prices as of Jan 24
Honorable Mentions
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  1. The Allegory of Love: A Study in Medieval Tradition - The Allegory of Love is a landmark study of a powerful and influential medieval conception. C. S. Lewis explores the sentiment called ‘courtly love’ and the allegorical method within which it developed in literature and thought, from its first flowering in eleventh-century Languedoc through to its transformation and gradual demise at the end of the sixteenth century. Lewis devotes particular attention to the major poems The Romance of the Rose and The Faerie Queene, and to poets including Chaucer, Gower and Thomas Usk.

  2. Where the Buffaloes Begin - After hearing the legend retold by the tribe’s oldest member, Little Wolf hopes to someday witness the beginning of the buffaloes at the sacred lake.

  3. Z Is for Zeus: A Greek Mythology Alphabet - Whose face launched a thousand ships? Who dropped an apple to win a race? What creature has the head of a woman, the body of a lion, the wings of an eagle, and always wakes up on the wrong side of the bed? The Oracle knows and so will young readers after they encounter the strange creatures, exotic gods, and exciting stories in Z is for Zeus: A Greek Mythology Alphabet. Human endeavors are often at odds with the whims and the will and the ways of the gods. Although they’re up in Olympus without any cares, they just can’t stop meddling in human affairs. Helen Wilbur, who wrote the lively M is for Meow: A Cat Alphabet, brings the same wit and wisdom to explaining Greek mythology. Colorful, entertaining artwork from Victor Juhasz, the illustrator behind D is for Democracy and R is for Rhyme, keeps pace with the lively subject matter.

Want to see books about culture?

Books About Social Science and History

Add to list
My Weird School Fast Facts: Mummies, Myths, and Mysteries
Written by Dan Gutman & illustrated by Jim Paillot and Dan Gutman
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

Think fast with A.J. and Andrea from My Weird School! Did you know that ancient Egyptians treated infections by putting moldy bread on them? Did you know that ancient Roman workers would stomp around barefoot in big tubs filled with urine to clean their clothes? Learn more weird-but-true ancient history facts with A.J. and Andrea from Dan Gutman’s bestselling My Weird School series. This highly illustrated series of nonfiction books features hundreds of hysterical facts, plus lots of photos and illustrations. Whether you’re a kid who wants to learn more about ancient history or simply someone who wants to know what came out of the very first vending machine, this is the book for you! With more than 23 million books sold, the My Weird School series really gets kids reading!

Buy book
$16.89
Bookshop
$14.36
Amazon
$16.89
Used $16.89
Prices as of Jan 24
Add to list
The Very Short, Entirely True History of Unicorns
Written by Sarah Laskow & illustrated by Sam Beck
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

From cuddly pool floats to rainbow-colored toast toppings, unicorns–the darlings of Instagram–have never been more exciting or more popular. Are unicorns real? Their popularity and enduring role in human culture certainly is. How can you win a fight against a unicorn? Why do some unicorns have wings? Why are unicorns often pictured with rainbows? Get answers to these questions and more in this fun look at unicorns throughout history. This four-color, fully illustrated book provides everything you always wanted to know about the myths, science, and history that surround the unicorn, a creature that has grown even more popular in the twenty-first century. With its stylish design and fresh, captivating illustrations, The Very Short, Entirely True History of Unicorns will appeal to readers–children and adults alike–who can’t get enough of the world’s most elusive animal.

Buy book
$12.99
Bookshop
$11.04
Amazon
$9.79
Used $1.06
Prices as of Jan 24
Add to list
Stonewall
Written by Rob Sanders & illustrated by Jamey Christoph
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-8

Celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Stonewall Uprising with the very first picture book to tell of its historic and inspiring role in the gay civil rights movement. From Rob Sanders, author of the acclaimed Pride: The Story of Harvey Milk and the Rainbow Flag, comes this powerful and timeless true story that will allow young readers to discover the rich and dynamic history of the Stonewall Inn and its role in the gay civil rights movement–a movement that continues to this very day. In the early-morning hours of June 28, 1969, the Stonewall Inn was raided by police in New York City. Though the inn had been raided before, that night would be different. It would be the night when empowered members of the LGBTQ+ community–in and around the Stonewall Inn–began to protest and demand their equal rights as citizens of the United States. Movingly narrated by the Stonewall Inn itself, and featuring stirring and dynamic illustrations, Stonewall: A Building. An Uprising. A Revolution is an essential and empowering civil rights story that every child deserves to hear.

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$14.99
Used $6.00
Prices as of Jan 24
Honorable Mentions
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  1. Fairy Spell - In 1917, in Cottingley, England, a girl named Elsie took a picture of her younger cousin, Frances. Also in the photo was a group of fairies, fairies that the girls insisted were real. Through a remarkable set of circumstances, that photograph and the ones that followed came to be widely believed as evidence of real fairies. It was not until 1983 that the girls, then late in life, confessed that the Cottingley Fairies were a hoax. Their take is an extraordinary slice of history, from a time when anything in a photograph was assumed to be fact and it was possible to trick an eager public into believing something magical. Exquisitely illustrated with art and the original fairy photographs.

  2. Words That Built a Nation - When originally published in 1999, Words That Built a Nation was hailed for bringing together the United States’ most important historical essays, speeches, and documents into one accessible collection for kids. Now, this history lovers’ must-have is back, and it’s been revised, revamped, and expanded for the 21st century. From the Constitution and the Gettysburg Address to the 2015 Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage, the updated collection preserves the documents of the first edition and introduces the landmark statements that are impacting our nation today. With all new illustrations, a refreshed design, and complementary background information behind each of the documents, Words That Built a Nation is the ultimate tour of United States history, created to engage, inspire, and equip kids with the knowledge they need to change and shape their world. “This book is attractive and the presentation engaging.”—School Library Journal

  3. Jason and the Argonauts - A beautifully illustrated account of the Greek myth of Jason and the Argonauts with informative details from the award-winning author of Electric Ben The story of Jason and the Argonauts is one of the earliest recorded Greek myths. Here, master artist Robert Byrd has created a striking telling of the legend for a new generation of readers. Complete with explanatory notes and illustrated back matter, Jason and the Argonauts traces each step of our hero’s journey, from the Golden Fleece’s origin story and Jason’s childhood to his triumphant return with the prize and eventual death. Deftly designed to accommodate glorious large pictures and captioned insets, the book is not only a great story, but a wealth of information about ancient Greece.

  4. What Is the Declaration of Independence? - Step back in time to the birth of America and meet the real-life rebels who made this country free!

Books About Social Science and Politics And Government

Add to list
Citizen Baby: My Vote
Written by Daniel Prosterman and Megan E Bryant & illustrated by Micah Player
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

Get to know the voting process with Citizen Baby!

Citizen Baby knows a thing or two about voting. It’s important to meet the candidates (they love babies!) and to call voters. Plus, you get a sticker at the polls! Children and adults alike will enjoy learning about voting in this adorable, informative board book.

Buy book
$8.99
Bookshop
$7.64
Amazon
$8.99
Used $8.99
Prices as of Jan 24
Add to list
Sometimes People March
Written & illustrated by Tessa Allen
Select type book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

“With a spare, inspiring text and gorgeous watercolor illustrations, this is a timeless and important book for activists of all ages. This hardcover picture book is perfect for sharing and for gifting.

Sometimes people march to resist injustice, to stand in solidarity, to inspire hope.

Throughout American history, one thing remains true: no matter how or why people march, they are powerful because they march together.”

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$16.12
Used $14.51
Prices as of Jan 24
Add to list
Thanks to Frances Perkins: Fighter for Workers' Rights
Written by Deborah Hopkinson & illustrated by Kristy Caldwell
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10

How many years will it be until you turn sixty-two? What year will that be? Once you’ve read Thanks to Frances Perkins, you’ll know why these are important questions–and why you may want to thank Frances Perkins.

After Frances Perkins witnessed the Triangle Waist Factory fire in 1911, she was forever changed. While some activists pressed factory owners for change, Frances decided to work to bring about new laws that would force employers to treat people better and make workplaces safer. When she became Secretary of Labor in Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s administration―the first woman cabinet member―Frances had the opportunity to make real her bold vision of a country where no one was left out. As a result of the Social Security program that she created, we have built a society where we help one another.

Deborah Hopkinson’s energetic text and Kristy Caldwell’s appealing illustrations introduce readers to a fascinating woman who has changed many American lives. Back matter features more information about Frances Perkins, Social Security, and resources for economic education.

Buy book
$18.99
Bookshop
$16.14
Amazon
$17.30
Used $6.99
Prices as of Jan 24
Honorable Mentions
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  1. My Little Book of Big Freedoms - A classic picture book edition of My Little Book of Big Freedoms illustrated by award-winning illustrator Chris Riddell, published in partnership with Amnesty International. We all want a good life, to have fun, to be safe, happy, and fulfilled. For this to happen, we need to look after each other and stand up for the basic human rights that we often take for granted. This book features 16 different freedoms, each accompanied by beautiful illustrations. It shows why our human rights are so important–they help to keep us safe. Every day.

  2. Baby Loves Political Science: Democracy! - A new addition to the beloved and bestselling Baby Loves series! This cute and clever introduction to political science is accurate and simple enough for baby, and ready to teach Baby what makes a great democracy. Baby learns what it means to participate in a democracy where everyone has a voice in electing our leaders. There are many ways for all of us, including the youngest children, to participate–such as making signs and sending postcards, campaigning, attending rallies, and of course getting out the vote!

  3. After Gandhi - “Reissued for today’s turbulent times, this updated paperback edition lays out the how, why, and when of nonviolent resistance throughout history. Newly updated for 2018 to include modern nonviolent movements such as Black Lives Matter and NoDAPL. In 1908 Mohandas Gandhi and a crowd of 3,000 protested without guns or rioting against unjust laws. They made a difference peacefully. Gandhi has influenced countless others to work toward freedom and justice through peaceful methods. Mother-and-son team Anne Sibley O’Brien and Perry Edmond O’Brien highlight people and events inspired by Gandhi. From Rosa Parks to the students at Tiananmen Square to Wangari Maathai, people have made the world sit up and take notice. Provocative graphics and beautiful portraits accompany the stories and inspire a sense of civic responsibility”–

  4. Cat Who Ruled The Town - Dip a toe, paw, or fin into history with this fact-tastic Level 2 Ready-to-Read, part of a new series all about pets and the people who loved them! In this story, learn all about a sweet kitty who was voted the mayor of a town in Alaska! Stubbs was the mayor of a small town in Alaska. He was friendly and well respected by the townspeople. But there was one thing that set Stubbs apart from any other mayor: he was a cat!

Books About Social Science and Girls And Women

Add to list
Equality's Call: The Story of Voting Rights in America
Written by Deborah Diesen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-8
Learn all about the history of voting rights in the United States--from our nation's founding to the present day--in this powerful picture book from the New York Times bestselling author of The Pout-Pout Fish.
Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$13.99
Used $14.13
Prices as of Jan 24
Add to list
Ruth Objects: The Life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Written by Doreen Rappaport & illustrated by Eric Velasquez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 6-10
Ruth Bader Ginsburg is a trailblazer. A fighter. And a public servant who has dedicated her life to the pursuit of equality.
Buy book
$18.99
Bookshop
$16.14
Amazon
$11.69
Used $6.55
Prices as of Jan 24
Add to list
No Truth Without Ruth: The Life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Written by Kathleen Krull & illustrated by Nancy Zhang
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From award-winning author Kathleen Krull comes an empowering picture book biography—with dazzling illustrations from artist Nancy Zhang—about the second female justice of the Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Ruth Bader Ginsburg may be one of the most respected women in the United States, but her recognition is nothing short of hard-won. For years before becoming a justice of the Supreme Court, Ruth had to fight the notion that being female meant that she was less smart, less qualified, and less worthy of attention than her male counterparts. Throughout college, law school, and her work life, she faced discrimination—because she was a woman.

But it was in her fight for equality as a lawyer that she made an imprint on American history, by changing the way the law dealt with women’s rights and by showing people that unfairness to women wasn’t just a female problem—that it negatively affected men and children, too.

In this inspiring picture book from award-winning author Kathleen Krull and artist Nancy Zhang, readers will learn about Ruthless Ruthie—a warrior for equality, defender of justice, and a trailblazer for girls everywhere.

Buy book
$8.99
Bookshop
$7.64
Amazon
$8.99
Used $8.99
Prices as of Jan 24
Honorable Mentions
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  1. No Truth Without Ruth: The Life of Ruth Bader Ginsburg - From award-winning author Kathleen Krull comes an empowering picture book biography—with dazzling illustrations from artist Nancy Zhang—about the second female justice of the Supreme Court, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Ruth Bader Ginsburg may be one of the most respected women in the United States, but her recognition is nothing short of hard-won. For years before becoming a justice of the Supreme Court, Ruth had to fight the notion that being female meant that she was less smart, less qualified, and less worthy of attention than her male counterparts. Throughout college, law school, and her work life, she faced discrimination—because she was a woman. But it was in her fight for equality as a lawyer that she made an imprint on American history, by changing the way the law dealt with women’s rights and by showing people that unfairness to women wasn’t just a female problem—that it negatively affected men and children, too. In this inspiring picture book from award-winning author Kathleen Krull and artist Nancy Zhang, readers will learn about Ruthless Ruthie—a warrior for equality, defender of justice, and a trailblazer for girls everywhere.

  2. Fearless Girls, Wise Women, and Beloved Sisters - Retells more than a hundred folktales form Europe, the Americas, Asia, the Pacific, Africa, and the Middle East that feature active heroines of all types.

  3. Ruth Bader Ginsburg (You Should Meet) - Get to know Ruth Bader Ginsberg, the inspiring Supreme Court justice, in this fascinating nonfiction Level 3 Ready-to-Read, part of a series of biographies about people “you should meet!” Meet Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Also known as the notorious RBG, Ginsberg is only the second female Supreme Court justice in America’s history. She has spent her entire life fighting for equal rights for all, especially women. RBG is a true superhero and young readers are sure to love getting to know her. A special section at the back of the book includes extras like the history of the Supreme Court and how to become a lawyer. With the You Should Meet series, learning about amazing people has never been so much fun!

  4. Bold & Brave: Ten Heroes Who Won Women the Right to Vote - From United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand comes an inspiring picture book about ten suffragists who fought for women’s right to vote. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was inspired by her own great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother to be bold and brave–to stand up and fight for what she believes in. But who inspired them? The long chain of women before them who spoke out for what’s right–women who taught each generation that followed how to be bold and brave. Here are the stories of ten leaders who strove to win the right to vote for American women–a journey that took more than seventy years of passionate commitment. From well-known figures, such as Susan B. Anthony and Sojourner Truth to lesser known women such as Alice Paul and Mary Church Terrell, these are heroes who dreamed big and never gave up. Senator Gillibrand highlights an important and pithy lesson from each woman’s life–from “dare to be different” to “fight together.” On the eve of the one-hundredth anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment, which granted women suffrage, Bold & Brave looks both backward and forward. It introduces children to strong women who have raised their voices on behalf of justice–and inspires them to raise their own voices to build our future. With gorgeous illustrations by renowned artist Maira Kalman, this is a book that will inspire and uplift, a book to be cherished and shared. The suffragists included are: Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Susan B. Anthony, Sojourner Truth, Harriet Tubman, Jovita Idár, Alice Paul, Inez Milholland, Ida B. Wells, Lucy Burns, and Mary Church Terrell.

Books About Social Science and America

Add to list
When You Grow Up to Vote
Written by Eleanor Roosevelt and Michelle Markel & illustrated by Grace Lin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-12

In the voice of one of the most iconic and beloved political figures of the twentieth century comes a book on citizenship for the future voters of the twenty-first century. Eleanor Roosevelt published the original edition of When You Grow Up to Vote in 1932, the same year her husband was elected president. The new edition has updated information and back matter as well as fresh, bold art from award-winning artist Grace Lin. Beginning with government workers like,firefighters and garbage collectors, and moving up through local government to the national stage, this book explains that the people in government work the voter.Fresh, contemporary, and even fun, When You Grow Up to Vote is the book parents and teachers need to talk to children about how our government is designed to work.

Buy book
$19.99
Bookshop
$16.99
Amazon
$12.79
Used $4.99
Prices as of Jan 24
Add to list
Madam President: The Extraordinary, True (and Evolving) Story of Women in Politics
Written by Catherine Thimmesh & illustrated by Douglas B. Jones
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Catherine Thimmesh’s inspiring look at the role of women in American politics—past, present, and future—is now available with updated sections on Hillary Rodham Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, and Nancy Pelosi. From the time our government was being formed, women have fought their way from behind the scenes to the center of power and decision making. So, why not a woman in the White House? Two thousand eight may be the year!

Buy book
$8.95
Bookshop
$7.61
Amazon
$8.95
Used $8.95
Prices as of Jan 24
Add to list
What's the Big Deal About Americans
Written by Ruby Shamir & illustrated by Matt Faulkner
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From Native American traditions to immigrant inventions, from diversity to democracy, from ice cream cones to apple pie, this picture book is filled with fun facts and historical trivia, celebrating the melting pot and mosaic that is America.

Did you know that the inventor of American cheese actually came from Canada? Or that founding father Benjamin Franklin was inspired to create a democratic society by a confederacy of Native American tribes who came together to stop their constant warring? How about that both “God Bless America” and “White Christmas” were written by Irving Berlin, a Russian Jew who fled to the U.S. because of persecution back home?

People have come to America from many different countries, in many different ways, for many different reasons. Americans have many different beliefs, different languages, and different traditions. But even with all of these differences, America comes together with the understanding that our country and government is “of the people, by the people, and for the people.” And there’s nothing more American than that.

Buy book
$17.99
Bookshop
$15.29
Amazon
$17.99
Used $1.78
Prices as of Jan 24
Honorable Mentions
Add to list
Add to list
Add to list
  1. A Woman in the House (and Senate) - A chronicle of women’s contributions to politics in the United States traces the period between the women’s suffrage movement and the 2012 election, and includes portraits of such luminaries as Hattie Caraway, Patsy Mink, and Shirley Chisholm.

  2. What's the Big Deal About Elections - From ballots to bonfires, from suffrage to stumping, this kid-friendly picture book filled with fun facts and historical trivia shows why voting is so important and why America gets to call its government a body of, by, and for the people. Did you know that Election Day is on Tuesday because that was the best day for farmers to vote? Or that George Washington was our only elected president who ran unopposed? Or that Native Americans were only given the right to vote in 1924? It’s all true! We hear a lot about political campaigns on the news, but there’s tons to know about elections beyond the politics of each race. Who gets to vote? Who gets to run? What do elected officials do once they’re in office–and what do candidates do if they lose? Why do people fight so hard for the right to vote? In this kid-friendly, fact-filled book, young readers will find out how Americans choose their leaders, local and federal, and why elections should matter to them, even if they can’t vote (yet)!

  3. What's the Big Deal About First Ladies - First Ladies are more than just wives of U.S. presidents! This fun, kid-friendly book of trivia and history shows that First Ladies help influence America in ways both large and small. Did you know that Mary Todd Lincoln hated slavery and helped to end it in America? Or that Edith Wilson helped decode secret messages during World War I? How about that Sarah Polk didn’t let anyone dance in the White House while she was first lady? It’s true! In addition to being hostesses, advocates, ambassadors, activists, patriots, and role-models, each first lady put her own stamp on the White House–and on our country. In this fun-filled, fact-filled book, you can find out just what made each first lady unique and why they were so important. As it turns out, first ladies are a pretty big deal after all! This book is perfect for fans of So You Want to be President?and Rad American Women from A-Z: Rebels, Trailbalzers, and Visionaries who Shaped Our History…And Our Future, and is a great entry point to discussing elections, inaugurations, and all aspects of the White House with children.

Did you enjoy our social science book recommendations? Did you know you can help us improve this list? Check out our Community Handbook and learn how to add tags to books.

Additional book lists you might enjoy:

Suggested Links