A CIVIC

BOOKSHELF

Laurel Singleton, Center for Education in Law and Democracy

Teachers in the Strengthening Civic Education in Colorado Schools project have expressed interest in literature that can be used to develop civic knowledge while supporting students’ literacy skills. The Civic Bookshelf has been developed to help teachers identify books that could be used to link civic education and literacy.

The Civic Bookshelf list is organized into the following categories:
Government and the Rule of Law
 
Individual Liberties
 
Picture Books
Chapter and Young Adult Books: Nonfiction
Chapter and Young Adult Books:
Fiction


   
Picture Books
Chapter and Young Adult Books: Nonfiction
Chapter and Young Adult Books: Fiction
Citizenship: Service and
Participation in Civic Life
 
Conflict Resolution
 
Picture Books
Chapter and Young Adult Books: Nonfiction
Chapter and Young Adult Books: Fiction
   
Picture Books
Chapter and Young Adult Books: Nonfiction
Chapter and Young Adult Books: Fiction
Many books could fit within several categories; for example, many of the books listed under “Individual Liberties” could also be placed under “Citizenship,” since they tell stories of people who worked for civil rights. Thus, users may find it useful to scan the entire list rather than focusing on one category.

Within each category, books are organized into three categories: picture books, chapter and young adult books: fiction, and chapter and young adult books: nonfiction.

We have not attempted to identify specific grade levels for each book, as we know that what is appropriate depends on your specific students, how you plan to use a book, and the purposes for your use of the book. Note that some of the books listed are out of print; however, with the availability of numerous online services for ordering out-of-print works, teachers should be able to get all of the titles fairly readily.

The list far from comprehensive and we encourage teachers to check other sources. Three of particular use are:
The annual list of “Notable Trade Books in the Social Studies,” which appears in the issue of Social Education, the flagship journal of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS). Access past lists of notable trade books.
The regular “Children’s Literature” column in Social Studies and the Young Learner, another journal of NCSS.
Children's Literature is one of many websites on children’s literature, but the themed booklists it provides are current and helpful.
If users of this page have suggestions for books that should be listed, please send your suggestions to Laurel Singleton. Thanks to the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago for annotations of some books.