Thematic Reading List: Our Communities


Human culture is built around communities big and small. Whether a community is made up of people who live near one another or composed of those who share a cultural heritage or background, these groups sustain one another. Sometimes, it is hard to see where one community ends and another begins, and other times it is much more obvious. For the most part, people are involved in more than one community at any given time, and it is through the positive efforts of these groups that society can grow and flourish. This book list is intended for readers aged 8-12 and includes a selection of fiction and nonfiction titles, highlighting a small sampling of communities around the world.
Contributed by: Mary Lanni




1476551421 Arctic Communities Past and Present
By: Cynthia Jenson-Elliott

Compares and contrasts the way people lived in the Arctic over the course of centuries.
9781591129158 Baseball Saved Us
By: Ken Mochizuki
Illustrated by: Dom Lee

A Japanese American boy learns to play baseball when he and his family are forced to live in an internment camp during World War II, and his ability to play helps him after the war is over.
51ZxRO5qmrL._SX363_BO1,204,203,200_ Books and Bricks: How a School Rebuilt a Community
By: Sindiwe Magona
Illustrated by: Cornelius Van Wright

Residents of an impoverished South African town find new hope when they come together at their school and start a brickmaking business.
0763673676 Can We Help? Kids Volunteering to Help their Communities
By: George Ancona

Describes how children can help their communities in different ways, from tending a community garden and training service dogs to volunteering to help people with disabilities and mentoring younger students.
9780375857003 Cold Snap
By: Eileen Spinelli
Illustrated by: Marjorie Priceman

A cold snap has everyone in the town of Toby Mills feeling down until the mayor’s wife thinks of a way to warm things up again.
9781432934750 Communities
By: Neil Morris

What is a community? Who are the leaders in communities? Which languages are most spoken in the world? This series encourages geographical inquiry with an interactive, investigative, and visual approach to a wide range of core curriculum topics.
9781433959998 Communities Today and Tomorrow
By: Polly Goodman

Describes the different types of communities found around the world, from small farming villages to cities, and explains how each community uses energy, finds food and water, and disposes of waste.
9781628325508_p0_v2_s600x595 Coral Reef Communities
By: Melissa Gish

Explore the regions of the world’s oceans known for their coral reefs and learn about the life forms that dwell there. First-person accounts from scientists answer important questions about reef communities.
9780778750727 Life in a Fishing Community
By: Hélène Boudreau

This title looks at offshore fishing. Around the coast of much of North America, fishing stocks have greatly declined as a result of overfishing, pollution, and global warming. Nova Scotia, in the northeast of Canada, once had a huge fishing industry. In 1753, people from Germany, Switzerland, and France came from Europe to set up a colony at Lunenburg on the coast. They soon set up a fishing and shipbuilding industry. The community grew until about 1980 when the fishing industry largely stopped. Since then, the community has had to reinvent itself. It is still largely based on the old industries, but tourism is as important.
51MUJbimSbL My Digital Community and Media
By: Ben Hubbard
Illustrated by: Diego Vaisberg

What do you do online? What digital communities do you belong to? Learn how your digital activity makes you part of a digital community in this timely book and examine what it means to be a part of an online culture and digital society.
9780374305277 Pedal Power: How One Community Became the Bicycle Capital of the World
By: Allan Drummond

Cycling rules the road in Amsterdam today, but that wasn’t always the case. In the 1970s, Amsterdam was so crowded with vehicles that bicyclists could hardly move, but moms and kids relied on their bicycles to get around the city. Pedal Power is the story of the people who led protests against the unsafe streets and took over a vehicles-only tunnel on their bikes, showing what a little pedal power could do! Author and illustrator Allan Drummond returns with the story of the people that paved the way for safe biking around the world.
618VoW4xdQL._SX492_BO1,204,203,200_ What are Community Resources?
By: LeeAnn Blankenship

The strength of a community often is determined by the resources available where it is located. This resource discusses both human-made resources (such as dams, bridges, roads, buildings, and industry) as well as renewable and non-renewable natural resources (including soil, water, forests, and energy). The text further explores how such resources affect a community’s health as well as the prosperity and opportunities of its members. Young readers will begin to understand the economics of how resources affect trade and industry. This insightful text also introduces the idea that controversies exist about ways to use resources without environmental damage.


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