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Notable Social Studies

Notable Social Studies

An annual reading list of exceptional books for use in social studies classrooms, selected by social studies educators.

The Notable Social Studies Trade Books for Young People is an annual project of the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) and the CBC. This bibliography features K-12 annotated titles published in the previous calendar year,  selected by a book review committee appointed by the NCSS.


2021 submissions are open June 1 – July 2, 2020.



Previous years

Previous years’ lists are available online (updated every June).
Full-color copies of this year’s annotated list are available, please email Laura Peraza.

Titles are grouped by subject, including: Biography; Contemporary Concerns; Environment and Ecology; Folktales; Geography, Peoples, and Places; History, Life, and Culture in the Americas; Reference; Social Interaction and Relationships; World History and Culture; and Economics. Each annotation contains bibliographic data and a brief description (in the fully annotated list).


Selection Process

The selection committee looks for books that emphasize human relations, represent a diversity of groups and are sensitive to a broad range of cultural experiences, present an original theme or a fresh slant on a traditional topic, are easily readable and of high literary quality, and have a pleasing format and, when appropriate, illustrations that enrich the text.


Submission Process

2021 submissions are open June 1 – July 2, 2020. Only submissions from trade publishing companies or divisions will be accepted. Titles must be published in 2020. For full guidelines, eligibility, fees, and instructions please check out our submissions page.

Email Laura Peraza at laura.peraza@cbcbooks.org with questions about the Notable Social Studies Trade Books list.


PUBLISHERS: Learn more about other Best Of Lists here or about the benefits of membership here.

Join the Committee! NCSS members interested in joining the review committee should complete the online application form and submit it to NCSS.


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