How We Live Now | Social Justice Series Nonfiction

Immigration, racism, LGBTQ rights, the media, and online safety are explained in these titles for younger and older students who love reading nonfiction or need resources for a school project.


Adults aren’t the only people who have started to reassess social and political issues. Children have become increasingly curious about such topics. How will these issues impact their everyday lives? This fall, some publishers are offering a few great series that provide background knowledge and statistical facts for a range of concerns. Immigration, racism, LGBTQ rights, the media, and online safety are explained in these titles for younger and older students who love reading nonfiction or need resources for a school project.



Dufresne, Emilie. News and the Media. ISBN 9781978516892.
––––. Racism. ISBN 9781978516939.
Duhig, Holly. Refugees. ISBN 9781978516977.
Wood, John. Immigration. ISBN 9781978516854.
ea vol: 32p. (Know the Issues). Enslow. Aug. 2020. Tr. $25.27.
Gr 4-6 –This series is intended for young readers who are interested in social issues. Each book provides an overview of the topic, with an emphasis on basic concepts and vocabulary. Pages are filled with colorful photos and appealing graphics. Rectangular text boxes feature black type on white backgrounds. Each chapter is two to three pages long; the concepts are kept simple to ensure comprehension. Specific, contemporary examples are cited to make the issues current and relatable. Suggested activities, questions to ponder, organizations to follow, an extensive glossary, and an index are included. VERDICT An excellent choice for readers who are looking for a simple introduction to complex social issues.

Schwab, Chris. Kids Speak Out About Bullying. ISBN 9781731638540.
––––. Kids Speak Out About Education. ISBN 9781731638595.
––––. Kids Speak Out About Immigration. ISBN 9781731638564.
––––. Kids Speak Out About Inequality. ISBN 9781731638588.
––––. Kids Speak Out About the Environment. ISBN 9781731638571.
––––. Kids Speak Out About Violence. ISBN 9781731638557.
ea vol: 24p. (Kids Speak Out). Rourke/Discovery Library. Aug. 2020. Tr. $29.93.
Gr 1-4 –This series aims to empower children to find solutions to societal problems. Each page features a short expository paragraph. The text closely examines the true stories of current, young activists. Each book begins with “Before and During Reading Activities” and vocabulary terms. This allows readers to associate the information with previous knowledge. The text concludes with tips on how readers can get involved, a glossary, an index, a “Text-Dependent Questions” section, and extension activities. The colorful photographs include children and teens who are BIPOC. ­VERDICT A fantastic series for teaching social issues, and a wonderful source of inspiration for future activists.



Allen, John. How Does Fake News Threaten Society? ISBN 9781682828793.
––––. What Are the Dangers of Online Scams? ISBN 9781682828878.
Gresko, Marcia S. How Should Extremist Content Be Regulated on Social Media? ISBN 9781682828830.
James, Roland. How Should America Deal with Undocumented Immigrants? ISBN 9781682828816.
Lundquist-Arora, Stephanie. How Should Society Respond to the Refugee Crisis? ISBN 9781682828854.
Mooney, Carla. How Can Gun Violence Be Stopped? ISBN 9781682828779.
Reinkens, Brynn. How Has the #MeToo Movement Changed Society? ISBN 9781682828892.
ea vol: 80p. (Issues Today). ReferencePoint. Oct. 2020. Tr. $30.95.
Gr 6 Up –This series focuses on pressing social issues, such as gun violence, the refugee crisis, and fake news. The text focuses mainly on current events rather than the definitive histories of each topic. This approach provides in-depth information, including interesting facts and statistics. The books are perfect for quick, index-based research; they’re also enjoyable reads from cover to cover. Colorful graphics and photos support the information, adding visual appeal. VERDICT A good choice for those who enjoy thought-provoking nonfiction. Students who need sources for research papers will find this series especially useful.

Currie-McGhee, Leanne. Muslim in America. ISBN 9781682828991.
Gallagher, Jim. Hispanic in America. ISBN 9781682828939.
Marcovitz, Hal. Black in America. ISBN 9781682828915.
Sheen, Barbara. Jewish in America. ISBN 9781682828953.
––––. LGBTQ in America. ISBN 9781682828977.
ea vol: 80p. (Bias in America). ReferencePoint. Oct. 2020. Tr. $30.95.
Gr 6 Up –This informative series details the experiences and histories of five marginalized groups in America. Each title provides a historical overview, an analysis of current issues, and suggestions for future solutions. The prose reads well; personal stories and specific examples connect readers to the situations discussed. While images and colorful graphics are included to increase appeal, the titles are text heavy. But don’t let this be a turnoff; the writing style is captivating. A table of contents, an index, source notes, prominent organizations to follow, and further resources are included. VERDICT An outstanding series that delivers a thoughtful discussion of past and present challenges that impact marginalized communities.

Currie, Stephen. LGBTQ Rights and Activism. ISBN 9781682829172.
Ghafoerkhan, Olivia. Gender Identity. ISBN 9781682829158.
Marcovitz, Hal. Violence Against the LGBTQ Community. ISBN 9781682829196.
Nardo, Don. Being LGBTQ. ISBN 9781682829134.
ea vol: 80p. (LGBTQ Issues). ReferencePoint. Oct. 2020. Tr. $30.95.
Gr 6 Up –These titles follow a format similar to the publisher’s “Bias in America” series, but they focus specifically on LGBTQ concerns. The text provides facts, personal accounts, and support for young people who identify as LGBTQ. The informative personal stories also serve as guidance, such as talking to parents about being gay. The text also describes how gender identity is not a psychological problem as once believed by the public and medical community, but a biological reality. This series lets readers take a deep dive into each topic. The experiences shared throughout will foster compassion and understanding. Source notes, a list of organizations, websites, further resources, and an expansive index are included, making this series fantastic for school projects. The colorful pages, photos, and graphics are visually appealing. VERDICT This series is ideal for learning more about LGBTQ issues and is valuable as both a research tool and a source that amplifies LGBTQ voices.

“Know the Issues” (Enslow) is a great introduction to important issues for young readers. “Kids Speak Out” (Rourke/Discovery Library) is also a solid choice for youngsters, but the titles focus less on general information and more on the young activists who are changing the world. “Bias in America” (ReferencePoint) is a fantastic series that would stand out in the middle grade social sciences section of any library. “LGBTQ Issues” (ReferencePoint) provides plentiful research. The series could also serve as a comforting read for kids and younger teens who are questioning their sexuality and identity. “Issues Today” (ReferencePoint) is not only a good read, but the text includes enlightening facts and statistics.

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