Spotlight on Children’s Books about City Living


I am a school librarian in a major city and I’m raising two city kids.  (My own two children take two buses and a subway every morning just to get to their preschool.)

I’ve found that while some children prefer dreaming about unfamiliar places and creatures, others love to hear about experiences like their own and to see images of children similar to themselves.  Let’s face it: a story has to be relatable– no matter how fantastical– in order to connect with the reader.

Recently I’ve learned of an inspiring organization called Kids Like Us whose primary objective is to support literacy in city schools.  They are an excellent resource for teachers, librarians, and students with a strong list of books that reflect urban children’s experiences.

It’s great to read about the country, farms, and walks in the woods.  But my children mostly love thinking about all the people they see everyday: the bus drivers, the other families and commuters on their trains, the construction workers, the people who work at the parks, other people in our apartment building.  Cities are full of beautiful people with stories to share.