Critical Thinking Books

I love books, and I love reading, which is why I am so happy to now be a Teacher-Librarian.  My task is to inspire my students to love all forms of literacy and embrace the joy of the reading.  There are so many wonderful books that I want to explore, but for this particular post, I have decided to focus on the theme:  books that encourage critical thinking.

The new BC Curriculum encourages more thoughtful integration between the big ideas,  core competencies (abilities that teachers believe are necessary for students to develop  21st century skills and become lifelong learners), and learning content.  As we move towards more personalized learning that is inquiry based, students will need to learn how to question more deeply and use a variety of thinking strategies.  Critical thinking has always been a large part of teaching and learning, but it is now even more important as technology and media have become more integrated into our daily lives.   Literature is an excellent avenue that demonstrates how various characters approach situations and solve a variety of problems by reasoning, looking at various options, designing plans to solve a problem, and sharing their ideas with others.

Some colleagues and I are embarking on  a professional inquiry project to explore different methods to assess critical thinking, and create assessment tools based on the Critical Thinking Competencies in the new BC Curriculum.    As part of our inquiry, we have discovered some picture books (based on recommendations from Adrienne Gear ) that we believe will help students to analyze and critique, question and investigate, and develop and design a plan [facets of critical thinking directly from the new BC Curriculum].   These are only a few of the many books available that could be used with students.  I am sure we will discover many more as we continue our inquiry.



Beaty, A. (Author) & Roberts, D. (Illustrator). (2013). Rosie Revere, Engineer. New York, NY: Harry N. Abrams.



Belloni, G. (Author) & Trevisan, M. (Illustrator). (2013). Anything is Possible. Toronto, ON: Owlkids.




Berne, J. (Author) & Radunsky, V. (Illustrator). (2013). On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein.  San Francisco, CA: Chronicle Books.



Flyte, M. (Author) &  Beardshaw, R. (Illustrator). (2016). Box.  London, England: Nosy Crow Publishing.




Haughton, C. (2014). Shh! We Have A Plan.  Sommerville, MA: Candlewick Press.




Hughes, A. (Author) & Spires, A. (Illustrator). (2016). Spare Dog Parts.  Victoria, BC: Orca Book Publishers.





Jeffers, O. (2012). Stuck. Toronto, ON: Harpers Collins Canada.



Kleber, D. (Author) & Karas, G. (Illustrator). (2016). More-igami. Sommerville, MA: Candlewick Press.




Meschenmoser, S. (2011). Learning to Fly. La Jolla, CA: Kane Miller Books.




Portis, A. (2006). Not A Box. Toronto, ON: Harper Collins Canada.





Reynolds, P.A. (Author) & Reynolds, P.H. (Author & Illustrator). (2014). Going Places. New York, NY: Antheneum Books for Young Readers.



Spires, A. (2014). The Most Magnificent Thing.  Toronto, ON: Kids Can Press.




Stead, P. C. (2012). A Home for Bird. New York, NY: Roaring Book Press.




Yamada, K. (Author) & Besom, M. (Illustrator).  (2014). What Do You Do With An Idea?  Seattle, WA: Compendium Inc.




Yamada, K. (Author) & Besom, M. (Illustrator). (2016). What Do You Do With A Problem? Seattle, WA: Compendium Inc.




Yolen, J. (Author) & Sheban, S. (Illustrator). (2016). What To Do With A Box.  San Francisco, CA: Creative Editions (Division of Chronicle Books).




Zuppardi, S. (2013). The Nowhere Box. Somerville, MA: Candlewick Press.