Thematic Reading List: Neighbors
“Won’t you be my neighbor” is the familiar line from Mr. Rogers’ opening song on his popular television series. Many children live in neighborhoods and have interactions with those in their communities. This list focuses on how neighbors help each other in diverse ways to build each other up or improve their community. We’ve also thrown in a few funny neighborly titles. The books selected are ideal for primary and elementary grades.
|The One Day House
By: Julia Durango
A little boy promises his beloved friend, an elderly lady, that one day he will fix up her old house–and his words inspire the other people in the neighborhood to pitch in and get it done.
|Around Our Way on Neighbors’ Day
By: Tameka Fryer Brown
A young girl makes her way through an urban neighborhood filled with children playing, men debating, women cooking, and jazz music playing as her community gathers to celebrate “Neighbors’ Day.”
|Ivy + Bean
By: Annie Barrows
When seven-year-old Bean plays a mean trick on her sister, she finds unexpected support for her antics from Ivy, the new neighbor, who is less boring than Bean first suspected.
|Cornelia and the Audacious Escapades of the Somerset sisters
By: Lesley M.M. Blume
Cornelia, eleven-years-old and lonely, learns about language and life from an elderly new neighbor who has many stories to share about the fabulous adventures she and her sisters had while traveling around the world.
By: Tim Lahan
A couple moves into their new house which is soon filled to overflowing by their neighbors.
|My Neighbor is a Dog
By: Isabel Minhos Martins
When a saxophone-playing dog moves in next door to a young girl, the girl is thrilled, but her parents, who do not like the noise or the other animals the dog attracts, feel otherwise.
|Sheila Says We’re Weird
By: Ruth Ann Smalley
Sheila comments on her neighbors’ energy-saving habits, like using a wood stove in the winter and drying clothes on a clothesline instead of in the dryer, but she likes their home-grown fruits and vegetables and enjoys making popcorn on the wood stove with them.
|On My Street
By: Koos Meinderts
A series of portraits describe a narrator’s whimsically eccentric neighbors, from Mrs. McQueen and Fifi LaPointe to Johnny Deck and Lightfingers Louie.
|The Weber Street Wonder Work Crew
By: Maxwell Newhouse
The children that live on Weber Street join together to earn money and help their community.
|Mr. Happy & Miss Grimm
By: Antonie Schneider
When Mr. Happy moves next door to Miss Grimm and begins planting gardens and making friendly gestures, Miss Grimm is not pleased but soon, she feels something strange taking over her bleak little house.
By: Jon J. Muth
When Stillwater the panda encourages Koo, Addy, Michael, and Karl to help a grouchy neighbor, their efforts are rewarded in unexpected ways.
|Albert the Fix-it Man
By: Janet Lord
A cheerful repairman fixes squeaky doors, leaky roofs, and crumbling fences for his neighbors, who return the kindness when he catches a terrible cold.
|Those Pesky Rabbits
By: Ciara Flood
Bear, who is used to living all alone, does not appreciate his new neighbors who keep knocking on his door and making requests.
By: Michael Slack
LaRue is the handiest rabbit in Westmore Oaks, and when he grows an enormous carrot, he uses it to help his neighbors.