States of Childhood

Our children, our future: 10 must-reads for International Children’s Day

For International Children’s Day, a commemorative date celebrated annually in honor of children, we handpicked ten of our top books that display educational topics related to adolescents and young people.

Writers in the Secret Garden 

By Cecilia Aragon and Katie Davis

An in-depth examination of the novel ways young people support and learn from each other through participation in online fanfiction communities.

“The book challenges easy dismissals of how time spent by teens online comes at the expense of more ‘valuable”‘forms of learning and socialization.” —Henry Jenkins, coauthor of By Any Media Necessary: The New Youth Activism

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Beautiful Symmetry 

By Alex Berke

A coloring book that invites readers to explore symmetry and the beauty of math visually.

“This glorious book works on many levels: as a pure picture book giving an introduction into the world of mathematical beauty.”—Eugenia Cheng, author of The Art of Logic in an Illogical World 

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Critical Thinking 

By Johnathan Haber

How the concept of critical thinking emerged, how it has been defined, and how critical thinking skills can be taught.

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Playful Visions 

By Meredith A. Bak

The kaleidoscope, the stereoscope, and other nineteenth-century optical toys analyzed as “new media” of their era, provoking anxieties similar to our own about children and screens.

“Her book is also an account of how evolving concepts of the child, the nuclear family, education, science, and spirituality played their parts in the formation of the phenomena of moving pictures, their consumers, and audiences.” —Donald Crafton, Robbie Professor Emeritus of Film, Television, and Theater, University of Notre Dame

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Bring the World to the Child 

By Katie Day Good

How, long before the advent of computers and the internet, educators used technology to help students become media-literate, future-ready, and world-minded citizens.

“In this history of educational media, Katie Day Good traces earlier claims about technology and global citizenship.” —Audrey Watters, founder of Hack Education; author of The Monsters of Education Technology

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Hanging Out, Messing Around, and Geeking Out, Tenth Anniversary Edition 

By Mizuko Ito, Sonja Baumer, Matteo Bittanti, danah boyd, Rachel Cody, Becky Herr Stephenson, Heather A. Horst, Patricia G. Lange, Dilan Mahendran, Katynka Z. Martínez, C. J. Pascoe, Dan Perkel, Laura Robinson, Christo Sims, and Lisa Tripp

The tenth-anniversary edition of a foundational text in digital media and learning, examining new media practices that range from podcasting to online romantic breakups.

“When your kids are playing Minecraft, hanging out online with gamers or anime fans, they are learning—and learning how to learn. Ito’s well-researched book is for parents as well as educators who want and need to understand the power of informal learning unlocked by the media youth devote themselves to voluntarily.” —Howard Rheingold, author of Net Smart: How to Thrive Online


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Families at Play

By Sinem Siyahhan and Elisabeth Gee

How family video game play promotes intergenerational communication, connection, and learning.

“This book can teach families how to use games for family learning, negotiation, affinity building, and positive conversations, and provides new perspectives for experts in games and learning literature.” —Seann Dikkers, Department Chair, Associate Professor of Education, Bethel University

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Lifelong Kindergarten

By Mitchel Resnick

How lessons from kindergarten can help everyone develop the creative thinking skills needed to thrive in today’s society.

This is the book I have been waiting for. Lifelong Kindergarten is filled with gems—thoughts about what learning in the 21st century needs to be like, brought to life through evocative and nuanced examples that fire up our own imaginations. —John Seely Brown, Former Chief Scientist of Xerox and Director of Palo Alto Research Center (PARC)

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States of Childhood 

By Jennifer S. Light

In this book, Jennifer Light examines the phenomena of “junior republics” and argues that they marked the transition to a new kind of “sheltered” childhood for American youth.

“States of Childhood is a fascinating contribution to the history of childhood that makes us rethink young people’s role in the modern state.” —Lynn Spigel, Frances Willard Professor of Screen Cultures, Northwestern University


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Education Finance and Policy

Edited by Stephanie Cellini and Randall Reback

Education Finance and Policy (EFP) publishes policy-relevant research papers concerning education finance, policy, and practice.

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We are excited to announce that we will be collaborating with Candlewick Press on two new imprints, MIT Kids Press and MITeen Press. This is the first joint project of its kind by a university press and a children’s publisher.

Learn more about our new partnership with Candlewick Press