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Children's Literature

Find information about the CSULB University Library's Children's Collection as well as information about children's literature in general.

Finding Children's Books to use

Tips for finding children's social studies and history literature focused on marginalized groups and additional narratives

  • Use more recent books, 20 years old or less
  • Look for authors of color
  • Look at a book's cover

Start with the CA curriculum, and then use other items to teach the bigger picture.

  • Nonfiction

    • Biographies and informational texts
    • Use your keywords in OneSearch and use the "location" feature on the left to select "nonfiction"
    • Find a call number related to your subject and you should find books on your topic for all ages
  • Fiction

    • Picture books, chapter books, historical fiction
    • Use your keywords in OneSearch and use the "location" feature on the left to limit to "Children's Fiction" for chapter books or "Children's Picture" for picture books

Find books using the advanced search feature of OneSearch and select Books & Media (CSULB), then enter "CSULB children's collection", and then enter your keywords in the second box and click search:


Onesearch screen with arrows to "CSULB Books and Media", box to write "csulb childrens books," empty box for keywords and the Search button

This will limit your search to the books found in our Children's Collection.

Also, search DAWCL or ALSC Awards Shelf for award winning children's book titles and then use our OneSearch to see if we have them:

Article Databases

Search for articles ABOUT children's literature, written by teachers, librarians and university professors

Children's Literature Journals

These journals publishing research about children's literature and child development are available free on the web.

The FAIR Act

Find books on the following topics using tips below:

  • Ethnic or racial groups in history
  • LGBTQ people in history
  • Persons with disabilities in history
  • Women in history

Searching for books about different ethnicities

Searching for LGBTQIA+ Books

Search OneSearch by Subject for:

and add : "CSULB childrens books" in the second box

What age?

There are many factors that determine the appropriate age to read a book, and it can be hard if you haven't read the book, or don't know the child. ​(Labeling books by age is a problem, since a child with lower reading skills having to select "little kid" books to find something they CAN read successfully can turn them off reading.)

Two major considerations:

  • Reading DIFFICULTY
  • CONTENT understanding

Recommendations from teachers or librarians who know the child and the books, are an excellent way to find appropriate books.

Publishers usually assign an age range to the books.  These are some of the designations you will see:

  • Newborn to age 3 (Board Books)
  • Ages 3–8 (Picture Books)
  • Ages 5–9 (Early or Leveled Readers)
  • Ages 6–9 or 7–10 (First Chapter Books)
  • Ages 8–12 (Middle-Grade Books)
  • Ages 12 and up or 14 and up (Young Adult (YA) Books)

These publisher designations can not determine both content AND difficulty, only a suggested age range to sell the book.

Web Search Tools

Scholastic's Reading Counts HMH Book Finder designates both an Interest Level and a Reading Level:

Lexile Find a Book database can determine the difficulty level, but not the content level:

Scholastic Book Wizard allows you to search by reading level systems:

Other Information:

Searching for Books Featuring Different Abilities

Search OneSearch by Subject for:

and add : "CSULB childrens books" in the second box