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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.

See 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

Finding Primary Sources

Primary sources can be anything created at the time of the event.

"If your topic is Abraham Lincoln:

  • In OneSearch conduct an Advanced Keyword Search for Abraham Lincoln
  • Limit your results to the Publication Date drop down menu, 1845-1865
  • Your results will be mostly items published during Lincoln's life, these could be primary as they are more likely to be written by Lincoln, or by people who knew him and may be "real time" historical information."

Do not limit these searches to Children's Collection, as many primary sources are found in our larger collection.

One easy-to-find primary source is a newspaper article.  Try these:

Artstor is an excellent resource for primary images.

CSULB subscribes to many databases that provide primary documents.  See this list:

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: