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Sunday, January 29, 2023

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SDSU’s Love Library houses a growing collection of historical and scholarly books for kids of all ages. SDSU’s Love Library houses a growing collection of historical and scholarly books for kids of all ages.

Reading Recommendations from SDSU’s Children’s Librarian

Explore SDSU’s special collection of historical children’s literature this summer.
By Gina Jacobs

School’s out for summer but that doesn’t mean children have to take a break from reading. San Diego State University is home to the National Center for the Study of Children’s Literature, one of the largest children’s literature programs in North America. Due to the long-standing program, SDSU’s Love Library houses a growing collection of historical and scholarly books for kids of all ages.

At the heart of this collection is Peter F. Neumeyer’s personal collection of children’s books. The children’s author and scholar also founded the children’s literature program at SDSU.

The Love Library is also home to the Edward Gorey Personal Library collection, which features at least 4,000 books of historical children’s literature. An additional 2,500 books were donated by SDSU’s Department of English and Comparative Literature book review service. The purchase of new books for SDSU’s collection is made possible by the generosity of author and teacher Judith Pinkerton Josephson through the Josephson Family Endowment.

SDSU Librarian Linda Salem manages the library’s children’s collection and is co-director of the Children’s Literature Society. She said this year’s trends in children’s and young adult literature include books that explore diversity and equity, fantasy books and science fiction, and non-fiction young adult literature.

Salem also recommends checking out the new books in SDSU’s own juvenile collection, which is rich with historical children’s literature collections.

“Each new title embodies high literary quality and strong educational features and has a positive review from top reviewing sources, including BookList and the International Board on Books for Youth and School Library Journal, to name but a few,” Salem said.

Salem shared some of her top picks for books that will help keep children of all ages reading all summer long.

Kindergarten-Grade 1:

  • “Escargot” by Dashka Slater and illustrated by Sydney Hanson
  • The “Elephant and Piggy” book series by Mo Willems
  • “Home” by Carson Ellis
  • “Keith Haring: The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing” by Kay Haring
  • “We’re All Wonders” by R.J. Palacio
  • "Last Stop on Market Street" by SDSU alumnus Matt de la Pena, which won the John Newbery Medal in 2016. Illustrated by Christian Robinson

Grades 2-4:

  • The “I Survived” series by Lauren Tarshis brings historic events like the Battle of Gettysburg and Hurricane Katrina to life.
  • The “Who Was” and “Who Is” biography series helps kids learn about significant people in American and world history. The series includes a wide range of biographies including those of aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart and jazz musician Louis Armstrong.

Grades 4-6:

  • “Lost in Outer Space: The Incredible Journey of Apollo 13” by Tod Olson
  • “Star Scouts” by Mike Lawrence
  • “The Wingsnatchers: Carmer and Grit” by Sarah Jean Horwitz
  • The “I Funny” series by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein
  • The award-winning “Babymouse!” series by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm

Middle Schoolers

  • “Booked”,“The Crossover” and “The Playbook” by Newberry Medal-winning author Kwame Alexander
  • “It All Comes Down to This” by Karen English
  • “Saint Anything” by Sarah Dessen

High Schoolers

  • “Lady Midnight” by Cassandra Clare
  • “Snow White: A Graphic Novel” by Matt Phelan