Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.

Instructional Media Center: Literature

General Resources

Inside the Common Core Classroom : Practical ELA Strategies for Grades K-2 LB1576 .M796 2015

Inside the Common Core Classroom : Practical ELA Strategies for Grades 3-5 LB1576 .M29 2015

Inside the Common Core Classroom : Practical ELA Strategies for Grades 9-12 LB1576 .M26 2015

Grades K-1 and 2-3

Grades K–1

The Human Body

  • Me and My Amazing BodyJoan Sweeney Grades K–1   An introduction to the human body—from head to toes 612 Sw35me
  • Muscles Melvin & Gilda Berger Grades K–1    .
  • My Body Andrea Pinnington Grades K–1   The workings of the body made clear for young readers
  • My Five Senses Aliki Grades K–1   How each sound, taste, smell, sight and touch leads to a new discovery  612.8 A144m

Ocean Life

  • Baby Dolphin's First Day Connie & Peter Roop Grades K–1   The early adventures of a highly intelligent animal 599.43 R675b
  • Dolphins Melissa Stewart Grades K–1   All about the lives of dolphins and conserving their natural habitats
  • Starfish Edith Thacher Hurd Grades K–1   How starfish eat, move and grow  593.9 H932s

Animal Life Cycles

  • Animal Babies Andrea Pinnington Grades K–1   Through facts and photos, kids learn about the little creatures they love.
  • See Me Grow Penelope Arlon Grades K–1   Colorful images help tell the story of an animal's journey to adulthood
  • Wonderful Worms Linda Glaser Grades K–1   An exploration of the role that earthworms play in the planet's ecosystem  ON ORDER

Popular American Symbols

  • The Story of the White House Marge Kennedy Grades K–1   A tour of the most famous home in the United States. Includes colorful photos.
  • What Is Mount Rushmore? Laine Falk Grades K–1   An engaging, fact-filled exploration of one of America's most beloved monuments
  •   What Is the Story of Our Flag? Janice Behrens Grades K–1   Illustrations help tell the history of the American flag and its role in civic life.

True Lives

  • Betsy Ross Becky White Grades K–1   Inch by inch, bit by bit, Betsy Ross clips, dips and stitches the first American flag.
  • Let's Read About...César Chávez Jerry Tello Grades K–1   A profile of the Mexican-American leader who fought for better treatment of migrant farm workers
  • Martin's Big Words, The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Doreen Rappaport Grades K–1   The powerful words of civil rights leader Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. are woven into this story of his life.  B K588Ra

Up in the Sky

  • My Book of Planets Elise See Tai Grades K–1   A charming introduction to the planets
  • The Moon Book Gail Gibbons Grades K–1   Earth's only natural satellite and its cycle of phases are described.
  • The Sun Melvin & Gilda Berger Grades K–1   A photo-filled book about the wonders of the sun


  • A Is for Autumn Robert Maass Grades K–1   Magical moments of the season—with apples, leaves, frost and more
  • All the Water in the World George Ella Lyon Grades K–1   Where does water come from, and how can we conserve it?
  • It's Snowing! Gail Gibbons Grades K–1   What is snow? How does it form? An explanation of this winter wonder.  ON ORDER
  • Storms Miriam Busch Goin Grades K–1   What makes the wind howl and the night sky light up? Facts and photos for young readers about scary weather.
  • Wind Ann Herriges Grades K–1   An introduction to the characteristics of wind


  • Apples for Everyone Jill Esbaum Grades K–1   National Geographic photography and engaging text accompany this celebration of apples.
  • Seed, Soil, Sun Cris Peterson Grades K–1   How air and water combine with seed, soil and sun to create our food
  • Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin, Pie Jill Esbaum Grades K–1   Festive images and lively text celebrate pumpkins, a favorite symbol of autumn.
  • What Do Roots Do? Kathleen V. Kudlinski Grades K–1   With rhyming text and bright illustrations, this peek underground allows kids to dig into the wonders of roots.

Grades 2–3


  • Boy, Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs! Kathleen V. Kudlinski Grades 2–3   A look at the mistakes that have plagued humans' understanding of dinosaurs  ON ORDER
  • Spiders Nic Bishop Grades 2–3   Close-up photos and quirky facts about spiders  595.4 B542s
  • Pass the Energy, Please! Barbara Shaw McKinney Grades 2–3   A rhyming story describes how the food chain connects herbivores, carnivores, insects and plants.
  • Penguins Penelope Arlon Grades 2–3   How penguins eat, sleep, talk, walk and swim. Includes a digital companion book.
  •  Who Eats What? Patricia Lauber Grades 2–3   The story of food chains and food webs  574.53 L361w


  • A Cool Drink of Water Barbara Kerley Grades 2–3   Gorgeous photographs and poetic text convey our need for nature's most precious resource.
  • A Drop of Water: A Book of Science and Wonder Walter Wick Grades 2–3   Evaporation, condensation, how clouds form and more  546 W633d
  • Living Sunlight Molly Bang and Penny Chisholm Grades 2–3   A mesmerizing explanation of photosynthesis and its connection to all living things
  • Manfish: A Story of Jacques Cousteau Jennifer Berne Grades 2–3   A tribute to the oceanographer and champion of the seas Jacques Cousteau B C836b
  • Neo Leo: The Ageless Ideas of Leonardo da Vinci Gene Barretta Grades 2–3   Modern inventions, from contact lenses to the helicopter, first conceived by Leonardo da Vinci
  • The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer Grades 2–3   The story of a 14-year-old Malawi boy who saved his village during a drought
  • The Magic School Bus® at the Waterworks Joanna Cole Grades 2–3   A field trip through the town's waterworks leads to surprising discoveries 628.1 C675m
  • What Makes a Magnet? Franklyn M. Branley Grades 2–3   The properties and behavior of magnets. Hands-on activities include making a magnet and compass.538 B734w

Famous Americans

  • Martin Luther King, Jr. and the March on Washington Frances E. Ruffin Grades 2–3   An account of the 1963 March on Washington B P237gi
  • Rosa Nikki Giovanni Grades 2–3   The story of Rosa Parks and her fateful bus ride in 1955
  • Side By Side / Lado A Lado Monica Brown Grades 2–3   A colorful, bilingual account of the lives of Delores Huerta and César Chávez  E B8156s
  • Wilma Unlimited Kathleen Krull Grades 2–3   How Wilma Rudolph became the world’s fastest woman  B R835k

The Solar System

  • If You Decide to Go to the Moon Faith McNulty Grades 2–3   A lyrical tour of space
  • Moonshot Brian Floca Grades 2–3   The dramatic flight of Apollo 11  629.45 F651m
  • Planets Penelope Arlon and Tory Gordon-Harris Grades 2–3   Unlock the secrets of the Milky Way and other mysteries of space

The U.S. Government

  • Abraham Lincoln Caroline Crosson Gilpin Grades 2–3   The fascinating life and legacy of one of the greatest U.S. Presidents
  • So You Want to Be President? Judith St. George Grades 2–3   A look at America's leaders—from George Washington to George W. Bush  973 Sa23s
  • The Congress of the United States Christine Taylor Butler Grades 2–3   The history behind the Senate and House of Representatives; includes time lines and a glossary
  • Vote! Eileen Christelow Grades 2–3   Using a town's mayoral election as a model, this introduction to voting covers every step in the process.

World History

  •  Biblioburro: A True Story from Columbia Jeanette Winter Grades 2–3   A man, his donkeys and his books bring joy to children in remote Colombian villages

Mummies Elizabeth Carney Grades 2–3   A riveting introduction to an ancient tradition

  • Mummies, Pyramids, and Pharaohs Gail Gibbons Grades 2–3   A visit back in time to one of the world's oldest civilization

English language

  • How to write an explanatory text Sara Howell Grades 3-4  808.02 H839wr
  • How to write an Opinion piece Sara Howell Grades 3-4 808.02 H839w


Grades 4-5 and 6-8

Grades 4–5


  • An Extraordinary Life Laurence Pringle Grades 4–5   A monarch butterfly’s migratory route from Massachusetts to Mexico  595.78 P936e
  • Lizards Nic Bishop Grades 4–5   Welcome to the irresistible world of geckos and dragons  597.95 B541l
  • Owen & Mzee, The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship Craig Hatkoff; Isabelle Hatkoff; Dr. Paula Kahumbu Grades 4–5   The friendship between a baby hippo that was orphaned after a tsunami and a giant tortoise  599.63 H286o
  • The Buzz on Bees Shelley Rotner and Anne Woodhull Grades 4–5   Possible explanations for the alarming disappearance of bees
  • The Dinosaurs of Waterhouse Hawkins Barbara Kerley Grades 4–5   An award-winning picture book about the life of an unusual artist  B H314k

Famous Americans

  • Bad News for Outlaws Micheaux Vaunda Nelson Grades 4–5   The story of Bass Reeves, a renowned—and feared—Deputy U. S. Marshall  B R259n
  • The Amazing Life of Benjamin Franklin James Cross Giblin Grades 4–5   A biography of one of America's most innovative and beloved figures B F854G
  • What to Do About Alice? Barbara Kerley Grades 4–5   A biography of Theodore Roosevelt's uncoventional and adventurous daughter 973.9 F457w
  • Worst of Friends Suzanne Tripp Jurmain Grades 4–5   Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and the story of their feud

The Solar System

  • Earth: The Life of Our Planet Dr. Mike Goldsmith Grades 4–5   Stunning images help tell the story of Earth's formation
  • Our Solar System Seymour Simon Grades 4–5   A dramatic tour of a vast and mystifying place whose secrets are still being unlocked


  • Bones Steve Jenkins Grades 4–5   Human and animal skeletons and how they work  573.76 J418b
  • Dive! Sylvia A. Earle Grades 4–5   The adventures of an undersea explorer and marine biologist
  • Face to Face With Sharks David Doubilet and Jennifer Hayes Grades 4–5   Dramatic underwater photographs take you into shark territory.
  • Growing Patterns Sarah C. Cambell Grades 4–5   Exploring the biggest mathematical mystery in nature—Fibonacci numbers

American History

  • And Then What Happened, Paul Revere? Jean Fritz Grades 4–5   Fascinating anecdotes and facts shed light on Paul Revere's famous midnight ride. B R324FR
  • The Bill of Rights in Translation Amie Jane Leavitt Grades 4–5   One of our most important documents is translated into accessible language. 342.73 L489b
  • The Crossing Jim Murphy Grades 4–5   The gripping tale of George Washington's military prowess during the American Revolution  973.332 M954c
  • The Signers Dennis Brindell Fradin Grades 4–5   The 56 stories behind the Declaration of Independence
  • Thunder on the Plains Ken Robbins Grades 4–5   The tragic story of the demise of the buffalo

Extraordinary Americans

  • Now & Ben Gene Barretta Grades 4–5   The inventive mind of Benjamin Franklin
  • Patience Wright Peggy Deitz Shea Grades 4–5   The story of a widowed mother who became an artist and a spy during the American Revolution
  • Portraits of African-American Heroes Tonya Bolden Grades 4–5   Picture-and-word portraits offer insights into each hero's personality.
  • When Marian Sang Pam Muñoz Ryan Grades 4–5   The story of Marian Anderson and her remarkable voice  B An24R


  • Coral Reefs Jason Chin Grades 4–5   As a girl turns the pages of a book about coral reefs, she enters a wondrous undersea world.  577.7 C441c

Volcano Patricia Lauber Grades 4–5   The eruption and healing of Mount St. Helens

Understanding Weather Patterns

  • Blizzard! Jim Murphy Grades 4–5   What caused the historic blizzard of 1888?
  • Weather Penelope Arlon Grades 4–5   Eyewitness accounts of extreme weather events; includes a digital companion book

Around the World

  • Hands Around the Library Susan L. Roth Grades 4–5   The story of Egyptian demonstrators who protected their library during the 2011 politcal uprising
  • If the World Were a Village David J. Smith Grades 4–5   A look at the world's people through the lives of 100 villagers  304 Sm54i
  • Kubla Khan: The Emperor of Everything Kathleen Krull Grades 4–5   A history of the fearsome 13th-century Emperor

Environment and Geography

  • Into the Volcano Donna O’Meara Grades 4–5   A journey to the center of volcanoes
  • Ocean Sunlight Molly Bang Grades 4–5   A look at the life cycles that keep oceans vibrant

Grades 6–8

American History

  • Lafayette and the American Revolution Russell Freedman Grades 6–8   The dramatic account of a French nobleman who helped assure victory at Yorktown  B L1309F
  • The Great Fire Jim Murphy Grades 6–8   Why Chicago's fire of 1871 was one of the most catastrophic in U.S. history 977.3 M954g
  • Up Before Daybreak Deborah Hopkinson Grades 6–8   Slaves, sharecroppers and mill workers tell the story of cotton in America.
  • Washington at Valley Forge Russell Freedman Grades 6–8   How a group of American soldiers survived the brutal winter at Valley Forge in 1777-78  973.3 F875w

Animals and Biology

  • Baby Mammoth Mummy Frozen in Time! Bernard Buigues and Christopher Sloan Grades 6–8   Out on the frozen Siberian tundra, hunters make a remarkable discovery.  569.67 Sl52b
  • The Brain Seymour Simon Grades 6–8   Digital images accompany an exploration of the many dimensions of this complex organ.


  • Before Columbus Charles C. Mann Grades 6–8   Insights into life in the Americas before Columbus set sail  970.01 M315b
  • Mammoth Bones and Broken Stones David L. Harrison Grades 6–8   A scientist tracks North America's First People.


  • Charles and Emma: The Darwins' Leap of Faith Deborah Heiligman Grades 6–8   The story of Charles and Emma Darwin, whose marriage survived conflicting scientific beliefs  B D259H
  • Lincoln: A Photobiography Russell Freedman Grades 6–8   A chronicle of Lincoln's life is accompanied by analyses of his presidency.  B L637Fr
  • Restless Spirit Elizabeth Partridge Grades 6–8   The life and work of photojournalist Dorothea Lange, best known for her portraits of the Great Depression B L26p
  • Steve Jobs: Thinking Differently Patricia Lakin Grades 6–8   This biography for young readers chronicles the visionary, entrepreneur and inventor.

Civl Rights

  • Freedom Walkers: The Story of the Montgomery Bus Boycott Russell Freedman Grades 6–8   How the boycott following the arrest of Rosa Parks became a major victory in the civil rights movement  323.1 F875f
  • Marching for Freedom Elizabeth Partridge Grades 6–8   An account of the children who walked from Selma to Montgomery in 1965 to call attention to discrimination
  • Sojourner Truth: Ain’t I a Woman? Patricia C. McKissack Grades 6–8   A biography of the African-American preacher, abolitionist and activist
  • The Day Martin Luther King, Jr. Was Shot Jim Haskins Grades 6–8   An account of the struggle for civil rights and the gains made since King’s death

Natural Resources

  • Heroes of the Environment Harriet Rohmer Grades 6–8   Twelve environmentalists are profiled.
  • Who Wants Pizza? Jan Thornhill Grades 6–8   An entertaining guide to the history, science and culture of food

Outer Space

  • Night Sky Giles Sparrow Grades 6–8   How stars are born and die, what nebulae are and how comets and asteroids are formed; includes a digital companion book
  • Super Stars David A. Aguilar Grades 6–8   The biggest, hottest, brightest and most explosive stars in the Milky Way
  • When Is a Planet Not a Planet? Elaine Scott Grades 6–8   The 2006 downgrading of Pluto is recounted in accessible prose.

Ancient Civilization

  • Ancient Inca Michael Burgan Grades 6–8   The history and daily life of one of the world's greatest civilizations
  • The Emperor's Silent Army Jane O’Connor Grades 6–8   An insider's view of the discovery of terracotta warrior statues in northern China in 1974  931 Oc5e

Environments and Ecosystems

  •  Ocean and Sea Steve Parker Grades 6–8   Sharks, tsunamis, coral reefs, strange-looking fish and more
  • The Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming Cambria Gordon and Laurie David Grades 6–8   A kid-friendly discussion about climate change and the environment

English language

  • How to write an explanatory text Sara Howell Grades 3-4  808.02 H839wr
  • How to write an Opinion piece Sara Howell Grades 3-4 808.02 H839w

Grades 9-10 and 11-12

 Grades 9–10

American History

  • Fort Mose Glennette Tilley Turner Grades 9–10   The story of the man who built the first free black settlement in Colonial America 
  • Truce Jim Murphy Grades 9–10   The tale of two opposing armies that defied their leaders and put down their arms one Christmas day during World War I
  • Unraveling Freedom Ann Bausum Grades 9–10   How democracy in the U.S. became imperiled during World War I
  • Years of Dust Albert Marrin Grades 9–10   The causes and effects of the 1930s Dust Bowl in the Great Plains  978 M349y

Famous and Infamous

  • Annie Sullivan and the Trials of Helen Keller Joseph Lambert Grades 9–10   The powerful bond between a teacher and her pupil
  • Joseph Stalin Sean McCollum Grades 9–10   A portrait of the ruthless Soviet leader
  • Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World Jennifer Armstrong Grades 9–10   The 1914 attempt by Ernest Shackleton and his crew to cross Antarctica—and their story of survival  919.8 Ar57s
  • The Notorious Benedict Arnold Steve Sheinkin Grades 9–10   How one man became a symbol of betrayal  B Ar64s

The Civil Rights Movement

  • Malcolm X: By Any Means Necessary Walter Dean Myers Grades 9–10   A portrait of one of America's most controversial and important figures
  • We've Got a Job Cynthia Levinson Grades 9–10   The little-known story of 4,000 black students who went to jail voluntarily in 1963 in support of the civil rights...


  • Seeing Earth From Space Patricia Lauber Grades 9–10   Text and photos taken from space depict the nature, evolution and future of Earth  525 L3615
  • Technology Clive Gifford Grades 9–10   How funky gadgets and technological gizmos really work  525 L361s
  • What a Great Idea!, Inventions That Changed The World Stephen M. Tomecek Grades 9–10   Another great title from Scholastic. Detailed description coming soon.


  • Memories of Vietnam Ellen Weiss Grades 9–10   Letters from soldiers recount their experiences during the war in Vietnam.
  • Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution Ji-Li Jiang Grades 9–10   Ji-Li Jiang chronicles the hardships her family endured in Communist China.  951 J56r
  • Terezin: Voices from the Holocaust Ruth Thomson Grades 9–10   Through inmates' voices and artwork, the author explores life at one of the most infamous of the Nazi transit...  940.53 T386t


  • Night Elie Wiesel Grades 9–10   A Jewish boy's harrowing experiences in a Nazi death camp  D 810.J4 W5134 1995bx [Main Library Collection]

Grades 11–12

American History

  • Stolen Into Slavery Dennis Brindell Fradin, Judith Bloom Fradin Grades 11–12   The story of Slomon Northup, a free black man who was sold into slavery
  • The Forgotten Heroes: The Story of the Buffalo Soldiers Clinton Cox Grades 11–12   The powerful story of the Buffalo Soldiers, the black regiments that fought American Indians in the 1800s
  • Walt Whitman: Words for America Barbara Kerley Grades 11–12   As a Civil War nurse, poet Walt Whitman treated all soldiers—Union and Confederate, black and white.  B W595k

The Civil Rights Movement

  • Freedom's Children Ellen Levine Grades 11–12   Young civil rights activists tell their stories.  323.4 L5767f
  • Spies of Mississippi Rick Bowers Grades 11–12   The chilling story of a government-led effort in Mississippi to undermine equality
  • Students on Strike John A. Stokes Grades 11–12   A moving account of one man's participation in the 1951 student walkout at an African-American high school
  • Superman Versus the Ku Klux Klan Rick Bowers Grades 11–12   The story of a 1946 Superman radio show designed to raise kids' awareness of the KKK

Business and Technology

  • Ice! The Amazing History of the Ice Business Laurence Pringle Grades 11–12   Archival photographs, postcards, prints and drawings capture life in the 19th and 20th centuries
  • Six Days in October: The Stock Market Crash of 1929 Karen Blumenthal Grades 11–12   An account of the financial collapse that led to the Great Depression

Champions of Justice

  • Chasing Lincoln's Killer James L. Swanson Grades 11–12   An hour-by-hour account of the hunt for and capture of John Wilkes Booth  973.7092 Sw24c
  • Harriet Tubman Thomas B. Allen Grades 11–12   In a compelling narrative, new facts about Harriet are brought to light.
  • The Greatest: Muhammad Ali Walter Dean Myers Grades 11–12   The story of Ali's childhood, his rise as a champion, his politics and his battle with illness


  • Bad Boy: A Memoir Walter Dean Myers Grades 11–12   A gripping memoir about life in 1940s and '50s Harlem  B M989m
  • GutsGary Paulsen Grades 11–12   The best-selling author Gary Paulsen relates incidents in his life and how they inspired his writing.
  • Night Elie Wiesel Grades 11–12   A Jewish boy's harrowing experiences in a Nazi death camp  D 810.J4 W5134 1995bx [Main Library Collection]


  • Not Your Parents' Money Book Jean Chatzky Grades 11–12   A guide for young people on how to make—and save—money

Social Issues

  • To Be a Slave Julius Lester Grades 11–12   The humiliation and ostracism of slavery is described
  • Totally Tolerant: Spotting and Stopping Prejudice Laurie Mandel and Diane Webber Grades 11–12   Stories from teens about today's complicated issues; includes skills

World at War

  • Blizzard of Glass: The Halifax Explosion of 1917Sally M. Walker Grades 11–12   An account of the terrifying 1917 collision of warships in Halifax
  • Bomb: The Race to Build–and Steal–the World's Most Dangerous Weapon Steve Sheinkin Grades 11–12   The riveting story of the atom  F Sh42b