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Los Angeles' 100 Best Books - 1997
(Outstanding preK-12 Literature - A Balanced Library Acquisition Program)


About the Book Selection Program
1996 List
1998 List
Picture Books
Large-Print, Early Reader Books
Emergent-Reader Transitional Books
Story Collection
000 - General Works / Computers
100 - Philosophy and Psychology
200 - Religions
300 - Social Sciences
398.2 - Folklore
400 - Languages
500 - Pure Sciences
600 - Applied Science and Technology
700 - Arts
800 - Literature
900 - Geography and History
920 - Biography - Autobiography

All these books were published in 1997.

Picture Books (12)

Auch, Mary. Bantam of the Opera. Holiday House. R=Gr. 4-5, I=Gr. 5-10.
Cannon, Janell. Verdi. Harcourt Brace & Co. R=Gr. 3-4, I=Gr. PreK-A
Davol, Marguerite. The Paper Dragon. Atheneum. R=Gr. 3-4, I=Gr. 2-5
Hobbs, Will. Beardream. Atheneum. $=Gr. 4-5, I=Gr. 1-6
Jackson, Jean. Thorndike and Nelson. Dorling Kindersley. R-Gr. 3-4, I-Gr. 2-6.
Johnston, Tony. Day of the Dead. Haracourt Brace & Co., R=Gr. 1-2, I-Gr. PreK-3

Locker, Thomas. Water Dance. Harcourt Brace & Co., R=Gr. 2-3, I=Gr. K-5
Miller, William. Richard Wright and the Library Card. Lee & Low. R=Gr. 3-4, I=Gr. 3-6.
Paz, Octavio. My Life with the Wave. Lothrop, Lee & shepard. R=Gr. 4-5, I=Gr. 3-6
Pinkney, J. Brian. The Adventures of Sparrowboy. Simon & Schuster Children's. R=Gr. 3-4, I-Gr. 2-6
Rockwell, Anne. On Show and Tell Day. HarperCollins. R-Gr. 2-3, I-Gr. PreK-2
Wells, Rosemary. McDuff and the Baby. Hyperion. R=Gr. 2-3, I-Gr. K-3


Large-Print, Early Reader Books (1)
(Fiction books with large print and limited vocabulary, hence useful for the early reader)

Baker, Keith. Cat Tricks. Harcourt Brace 7 Co. RGr. 1-2, I=Gr. PreK-2


Emergent-Reader Transitional Books (1)
(Fiction books with numerous pictures in which the text conveys meaning independent of the illustrations; useful for the newly-fluent reader as a transition to longer books)

Bottner, Barbara. Bootsie Barker Ballerina. HarperCollins. R=Gr. 2-3, I=Gr. K-3


Fiction (12)
(Books of prose that may have some basis in fact but which are primarily a product of the author’s imagination)

Bloor, Edward. Tangerine. Harcourt Brace & Co. R=Gr. 6-7, I-Gr. 6-1
Draper, Sharon. Forged by Fire. Atheneum. R=Gr. 5-6, I-Gr. 7-10
Fletcher, Ralph. Spider Boy. Clarioin. R=Gr. 4-5, I=Gr. 4-7
Holman, Felice. Real. Atheneum. R=Gr. 5-6, I-Gr. 5-8
Levine, Gail. Ella Enchanted. HarperCollins. R=Gr. 6-7, I-Gr. 6-9
McDonald, Joyce. Swallowing Stones. Delacorte. R=Gr. 6-7, I=Gr. 7-12
MkKissack, Patricia. A Picture of Freedom. Scholastic. R=Gr. 4-5, I=Gr. 5-8
Napoli, Donna. Stones in Water. Dutton Books for Young Readers. R=Gr. 5-6, I=Gr. 5-8
Porter, Tracey. Treasures in the Dust. HarperCollins. R=Gr. 4-5, I=Gr. 5-8
Schur, Maxine. Sacred Shadows. Dial Books for Young Readers. R=Gr. 5-6, I=Gr. 7-10
Shusterman, Neal. The Dark Side of Nowhere. Little, Brown & Co. R=Gr. 6-7, I=Gr. 7-12
Spinelli, Jerry. Wringer. HarperCollins. R=Gr. 5-6, I=Gr. 4-8


Story Collection (1)
(A collection of fictional short stories by one or more authors)

Avi. What Do Fish Have to Do with Anything? Candlewick Press. R=Gr. 5-6, I=Gr. 5-9


000 - General Works / Computers (1)

Herbst, Judith. The Mystery of UFOs. Atheneum. R=Gr. 5-6, I=Gr. 5-10


100 - Philosophy and Psychology (1)

Wood, Ted. Ghosts of the Southwest. Walker andCo., R=Gr. 5-6, I=Gr. 4-9


200 - Religions (1)

Cooper, Ilene. The Dead Sea Scrolls. William Morrow. R=Gr. 5-6, I=Gr. 4-10


300 - Social Sciences (8)

Hudson, Wade. In Praise of Our Fathers and Our Mothers. Just Us Books. R=Gr. 5-6, I=Gr. 5-A
King, Martin Luther. I Have a Dream. Scholastic, Inc. R=Gr. 3-4, I=Gr. 2-9
King, William. Oh, Freedom! Knopf. R=Gr. 6-7, I-Gr. 5-9
Levinson, Nancy. She's Been Working on the Railroad. Dutton/Lodestar. R=Gr. 5-6, I-Gr. 5-12
Lucas, Eileen. Cracking the Wall. Carolrhoda. R=Gr. 3-4, I=Gr. 3-8
Thomas, Velma. Lest We Forget. Crown. R=Gr. 5-6, I=Gr. 5-A
Viesti, Joe. Celebrate! In Central America. Lothrop, Lee and Shepard. R=Gr. 4-5, I-Gr. 3-7
Zeinert, Karen. The Amistad Slave Revolt and American Abolition. Linnet. R-Gr. 5-6, I-Gr. 5-10


398.2 - Folklore (7)

Diakite, Baba. The Hunterman and the Crocodile. Scholastic. R=Gr. 3-4, I=Gr. 3-6
Grimm, Jakob. Rose Red and Snow White. Little, Brown & Co. R=Gr. 4-5, I-Gr. 2-7
Hamilton, Virginia. A Ring of Tricksters. Scholastic/blue Sky Press. R=Gr. 4-5, I-Gr. 3-9
Kajpust, Melissa. The Peacock's Pride. Hyperion. R=Gr. 4-5, I-Gr. K-5
San Souci, Robert. The Hired Hand. Dial Books for Young Readers. R=Gr. 4-5, I-Gr. 4-7
Yep, Laurence. Dragon Prince. HarperCollins. R-Gr. 3-4, I-Gr. 2-6
Zelinsky, Paul. Rapunzel. Dutton. R-Gr. 4-5, I-=Gr. 4-7


400 - Languages (1)

Heller, Ruth. Mine, All Mine! Grosset. R=Gr. 3-4, I-Gr. K-8


500 - Pure Sciences (13)

Bauer, Marion. If You Were Born a Kitten. Simon and Schuster. R-Gr. 3-4, I-Gr. PreK-2
Darling, Kathy. Seashore Babies. Walker & Co., r-Gr. 3-4, I-Gr. K-7
Dewey, Jennifer. Rattlesnake Dance. Boyds Mills Press. R-Gr. 4-5, I-Gr. 3-8
Facklam, Margery. Tracking Dinosaurs in the Gobi. Twenty-First Century Books. R-Gr. 5-6, I-Gr. 5-8
Fradin, Dennis. The Planet Hunters. McElderry Books. R-Gr. 6-7, I-Gr. 7-A
Gibbons, Gail. Gulls... Gulls... Gulls. Holiday House. R-Gr. 3-4, I-Gr. PreK-8
Hopcraft, Xan. How It Was with Dooms. McElderry Books. R-Gr. 3-4, I-Gr. K-5
Jenkins, Steve. What Do You Do When Something Wants to... Houghton Mifflin. R-Gr. 3-4, I-Gr. PreK-3
Leedy, Loreen. Measuring Penny. Holt. R-Gr. 3-4, I-Gr. K=5
Macdonald, Suse. Peck, Slither, and Slide. Harcourt/Gulliver. R-Gr. 1-2, I-Gr. PreK-2
Markle, Sandra. Outside and Inside Bats. Atheneum. R-Gr. 4-5, I-Gr. 4-7
Marzollo, Jean. I'm a Caterpillar. Scholastic/Cartwheel. R-Gr. 1-2, I-Gr. PreK-4
Thornhill, Jan. Before & After. National Geographic Society. R-Wordless, I-Gr. K-7


600 - Applied Science and Technology (5)

Janulewicz, Mike. Yikes! Simon & Schuster. R-Gr. 5-6, I-Gr. 5-8
Johnson, Sylvia. Tomatoes, Potatoes, Corn, and Beans. Atheneum. R-Gr. 5-6, I-Gr. 6-12
Kress, Stephen. Project Puffin. Tilbury House. R-Gr. 5-6, I-Gr. 3-A
Showers, Paul. Sleep Is for Everyone. HarperCollins. R-Gr. 2-3, I-Gr. PreK-3
Simon, Seymour. The Brain. Morrow & Co. R-Gr. 4-5, I-Gr. 4-8


700 - Arts (7)

Baker, Cristopher. Let There Be Life. Walker. R=Gr. 4-5, I-Gr. 4-9
Dunitz, Robin. Painting the Towns. RJD Enterprises. R-Gr. 8-9, I-Gr. 7-A
Horenstein, Henry. Baseball in the Barrios. Harcourt/Gulliver. R-Gr. 4-5, I-Gr. 2-5
Kramer, Stephen. Eye of the Storm. G. P. Putnam's Sons. R-Gr. 5-6, I-Gr. 4-10
Krauss, Robbie. Take a Look, It's in a Book. Walker & Co. R-Gr. 4-5, I-Gr. 5-8
Schroeder, Russell. Mickey Mouse. Disney Press. R-Gr. 4-5, I-Gr. 4-9
Taback, Simms. There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly. Viking. R-Gr. 1-2, I-Gr. PreK-5


800 - Literature (10)

Adoff, Arnold. Love Letters. Scholastic/blue Sky. R=Gr. 3-4, I-Gr. 1-5
Burleigh, Robert. Hoops. Silver Whistle. R-Gr. 4-5, I-Gr. 3-8
George, Kristine. The Great Frog Race and Other Poems. Clarion. R-Gr. 3-4, I-Gr. K-6
Glenn, Mel. The Taking of Room 114. Dutton/Lodestar. R-Gr. 4-5, I-Gr. 7-12
Livingston, Myra Cohn. Cricket Never Does. McElderry Books. R-Gr. 4-5, I-Gr. 3-9
Livingston, Myra Cohn. I Am Writing a Poem About. McElderry Books. R-Gr. 5-6, I-Gr. 4-9
Myers, Walter Dean. Harlem. Scholastic Press. R-Gr. 4-5, I-Gr. 7-1
Otten, Charlotte. January Rides the Wind. Lothrop, Lee & shepard. R-Gr. 2-3, I-Gr. PreK-5
Shakespeare, William. Macbeth. Dial Books for Young Readers. R-Gr. 5-6, I-Gr. 4-11
Steptoe, Javaka (Il.) In Daddy's Arms I Am Tall. Lee & Low. R-Gr. 4-5, I-Gr. 2-5


900 - Geography and History (7)

Adler, David. Hiding from the Nazis. Holiday House. R-Gr. 4-5, I-Gr. 4-7
Bial, Raymond. The Strength of These Arms. Houghton Mifflin. R-Gr. 5-6, I-Gr. 5-8
Hunter, Sally. Four Seasons of Corn. Lerner. R-Gr. 4-5, I-Gr. 4-8
Jiang, Ji-Li. Red Scarf Girl. HarperCollins. R-Gr. 5-6, I-Gr. 5-12
Mochizuki, Ken. Passage to Freedom. Lee & Low. R-Gr. 4-5, I-Gr. 4-7
Onyefulu, Ifeoma. Chidi Only Likes Blue. Dutton/Cobblehill. R-Gr. 3-4, I-Gr. K-4
Philip, Neil. In a Sacred Manner I Live. Clarion. R-Gr. 5-6, I=Gr. 5-12


920 - Biography - Autobiography

Adler, David. Lou Gehrig. Harcourt/Gulliver. R-Gr. 3-4, I-Gr. 3-8
Avi. Finding Providence. HarperCollins. R-Gr. 3-4, I-Gr. 3-6
Buck, Rinker. Flight of Passage. Hyperion. R-Gr. 6-7, I-Gr. 7-A
Gold, Alison, Memories of Anne Frank. Scholastic. R-Gr. 5-6, I-Gr. 5-10
Haskins, James. Bayard Rustin. Hyperion. R-Gr. 4-5, I-Gr. 5-A
Hodges, Margaret. The True Tale of Johnny Appleseed. Holiday House. R-Gr. 4-5, I-Gr. 1-8
Jackson, Livia Bitton. I Have Lived a Thousand Years. Simon & Schuster Children's. R-Gr. 6-7, I-Gr. 7-12
Meltzer, Milton. Langston Hughes. Millbrook Press. r-Gr. 6-7, I-Gr. 6-A
Pringle, Laurence. Elephant Woman. Atheneum. R-Gr. 5-6, I-Gr. 4-8
Rohmer, Harriet. Just Like Me. Children's Book Press. R-Gr. 4-5, I-Gr. 1-12
Stine, R. L. It Came from Ohio. Scholastic. R-Gr. 4-5, I-Gr. 4-8
Szabo, Corrine. Sky Pioneer. National Geographic Society. R-Gr. 5-6, I-Gr. 3-A



This list (along with annotations, reading and interest levels, and curriculum connections for each title) is available in The Dragon Lode, 17/2, Spring 1999, pp. 21-33. For your convenience, a reprint of this article is available for $2.50.

Distinctive seals to place on your books are also available.

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©2002 IRA Children’s Literature and Reading Special Interest Group (IRA CL/R SIG).
All rights reserved. Website: http://www.csulb.edu/org/childrens-lit
Dr. Kaye West, Webmistress
Date modified: May 28, 2003 . Feedback