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Connections to Standards

An explanation of the standards' role defining what students are expected to learn and why books included in the list are linked to particular standards.

In 2010 the State Board of Education adopted the California Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects (PDF) (CCSS for ELA/Literacy). California’s standards-based educational system is one in which standards, curriculum, assessment, and accountability are aligned to support student academic proficiency and literacy. Teachers and local school officials, in collaboration with families and community partners, use standards to help students achieve success in what it means to be a literate person in the twenty-first century.

Literature as Part of the Instructional Program

Recommended Literature: Pre-Kindergarten through Grade Twelve (Recommended Reading List) is a resource for supplemental reading materials that teachers can use to extend and deepen students' understanding. The Recommended Literature List committee updates this list annually to reflect the latest and best published children’s and young adult literature. The titles that they select illustrate the quality and complexity of literature which may be used to support the teaching of a variety of subjects. Works of fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and drama are included in this list as they are available each year to accommodate a variety of tastes, interests, and abilities. The selected titles also reflect rich cultural diversity, and special attention is given to include California authors, illustrators, and settings. For children who can read in other languages, the Recommended Literature List searches for books each year to include the five languages, other than English, most commonly spoken by students in California: Spanish, Vietnamese, Hmong, Chinese, and Filipino. For children who can read in Spanish, the Recommended Literature List Committee also works to select titles written in Spanish or a bilingual combination of Spanish and English.

Because many of the CCSS for ELA/Literacy and the CCSS for Mathematics may be addressed through the use of challenging and complex text, individual standards are not listed for each title in this collection nor have specific titles been suggested for each of the standards. Efforts to match standards to titles were found to insufficiently reflect the countless ways teachers may use the list to support students in reading a variety of complex texts. To read such text, students need to be challenged to extend their reading abilities and also know the pleasure of easy, fluent reading within the level of text complexity appropriate for them.

Reading and the use of literature are of great benefit beyond the boundaries of the classroom. Teachers can enrich their students' understanding through the integration of quality literature selections into a variety of subject area lessons. Discussions of historical and literary connections coupled with hands-on activities can help students gain a deeper understanding of the subject matter, specific concepts, or certain time periods. Whether students read literature independently or it is read to them, students who are engaged in quality texts will have the opportunity to develop a deeper understanding of the subject matter and specific concepts.

Literature for Independent Reading

This collection of literature is intended for use by teachers, teacher librarians, public librarians, parents, and students as a guide to the kinds of books that children can read independently both at school and outside of class. At every grade level, the reading comprehension strand of the CCSS ELA/Literacy and the CCSS for Math call for students to read and understand grade-level-appropriate material by the end of high school.

Questions:   Literature List Staff |
Last Reviewed: Thursday, June 08, 2023