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Previously Published Literature Lists

Literature Lists published by the California Department of Education.

The California Department of Education (CDE) has a long history of developing and publishing recommended literature lists that reflect the quality and complexity of material students should be reading and listening to in school and at home. Each list was coordinated by the CDE with the assistance of many individuals: teachers, library consultants from school and public libraries, administrators, curriculum planners, college professors, and parents.

Links to the previously published recommended literature lists appear below. The lists themselves are out of print. Titles that were on the previous list but are not on the new list were dropped for a number of reasons, including the book may be out of print, difficult to find, or more current literature is available. Because a title is not included does not mean it is no longer recommended. While limited to a less searchable format than recent lists, i.e., alphabetical by author, the earlier lists offer access to the titles recommended at the time thus providing a historical perspective of literature recommended for use in California schools. For contemporary titles, see the current list available on the CDE Recommended Literature List web page. As with any work of literature used in the classroom, educators should read and evaluate the book to determine its appropriateness for students. Parents using the lists will want to consider factors such as the child’s particular interests, independent reading ability, motivation, and level of maturity.

Many other lists, including collections of award-winning titles (Newbery, Caldecott, California Young Reader Medal, Coretta Scott King, etc.), can be found through school and local libraries, the Internet, and other helpful sources. The bottom line is: encourage children to read!

Recommended Readings in Literature: Kindergarten Through Grade Eight (DOC)
Copyright/Published 1986.

Recommended Literature: Grades Nine Through Twelve (DOC)
Copyright 1989, Published in 1990.

Addendum Recommended Readings in Literature: Kindergarten Through Grade Eight (DOC)
Copyright/Published 1990.

Recommended Readings in Literature: Kindergarten Through Grade Eight (DOC)
Copyright 1986, 1990, and 1996. 1996 Revised Edition.

Recommended Readings in Spanish Literature (DOC)
Copyright/Published in 1991.

Literature for History-Social Science: Kindergarten Through Grade Eight (DOC)
Revised Edition, Copyright 1991, 1993, Published in 1993.

Read to Me: Recommended Literature for Children Ages Two Through Seven (DOC)
Copyright/Published 1992.

Literature for Science and Mathematics: Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve (DOC)
Copyright/Published in 1993.

Literature for Visual and Performing Arts: Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve (DOC)
Copyright/Published in 1996.

Questions: Literature List Staff | | 916-323-6269 
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, September 06, 2023
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