Distinguished books that best promote awareness of California and its people.


Frankie & Bug

by Forman, Gayle
Call Number: x

Land of the Cranes

by Salazar, Aida
Call Number: x

My Papi Has a Motorcycle

by Quintero, Isabel
Call Number: xz

Grades 1 - 3: A heartfelt and beautiful picture book. Zeke Peña’s vibrant watercolors capture a special relationship between a father and daughter who bond over their love of motorcycles and their Mexican-American community in Corona, CA. An author’s note by Quintero explains more about the history of her hometown.


The Way You Make Me Feel

by Goo, Maurene
Call Number: YA

The 57 Bus

by Slater, Dashka
Call Number: 306.7680973 S631

The lives of two very different teens intersect on an Oakland, California bus in November, 2013 in this absorbing narrative non-fictional portrait that recounts their lives leading up to and following that fateful day, touching upon race, class, gender identity and the juvenile justice system. Told in short, engrossing chapters and incorporating original poetry that underscores identity issues, both racial and gender, as complex and fluid.


It Ain't So Awful, Falafel

by Dumas, Firoozeh
Call Number: x

Zomorod Yousefzadeh is determined to make a fresh start at her junior high in Newport Beach. Her first move? Picking out a “normal” American name (Cindy) and setting her sights on new friends. But fitting in becomes near impossible when the Iranian Revolution and the American hostage crisis start making headlines. Set in the late 1970s, readers can take a lot from this perspective on the immigrant experience.


This Bridge Will Not Be Gray

by Eggers, Dave,
Call Number: x 624 E29

Neighborhood Sharks: Hunting With the Great Whites of California's Farallon Islands

by Roy, Katherine
Call Number: x 597.3 R888

The coast of California is home to many sharks, like the Great Whites of the Farallon Islands. Katherine Roy’s illustrations are so beautiful you won’t notice that there aren’t any actual photographs, and this fact-filled book shows why scientists and readers alike find these creatures so frightening and fascinating!


The Tree Lady

by Hopkins, H. Joseph.
Call Number: x 92 S493Ho

A charming picture book biography about the life and times of Katherine Olivia Sessions, the first woman to graduate from the University of California with a degree in science and who became known as the "Mother of Balboa Park" for her dedication to gardening and planting trees in San Diego. Colorful and encouraging. Grades K-3.


The Camping Trip That Changed America: Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, and Our National Parks

by Rosenstock, Barbara.
Call Number: x 92 R781Ro

(Grades 1-4) Rosenstock’s accessible text and Gerstein’s vibrant illustrations pair well to tell the story of a little-known historical camping trip that spurred the creation of national parks and protected public wilderness. Gerstein’s illustrations admirably capture Roosevelt’s exuberance, Muir’s passion, and Yosemite’s awe-inspiring beauty.


One day and one amazing morning on Orange Street

by Rocklin, Joanne.
Call Number: x
The last remaining orange tree on a Southern California street brings together neighbors of all ages as they face their problems and anxieties, including the possibility that a mysterious stranger is a threat to their tree.

The Vinyl Princess

by Prinz, Yvonne.
Call Number:

Operation Redwood

by French, S. Terrell.
Call Number: x

Steinbeck's Ghost

by Buzbee, Lewis, 1957-
Call Number:

Julia Morgan Built a Castle

by Mannis, Celeste Davidson.
Call Number: x 92 M8484Ma

The Balloon Boy of San Francisco

by Leland, Dorothy Kupcha.
Call Number: x

Al Capone Does My Shirts

by Choldenko, Gennifer
Call Number: x

A twelve-year-old boy named Moose moves to Alcatraz Island in 1935 when guards' families were housed there, and has to contend with his extraordinary new environment in addition to life with his autistic sister.


Cecil Poole: A Life in the Law

by Haskins, James, 1941-2005.
Call Number: 347.092 P822Ha

Ansel Adams: America's Photographer

by Gherman, Beverly.
Call Number: x 92 A2115Gh

Any Small Goodness: A Novel of the Barrio

by Johnston, Tony, 1942-
Call Number: x

Hurry Freedom: African Americans in Gold Rush California

by Stanley, Jerry
Call Number: x 979 S788

Recounts the history of African Americans in California during the Gold Rush while focusing on the life and work of Mifflin Gibbs.


The Perilous Journey of the Donner Party

by Calabro, Marian.
Call Number: x 979.4 C141

Bandit's moon

by Fleischman, Sid, 1920-2010.
Call Number: x
Twelve-year-old Annyrose relates her adventures with Joaquín Murieta and his band of outlaws in the California gold-mining region during the mid-1800s.

The Circuit: Stories From the Life of a Migrant Child

by Jimenez, Francisco, 1943-
Call Number: x Ed.a

The ballad of Lucy Whipple

by Cushman, Karen.
Call Number: x
In 1849, twelve-year-old California Morning Whipple, who renames herself Lucy, is distraught when her mother moves the family from Massachusetts to a rough California mining town.

Summer on Wheels

by Soto, Gary.
Call Number: x

Cat Running

by Snyder, Zilpha Keatley.
Call Number: x

Dragon's Gate

by Yep, Laurence, 1948-
Call Number: x


by Siebert, Diane.
Call Number: x 811 S571-2

Baseball in April and Other Stories

by Soto, Gary
Call Number: x Ed.d

The great American gold rush

by Blumberg, Rhoda.
Call Number: x 979 B658

People came from all over the world to pursue the dream of discovering gold in California in the mid 19 th -century, and this book tells the story using primary sources such as letters, diaries, newspapers, posters, cartoons and advertisements.


Chang's Paper Pony

by Coerr, Eleanor.
Call Number: xz IR Ed.b