Children's Literature and Reading Special Interest Group of the International Reading Association

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

About the Book Selection Program
What Books Have Been Selected?
About the LAUSD Library Services
Annotated Reprints
Book Award Stickers & Other Resources

About the Book Selection Program

This book selection program provides a guide to those interested in selecting excellent titles for their library, including multicultural literature.

In 1996 the IRA CL/R SIG, through The Dragon Lode when Kaye West-Anderson was editor, began a partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District Library Services, under the supervision of Bonnie O’Brian Nissman. The result of this alliance was the compiling and publishing an annual list of outstanding children’s and young adults’ literature for preschool through grade 12 which belong in EVERY library and media center. The selections model a balanced library acquisition program which approximate the following formula:

12% picture books
1% large-print, early reader books
1% emergent-reader transitional books
13% fiction
1% 000s
1% 100s
1% 200s
9% 300s
7% folklore
1% 400s
10% 500s
8% 600s
9% 700s
8% 800s
10% 900s
8% biography

With care taken to include various categories of fiction and non-fiction literature in every major category in the Dewey Decimal classification system, this list becomes guidance for libraries to assure that they are providing balance in acquisitions when budget constraints limit the number of books which can be purchased.

The book selection process is extremely complex as well as labor intensive. Following evaluation and review by scores of teachers, administrators, and advisors who collectively share thousands of books published in a given year with their students, the Library Services staff take into account the input of all of the reviewers and select one hundred of their priority-one books to correspond with their recommended formula.



The selected books:

• Correlate with the California curriculum frameworks and national academic standards;
• Further district curriculum goals and standards;
• Reflect outstanding qualities including high literary merit, rich factual content, and aesthetic design;
• Meet the informational and recreational reading needs of students;
• Reflect cultural, racial, and ethnic diversity;
• Represent originality of concept, approach, or point of view; and
• Demonstrate strong reader appeal.


What Books Have Been Selected?

One hundred (100) books are selected each year. Click on a year below to find the list of books with that year as copyright honored as Los Angeles' 100 Best for that year.

With a change of leadership at Los Angeles Unified School District Library Services and their transformation to using more technology in their 500+ school libraries, the Los Angeles' 100 Best project has been suspended until such time as they are able to resume the partnership.




About LAUSD Library Services

The Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Library Services is a self-supporting branch of the Los Angeles Unified School District. Besides serving approximately 500 schools in their own district, they are frequently called upon as a resource for libraries throughout the nation.

The LAUSD Library Services staff annually prepare a complete book providing useful details regarding the Los Angeles’ 100 Best Books. Included are precise call numbers, a comprehensive index of keywords, an author/title index, and an order list.

Additionally, they produce the most comprehensive CD-ROM available for children’s literature, Focus on Books. This versatile search engine provides a comprehensive electronic data base of over 50,000 titles, searchable by dozens of fields, including author, title, curricular area, keywords, and more. In the version published in 2001, the IRA CL/R SIG list of Notable Books for a Global Society was first named as one of the award lists included.

Annotated Reprints

Each year The Dragon Lode publishes the list of Los Angeles’ 100 Best Books. Included in the article are annotations for each winning book, curricular connections, and reading and interest levels.

Reprints of the articles are available for $2.50 per list. Order your reprints today!

Also use the Subscription and Membership Form so you can subscribe to The Dragon Lode and not miss forthcoming lists in this excellent series!


Book Award Seals & Other Resources

Through the LAUSD Library Services official gold seals are also available to affirx on your books to designate them as special-collection material.

For information about the LA 100 Best Monograph for any of the years, the Focus on Books CD-ROM, or the LA 100 Best Gold Seals, contact

Susan Huntzinger, Supervisor
Library Services, Los Angeles Unified School District
Adams Plaza
1545 Wilshire Blvd. Suite #200
Los Angeles, CA 90017
(213) 207-2255 or FAX (213) 413-4059


©2002-preent IRA Children’s Literature and Reading Special Interest Group (IRA CL/R SIG).
All rights reserved. Website:
Dr. Kaye West, Webmanager
Date modified: January 26, 2007 . Feedback