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Children's Literature Research Guide

The content of this guide was created by Joan Berman, Librarian Emerita

Children's Literature Collection

Creative Commons Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 2.0 Generic License by Carol VonHook

The Children's Literature Collection is a select representative collection of fiction and nonfiction children's and young adult literature which is maintained to support the HSU academic curricula. This collection of approximately 10,000 volumes is located in the northwest corner of the second floor of the HSU Library. There are three sections:

  • Picture books (call number E - for easy), shelved in alphabetical order, by author.
  • Fiction (call number x), shelved in alphabetical order, by author.
  • Nonfiction (call number in Dewey Decimal system), shelved in numerical order. Includes folk tales and fairy tales from all countries in 398.2, poetry collections in 811-821, and biography in 921; these sections are shelved separately, in the low shelving. Materials in foreign languages are in 438-495.

Books in the Children's Literature Collection are listed in the Library catalog. "Limit" to "Children's Literature Collection," to search for books in this collection only.  A simple keyword search without limiting, but using the phrase "juvenile literature" is also effective, e.g., cats "juvenile literature".  A call number search will produce a list of books as they should be on the shelves, including items checked out.  Try this: eSendak? and search within "call number".  Then you can scroll next and previous, you can mark records and email them to yourself.

Pro Tip: Use the book A to Zoo: Subject Access to Children's Picture Books to find subject terms for searching children's literature to find children's books on a wide range of topics affecting children, such as potty training, death of a parent, flamingos, etc.  

Books ABOUT Children's Literature

The Children's Literature Collection includes books read by children, but it does not include books on the subject of children's literature. In order to find information about children's books, children's authors, and using books with children, consult your HSU Library Catalog.   The primary subject headings to be checked are:

Children's literature
Children's stories
Children--Books and reading
Censorship and Children's literature
Illustrated children's books
Picture books for children
Teenagers--Books and reading
Young adult fiction
Young adult literature
Young adults--Books and reading
Youth--Books and Reading
Children of minorities--Books and reading
Young Adult AND Multicultural 
Blume, Judy
Sendak, Maurice (etc.)


Browsing in the main book collection is another good way to find books about children's literature. The two primary areas where these books are located are: PN 1009 and Z 1037; other areas are LB 1575 and PR 990.


The following textbooks offer different approaches to children's literature. Each includes lists of recommended children's books as well as criteria for evaluating these books.