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Suggested Reading List

The following websites contain excellent reading lists for readers of all ages. Several of these are through the American Library Association. Their main website is for additional reading lists.

Caldecott Award Medal Books

The Caldecott Medal is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the artist of the most distinguished American picture book for children.

California Young Reader Medal Books

Young people suggest the names of favorite books for nomination, or teachers and librarians note repeatedly read or requested titles, and these are submitted to the California Young Reader Medal Committee. Members of the committee read the suggested books, discuss their merits and appeal to children, and then decide upon a well-balanced list of nominees. A book to be considered for nomination must be an original work of fiction published within the last five years by a living author. Books are nominated for the medal in four categories: Primary (K-2), Intermediate (3-6), Middle School/junior High (6-9), and Young Adult (9-12).  Many of these books are incorporated into classes at various CHEP sites.

California Department of Education Recommended Literature

Over 2000 titles are on the current list of outstanding literature for Kindergarten through grade 12 children.

Newbery Award Medal Books

The Newbery Medal is awarded annually by the Association for Library Service to Children, a division of the American Library Association, to the author of the most distinguished contribution to American literature for children.

STAR Test Literature Guide

This site makes it easy to find appropriate books for students. It refers to the STAR Reading list number found at the bottom of last year's STAR test results.

Ideas and Suggestions
Helpful Family Resources

Select topics below to read the suggestions.

Social Pressure

Children’s failures and frustrations with peers and others often mean less when a child knows their parent loves them and is proud of them for all others things they do and know. Encourage children to see their own strengths as well as their weaknesses. When one believes in themself and is confident in their own abilities, the opinion of others matters less. By discussing your own life and times when you had to overcome failure, you’ll help your child see that they can accomplish their goals.

Respect is Everything

At the local store we remember to say excuse me when we bump someone and “Thank You” to the cashier. Do you treat your family with the same respect? After your child has completed their chores or a task, take a moment, stop what you’re doing to tell them “Thank you.” When children believe what they do is appreciated, they’re more likely to respond positively when asked. To "teach" a child to be grateful, express your gratitude for their contribution to your life: "It is such a joy to spend the afternoon with you". It is how you treat your child that teaches them how to be. Thanking them for their help and being kind and generous toward your child are really at the heart of parenting.

Relationship Strengths

A loving, stable relationship between parents and children is the basis for the child's healthy social development. Tell your child you love them and show your love by taking time to listen, to play, and to teach. The parent-child relationship is built on the words you say, the tone of your voice and the time you spend. It is strengthened by the experiences, joy and laughter you share and the games you play together. From toddler to teen, honest praise, recognition and acceptance, will nurture the relationship between you and your child.

Make it Personal

As you prepare to get out the door this morning, searching for keys, backpacks, permission slips and sweaters, stop. For just a second stop, hold your child's hand and look at them directly. Tell them you love them and hope they have a wonderful day. Because they are wonderful. Tell them something special you love about just them.


Remind them of how you much appreciate who they are and that you look forward to seeing them later to hear about their day. Now, grab your keys, and as you're finishing up the morning rush, take a second to remind yourself of how wonderful and unique you are too.

Everyone Pitches in Meal

Tonight, make the family meal an “everyone pitches in meal”. Use the time to listen to their stories, to talk as well as teach important life-skills, like cleaning, cooking, measuring, and timing. Younger ones can set the table, older members can watch the clock or, depending on their age, handle stove duties. Turn off the television and listen to what your children have to say. Tell stories about family meals when you were a child. Ask about their favorite meal memories or the best part of their day. Take the time to just listen and enjoy the company of your children.

Admitting a Mistake

Children are going to make mistakes. Remind them that mistakes are how we learn. Admitting the mistake in an honest and respectful manner helps avoid difficulties. Allow them the opportunity to apologize to whomever they harmed, including themselves. Teaching our children to take responsibility for their actions will help your child become respectful, resourceful and resilient. When parents make mistakes, be a role model. Letting them see you admit to your mistake and apologize for what you have done makes it much easier for them do the same. Don’t forget to praise them for admitting and learning from their mistake.

Most Important Part of Holidays

When holidays approach, we often get so busy we forget the most important part of the holiday. Even when things seem rough, there are always things to be thankful for. Take every opportunity you can to tell your children how thankful you are for them. Teach your children to always find the silver lining in the clouds of life. When we as parents have grateful hearts, our attitudes tend to sprout and grow in our children. When children are taught to be thankful, they grow up with an attitude of appreciation, a grateful heart and helpful spirit, ready and willing to help those who have less.

Involve Your Children

Holidays are when we create the most family memories. Often it’s the simple things we do together. Involve children in the meal planning, cooking, decorations, dessert preparations and yes, even the clean up. Including your children in the festivities lets them know that you value their input, abilities and that you want to spend time with them. Time together will also give you the chance to get some good conversations in and sneak in some extra praise!

Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance

Proper preparation prevents poor performance. Before embarking on an activity, such as running errands, let your children know before hand what is going to happen and what is expected of them. Involve your children in planning the schedule or order of events before lets them know you value their input. Give them some responsibility like handing the cashier the money. Praise your child when they do well and behave appropriately. Preparing children before gives them a level of security and predictability and increases the chances of an enjoyable trip.

Assign Household Chores

Children who have regular assigned household chores feel a sense of self-worth and competency. They also demonstrate this responsibility in other aspects of their lives. Children who have chores because they are an important part of the family, exhibit a higher level of self-esteem and see themselves as an integral part of their family. This teaches them the importance of community and responsibility. Show children you appreciate their help, taking responsibility for their things, and contributing to the household in a positive way.

Learning to Take Responsibility

We don't live our daily lives dining in restaurants or living in hotels. Learning to take responsibility for our home, our space and things are important skills parents must teach their children. The reward for parents will be a more helpful child today who grows into a responsible and capable adult tomorrow. Keep in mind that this is a learning process for them. Try to encourage their sense of initiative and personal responsibility. Post the chores that need to be done and ask your children to sign up for the ones they would like to do. Allow them the control of choosing which jobs they will do, then communicate the necessity of them following through on their commitments. Be clear with your expectations. When we praise our children for their efforts and have patience as they master a task develops children who want to help and feel that their work is important to the family.

Shared Chores

From a child's point of view, it's downright lonely to be sentenced to clean a bathroom. There can be great joy working with children to manage and clean a home. The joys vary with age. What parent can resist a preschooler's pride when they first set the family dinner table, crooked, and all? Raking the yard with an elementary aged child is a great time to chat and find out what's really going in their lives. Working together to rearrange furniture using their plan with your teen can go a long way toward connecting with your child. Make your home with your children. These aren't just chores we're talking about! This is life itself. Who better to share it with than the youngsters you love?

Explain Ways to Deal With Anger

Each of us has experienced times when we get angry. For children, anger can be triggered by embarrassment, loneliness, isolation, anxiety, and hurt. Children often feel helpless to understand the situation fully and helpless to change it. When we acknowledge that anger is normal we let them know they are not helpless. Explain that anger is temporary. They may need your help in putting labels to their feelings. Explain, model and discuss appropriate ways of handling anger. Teaching your young child to manage anger and talk about feelings can prevent many angry outbursts in teenage years ahead, in their adult relationships, and in their own relationships with their children.

Help your Child to Act, not React

Explain to your children that we all have to find ways to express our anger without hurting ourselves or others. Help your child act, not react. Children, like adults, can handle their feelings of frustration and anger in many ways. They don't have to resort to violence. One of the most important things you do as a parent is help teach your child to respect themselves and others so they can be happy in the world. Children need to be reminded that all people are valuable and worthy of respect and that ultimately, anger and hate hurts the one who hates.

Creating a Positive Writing Environment
Writing Environment

• Establish a predictable writing time.
• Plan for writing throughout the day, in all subject matters.
• Create a well-stocked writing center. Have on hand enough paper, pencils, and an age appropriate dictionary.

Writing Opportunity

• Guide children to write about topics that are important to them.

Writing Instruction

• Read aloud quality literature.
• Model writing forms and techniques.
• Provide direct instruction on matters of mechanics and the writer’s craft.
• Provide guidance and constructive feedback.

Sharing Writing

• Become a writer yourself and share your struggles with writing.
• Provide opportunities for children to share their writing.

Additional Materials

Suggested Spelling Activities

Suggested Reading List

Why Read 20 Minutes a Day

Words to Use with Your Children Every Day

25 Manners Every Kid Should Know