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Superintendent Torlakson Unveils New Recommended Literature List

To help students meet the new Common Core State Standards and prepare for a career, college and the challenges of a changing world, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson has unveiled the new “Recommended Literature: Pre-Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve” list.

“The books our students read help broaden their perspectives, enhance their knowledge, and fire their imaginations,” Torlakson said. “This up-to-date Recommended Literature list represents a vital resource for students, teachers and parents.”


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The new list is a collection of more than 7,800 titles of recommended reading for children and adolescents. It has been updated with appropriate titles written over the last decade that reflect rich cultural diversity. This online list also reflects the quality and complexity of texts students should be reading both at school and outside of the classroom. Works include fiction, nonfiction, poetry and drama to accommodate a variety of tastes, interests, and abilities.

Visitors may search the interactive database by author, title, annotation, illustrator, translator, subject, grade span and language. The new list updates, replaces and incorporates three other literature lists for science and mathematics, history/social science and visual and performing arts. Local school officials and teachers are encouraged to use this list as a resource in designing standards-based instructional programs.

The new list of selected titles covers a broad range of subjects and grade levels to help students meet the Common Core State Standards for English-Language Arts and Literacy in History/Social Studies, Science and Technical Subjects; CCSS for Mathematics; and the College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards.

The CCSS with California additions are designed to help students learn step-by-step the real-world skills that prepare them for the challenges of college and careers. 

The College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards define the literacy expectations for students entering college and careers and provide the foundation for K-12 English-language arts standards.

The Recommended Literature list was coordinated by the California Department of Education and developed with the assistance of teachers, library consultants from school and public libraries, administrators, curriculum planners and college professors.

For more information, please visit the California Department of Education’s webpage. The Recommended Reading list can be found here and a description of the Common Core Standards can be found here.


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