Skip to Main Content

Children's & Young Adult Literature Research Guide

Library Search for Books

Use the Library Advanced Search to find children's books in the WMU collection.
If you already know the title or author, use the pull-down arrow to select Title or Author


  • If you are using a phrase in your search, be sure and put it in quotation marks, e.g., "african americans"
  • Use the asterisk * at the end of keyword(s) to pick up variant endings of words, e.g., child* will retrieve child, child's, children, children's, childhood, etc.
  • You can use the "OR" connector to string similar terms in the same box, e.g., folklore OR folktale* OR myth* OR legend*
  • You can combine terms in your search, e.g., type "native americans" in the first box, and poetry in the box directly underneath, to find poems about Native Americans
To find Books in the Historical Children's Book Collection :
  • Use the pull-down on the left side and select call number.  
  • Type in the word HIST in that field and hit the Search button.
  • If you want to look for particular types of books, e.g., folklore, just type the pertinent keyword in the second box.
When you've found a title
  • Identify where in the library or which collection it is in. ​
  • Children's Collection,
  • Easy and Beginning Readers 
  • Children's Collection,
  • Fiction and Non-Fiction, for novels and non-fiction books.
  • Be sure and write down the book's call number since you will need this to find the book on the shelves.

How Children's Books are Arranged

The Children's & Young Adult Collection is classified into 5 major areas:

  • E  - Easy books

Mostly picture books, Pre-K-3rd grade

  • BR - Beginning Readers

48- to 64-page books intended for young readers, K-2nd grade

  • Fic -  Fiction books

Chapter books and novels for students in 4th-12th grades

  • Non-fic - Non-fiction books Arranged by Dewey Decimal number, from 001 to 999
  • Caldecott & Newbery Award books

A reference collection of the Caldecott and Newbery award-winning books arranged by year.

Books by level

A to Zoo: Subject Access to Children's Picture Books.  Z1037 .L715
Includes citations to over 23,000 picture books, listed under more than 1,200 subjects, which are recommended for use with children, both for recreational reading and in the school curriculum.

Best Books for Children: Preschool Through Grade 6.   Z1037 .G48 (Ref)
An extensive list of highly-recommended books to satisfy both a child's recreational reading needs and the demands of a typical school curriculum. Includes an excellent subject index, and a one-sentence summary of each book.

Best of Latino Heritage, 1996-2002: A Guide to the Best Juvenile Books About Latino People and Cultures.  Z 1039 .L38 S34 2003
Provides a selective, annotated list of children's books, grades kindergarten through high school, focusing on the cultures of Latino peoples across the globe.

Broken Flute: The Native Experience in Books for Children.  Z 1039 .I54 B76x 2005 (Ref)
Authored by two Native Americans, this is a guide to help teachers, librarians, and parents select the best children's books representing Indian cultures. It also evaluates the most objectionable works by non-Native writers.

Heart Has its Reasons: Young Adult Literature with Gay/Lesbian/Queer Content, 1969-2004.  PS 374 .H63 C37 2006
This book begins with an overview essay about young adult books with LGBTQ subjects, and then divides the literature by decades, from the 1970s to the 1990s.

Sensitive Issues: An Annotated Guide to Children's Literature, K-6.  Z 1037 .R23 1992
This book provides critical reviews of books on important issues and serious problems that children often have to deal with on an everyday basis at home and/or at school. The issues included are substance abuse, illness, death, divorce, disabilities, prejudice, cultural differences, relocation, nontraditional home environments, and child abuse.

Electronic Book Collections