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Diverse Children's Literature: Search Strategies

Search strategies

If you are looking for children's books about a variety of topics, you will need some strategies to find a book that suits your needs. This page will provide hints for more solid search results. 

Search for CRC Materials



Advanced Search

Using the Catalog

Go to the CRC homepage.

In the search bar, type your topic (e.g., immigration) and click search

You may notice that the number of results are staggering. If this is the case, consider narrowing your search. There are a few ways to do this. 

1. Consider adding a boolean operator (and, or, not) to your search. For example typing immigration and America in the search will reduce the results significantly.

2. Consider conducting a subject search. Returning to the CRC homepage, click Advanced Search under the search field. Under Enter Search Terms, select Subject from the drop-down menu. Type in the topic (e.g., same-sex parents) and click Submit.

3. When looking at a book's full record (this is displayed when you click on the book's hyperlink), examine the subjects related to the book. This can give you ideas of how to search for similar materials. 

4. Nonfiction books that share the same Dewey number (e.g., 342.09) will all be about that particular topic. Sometimes just going to that section of the library will result in finding books!

How to order books from OhioLink & SearchOhio

If the CRC does not have a copy of the book you'd like to read, consider getting the book through OhioLink.

Here's how:

  • Conduct a title search in the CRC's catalog
  • When the results are returned, click the blue Search OhioLink button
  • When the record for the book appears, click the green Request button
  • Select your pick-up location (Jerome Library) and enter your BGSU email address

If the title you're seeking is not available through OhioLink, consider using SearchOhio. 

  • Conduct a title search in the CRC's catalog
  • When the results are returned, click the blue Search SearchOhio button
  • When the record for the book appears, click the green Request button
  • Select Bowling Green from the drop-down menu.
  • Select your pick-up location (Jerome Library) and enter your BGSU email address

Your book will arrive, generally, in 5-7 days.

The Children's Literature Comprehensive Database

Visit the CRC homepage

Look at the items under the Juvenile Literature Database. One of these options is The Children's Literature Comprehensive Database.

This database has the ability to not only search for books about a topic but also allow the user to determine reading level, age group, year of publication, etc. It's a powerful database that is perfect for helping you find the right book. 

To yield a meaningful search, type your topic in the search bar at the top of the page. Narrow your search by limiting the results. Take a look at your limiters below Reader and Genre. Limit by reader's age, fiction/nonfiction,  genre, etc. You'll be astounded by how many books may suit your needs.

One hitch: just because the book is in the CLCD does not mean the CRC holds that title. Lucky for you, you can probably nab the book through OhioLink or SearchOhio. 

Location Tools for Call Numbers

All call numbers used in the Curriculum Resource Center are preceded by a locator tool. 

The locator tool indicates where in the collection the material appears.

See the map of the CRC to find the following common locators:

JUV • Juvenile books (fiction, nonfiction, and biography)

CURR • Curriculum (textbooks, activity books)

CURR TA • Teaching Aids

DISNEY • Disney Collection

Reading Fiction Call Numbers

fiction call number begins with a locator tool (JUV, CURR) and is immediately followed by a letter (A-Z).

This letter tells you the first letter of the author's last name. A book with the call number JUV V4614br will be in the fiction section, particularly with all the V books because it's written by Padma Venkatraman.

The last two letters of the fiction call number are the first two letters of the book's title. Titles by the same author are always in alphabetical order. In the above example, br stands for The Bridge Home.

Often a copyright year will append the call number.

Reading Biography Call Numbers

biography call number begins with a locator tool (JUV, CURR) and is immediately followed by the number 92 or 920.

  • 92s are biographies about a single person (e.g., Frederick Douglass). The 92 will be followed by the last name of the person who the biography is about. JUV 92 Simone is a biography about Nina Simone. 
  • 920s are collective biographies about two or more people (e.g., Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln; The Beatles; social justice activists). The 920 will be followed by the last name of the author who wrote the biography. JUV 920 Pinkney is a collective biography by Andrea Davis Pinkney. If the subjects of the collective biography share a last name, the 920 will be followed by that last name. JUV 920 Darwin is a collective biography about Charles & Emma Darwin. 

 Often a copyright year will append the call number.

Reading Nonfiction Call Numbers

nonfiction call number begins with a locator tool (JUV, CURR) and is immediately followed by a Dewey number.

The Dewey number is followed by a combination of letters and numbers, which indicate the author's last name and the title of the book. JUV 782.42164 W3632ro is a nonfiction book (782.42164) written by Carole Boston Weatherford (W3623) titled The Roots of Rap (ro).

Often a copyright year will append the call number.

Searching for Fiction and Nonfiction at the CRC

To conduct a general search for fiction in the CRC catalog regardless of age or grade level, combine a keyword with "juvenile fiction" (race relations "juvenile fiction").

keyword race relations "juvenile fiction"

To conduct a general search for nonfiction in the CRC catalog regardless of age or grade level, combine a keyword with "juvenile literature" (space exploration "juvenile literature").

keyword space exploration "juvenile literature"

Finding Picture Books

To locate picture books about a particular topic, combine your keyword with "picture books" (make sure books is plural!). 

For example: horses "picture books"

horses "picture books" in search bar

Finding Early Readers

To locate early readers, search for Readers (Primary) as a subject in the catalog. The results will be for leveled readers. 

Subject search Readers (Primary)

If you're looking for books for emerging readers, search for "Illustrated children's books" as a subject in the catalog. These returned results will be books written for children in grades 1-3.

Finding Middle Grade Books

To locate books appropriate for children in middle grades (grades 4-7), combine a keyword with "middle grade".

For example: Ohio "middle grade"

keyword Ohio "middle grade"

Finding Young Adult Books

To locate books appropriate for young adults (grades 8-12), combine a keyword with "young adult fiction".

For examples: sisters "young adult fiction"

Keyword sisters "young adult fiction"

Searching for Award Winning Books