School News


What are the UCSD Librarians’ Favorite Books?

This coming week marks not only National Library Week, April 7-13, but today, April 4 is also National School Librarian Appreciation Day! Our librarians and media associates are essential in encouraging students to pick up books and read. And, who knew? They’re actually pretty big readers themselves! “Check out” our librarians and media associates favorite books to read, recommend, and ones they hold close to their hearts.


Valerius- top row, left

Alaina Small LIBRARY

Alaina Small- Valerius Librarian

“My absolute favorite children’s picture book is The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats because I loved reading it as a child, & I still do today. The Elephant & Piggie series by Mo Willems is funny & accessible for beginning readers. Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson is a very moving middle grade memoir in verse. Yuyi Morales’ picture book Niño Wrestles the World is fun to read aloud, & so is Corey R. Tabor’s Mel Fell, which is an Iowa Goldfinch Award book this year. I would also add The Wild Robot by Peter Brown. It’s a middle grade science fiction/fantasy chapter book that blends technology with the natural world. My son and I enjoyed reading it together.”

Webster- middle row, left

Marwedel, Melissa

Melissa Marwedel- Webster Librarian

“Some of my favorites to recommend are Because of Mr. Terupt by Rob Buyea – kids love the multiple perspectives. Fablehaven by Brandon Mull – my absolute favorite children’s fantasy author and a great fun series. Alcatraz vs. The Evil Librarians by Brandson Sanderson – I love the sarcastic humor. The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart – I love the puzzles and twists. A favorite from my childhood is The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin. I loved that book!
As you can see, I am more of a chapter book person, although I do love a good picture book or graphic novel, and non-fiction is also fun to read!”

Olmsted- bottom row, left


Ryley Burriel- Olmsted Librarian

“My favorite book of all time is Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone By JK Rowling. I also love I’m Not Scared, You’re Scared By Seth Myers and Pig the Pug By Aaron Blabey”

Karen Acres- middle row, right

Joyce Williams LIBRARY

Joyce Williams- Media Associate

“I liked Brown Bear, Brown Bear

Screenshot 2023 09 26 at 8.34.35 AM

Diane Jones- Karen Acres Librarian

Urbandale Middle School- bottom row, middle

Mandy brown

Mandy Brown- Long-term Librarian Substitute

My favorite books- Picture book: The Gruffalo by Julia Donladson. This is my favorite picture book to read to my kids. I love the rhythm and rhyming of all Julia Donaldson books, but this story with thinking outside the box problem solving has always been a family favorite. Chapter book read aloud- The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo. I would read this book aloud every year to my third grade class, and they would love it. This book is so easy to bond with the characters and follow the message. My students would beg to keep reading as read aloud time ended each day. 

Book recommendation– I Survived series by Lauren Tarshis. I recommend this book series to any action and history loving student. I love how these books immediately start in the climax to gain the readers attention before going back to do character development all while introducing major historical events. My son and I have read all 23 of the books in this series together and cannot wait for the next to be released in the fall!”

Nancy O’Keef- Long-term Librarian Substitute

“Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein is a favorite for all ages. I love all of the Chris VanAlsburg books, especially The Widow’s Broom. For older kids I love the Harry Potter series and anything by Peg Kehret. (Abduction!)”

Chrissy Cochran- Media Associate

My favorite childhood book is Where the Sidewalk Ends.  My first grade teacher would read a few poems from it everyday. I received my own copy for Christmas that year and I still have it.  My favorite recommendation is Because of Mr. Terupt by  Rob Buyea. Kids tend to like it because it’s realistic fiction, written from multiple perspectives and the first in a series.”

Urbandale High School- bottom row, right

Christine Watson LIBRARY

Christine Watson- Teacher Librarian

” My favorite picture book as a kid was Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson. Favorite middle grade series is Fablehaven by Brandon Mull and my favorite young adult series is the Imaginarium Geographica by James A. Owen.”

Jennifer Huber LIBRARY

Jennifer Huber- Media Associate

My favorite book as a child- The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf. My favorite book to read to my kids when they were little- Owl Moon by Jane Yolen and anything by Sandra Boynton (Night Night Little Pookie, Doggies).

The Time’s 100 Best Children’s Books- top row, right

  • Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown, illustrations by Clement Hurd
  • Olivia by Ian Falconer
  • Click, Clack, Moo by Doreen Cronin, illustrations by Betsy Lewin
  • The Lorax by Dr. Seuss
  • Corduroy by Don Freeman
  • The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt, illustrations by Oliver Jeffers
  • Winnie the Pooh (series) by A.A. Milne
  • Go Dog, Go by P.D. Eastman
  • Love You Forever by Robert Munsch

Famous Author’s Favorite Childhood Books- middle row, right

  • Come on Seabiscuit! By Ralph Moody
  • Peter Pan by James Matthew Barrie, illustrations by F. D. Bedford 
  • The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley
  • George and Martha books by James Marshall
  • Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares
  • Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  • Encyclopedia Brown Box Set by Donald J. Sobol
  • Hardy Boys by Franklin W. Dixon
  • Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls Wilder, illustrations by Garth Williams