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One Book for Kids is a companion program to One Book, One San Diego that is just for kids! In February, the community is asked to nominate titles the entire community should read together - for adults, teens and kids. The Children's and Young Adult Selection Committee reviews these nominations and ultimately selects a title they believe fits our selection criteria best. In the fall, KPBS and our community partners host events inspired by the book for for kids and families.

Let's Read Together

The 2021 One Book Selection for Kids is...

One Book, One San Diego has announced the selection for the 2021 region-wide read: "All The Way To The Top" words by Annette Bay Pimentel, pictures by Nabi H. Ali and foreword by Jennifer Keelan-Chaffins.

The 2021 One Book, One San Diego selection

The 2021 One Book, One San Diego selection "All The Way To The Top" words by Annette Bay Pimentel, pictures by Nabi H. Ali and foreword by Jennifer Keelan-Chaffins. 

Where To Get The Book!

"All The Way To The Top" may be purchased online from The Library Shop.

The Library Shop is a well-curated nonprofit book & gift shop catering to librarians, library lovers, literary obsessives and book nerds inside the Downtown Central Library. Proceeds support the entire San Diego Public Library System.

Or check out "All the Way to the Top" for free through the San Diego County Library

Join the Fun!

One Book, One San Diego For Kids Author Event With Annette Bay Pimentel & Jennifer Keelan-Chaffins

Thursday, February 3, 2022 at 11 a.m.


Event photo

Join KPBS and the San Diego Public Library for a virtual event with the books' author Annette Bay Pimentel, and special guest Jennifer Keelan-Chaffins the star of this inspiring story. Thursday. Feb. 3, 2022 at 11 a.m. (PST) Check back ...

Past One Book for Kids Selections

“Write To Me” by Cynthia Grady

2020 One Book for Kids Selection

Read the new 2020 One Book selection

A touching story about Japanese American children who corresponded with their beloved librarian while they were imprisoned in World War II internment camps.

When Executive Order 9066 is enacted after the attack at Pearl Harbor, children’s librarian Clara Breed’s young Japanese American patrons are to be sent to prison camp. Before they are moved, Breed asks the children to write her letters and gives them books to take with them. Through the three years of their internment, the children correspond with Miss Breed, sharing their stories, providing feedback on books, and creating a record of their experiences. Using excerpts from children’s letters held at the Japanese American National Museum, author Cynthia Grady presents a difficult subject with honesty and hope.

"Dreamers" by Yuyi Morales

2019 One Book for Kids Selection

Winner of the 2019 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award, and New York Times / New York Public Library Best Illustrated Book of 2018.

In 1994, Yuyi Morales left her home in Xalapa, Mexico and came to the United States with her infant son. She left behind nearly everything she owned, but she didn’t come empty-handed. She brought her strength, her work, her passion, her hopes and dreams. . . and her stories. Caldecott Honor artist and six-time Pura Belpré winner Yuyi Morales’s gorgeous picture book “Dreamers” is about making a home in a new place. Yuyi and her son Kelly’s passage was not easy, and Yuyi spoke no English whatsoever at the time. But together, they found an unexpected, unbelievable place: the public library. There, book by book, they untangled the language of this strange new land, and learned to make their home within it.

"Blue Sky, White Stars" by Sarvinder Naberhaus and Illustrated by Kadir Nelson

2018 One Book for Kids Selection

Blue Sky, White Stars is a picture book written by Sarvinder Naberhaus and illustrated by New York Times bestselling and Caldecott-honor winning artist Kadir Nelson. Deceptively simple verses pair with richly evocative images of American history, landscape, and people.

"My Beautiful Birds" by Suzanne Del Rizzo

2017 One Book for Kids Selection

A gentle yet moving story of refugees of the Syrian civil war, My Beautiful Birds by Suzanne Del Rizzo illuminates the ongoing crisis as it affects its children. It shows the reality of the refugee camps, where people attempt to pick up their lives and carry on. And it reveals the hope of generations of people as they struggle to redefine home.

“If you’ve been wondering how to present the refugee crisis to children without losing faith in humanity, take a look at this graceful, even uplifting book.”—The New York Times “Bookshelf: Friendships and Fables Soar in New Children’s Books”

"The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore" by William Joyce

2015 One Book For Kids Section

The book that inspired the Academy Award–winning animated short film, from New York Times bestselling author and beloved visionary, William Joyce, is also a picture book! It is an allegory about the curative power of story and how books return the favor to those who care for them.

"Joyce’s magnificently illustrated book-about-books inspired—yet arrives after—his 2011 animated short film of the same name, which won an Oscar. The unusual sequence of film-to-book (there’s an app, too) suggests that while books are indeed glorious things, what really matters is story. This one follows a dreamy bibliophile named Morris Lessmore, who loses his cherished book collection to a cataclysmic storm that’s half Katrina (Joyce is from Louisiana) and half Wizard of Oz. Underneath this book-about-books, there’s a deeper story of love, loss, and healing, one that will be appreciated as much (if not more) by adults as by children." -Publishers Weekly

"It's a Little Book" By Lane Smith

2015 One Book For Littlest Kids Selection

For the youngest of readers who still prefer to chew on a book rather than read it, “It's a Little Book” asks what a book is for--Is it for chewing? Is it for wearing?--and answers the question in a warm and charming way. As funny and captivating as the bestselling “It's a Book, It's a Little Book” promises to delight a new generation of readers.

“The pint-size companion to the best-selling ‘It’s a Book!,’ the board book version doesn’t merely shrink the proportions of the original; it also wisely contracts the whole wired world of its older brother into the smaller scope of a toddler’s landscape ― in a good way.” - New York Times "ArtsBeat" Blog

"Cora Cooks Pancit" By Dorina K. Lazo Gilmore

2014 One Book For Kids Selection

Cora loves being in the kitchen, but she always gets stuck doing the kid jobs like licking the spoon. One day, Cora finally gets the chance to be Mama's assistant chef. And of all the delicious Filipino dishes that dance through Cora's head, they decide to make pancit, her favorite. With Mama's help, Cora does the grown-up jobs like shredding the chicken and soaking the noodles. When dinner is finally served, her siblings find out that Cora did all their grown-up tasks, and Cora waits to see what everyone thinks of her cooking.

Dorina Lazo Gilmore's text delightfully captures the warmth between mother and daughter as they share a piece of their Filipino heritage. With bright and charming illustrations by Kristi Valiant, Cora's family comes alive as Cora herself becomes the family's newest little chef.

"Jingle Dancer" by Cynthia Leitich Smith

2013 One Book For Kids Selection

Jenna, a contemporary Muscogee Creel girl in Oklahoma, loves the tradition of jingle dancing that has been shared by generations of women in her family, and she hopes to dance at the next powwow. But where will she find enough jingles for her dress?

The warm, evocative watercolors of Cornelius Van Wright and Ying-Hwa Hu complement author Cynthia Leitich Smith's lyrical text as she tells the affirming story of how a contemporary Native American girl turns to her family and community to help her dance find a voice.

"Armando and the Blue Tarp School" by Edith Hope Fine and Judith Pinkerton Josephson

2012 One Book For Kids Selection

A truck horn sounds through Armando’s colonia, his neighborhood, near the city dump. Señor David is back, setting up school on a blue tarp spread on the ground. Oh how Armando longs to go to this school, but he knows he must help his father pick through trash in the dump for things his family can use, recycle, or sell.

When Armando’s parents at last decide to let him spend afternoons at Señor David’s school, Armando is overjoyed. He’ll learn to read and write. He’ll learn numbers. Best of all, he’ll draw pictures. And one momentous day Armando’s love of drawing helps bring an almost unimaginable treasure to the children of the colonia.

Told with honesty and hope, “Armando and the Blue Tarp School” is a testament to the pursuit of dreams and the power of one person to make a difference in the lives of others.

"The Secret Message" by Mina Javaherbin

2012 One Book For Kids Selection

“All day the bird sang of longing. But the merchant would not let him go…”

Alone, imprisoned in a golden cage, and far from the jungles of home, a parrot longs for freedom. Will he ever escape? Thanks to a secret mesage passed along by his friends in India, the parrot outwits his wealthy owner and soars to freedom.

Based on an ancient Persian poem, this is a story of surprising cleverness, powerful solidarity, exotic travels, and a simple wish fulfilled. This enchanting tale, told with subtle humor and vibrant images, is a perfect introduction to the culture, literature, and history of the Middle East.

About One Book, One San Diego

Past One Book, One San Diego Selections

Last year we highlighted "Monstress" by Lysley Tenorio. Find out more about this book and other previous One Book selections, in our archives..

One Book, One San Diego: FAQs & Selection Criteria

One Book, One San Diego promises to be an exciting program in 2020. This article answers common questions about the program. Contact Margo Porras at with further questions.