Special Collections

Multicultural Books for Children and Teens

Description: Celebrate diversity of cultures with the National Education Association, the Association for Library Services to Children, the Cooperative Children's Book Center, et al. #kids #teens


Showing 1 through 25 of 155 results

Brown Girl Dreaming

by Jacqueline Woodson

Jaqueline Woodson is the 2018-2019 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature

A President Obama "O" Book Club pick

A Coretta Scott King Award Winner

A New York Times Bestseller and National Book Award and Newbery Honor Book

Jacqueline Woodson, the acclaimed author of Another Brooklyn, tells the moving story of her childhood in mesmerizing verse. Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement.

Touching and powerful, each poem is both accessible and emotionally charged, each line a glimpse into a child’s soul as she searches for her place in the world. Woodson’s eloquent poetry also reflects the joy of finding her voice through writing stories, despite the fact that she struggled with reading as a child. Her love of stories inspired her and stayed with her, creating the first sparks of the gifted writer she was to become.

Date Added: 01/08/2019


Young Cornrows Callin Out the Moon

by Cbabi Bayoc and Ruth Forman

Who needs a backyard when there are brownstone steps, double dutch, and freeze tag beneath the sizzling summer sun? The jingling bell of the ice cream truck mingles with laughter and sidewalk rhymes. Frosty lemonade from the corner store and tight cornrows beat the heat with style. There's nothing like summer in the city with friends, family, and a child's imagination for company.

Ruth Forman offers a poetic testament to childhood, language, and play, and Cbabi Bayoc's richly hued paintings bring the streets of South Philadelphia to vivid life.

Date Added: 06/21/2018


Celebrate!

by Jan Reynolds

Every culture has its own special traditions and reasons for celebrating. At first glance these practices seem quite different from each other, but they are actually much more alike than most people realise. In Celebrate! readers travel to communities near and far and explore the essence of celebrations the world over. With striking photographs and engaging text, photojournalist Jan Reynolds presents a refreshing look at the similarities among cultural traditions around the world.

Date Added: 05/14/2018


The Wakame Gatherers

by Kazumi Wilds and Holly Thompson

Nanami has two grandmothers: Baachan, who lives with her family in Japan, and Gram, who lives in Maine. When Gram visits Japan for the first time, Baachan takes her and Nanami on a trip to the seaside to gather Wakame, a long, curvy seaweed that floats near the shore.While the three assemble their equipment and ride the streetcar to the beach, Baachan explains how Wakame and other seaweeds are used in Japan. Gram shares stories about how seaweeds are used in Maine, and Nanami translates for them both.By the end of the day, Nanami's two grandmothers discover that they have much in common despite being from countries that fought in the war they both remember vividly. Now, looking out across the beach at the surfers, dog walkers, and seaweed gatherers, they share an appreciation of this precious peace.Holly Thompson's beautiful prose captures the exuberance of a young girl who easily traverses between two cultures and languages. It also illuminates the love and understanding that grow between two older women who are so different, yet share an unbreakable bond. Kazumi Wild's bright, vivid paintings make the Japanese landscape and the rocky shores of Maine come alive, reminding us all that we share this earth and the peace that we create.

Date Added: 05/14/2018


Drummer Boy of John John

by Frané Lessac and Mark Greenwood

"A story inspired by events in the boyhood of Winston "Spree" Simon, a pioneer in the development of the steel drum, in which he discovers he can create tunes by banging on discarded cans. Includes author's note, glossary, and sources"--Provided by publisher.

Date Added: 05/14/2018


Out of Wonder

by Ekua Holmes and Marjory Wentworth and Chris Colderley and Kwame Alexander

Out of gratitude for the poet's art form, Newbery Award-winning author and poet Kwame Alexander, along with Chris Colderley and Marjory Wentworth, present original poems that pay homage to twenty famed poets who have made the authors' hearts sing and their minds wonder. Stunning mixed-media images by Ekua Holmes, winner of a Caldecott Honor and a John Steptoe New Talent Illustrator Award, complete the celebration and invite the reader to listen, wonder, and perhaps even pick up a pen.

Date Added: 04/10/2018


Save Me a Seat

by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan

Joe and Ravi might be from very different places, but they're both stuck in the same place: SCHOOL. Joe's lived in the same town all his life, and was doing just fine until his best friends moved away and left him on his own. Ravi's family just moved to America from India, and he's finding it pretty hard to figure out where he fits in. Joe and Ravi don't think they have anything in common -- but soon enough they have a common enemy (the biggest bully in their class) and a common mission: to take control of their lives over the course of a single crazy week.

Date Added: 03/23/2018


Cora Cooks Pancit

by Kristi Valiant and Dorina K. Lazo Gilmore

Cora loves being in the kitchen, but she always gets stuck doing the kid jobs like licking the spoon. One day, however, when her older sisters and brother head out, Cora finally gets the chance to be Mama's assistant chef. And of all the delicious Filipino dishes that dance through Cora's head, she and Mama decide to make pancit, her favorite noodle dish. With Mama's help, Cora does the grown-up jobs like shredding the chicken and soaking the noodles (perhaps Mama won't notice if she takes a nibble of chicken or sloshes a little water on the floor). Cora even gets to stir the noodles in the potcarefully-- while Mama supervises. When dinner is finally served, her siblings find out that Cora did all their grown-up tasks, and Cora waits anxiously 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.

Date Added: 03/14/2018


A Full Moon is Rising

by Julia Cairns and Marilyn Singer

Mysterious and evocative, the full moon is the most celebrated phase of the earth s only natural satellite. Around the world, people and other living things interact with and are affected by the full moon in fascinating ways. Sailors set out to sea on the high tides the full moon causes. Insects and migrating birds are guided by its brilliant light. Families dance, sing, and feast at full moon festivals, while traders buy and sell camels. Corals reproduce, wolves howl, and children dream of being astronauts. In this poetic exploration of full moon science, celebrations, beliefs, and illusions, Marilyn Singer and Julia Cairns take us on a whirlwind international tour. Along the way we visit Canada, Israel, Morocco, India, China, Australia, and more as we learn about the many ways people welcome and honor Earth s wondrous full moon.

Date Added: 03/14/2018


Bringing Asha Home

by Jamel Akib and Ruth Jeyaveeran and Uma Krishnaswami

It's Rakhi, the Hindu holiday special to brothers and sisters, and Arun wishes he had a sister with whom to celebrate. Soon it looks as if his wish will come true. His parents are going to adopt a baby girl named Asha, and she is coming from India, where Arun's dad was born. The family prepares for Asha's arrival, not knowing it will be almost a year until they receive governmental approval to bring Asha home. Arun is impatient and struggles to accept the long delay, but as time passes his love of paper airplanes and his supportive family help Arun conquer his frustration and find his own way to build a bond with his sister, who is still halfway around the world. With warmth and honesty, this tender story taps into the feelings of longing, love, and joy that adoption brings to many families. Readers will find reassurance knowing there is more than one way to become part of a loving family.

Date Added: 03/09/2018


Little Melba And Her Big Trombone

by Frank Morrison and Katheryn Russell-Brown

Melba Doretta Liston loved the sounds of music from as far back as she could remember. As a child, she daydreamed about beats and lyrics, and hummed along with the music from her family's Majestic radio. At age seven, Melba fell in love with a big, shiny trombone, and soon taught herself to play the instrument. By the time she was a teenager, Melba's extraordinary gift for music led her to the world of jazz. She joined a band led by trumpet player Gerald Wilson and toured the country. Overcoming obstacles of race and gender, Melba went on to become a famed trombone player and arranger, spinning rhythms, harmonies, and melodies into gorgeous songs for all the jazz greats of the twentieth century: Randy Weston, Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Billie Holiday, and Quincy Jones, to name just a few. Brimming with ebullience and the joy of making music, Little Melba and Her Big Trombone is a fitting tribute to a trailblazing musician and a great unsung hero of jazz.

Date Added: 03/09/2018


Juna's Jar

by Felicia Hoshino and Jane Bahk

Sometimes a simple, everyday object can take you away on great adventures. Juna and her best friend, Hector, have many adventures together, and they love to collect things in empty kimchi jars. Then one day, Hector unexpectedly moves away without having a chance to say good-bye. Juna is heartbroken and left to wonder who will on go on adventures with her. Determined to find Hector, Juna turns to her special kimchi jar for help each night. She plunges into the depths of the ocean, swings on vines through the jungle, and flies through the night sky in search of her friend. What Juna finds is that adventure--and new friends--can be found in the most unexpected places. Coupled with dreamy watercolor illustrations by Felicia Hoshino, Juna's Jar is a heart-warming and whimsical tale about the power of the imagination.

Date Added: 03/09/2018


The Crossover

by Kwame Alexander

2015 Newbery Medal Winner

2015 Coretta Scott King Honor Award Winner

"With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . .The court is SIZZLING. My sweat is DRIZZLING. Stop all that quivering. Cuz tonight I'm delivering," announces dread-locked, 12-year old Josh Bell.

He and his twin brother Jordan are awesome on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood, he's got mad beats, too, that tell his family's story in verse, in this fast and furious middle grade novel of family and brotherhood from Kwame Alexander.

Josh and Jordan must come to grips with growing up on and off the court to realize breaking the rules comes at a terrible price, as their story's heart-stopping climax proves a game-changer for the entire family.

A New York Times Bestseller

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Ninth Ward

by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Twelve-year-old Lanesha lives in a tight-knit community in New Orleans' Ninth Ward. She doesn't have a fancy house like her uptown family or lots of friends like the other kids on her street. But what she does have is Mama Ya-Ya, her fiercely loving caretaker, wise in the ways of the world and able to predict the future. So when Mama Ya-Ya's visions show a powerful hurricane--Katrina--fast approaching, it's up to Lanesha to call upon the hope and strength Mama Ya-Ya has given her to help them both survive the storm.Ninth Ward is a deeply emotional story about transformation and a celebration of resilience, friendship, and family--as only love can define it.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Return To Sender

by Julia Alvarez

After Tyler's father is injured in a tractor accident, his family is forced to hire migrant Mexican workers to help save their Vermont farm from foreclosure.

Tyler isn't sure what to make of these workers. Are they undocumented?

And what about the three daughters, particularly Mari, the oldest, who is proud of her Mexican heritage but also increasingly connected her American life.

Her family lives in constant fear of being discovered by the authorities and sent back to the poverty they left behind in Mexico.

Can Tyler and Mari find a way to be friends despite their differences?

In a novel full of hope, but no easy answers, Julia Alvarez weaves a beautiful and timely story that will stay with readers long after they finish it.

Winner of the Pura Belpre Medal

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Elijah of Buxton

by Christopher Paul Curtis

11-year-old Elijah is the first child born into freedom in Buxton, Canada, a settlement of runaway slaves just over the border from Detroit. Things change when a former slave steals money from Elijah's friend, who has been saving to buy his family out of slavery in the South. Elijah embarks on a dangerous journey to America in pursuit of the thief.

A Newbery Honor book

Winner of the Coretta Scott King Medal

Winner of the Scott O'Dell Award for Historical Fiction

Date Added: 05/25/2017


The Red Pencil

by Shane W. Evans and Andrea Davis Pinkney

"Amira, look at me," Muma insists. She collects both my hands in hers. "The Janjaweed attack without warning. If ever they come-- run."

Finally, Amira is twelve. Old enough to wear a toob, old enough for new responsibilities. And maybe old enough to go to school in Nyala-- Amira's one true dream.

But life in her peaceful Sudanese village is shattered when the Janjaweed arrive. The terrifying attackers ravage the town and unleash unspeakable horrors. After she loses nearly everything, Amira needs to dig deep within herself to find the strength to make the long journey-- on foot-- to safety at a refugee camp. Her days are tough at the camp, until the gift of a simple red pencil opens her mind-- and all kinds of possibilities.

New York Times bestselling and Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Andrea Davis Pinkney's powerful verse and Coretta Scott King Award-winning artist Shane W. Evans's breathtaking illustrations combine to tell an inspiring tale of one girl's triumph against all odds.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Mirandy and Brother Wind

by Jerry Pinkney and Patricia C. Mckissack

In this Caldecott Honor and Coretta Scott King Award winning tale, Mirandy is determined to capture the best partner for the junior cakewalk jubilee. And who is the best partner? The wind, of course!

Grandmama Beasley says, “Can’t nobody put shackles on Brother Wind, chile. He be special. He be free.” With neighbors up and down Ridgetop suggesting all manner of strategies, and friend Ezel laughing at each foiled one, Mirandy grows ever more determined: she’ll get hold of that Brother Wind yet!

Patricia C. McKissack’s thoroughly engaging tale dances with spirit and rollicking good humor. Complemented by Jerry Pinkney’s rich, eye-catching watercolors of the rural South, here’s one of those rare, rewarding picture books that is sure to be read and enjoyed again and again.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


The Heart of a Chief

by Joseph Bruchac

An eleven-year-old Penacook Indian boy living on a reservation faces his father's alcoholism, a controversy surrounding plans for a casino on a tribal island, and insensitivity toward Native Americans in his school and nearby town.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Miracle's Boys

by Jacqueline Woodson

From a three-time Newbery Honor author, a novel that was awarded the 2001 Coretta Scott King award and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize

For Lafayette and his brothers, the challenges of growing up in New York City are compounded by the facts that they've lost their parents and it's up to eldest brother Ty'ree to support the boys, and middle brother Charlie has just returned home from a correctional facility.

Lafayette loves his brothers and would do anything if they could face the world as a team. But even though Ty'ree cares, he's just so busy with work and responsibility. And Charlie's changed so much that his former affection for his little brother has turned to open hostility.

Now, as Lafayette approaches 13, he needs the guidance and answers only his brothers can give him. The events of one dramatic weekend force the boys to make the choice to be there for each other--to really see each other--or to give in to the pain and problems of every day.

Winner of the Coretta Scott King Medal

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Wings

by Christopher A. Myers

Are you brave enough to be your true self?

Ikarus Jackson is. But it isn't always easy. The people in his neighborhood point at his wings. The kids at school laugh. The teachers call him a distraction.

One girl identifies with him, but she is too shy to speak up.

Finally, when his classmates' taunts send Ikarus drifting into the sky, the girl sets out in search of him, and so begins her own journey of self-discovery -- leaving both of them transformed.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Jingle Dancer

by Cynthia Leitich Smith

Jenna, a contemporary Muscogee (Creek) girl in Oklahoma, wants to honor a family tradition by jingle dancing at the next powwow. But where will she find enough jingles for her dress?

Date Added: 05/25/2017


I Lived on Butterfly Hill

by Marjorie Agosin and Lee White

An eleven-year-old's world is upended by political turmoil in this searing novel from an award-winning poet, based on true events in Chile.Celeste Marconi is a dreamer. She lives peacefully among friends and neighbors and family in the idyllic town of Valparaiso, Chile--until the time comes when even Celeste, with her head in the clouds, can't deny the political unrest that is sweeping through the country. Warships are spotted in the harbor and schoolmates disappear from class without a word. Celeste doesn't quite know what is happening, but one thing is clear: no one is safe, not anymore. The country has been taken over by a government that declares artists, protestors, and anyone who helps the needy to be considered "subversive" and dangerous to Chile's future. So Celeste's parents--her educated, generous, kind parents--must go into hiding before they, too, "disappear." To protect their daughter, they send her to America. As Celeste adapts to her new life in Maine, she never stops dreaming of Chile. But even after democracy is restored to her home country, questions remain: Will her parents reemerge from hiding? Will she ever be truly safe again? Accented with interior artwork, steeped in the history of Pinochet's catastrophic takeover of Chile, and based on many true events, this multicultural ode to the power of revolution, words, and love is both indelibly brave and heartwrenchingly graceful.

Winner of the Pura Belpre Medal

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Her Stories

by Virginia Hamilton and Leo Dillon and Diane Dillon

In the tradition of Hamilton's The People Could Fly and In the Beginning, a dramatic new collection of 25 compelling tales from the female African American storytelling tradition. Each story focuses on the role of women--both real and fantastic--and their particular strengths, joys and sorrows.

Winner of the Coretta Scott King Medal

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

by Mildred D. Taylor

Winner of the Newbery Medal, this remarkably moving novel has impressed the hearts and minds of millions of readers. Set in Mississippi at the height of the Depression, this is the story of one family's struggle to maintain their integrity, pride, and independence in the face of racism and social injustice. And it is also Cassie's story--Cassie Logan, an independent girl who discovers over the course of an important year why having land of their own is so crucial to the Logan family, even as she learns to draw strength from her own sense of dignity and self-respect.* "[A] vivid story.... Entirely through its own internal development, the novel shows the rich inner rewards of black pride, love, and independence."--Booklist, starred review

Date Added: 01/15/2019



Showing 1 through 25 of 155 results