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

The Birchbark House

by Louise Erdrich

Omakayas, a seven-year-old Native American girl of the Ojibwa tribe, lives through the joys of summer and the perils of winter on an island in Lake Superior in 1847.

[This text is listed as an example that meets Common Core Standards in English language arts in grades 4-5 at http://www.corestandards.org.]

Date Added: 05/31/2019


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


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 Ruth Forman and Cbabi Bayoc

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 Holly Thompson and Kazumi Wilds

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 Mark Greenwood and Frané Lessac

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

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 Marilyn Singer and Julia Cairns

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 Uma Krishnaswami and Jamel Akib and Ruth Jeyaveeran

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 Jane Bahk and Felicia Hoshino

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


Abuela

by Arthur Dorros

While riding on a bus with her grandmother, a little girl imagines that they are carried up into the sky and fly over the sights of New York City.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Family Pictures / Cuadros de Familia

by Carmen Lomas Garza

Family Pictures is the story of Carmen Lomas Garza's girlhood: celebrating birthdays, making tamales, finding a hammerhead shark on the beach, picking cactus, going to a fair in Mexico, and confiding to her sister her dreams of becoming an artist.

These day-to-day experiences are told through fourteen vignettes of art and a descriptive narrative, each focusing on a different aspect of traditional Mexican American culture. The English-Spanish text and vivid illustrations reflect the author's strong sense of family and community. For Mexican Americans, Carmen Lomas Garza offers a book that reflects their lives and traditions. For others, this work offers insights into a beautifully rich community.

[This text is listed as an example that meets Common Core Standards in English language arts for K-1 at http://www.corestandards.org.]

Date Added: 05/25/2017


The People Could Fly

by Virginia Hamilton

24 folktales briefly and dramatically told lend themselves to be read aloud or acted out around campfires, on stormy nights, or to be discussed for readers of all ages. Their heroes prevail through cleverness, perseverance, quick thinking and, often, magic. The stories come from far and wide where enslavement of Africans was practiced from Portugal, to the United States, to the Cape Verde Islands. After each story, Virginia Hamilton, the Newberry Award winning author, provides concise information about its source, history, symbols, storytelling elements and interpretation. Find out how the lion who goes about scaring the other animals by roaring, "Me and myself!" is silenced, how Little Daughter evades a stalking wolf with her goodest, sweetest, song, and how a man whose horse and grandmother is killed by a bully, avoids being killed himself, becomes wealthy, and brings the brute to justice. In one story a young man uses his three obedient rabbits to outwit a princess, queen, and king, catching them in a sackful of lies. Another story warns that should you ever cut off a creature's big , long tail and eat it, it will come for you in the night calling for you to give it's, "tailypo," back. It will creep up your wall, through your window, across your floor, on to your bed and you'll be too scared to move, too scared to scream...

Winner of the Coretta Scott King Medal

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Celebrating Families

by Rosmarie Hausherr

Meet fourteen lively children who invite you into their lives and introduce you to their own unique and diverse families. Whether they come from one- or two-parent families, stepfamilies, extended families, homeless families, or any other kind of family - all of these children have reason to celebrate the people who love and care for them each day.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Hairs / Pelitos

by Sandra Cisneros

In English and Spanish, a child describes how each person in the family has hair that looks and acts different, Papa’s like a broom, Kiki’s like fur, and Mama’s with the smell of warm bread.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Cool Salsa

by Lori M. Carlson

Poemas en Inglés y Español.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters

by John Steptoe

The king is going to marry. Mufaro has two very beautiful daughters. One is kind and considerate, the other selfish and spoiled. Which daughter will be chosen "The Most Worthy and Beautiful Daughter in the Land"? Which daughter will the king choose to be his wife?

Winner of the Coretta Scott King Medal

Date Added: 05/25/2017


The Tequila Worm

by Viola Canales

Story of Sofia, growing up in the barrio, full of the magic and mystery of family traditions. When she is singled out to receive a scholarship to an elite boarding school, she longs to explore life beyond the barrio.

Winner of the Pura Belpre Medal

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Goin' Someplace Special

by Patricia C. Mckissack and Jerry Pinkney

Confronted with the indignities and humiliations of segregated Nashville in the 1950s, young 'Tricia Ann holds her head high and remembers that she is "somebody, a human being--no better, no worse than anybody else in this world."

For the first time, 'Tricia Ann has been allowed to venture outside her community all by herself. Her grandmother has prepared her well, fortifying her "with enough love, respect, and pride to overcome any situation."

'Tricia Ann, though frustrated by the Jim Crow laws that forbid her, as an African American, to enter certain restaurants and hotels, or even to sit on park benches marked "For Whites Only," rises above her pain and makes her way to one of the only places in the city that welcomes her with open arms: the public library.

Winner of the Coretta Scott King Medal

Date Added: 05/25/2017


The Tree Is Older Than You Are

by Naomi Shihab Nye

A wonderful collection of poems and stories, this book contains works by Paz, Morelos, Castellanos as well as many other well-known Mexican authors. The works are presented in the original Spanish & translated on the following page.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Grandfather Counts

by Andrea Cheng

When her mother's father comes from China, Helen, who is biracial, develops a special bond with her grandfather despite their age and language differences.

Date Added: 05/25/2017



Showing 1 through 25 of 155 results