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 Young Landlords

by Walter Dean Myers

Five devoted friends become landlords and try to make their Harlem neighborhood a better place to live.

Winner of the Coretta Scott King Medal

Date Added: 05/25/2017


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


The Year of the Book

by Abigail Halpin and Andrea Cheng

In Chinese, peng you means friend. But in any language, all Anna knows for certain is that friendship is complicated. When Anna needs company, she turns to her books. Whether traveling through A Wrinkle in Time, or peering over My Side of the Mountain, books provide what real life cannot--constant companionship and insight into her changing world. Books, however, can't tell Anna how to find a true friend. She'll have to discover that on her own. In the tradition of classics like Maud Hart Lovelace's Betsy-Tacy books and Eleanor Estes' One Hundred Dresses, this novel subtly explores what it takes to make friends and what it means to be one.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass

by Meg Medina

One morning before school, some girl tells Piddy Sanchez that Yaqui Delgado hates her and wants to kick her ass. Piddy doesn't even know who Yaqui is, never mind what she's done to piss her off. Word is that Yaqui thinks Piddy is stuck-up, shakes her stuff when she walks, and isn't Latin enough with her white skin, good grades, and no accent. And Yaqui isn't kidding around, so Piddy better watch her back. At first Piddy is more concerned with trying to find out more about the father she's never met and how to balance honors courses with her weekend job at the neighborhood hair salon. But as the harassment escalates, avoiding Yaqui and her gang starts to take over Piddy's life. Is there any way for Piddy to survive without closing herself off or running away?

Winner of the Pura Belpre Medal

Date Added: 05/25/2017


A Wreath for Emmett Till

by Marilyn Nelson

A Coretta Scott King and Printz honor book now in paperback. A Wreath for Emmett Till is "A moving elegy," says The Bulletin. In 1955 people all over the United States knew that Emmett Louis Till was a fourteen-year-old African American boy lynched for supposedly whistling at a white woman in Mississippi. The brutality of his murder, the open-casket funeral held by his mother, Mamie Till Mobley, and the acquittal of the men tried for the crime drew wide media attention. In a profound and chilling poem, award-winning poet Marilyn Nelson reminds us of the boy whose fate helped spark the civil rights movement.

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


Where the Mountain Meets the Moon

by Grace Lin

In the valley of Fruitless mountain, a young girl named Minli lives in a ramshackle hut with her parents. In the evenings, her father regales her with old folktales of the Jade Dragon and the Old Man on the Moon, who knows the answers to all of life's questions. Inspired by these stories, Minli sets off on an extraordinary journey to find the Old Man on the Moon to ask him how she can change her family's fortune. She encounters an assorted cast of characters and magical creatures along the way, including a dragon who accompanies her on her quest for the ultimate answer.

Grace Lin, author of the beloved Year of the Dog and Year of the Rat, returns with a wondrous story of adventure, faith, and friendship. A fantasy crossed with Chinese folklore, Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is a timeless story reminiscent of The Wizard of Oz. Her beautiful illustrations, printed in full-color, accompany the text throughout. Once again, she has created a charming, engaging book for young readers.

Newbery Honor book

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Where Did You Get Your Moccasins?

by Bernelda Wheeler and Herman Bekkering

Children in an urban school are curious about a classmate's pair of moccasins. In answer to their questions, the boy describes in detail how his grandmother or Kookum, made his moccasins. BERNELDA WHEELER was born in Fort Qu'Appelle Valley, Saskatchewan and has lived in British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Ontario, the Northwest Territories, Manitoba, and New York. She has a rich heritage, being part Cree and part Saulteaux, with a mixture of Scottish and French. Bernelda has been a columnist, and a journalist, and was the host, writer, and broadcaster of Our Native Land on CBC national radio. She has also worked in the field of alcoholism as a rehabilitation counsellor. She is currently based in Winnipeg and works part-time at writing, broadcasting, acting, and public speaking. BerneIda has two talented children and several grandchildren. Herman Bekkering is a freelance illustrator from Winnipeg, Manitoba. * ALSO BY BERNELDA WHEELER A Friend Called Chum I Can't Have Bannock but the Beaver Has a Dam

Date Added: 05/25/2017


When My Name Was Keoko

by Linda Sue Park

Sun-hee and her older brother, Tae-yul, live in Korea with their parents. Because Korea is under Japanese occupation, the children study Japanese and speak it at school. Their own language, their flag, the folktales Uncle tells them-even their names-are all part of the Korean culture that is now forbidden. When World War II comes to Korea, Sun-hee is surprised that the Japanese expect their Korean subjects to fight on their side. But the greatest shock of all comes when Tae-yul enlists in the Japanese army in an attempt to protect Uncle, who is suspected of aiding the Korean resistance. Sun-hee stays behind, entrusted with the life-and-death secrets of a family at war.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


What Can You Do with a Paleta?

by Magaly Morales and Carmen Tafolla

Where the paleta wagon rings its tinkly belland carries a treasure of icy paletasin every color of the sarape . . .As she strolls through her barrio, a young girl introduces readers to the frozen, fruit-flavored treat that thrills Mexican and Mexican-American children. Create a masterpiece, make tough choices (strawberry or coconut?), or cool off on a warm summer's day--there's so much to do with a paleta.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


We Are the Ship

by Kadir Nelson

"We are the ship; all else the sea"

--Rube Foster, founder of the Negro National League.

The story of Negro League baseball is the story of gifted athletes and determined owners; of racial discrimination and international sportsmanship; of fortunes won and lost; of triumphs and defeats on and off the field. Most of all, the story of the Negro Leagues is about the unsung heroes who overcame segregation, hatred, terrible conditions, and low pay to do the one thing they loved more than anything else in the world: play ball.

Using an "Everyman" player as his narrator, Kadir Nelson tells the story of Negro League baseball from its beginnings in the 1920s through its decline after Jackie Robinson crossed over to the majors in 1947. The voice is so authentic, you will feel as if you are sitting on dusty bleachers listening intently to the memories of a man who has known the great ballplayers of that time and shared their experiences. But what makes this book so outstanding are the dozens of oil paintings--breathtaking in their perspectives, rich in emotion, and created with understanding and affection for these lost heroes of our national game.

We Are the Ship is a tour de force for baseball lovers of all ages.

[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.]

Winner of the Sibert Medal and the Coretta Scott King Medal

Date Added: 05/25/2017


The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963

by Christopher Paul Curtis

A wonderful middle-grade novel narrated by Kenny, 9, about his middle-class black family, the Weird Watsons of Flint, Michigan. When Kenny's 13-year-old brother, Byron, gets to be too much trouble, they head South to Birmingham to visit Grandma, the one person who can shape him up. And they happen to be in Birmingham when Grandma's church is blown up.

Newbery Honor book

Date Added: 05/25/2017


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


Uptown

by Bryan Collier

Discover the vibrant world of Harlem, New York, as seen through the eyes of one little boy who lives there. "Uptown ...Harlem, New York. Chicken and waffles. Jazz. Home. "Uptown is a rich mix of flavors, colors, sounds, and cultures that come together to create a vibrant community like no other in the world. Seen through the eyes of one little boy who lives there, the details of life in Harlem are as joyous as a game of basketball on a summer's afternoon and as personal as a trip to the barbershop where old-timers reminisce. Bryan Collier's spare, poetic text and beautiful, intricate illustrations evoke every aspect of Harlem, from the legendary Apollo Theater to chocolate-colored brownstones, weekend shopping on 125th Street, and the music of Duke Ellington.

Winner of the Coretta Scott King Medal

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Under the Royal Palms

by Alma Flor Ada

The author recalls her life and impressions growing up in Cuba.

Winner of the Pura Belpre Medal

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Under the Mesquite

by Guadalupe Garcia Mccall

Lupita, a budding actor and poet in a close-knit Mexican American immigrant family, comes of age as she struggles with adult responsibilities during her mother's battle with cancer. A novel in verse.

Winner of the Pura Belpre 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


The Trap

by John Smelcer

A gripping wilderness adventure and survival story. Seventeen-year-old Johnny Least-Weasel knows that his grandfather Albert is a stubborn old man and won't stop checking his own trap lines even though other men his age stopped doing so years ago. But Albert Least-Weasel has been running trap lines in the Alaskan wilderness alone for the past sixty years. Nothing has ever gone wrong on the trail he knows so well. When Albert doesn't come back from checking his traps, with the temperature steadily plummeting, Johnny must decide quickly whether to trust his grandfather or his own instincts. Written in alternating chapters that relate the parallel stories of Johnny and his grandfather, this novel poignantly addresses the hardships of life in the far north, suggesting that the most dangerous traps need not be made of steel.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Toning The Sweep

by Angela Johnson

Spanning three generations of African-American women, each holding on to a separate truth, this novel details the struggle these women face in finding a common ground upon which to share their love, friendship, and hardships.

Winner of the Coretta Scott King Medal

Date Added: 05/25/2017


A Time to Dance

by Padma Venkatraman

Padma Venkatraman's inspiring story of a young girl's struggle to regain her passion and find a new peace is told lyrically through verse that captures the beauty and mystery of India and the ancient bharatanatyam dance form. This is a stunning novel about spiritual awakening, the power of art, and above all, the courage and resilience of the human spirit. Veda, a classical dance prodigy in India, lives and breathes dance--so when an accident leaves her a below-knee amputee, her dreams are shattered. For a girl who's grown used to receiving applause for her dance prowess and flexibility, adjusting to a prosthetic leg is painful and humbling. But Veda refuses to let her disability rob her of her dreams, and she starts all over again, taking beginner classes with the youngest dancers. Then Veda meets Govinda, a young man who approaches dance as a spiritual pursuit. As their relationship deepens, Veda reconnects with the world around her, and begins to discover who she is and what dance truly means to her.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Through My Eyes

by Ruby Bridges and Margo Lundell

On November 14, 1960, a tiny six-year-old black child, surrounded by federal marshals, walked through a mob of screaming segregationists and into her school. From where she sat in the office, Ruby Bridges could see parents marching through the halls and taking their children out of classrooms. The next day, Ruby walked through the angry mob once again and into a school where she saw no other students. The white children did not go to school that day, and they wouldn't go to school for many days to come. Surrounded by racial turmoil, Ruby, the only student in a classroom with one wonderful teacher, learned to read and add. This is the story of a pivotal event in history as Ruby Bridges saw it unfold around her. Ruby's poignant words, quotations from writers and from other adults who observed her, and dramatic photographs recreate an amazing story of innocence, courage, and forgiveness. Ruby Bridges' story is an inspiration to us all.

Date Added: 05/25/2017


This Life

by Sidney Poitier

Poitier's biography is one of bitter sweet humorous at times and seriously moraled at others. His life story rivals that of his films. His dirt poor up bringing with feelings of embarrassment, pride, and humility to his success story and subsequent feelings of strength, ....pride...and yes humility is one that is under-rated and under-appreciated. It just the kind of story that the world needs now.

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


Tar Beach

by Faith Ringgold

"Ringgold recounts the dream adventure of eight-year-old Cassie Louise Lightfoot, who flies above her apartment-building rooftop, the 'tar beach' of the title, looking down on 1939 Harlem. Part autobiographical, part fictional, this allegorical tale sparkles with symbolic and historical references central to African-American culture. The spectacular artwork resonates with color and texture. Children will delight in the universal dream of mastering one's world by flying over it. A practical and stunningly beautiful book. "--(starred) Horn

Winner of the Caldecott Honor

Winner of the Coretta Scott King Medal

Date Added: 05/25/2017


Talkin' about Bessie

by Nikki Grimes

Elizabeth "Bessie" Coleman was always being told what she could & couldn't do. In an era when Jim Crow laws and segregation were a way of life, it was not easy to survive. Bessie didn't let that stop her. Although she was only 11 when the Wright brothers took their historic flight, she vowed to become the first African-American female pilot. Her sturdy faith and determination helped her overcome obstacles of poverty, racism, and gender discrimination. Innovatively told through a series of monologues.

Winner of the Coretta Scott King Medal

Date Added: 05/25/2017



Showing 1 through 25 of 155 results