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Multicultural Books



Everywhere Babies
by Susan Meyers

This fun rhyming book will surely amuse babies and toddlers alike. Myers introduces babies of all ethnic backgrounds enjoying what babies enjoy most—being loved. Surely a book that will captivate young ones. HMH Books for Young Readers

Age range: Infants and Toddlers
Recommended by: Dr. Cari Bernadowski



Hugs & Kisses
by Roberta Grobel Intrater

Lovely photographs of babies and their mothers showcasing a variety of ethnicities. Simple text. Scholastic, Inc.

Age range: Infants and Toddlers
Recommended by: Dr. Susan Parker



Henry's Freedom Box
by Ellen Levine

The true story of Henry Brown, a slave who mails himself to freedom, introduces readers to slavery in this user-friendly, yet poignant, story. Readers take an amazing journey with Henry as he leaves his family to go to Philadelphia. This historical fiction picture book is a must-read for all ages to remind us of the history of the U.S. Scholastic Press

Grades: PreK-3
Recommended by: Dr. Cari Bernadowski



Hush! A Thai Lullaby
by Minfong Ho and Holly Meade

This beautifully illustrated book tells of a mother trying to put her child to sleep for the night. The only distraction, animals making noises in the night air. The mother gently asks each animal to “hush” so her child may sleep. This 1997 Caldecott Honor Book is a lovely lullaby for children ages 2-6. Scholastic

Grades: Preschool
Recommended by: Dr. Nathan Taylor



Cássio’s Day: From Dusk to Dawn in a Brazilian Village
by Maria de Fatima Campos 

This photographic information book by photographer Maria de Fatima Campos is part of a larger series examining the daily lives of children from around the world. Cássio’s day includes images of him attending school, gardening, buying candy, and being with his friends and family. The book illustrates the commonality and differences of all children. Frances Lincoln Children's Books

Grades: Elementary School
Recommended by: Dr. Nathan Taylor



Esperanza Rising 
by Pam Munoz Ryan

This story chronicles a young girl and her family as they immigrate to the California in 1930. The murder of her father forces the once well-off family to arrive in the U.S. as migrant workers, contrary to the privilege they were once accustomed. The story teaches readers the hardships of immigrants during the Depression, as well as, a coming of age story of a 13-year old girl. Young girls find the story easily relatable. Scholastic

Grades: 2-7
Recommended by: Dr. Cari Bernadowski



The Name Jar
by Yangsook Choi 

Unhei is teased for her unique named and embarrassed as she arrives for her first day of school. When she arrives at school, she enlists the help of classmates to come up with an American name. Students place names in the “name jar” to help her in her quest to fit in with her peers. In the end, she decides her name is what makes her special. Dragon Fly Books

Grades: K-2
Recommended by: Dr. Cari Bernadowski



Throw Your Tooth on the Roof 
by Selby Beeler

What do children in Costa Rica do when they lose a tooth? Does the tooth fairy come? Traditions from all over the world that every preschooler and elementary child can relate to; and illustrates the point that although people of different cultures have many differences, we also have many commonalities. HMH Books for Young Readers

Age Range: 4-8
Recommended by: Dr. Susan Parker



Snow Queen 
by Hans Christian Andersen

Retelling of the classic Hans Christian Andersen story. The illustrations, by Vladyslav Yerko, who also illustrated the Harry Potter books, are gorgeous and transport the reader to another world. This book won an Andersen House Award as one of the best children's books of 2006. Russian and Ukrainian versions available on request. A-BA-BA-HA-LA-MA-HA Publishers

Age Range: 4-8   
Recommended by: Dr. Susan Parker



The Funny Little Women 
by Arlene Mosel

Illustrated by Blair Lent was the 1973 Caldecott winner. It is based on a Japanese folk tale about a little woman who, while chasing a dumpling, encounters wicked creatures. While unwitting them, the funny little woman becomes the richest woman in Japan. Puffin

Age Range: 4-8  
Recommended by: Dr. Susan Parker



Follow the Drinking Gourd 
by Jeanette Winters

The story is based on an old American folksong Follow the Drinking Gourd. The song/story depicts how the song was used as a code for southern slaves to go north into Ohio and Canada through the underground railroad. The actual song sheet is included in the book. Dragonfly Books

Grades: Elementary School 
Recommended by: Dr. Shelly Haser



Boys without Names 
by Kashmira Sheth 

Gopal, an 11-year old boy, becomes enslaved when his family arrives in the City of Mumbai to find work. After endless mistreatment and devastation, Gopal must convince the other boys to escape the city sweatshop. This story of child labor is intriguing and mystifying and will keep readers on the edge of their seats. Balzer & Bray

Age Range: 9-13  
Recommended by: Dr. Cari Bernadowski



A Long Walk to Water
by Linda Sue Park

This true story takes place in Sudan in 1985 when an explosion rips through a school house forcing a young boy, to leave everything he knows and leaves behind a life on the run. Salva documents his journey to refugee camps throughout Africa and eventually comes to America. This story of the will genuinely touch your heart and leave an imprint on your soul. HMH Books for Young Readers

Age Range: 10-13
Recommended by: Dr. Cari Bernadowski



Out of My Mind
by Sharon Draper

A New York Times bestseller. It tells the story of Arnold Spirit, who leaves his familiar Indian reservation in Spokane, WA to attend public school. The only other Indian at the school is the school mascot. Throughout the book, Arnold wonders what constitutes community, identity and tribe. The story is based on the experiences of the author, Sherman Alexie. Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Grades: Middle School
Recommended by: Dr. Susan Parker



Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood
by Marjane Satrapi

This autographical graphic novel tells the story of a young Iranian girl of educated, middle-class parents coming of age during the Iranian Revolution. The story follows Marji to Vienna, Austria where her parents think she will be safer and free to express herself. However, Marji finds life still restrictive and people too focused on being superficial. Pantheon

Grades: Middle/High School  
Recommended by: Dr. Nathan Taylor



The Poisonwood Bible
by Barbara Kingsolver

Kingsolver tells the story of Nathan Price, an evangelical minister who moves his wife and four daughters to the Belgian Congo in 1959. The story is told from varying viewpoints of the members of the Price family. The clash of cultures is a theme woven throughout the book, as well as an examination of the question: What is really important for survival material items or something else? Harper Perennial Modern Classics

Grades: High School and Beyond
Recommended by: Dr. Susan Parker



Nervous Conditions
by Tsitsi Dangarembga  

Themes: Rhodesian history, colonialism, gender roles A semi-autographical novel by Zimbabwean author Tsitsi Dangarembga, Nervous Conditions tells the story of a Rhodesian (present day Zimbabwe) family in the 1960s. Living in a post-colonial society, the main character Tambu must negotiate her past with her dreams for tomorrow. Tambu seeks to acquire an education, but must overcome obstacles to achieve this goal. The novel speaks to the tension that Tambu feels as it relates to race, class, gender, and cultures outside of her own. Lynne Rienner Publishers

Grades: High School and Beyond    
Recommended by: Dr. Nathan Taylor



Outcasts United: An American Town, a Refugee Team, and One Woman's Quest to Make a Difference
by by Warren St. John

Based on a true story, Warren St. John explores the relationship between a small town near Atlanta, Georgia and a group of refugees recently relocated there. A soccer coach serves as a bridge between the two cultures and helps the young kids and the town acclimate to one another. Spiegel & Grau

Grades: Middle School/High School
Recommended by: Dr. Nathan Taylor