Multicultural and Diverse Fiction for Children


General Multicultural and Diverse Fiction

100 of the Decade's Best Multicultural Read-Alouds (Reading Is Fundamental): Unforgettable books that will expose children (grades pre-K-8) to people from cultures other than their own. Title, author, publication year, grade level, summary for each. From Adaline Falling Star by Mary Pope Osborne to You're Not My Best Friend Anymore by Charlotte Pomerantz.

Recommended Multicultural Picture Books (Weber County Library, Utah): Author, title, brief summary, and webcat link for about 30 recommended books, from Helen Bannerman's The Story of Little Babaji to Harriet Ziefert's Squarehead.


Age

Appreciating the Elderly (Daily Dose of Reading, OH): Author, title summary for about 25 books about respect and appreciation for older people.


Disabilities

Books for Kids ages 3-8 (Our-Kids: Devoted to Raising Special Kids with Special Needs): Author, title, publication info, reading level, and summary for about 50 books about people with disabilities, including cerebral palsy, being in a wheelchair, autism, mental retardation, blindness, amputation and loss of limb, strabismus, Down syndrome, hearing impairment, epilepsy, diabetes, tourettes, etc. The list continues here: http://www.our-kids.org/Books/kidbook4.htm .

Books for Kids ages 10-13 (Our-Kids: Devoted to Raising Special Kids with Special Needs): Author, title, publication info, reading level, and summary for about 20 books about people with disabilities, including cerebral palsy, being in a wheelchair, autism, mental retardation, blindness, amputation and loss of limb, strabismus, Down syndrome, hearing impairment, epilepsy, diabetes, tourettes, etc.

Celebrating All of Us booklist (Celebrating All of Us): Author, title, publication info, summary for about 45 books for pre-K through grade 2, 'that depict inclusive community-building, and inclusion of children of diverse abilities in typical classrooms, schools and neighborhoods.' From J Bouwkamp's Hi! I'm Ben! -- and I've got a secret to S. Zeigler's The child's world of understanding. Updated Feb. 2012.

Books for Kids (Center for Disability Resources Library, Univ. of South Carolina): Author, title, publication year, summary, and suggested ages provided for about 60 books (fiction and non-fiction intermixed) available at the Center for Disability Resource Library, from About handicaps: An open family book for parents and children together by Sara Bonnett Stein to Your heart test by Joan Phillips and Jeannie Bowen. Updated Feb 2011.

Children's Books About Disabilities (TeacherVision): Fiction and non-fiction titles. Author, title, ISBN, publication info, summary for each, sorted by the books' readability levels: For Adults to Read to Children (about 30 titles), Juvenile Easy Reader (about 30), Juvenile Fiction (about 25), Young Adult (over 25), and Adult (4 titles).

Facing Physical Challenges (Daily Dose of Reading, OH): 1-page PDF listing of about 15 books, in particular order, about challenges like visual and auditory impairment, paraplegia, being in a wheelchair, needing crutches, wearing leg braces. Author, title, one-line summary for each.


Ethnicity, Race, and Nationality

Multicultural Fiction (Fairfax County Public Library, VA): Arranged by grade level (K - 3rd Grade; 4th - 6th Grade; 7th Grade and Up), provides author, title, ethnicity/culture/country, and summary for about 95 books.

50 MULTICULTURAL Books Every Child Should Know (Cooperative Children's Book Center - University of Wisconsin, Madison): Author, title, publication info, ethnicity, and photo of book included for books organised by age group, pre-school to 12th grade.

Multicultural Books for First Graders (Elmhurst Public Library, IL): Beginning readers, picture books, non-fiction. Author, title, summary and ethnicity provided for about 40 books. Also: about 70 Multicultural Books for 3's, 4's 5's and Kindergartners, about 50 Multicultural Books for Second and Third Graders about 60 Multicultural Books for Fourth and Fifth Graders.

Stories from Around the World (Hamilton Public Library, Ontario, CANADA): Author and title only for about 150 children's books listed by nationality: African, African-American, American, Australian, British, Cambodian, Chinese, Danish, Egyptian, French, German, Hungarian, Indian, Italian, Irish, Jamaican, Japanese, Jewish, Korean, Mexican, Moroccan, Native American, Norwegian, Peruvian, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Serbian, Slovak, Swedish, Ukranian, and Vietnamese.

Multicultural Picture Books for Today's Children (Duluth Public Library, MN): Author, title, publication date, short summary for about 40 picture books depicting varied cultures, races, etc., from Maya Ajmera's Children from Australia to Zimbabwe: A Photographic Journey Around the World to Vera B. Williams' 'More More More' Said the Baby: 3 Love Stories.

Coming to America: Bibliography (Ann Arbor District Library, MI): Title, author, publication info, summary for each of 23 juvenile fiction titles and 8 works of non-fiction.

Coming to America: Books About Immigration (Bloomfield Township Public Library, MI): Author, title, and short summary for books for pre-school through 8th grade (reading level is noted). Over 55 books listed, from Susan Bartoletti's Dancing With Dziadzill (easy reader) to Laurence Yep's Mountain Light (young adult).

The People Quilt (Hamilton Public Library, Ontario, CANADA): Author, title, summary for picture books (6), folktales (5), children's fiction (6), young adult novels (3), and non-fiction titles (14) about people of various ethnicities living in Canada.

From Strangers to Neighbors: Race, Dignity and Acceptance Beyond To Kill a Mockingbird (Duluth Public Library, MN): Author, title, publication date, summary for 35 books (15 for younger children, 20 for older children and teens) exploring issues similar to those raised by Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird, from Arnold Adoff's All the Colors of the Race to Jacqueline Woodson's The Other Side.

Multicultural Books for Children (Madison Public Library, WI): Author, title, publication info, summary, and ethnicity noted for about 30 books, in age categories of Baby-Preschool; Ages 5-7; Ages 7-9; Ages 9-12; and Teens.

Celebrating Differences (Madison Public Library, WI): Author, title, publication year for about 30 books focusing on various cultures and ethnicities, listed by grade (Preschool-Grade 3 and Grades 3-6).

African and African-American

Powerful African-American Images Revealed in Picture Books: Authors A-L (Kay Vandergrift): Long list of picture books, in order by author's last name, including title and publication info. Authors with last names beginning with M-Z are on another page.

Doorways to African American Culture and Tradition (Seattle Public Library, WA): Books about African Americans. Provides author, title, and summary for 15 works of fiction (from picture books up), 3 folklore books, 4 books about arts and culture, and 9 books of history/biography.

African Americans in Fiction (Bloomfield Township Public Library, MI): Author, title, and short summary for books listed by reading level (easy book, beginning to read, J fiction, Y fiction). Almost 50 books in all.

Books with African-American Characters (Zuckerman's Barn, Massachusetts): For grades 1-9. Author, title, summary for about 250 children's biographies and fiction books with African-American characters, from Adventures of Sparrowboy by J. Brian Pinkney to Zora Hurston and the Chinaberry Tree by William Miller.

Books About African Americans (Sarah S. Wright, Monroe County Public Library, IN): Compiled March 1999. Picture books (15), chapter books (5), and non-fiction (10) about African Americans. Author, title, summary.

Black History - Children and Teens (Edmonton Public Library, Canada): Author, title, webcat link for books in these categories: Easy Picture Books (about 20); Fiction for Children (about 25); Teen Fiction (about a dozen titles); and Folktales and Non-Fiction.

Children's Books That Celebrate The African-American Experience (Ferguson Online, Stamford Public Library, CT): Author and title only (no summaries) for children's books about African-Americans, for birth - age 3, ages 3-6, ages 6-8, ages 8-12, as well as easy non-fiction and non-fiction for older children. Also a few books for parents.

African American Historical Fiction (The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, OH): Author and title only for 6 Easy, 18 Junior Fiction, and 7 books of Folktales, from Wagon Wheels by Barbara Brenner to Justin and the Best Biscuits in the World by Mildred Pitts Walter.

Arab and Arab-American

The Arab World and Arab Americans (Kristin Lems, Book Links, ALA): Compiled Nov. 1999. This bibliography 'includes picture books, folktales, poetry, fiction, and nonfiction in trade books for younger and older readers. Since the Arab world spans 21 countries and many ethnic groups, the titles are arranged by the country or ethnic region in which the book takes place (if known).' Provides authors, titles, publication info, ISBNs, meaty summaries, suggested age/grade ranges. Good resource.

The World of Arab and Muslim Children (Wheaton Public Library, IL): Lists authors, title, publication year, and country involved, with links to webcatalog info, for 9 Easy Fiction books, 7 Juvenile Fiction books, 6 YA books, 12 books of folklore, and over 50 non-fiction children's books.

Doorways to Arab American Culture and Tradition (Seattle Public Library, WA): Books about Arab American culture and history, including many set in southwestern Asia and northern Africa, Provides author, title, and summary for 17 works of fiction, 6 folklore books, 4 books about arts and culture, and 3 books of history/biography.

Stories From and About the Middle East (Mary R. Voors - Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, IN): Author, title, and publication year for about 30 books about or with a Middle East setting. Some are about Arab-Americans. Updated May 2005.

Information and Stories About Islam and Muslims (Mary R. Voors - Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, IN): Author, title, publication date, summary for about 35 books on this religion. Also short list of relevant web sites. Updated Sept. 2005.

Asian and Asian-American

The Best of Both Worlds: Children's Books on the Asian Experience in America (Berkeley Public Library, CA): Author, title, one-line summary for each. Sections: Picture books (19), Readers (2), Fiction (15), and Non-Fiction (10) about Asian Americans. Compiled Oct. 1999.

Japanese Americans in Children's Books (Cynthia Leitich Smith - Children's Literature Resources) : Ten books listed, with authors, titles, publication info, suggested age/grade levels, and good summaries. Also, Relocation and Internment in Children's Books, which suggests eight books concerning Japanese American internment in the U.S. in WWII. Additional annotated web resources listed on each page.

Doorways to Southeast Asia Culture and Tradition (Seattle Public Library, WA): Books about Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Burma, Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines, and about people from those countries living in the U.S. Provides author, title, and summary for 17 works of fiction (from picture books up), 5 folklore books, 3 books about arts and culture, and 5 books about history.

Doorways to Japanese Culture and Tradition (Seattle Public Library, WA): Books about Japan and Japanese Americans. Provides author, title, and summary for 16 works of fiction (from picture books up), 4 folklore books, 7 books about arts and culture, and 3 books of history.

Chinese Culture and Folklore (Louisville Free Public Library, KY): Author, title, summary for over 25 fiction and non-fiction titles about China and its culture, from Count Your Way through China by Jim Haskins to The Dragon Prince: A Chinese Beauty and the Beast Tale by Laurence Yep.

Asian American (Salt Lake City Public Library, UT): Author, title, summary for 20 fiction books about Asian Americans, from Bindi Babes by Narinder Dhami to When my Name was Keoko by Linda Sue Park. Also: 7 Asian American picture books.

South Asia and the South Asian Diaspora In Children's Literature: An Annotated Bibliography (Pooja Makhijani): An annotated bibliography of children's literature about South Asia (includes the countries of Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka) and by South Asians. Author, title, and summary for Young adult books (30+), picture books (25+), folk and fairy tales (30+), and crossover (adult-juvenile?) books (12). Created 2005.

Books with Asian American Characters (Zuckerman's Barn, Massachusetts): For grades 1-9. Author, title, summary for over 50 children's biographies and fiction books with Asian American characters, from Aekyung's Dream by Min Paek to Yang the Youngest and his Terrible Ear by Lensey Namioka.

Asian Heritage Month - Children and Teens (Edmonton Public Library, Canada): Author, title, webcat link for books in these categories: Easy Picture Books (about 20); Fiction for Children (about 25); Teen Fiction (15 titles); and Folktales and Non-Fiction.

Powerful Asian-American Images Revealed in Picture Books (Kay Vandergrift): Long list of picture books, in order by author's last name, including title and publication info.

China and Chinese-American Life: Books for Children and Young Adults (Cary Memorial Library, Lexington, MA): (PDF - 8 pages) Author, title, and reading level only (no summaries) for about 30 books. Also offers a list of Picture Books about China and Chinese-American Life, with another 30 books listed. Many non-fiction titles.

Books About Asian Americans (Sarah S. Wright, Monroe County Public Library, IN): Compiled March 1999. Picture books (7), chapter books (8), and non-fiction (6) about Asian Americans. Author, title, summary.

Jewish

Bibliography: Children's Books about Jewish Religion and Culture (Wendy E. Betts, Notes from the Windowsill): Detailed descriptions of about 35 books, for three reading levels, that depict Jewish culture. Updated Oct. 2005.

Books with Jewish American Characters (Zuckerman's Barn, Massachusetts): For grades 1-9. Author, title, summary for over 35 children's biographies and fiction books with Jewish American characters, from All the Lights in the Night by Arthur Levine to What Zeesie Saw on Delancey Street by Elsa Rael.

Books About Jewish Life (Sarah S. Wright, Monroe County Public Library, IN): Compiled April 1999. Picture books (7), chapter books (14), and non-fiction (11) books. Author, title, summary.

Latin American and Hispanic

Hispanic picture books.

Leamos Amigos!: Children's Books Celebrating Hispanic Cultures (Berkeley Public Library, CA): Author, title, one-line summary for each. Sections: Picture books (10 books), Fiction (13), and Non-Fiction (21). Compiled Sept. 1999.

Outstanding Hispanic Children's Books (Ferguson Online, Stamford Public Library, CT): Author and title only (no summaries) for children's books, for preschool-K, grades 1-3, grades 4-6, and grades 7-8. Over 45 titles in all, some non-fiction.

Recommended Children's Latino Literature (UCLA): Annotated bibliography of children's fiction and non-fiction focusing on Latino people, history, and culture.

Fiction for Grades 1-9: Hispanic-American Characters (Zuckerman's Barn, Massachusetts): Author, title, summary for about 20 children's biographies and fiction books with hispanic American characters, from Amelia's Road by Linda Jacobs Altman to Too Many Tamales by Arthur Dorris.

Latino Literature for Children and Young Adults (Salt Lake County Library System, UT): Author, title, publication year, page count, grade level recommendation, and brief summary for over 30 books for grades 2-9 and over 20 YA books (including a few biographies).

Books About Hispanic Americans (Sarah S. Wright, Monroe County Public Library, IN): Compiled April 1999. Picture books (8), chapter books (7), and non-fiction (14) about Hispanic Americans. Author, title, summary.

Fiction with Latino Characters or Themes, Preschool-Grade 3 (Salt Lake County Library System, UT): Author, title, publication year, page count, grade level recommendation, and brief summary for about 40 books.

Powerful Hispanic and Latin-American Images Revealed in Picture Books (Kay Vandergrift): Long list of picture books, in order by author's last name, including title and publication info.

Doorways to Latino Culture and Tradition (Seattle Public Library, WA): Books about Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Puerto Rico, and about people from those countries living in the U.S. Provides author, title, and summary for 12 works of fiction, 7 folklore books, 6 books about arts and culture, and 5 books of history/biography.

Native American and Indigenous Peoples

Powerful Native-American Images Revealed in Picture Books (Kay Vandergrift): Long list of picture books, in order by author's last name, including title and publication info.

Books About Native Americans (Sarah S. Wright, Monroe County Public Library, IN): Compiled April 1999. Picture books (12), chapter books (16), and non-fiction (21) about Native Americans. Author, title, summary.

A Critical Bibliography on North American Indians, for K-12 (Smithsonian Institution): Well-annotated bibliography of print resources. Resources are subdivided into categories of for their encouragement and support. NW coast, Arctic, Subarctic, California, Plains, Southwest, Plateau, Great Basin, and Southeast.

Doorways to Native American Culture and Tradition (Seattle Public Library, WA): Books about Native Americans. Provides author, title, and summary for 11 works of fiction (from picture books up), 5 folklore books, 9 books about arts and culture, and 5 books of history/biography.

Native American (Salt Lake City Public Library, UT): Author, title, summary for about 25 books about native Americans, from Between Earth and Sky by Joseph Bruchac to White Bread Ceremony by Sherrin Watkins.

Books with Native American Characters (Zuckerman's Barn, Massachusetts): For grades 1-9. Author, title, summary for over 100 children's biographies and fiction books with native American characters, from Ahyoka and the Talking Leaves: The Story of the Cherokee Alphabet by Connie and Peter Roop to Zia by Scott O'Dell.

Indians of North America in Fiction (The Logan Library - Utah): Author and title, books listed by grade/age level from preschool to age 12.

Abenaki Indians: Children's Books and Teaching Materials (Ne-Do-Ba): Title and author listed for over 25 books on Abenakis and Mic Macs.


Gender

Non-Traditional Gender Roles Booklist (Mary R. Voors - Allen County Public Library, Fort Wayne, IN): Author, title, and publication date for about 250 books featuring girls and boys (women and men) in non-traditional gender roles. Updated Nov. 2005.

GIRLS

Children's Books/Central Female Characters (misc.kids listserv): Extensive list, organised by age group: Picture Books; Chapter and Series Books; Biographies; Books for Teens/Young Adults; books for which no age recommendation was known, and Resources/Miscellaneous. Author, title, many with comments/summaries. About 250 titles in all.

Books About Strong Women (Ann Arbor District Library, MI): Compiled 1995. Fiction arranged by age, from picture books to YA books; also some non-fiction. Author, title, publication info, summary of each book. Over 85 fiction books listed.

Brave Little Girls (Chicago Public Library, IL): Title, author, publication info, age range, and summary for books in these categories: Brave and Adventurous; To the Rescue; Girls Who Lived Dangerously; They Kept Their Courage; Brave, Smart Princesses; Smarter Than Trolls; To Be The Best; The Power of the Mind; Born to Be Free; Girls Who Persevered; Girls in the Arts; Mothers, Grandmothers, and Daughters. Four books listed in each category (total of 48 books). Prepared April 1998.

Brave, Active and Resourceful Females in Picture Books (Claudia Morrow, Univ. of Wisconsin Women's Studies Librarian's Office): Arranged alphabetically by author, provides titles, publication info, and brief summary. Over 100 books listed.

Brave Girls and Strong Women book List: Lists 'empowering' books for girls aged 2-17 from small publishers, in separate sections: Young Readers (ages 2-7), Middle Readers (ages 7-14), and Older Readers (ages 12 and up). Provides title, author, price, age level, and summary of each book. Both fiction and non-fiction included.

Strong Female Characters: Picture Books (Boulder Public Library - Childrens Library): 160 picture books that portray strong women, in both traditional and non-traditional roles. Author, title, publication year, webcat link for each. Arranged in alpha order by title.

Intrepid Heroines (Stanly County Public Library, NC): Author, title, publication year, page count, summary for about 35 books featuring 'girls with gumption, guts and grit,' from Joan Aiken's The Cuckoo Tree to Patricia Wrede's Dealing with Dragons.

80 Books for the 21st-Century Girl (Women's National Book Association) : Provides author, title, a one-line description of the book, and ISBN number. There's fiction group by age, as well as non-fiction.

Books About Girls (St. Charles Public Library, IL): List is subdivided by reading level: grades 2-3, 3-6, and 6-8. Title, author, number of pages, brief summary of each book. Over 30 books in all. Compiled Aug. 1998.

Old Fashioned Girls (Mid-Continent Public Library, Independence, MO): Author, title, summary for each of almost 20 stories about girls from the past.

Fiction about Resourceful Women (Cary Memorial Library, Lexington, MA): (PDF - 13 pages) Author and title only (no summaries) for dozens of books for young children (picture books, folktales, books for young readers) featuring resourceful female characters. A few include a note about time period or setting. Also, another PDF file (15 pages) of books on resourceful women for older children and young adults, organised by genre.

Girls to Women: Books for Growing Feminists (Madison Public Library, WI): Author and title listed for more than 50 books in these categories: Picture Books, Young Readers, Middle Readers, Older Readers.

Beyond Nancy Drew: Girls' Literature (Rare Book, Manuscript, and Special Collections Library - Duke University) : Examples of fiction and handbooks written for American girls from the 18th century through about 1960. Sections include Early Literature for Girls, A Christian Upbringing, Etiquettes and Girls' Behavior, Nurses in Girls' Literature, Outdoor and Adventure Series, Girl Detectives: Mysteries for Girls, Tomboys and Working Girls, Lollipop Power Press (portraying non-sexist role models), Heroines. Also a list of secondary sources.

BOYS

Books About Boys (St. Charles Public Library, IL): List is subdivided by reading level: grades 2-3, 3-6, and 6-8. Title, author, number of pages, brief summary of each book. Over 30 books in all. Compiled July 1998.

Fiction Fest for Boys: Books for Boys Aged 9-12 (Madison Public Library, WI): Author, title, publication year, and summary for a dozen books for boys ages 9-12, from Arthur for the Very First Time by Patricia MacLachlan to Words of Stone by Kevin Henkes.


Sexuality

Gay and Lesbian Themes in Children's Books (Wendy E. Betts, 1995): Annotated bibliography, with publication info, paragraph summary, suggested reading levels. Organised by audience age - Picture Books, Middle Grades, and Intermediate and YA. Updated Nov. 2005.