I was dismayed to discover that the number of multicultural books published hasn’t increased during the last 18 years despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color. This graphic is from Lee and Low publishers.
I have posted a large number of book lists for kids focusing on multicultural books (some my own creations but others that I’ve happily discovered) but I know that my search capability in my blog is not that great. I am organizing them all here in hopes that more people will read multicultural children’s books. Hopefully this will spark an interest that will lead to more books depicting people of color being published.
Multicultural Book Lists for Kids
I’ve broken down my multicultural lists by:
- Multicultural Book Lists for Kids (a catch-all for those lists that don’t fit the categories below)
- Civil Rights Movement Books for Kids
- Asian American Books for Kids with subcategories
- Korean American Books for Kids
- Japanese American Books for Kids
- Chinese American Books for Kids
- Southeast Asian Books for Kids
- Native American Books for Kids
This was a great list that covered many ethnicities and is categorized by genre.
I’m new to YA so I was excited to discover this great list.
I’m noticing some great Hispanic American KidLit lately across all children’s book genres!
We are “homeschooling” world religion since we don’t go to church.
In the wake of the conflicts in the Middle East, I thought it especially important for kids to learn about Islam and the people of the Middle East which might also teach them tolerance in the process. There is so much negative stereotyping during a war that can color a child’s perspective.
Deborah Ellis’s Parvana series shows a realistic view of what life is like in Afghanistan for girls today. It’s heartbreaking but also so important.
Our elementary school does an immigration unit using these chapter books. I’ve also added a few newly published books as well.
Civil Rights Movement Books for Kids
My kids study the The Civil Rights Movement in the United States in 4th grade and I’m pleased to see a handful of important and often, award-winning, picture books, chapter books and Young Adult books published each year.
This list covers picture books, chapter books and young adult.
If you read these picture books in order, it gives an overview of the African-American experience historically starting from slavery to the present day.
Meeting Ruby Bridges was a thrill for me and further reinforced how important it is for kids to learn about the Civil Rights Movement.
An advanced picture book that paints a portrait of Booker T. Washington as a determined young boy.
If you just want a snapshot of the Civil Rights Movement for young children, try these three books: two picture books and a chapter book.
I have a section in this post about the Civil Rights Movement.
Asian American Books for Kids
One of the most exciting things for me about blogging was discovering Asian American books for kids. This genre was just starting to emerge a few years ago when I started blogging. Growing up, I read extensively but I never found books that were like me — an Asian American 2nd and 3rd generation girl living in the suburbs. I’m thrilled to find that this is no longer the case.
CoolAsianKids made a wonderful list of their favorite Asian American KidLit.
These recently published books show the new diversity of Asian American KidLit as well as the high quality of this genre.
The Asian Pacific American Libraries Association has announced their 2013 literature award winners.
I created a series of posts a while back that I called Teach Me Tuesday. I wanted to explore a country using children’s books as well as different elements of their culture from art to food to artisans. This was the first post I did of this series on Vietnam (and my best one!). The Teach Me Tuesday series is here.
A friend from Sri Lanka gave me a recipe that he loved as a child and this sparked this post. Finding the books is always the toughest part for me.
The more I learned about Laos, the more I want to go to this mysterious, beautiful and tragic country.
Korean American Books for Kids
I’m half Chinese and Japanese and I married a Korean. My first multicultural book lists were on these three ethnicities as a way to show my children their heritage. The Korean American culture is so strong in America that this first post went viral.
This is the first post of mine ever to go viral.
I wanted to learn more about my husband’s family history so this is a very personal journey of discovery.
I don’t often do individual book reviews but finding this great Asian American book at the library made me want to post on it.
Japanese American Books for Kids
WWII Internment seems to dominate Japanese American books for kids. I agree that it is an important lesson in history — my own mother was forced to relocate but I also hunger for books that explore other facets of being Japanese American.
Kite flying is an important ritual in Asia and I’ve rounded up every great kite flying book thanks to a little help from my friends and readers.
This was my response to a reader request.
I explore my own Japanese history in this post.
These older books explore the Japanese American internment experience during WWII, a shameful chapter in America’s history.
Chinese American Books For Kids
There is such a diveristy of Chinese American books for kids from philosophy, culture and contemporary times.
I wanted to show the breadth and depth of Chinese American books for kids. These were our favorites.
I never had a great Chinese New Year picture book despite always doing a Chinese New Year presentation for my children’s preschool so I was determined to upgrade!
Fourth of July from a Chinese American immigrant’s perspective via picture books. Yep, this is what I blog about!
I’m a huge fan of Grace Lin. I consider her the Amy Tan of children’s literature.
I love the Pacy series which is based on Grace Lin’s life. This chapter book about her trip to Taiwan actually covers several of Lin’s own summer vacations.
Grace’s favorite books growing up!
Lisa Yee portrays the dilemnas of modern day Asian American kids caught between assimilation and Tiger parents.
A Chiense mythology action adventure series.
Southeast Asian Books for Kids
Southeast Asian culture and books are foreign to me too so I wanted to learn more.
It was sad to find that most of the books on this list were out of print. There are some great ones lately but with such a large population of Southeast Asian Americans, I’m hoping more books in this genre will be published.
Sheela Chari’s debut mystery chapter book is award winning!
Native American Books For Kids
My first list was critized by Debbie Reese, the premient scholar on this topic, for including books that she did not feel accurately depicted the Native Americans. My response was to repost her great lists!
This is the list I made.
Debbie Reese’s list for middle grade chapter books.
Debbie Reese’s list for picture books.
Debbie Reese’s list of YA books is very popular.
I am a huge fan of Joseph Bruchac, a happy discovery from chatting with my librarian when creating my list.
The author of this advanced picture book lives one town over!
To examine any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book. I am an Amazon affiliate which means if you buy anything through my blog, I get a very small kickback at no cost to you. I use this money to pay for postage and handling for my giveaways.