Today is Multicultural Children’s Book Day!
Thank you to all of our wonderful participants including Co-Hosts, Medal Sponsors, Author Sponsors, bloggers and readers! Thank you to Robert Liu-Trujillo for his wonderful FREE downloadable poster!
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My 10 Favorite Multicultural Books for 2016
My contribution for Multicultural Children’s Book Day is 10 favorite multicultural, diverse and inclusive books for kids published in 2016.
My Favorite Diversity Easy Readers
I have more diversity easy readers here.
Don’t Throw It To Mo by David A. Adler
I was a first round judge for Easy Readers and Early Chapter Books for the Cybils. This was the one book I was willing to fight tooth and nail for to make the short list.
Diverse characters in everyday situations make this easy reader relatable to young readers, but it’s the humor and bright, cheerful illustrations that will draw in even non-football fans. [easy reader, ages 5 and up]
Ting and Ling: Twice as Silly by Grace Lin
Ting and Ling are back with adventures that are both silly, sweet, and creative. They treat each other like best friends and while they look very similar, they are actually quite different. In this Easy Reader, they explore the world around them wondering how high they can swing and if they can get cupcakes to grow. Each story is a standalone gem, but the stories also tie up into a satisfying whole. [Level 3 Easy Reader, ages 5 and up]
My Favorite Diversity Early Chapter Book
Can you believe there were 11 great diversity early chapter books nominated to the Cybils? I have the list here.
Lulu and the Hamster in the Night by Hilary McKay
The plot is a classic sit-com; the girls stay at their grandmother’s house but with their rescue hamster but as she doesn’t allow furry animals, they have to hide the hamster during their weekend stay. The hamster, of course, gets out and has to be rescued. What makes this book sing is the pacing of this very sweet story that is wonderfully descriptive without ever dragging the plot down. I hope this one gets a win this year! [easy chapter book, ages 6 and up]
West Meadows Detectives: The Case of the Snack Snatcher by Liam O’Donnell, illustrated by Aurelie Grand
There’s a lot of diversity in this book: Myron is autistic, his teachers Mr. Harpel and Ms. Chu are of color, and Hajrah seems to have ADHD. When Myron’s school cafeteria gets repeatedly trashed and snacks go missing, his perspective being autistic makes him able to filter information and catch clues that others don’t see. Is the culprit the school bully, Sarah “Smasher” McGuintley, or is something else going on? [early chapter book ages 6 and up]
My Favorite Diversity Picture Books
In a Village by the Sea by Muon Van, illustrated by April Chu
Pool By JiHyeon Lee
A swimming pool gets overrun with people and their pool toys for a young boy so he dives underneath them into the water below … where he meets a friend … and an amazing underwater world filled with sea creatures big and small. [wordless picture book, ages 4 and up]
I have three more amazing wordless diversity picture books here.
Favorite Diversity Graphic Novels
If you need more graphic novels for girls, I have 19 Graphic Novels for Mighty Girls.
Lumberjanes Vol. 1 by Shannon Watters, Grace Ellis, Noelle Stevenson & Brooke Allen
The Lumberjanes are a kind of “Girl Scout” group at sleep away camp in the woods. This particular cabin is made up of intrepid girls who like to explore at night though it is against the rules of their camp counselor Jen. There are strange creatures at night including a three eyed fox and a bear woman who warns them about the kitten holy. The creatures only get weirder as our campers set to work acquiring badges. There’s a cliffhanger but don’t worry. This is a series! [graphic novel, ages 9 and up]
Sunny Side Up by Jennifer L. Holm and Matthew Holm
This is on my list for Domestic Violence Books for Kids. Jennifer and Matt write:
“Sometimes it’s hard to be a kid. It can be even harder when someone you love has a drug or alcohol abuse problem.
Like Sunny, we had a close relative who had serious issues with substance abuse. As children, we were bystanders to this behavior and yet it affected our whole world. It made us feel ashamed and embarrassed and scared and sad. Most of all, it was something we felt we had to keep secret.” [graphic novel, ages 8 and up]
Favorite Diversity Chapter Books
Gone Crazy in Alabama by Rita Williams-Garcia
This last installment of the Gaither sisters trilogy brings the whole family back together in rural Alabama. Family bonds are re-examined and re-knitted after a family tragedy but Williams-Garcia also points out the lesser seen bonds that are part of the Southern landscape in the bloodlines between whites and blacks. In a full circle of the Civil Rights Movement starting with the Black Panthers in That Crazy Summer, Gone Crazy in Alabama suggests that deep seated conflicts can be overcome, even with roots as deep as slavery. [chapter book, ages 9 and up]
Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones, illustrations by Katie Kath
Told through letters with captivating humor, Sophie’s new life on her Great-Uncle Jim’s farm takes an unexpected turn when unusual chickens start appearing. It appears that these special chickens are highly sought after as they also disappear. Sophie must communicate with various deceased relatives through letters in order to figure out what is going on and find a way to keep her chickens safe. [chapter book, ages 8 and up]
Favorite Diversity Nonfiction
Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries who Shaped Our History . . . and Our Future! by Kate Schatz
Rad American Women features 26 amazing women who shaped our history. I learned about a few of the these trailblazers for the first time in this book. Author Kate Schatz said that F was almost Fannie Lou Hamer, a Civil Rights Movement activist who was also new to me. Since she didn’t make this book, I’m glad there is a new book out on her below. The beauty of this book is that readers learn about women who shaped history and then realize that there are more to search out. Rad women have often taken a back seat in the history books. [advanced nonfiction picture book, ages 6 and up]
Voice of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer, Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement by Carole Boston Weatherford, illustrated by Ekua Holmes
Fannie Lou Hamer was a Civil Rights Movement leader and yet her story is largely unknown. Born to sharecroppers, Fannie’s deep resonant voice and strong spirit buoyed and inspired those who attended Civil Rights Movement rallies. Brutally beaten by police during her many arrests at these protests, Fannie suffered permanent kidney damage but did not let it deter her from her important work which included organizing Mississippi’s Freedom Summer and vice-chair of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. [biography advanced picture book, ages 8 and up]
To examine any book more closely at Amazon, please click on image of book.
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BEST #OWNVOICES CHILDREN’S BOOKS: My Favorite Diversity Books for Kids Ages 1-12 is a book that I created to highlight books written by authors who share the same marginalized identity as the characters in their books.