Best Multicultural Children’s Books 2013

Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature is among the leading educational research centers in the field of multicultural literature. Our mission is to preserve the richness of the many cultures in the field of children’s and young adult literature.

Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature

Here are some of the 2013 winners from our catalog! Take a look at the 2013 Winners page for the full list. Don’t forget to contact the Southfield library to place items on hold if we don’t have a copy available right away!

Africa Is My Home: A Child of the Amistad
Upper Elementary School/Middle School

Edinger, Monica
Narrated in a remarkable first-person voice, this fictionalized book of memories of a real-life figure retells history through the eyes of a child — from seeing mirrors for the first time and struggling with laughably complicated clothing to longing for family and a home she never forgets.
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Boxers (Boxers & Saints, 1)
Middle School/High School

Yang, Gene Luen
China, 1898. Bands of foreign missionaries and soldiers roam the countryside, bullying and robbing Chinese peasants. Harnessing the powers of ancient Chinese gods, Little Bao recruits an army of Boxers--commoners trained in kung fu--who fight to free China from "foreign devils." Against all odds, this grass-roots rebellion is violently successful. But nothing is simple. Little Bao is fighting for the glory of China, but at what cost?
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Saints (Boxers & Saints, 2)
Middle School/High School

Yang, Gene Luen
China, 1898. An unwanted and unwelcome fourth daughter, Four-Girl isn't even given a proper name by her family when she's born. She finds friendship--and a name, Vibiana--in the most unlikely of places: Christianity.
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Counting By 7s
Middle School

Sloan, Holly Goldberg
In the tradition of Out of My Mind, Wonder, and Mockingbird, this is an intensely moving middle grade novel about being an outsider, coping with loss, and discovering the true meaning of family.
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Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles, America's First Black Paratroopers
Upper Elementary School/Middle School/High School

Stone, Tanya Lee
Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickles, American's First Black Paratroopers by Tanya Lee Stone.
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Darius & Twig
High School

Myers, Walter Dean
Darius and Twig are an unlikely pair: Darius is a writer whose only escape is his alter ego, a peregrine falcon named Fury, and Twig is a middle-distance runner striving for athletic success. But they are drawn together in the struggle to overcome the obstacles that life in Harlem throws at them. The two friends must face down bullies, an abusive uncle, and the idea that they'll be stuck in the same place forever.
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Diego Rivera: An Artist for the People
Upper Elementary School/Middle School/High School

Goldman, Susan Rubin
Rubin offers young readers unique insight into the life and artwork of the famous Mexican painter and muralist.
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Eleanor & Park
High School

Rowell, Rainbow
Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.
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How I Became a Ghost: A Choctaw Trail of Tears Story
Upper Elementary School/Middle School/High School

Tingle, Tim
Told in the words of Isaac, a Choctaw boy who does not survive the Trail of Tears, HOW I BECAME A GHOST is a tale of innocence and resilience in the face of tragedy.
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If I Ever Get Out of Here
Middle School

Gansworth, Eric L.
Lewis "Shoe" Blake is used to the joys and difficulties of life on the Tuscarora Indian reservation in 1975: the joking, the Fireball games, the snow blowing through his roof. What he's not used to is white people being nice to him -- people like George Haddonfield, whose family recently moved to town with the Air Force.
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Killer of Enemies
High School

Bruchac, Joseph
As the legendary Killer of Enemies was in the ancient days of the Apache people, Lozen is meant to be a more than a hunter. Lozen is meant to be a hero.
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Knock, Knock: My Dad's Dream for Me
Upper Elementary School

Beaty, Daniel
But what happens when, one day, that "knock knock" doesn't come? This powerful and inspiring book shows the love that an absent parent can leave behind, and the strength that children find in themselves as they grow up and follow their dreams.
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The Lightning Dreamer: Cuba's Greatest Abolitionist
Middle School/High School

Engle, Margarita
In passionate, accessible verses of her own, Engle evokes the voice of this book-loving feminist and abolitionist who bravely resisted an arranged marriage at the age of fourteen, and was ultimately courageous enough to fight against injustice. Historical notes, excerpts, and source notes round out this exceptional tribute.
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Looks Like Daylight: Voices of Indigenous Kids
High School

Ed. Ellis, Deborah
Ellis briefly introduces each child and then steps back, letting the kids speak directly to the reader, talking about their daily lives, about the things that interest them, and about how being Native has affected who they are and how they see the world.
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March: Book One
Upper Elementary School/Middle School/High School

Lewis, John
Many years ago, John Lewis and other student activists drew inspiration from the 1950s comic book "Martin Luther King and the Montgomery Story." Now, his own comics bring those days to life for a new audience, testifying to a movement whose echoes will be heard for generations.
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Martin & Mahalia: His Words, Her Song
Elementary School

Pinkney, Andrea Davis
Told through Andrea Davis Pinkney's poetic prose and Brian Pinkney's evocative illustration, the stories of these two powerful voices and lives are told side-by-side -- as they would one day walk -- following the journey from their youth to a culmination at this historical event when they united as one and inspiring kids to find their own voices and speak up for what is right.
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Nelson Mandela
Elementary School

Nelson, Kadir
Kadir Nelson tells the story of Mandela, a global icon, in poignant verse and glorious illustrations. It is the story of a young boy's determination to change South Africa and of the struggles of a man who eventually became the president of his country by believing in equality for people of all colors. Readers will be inspired by Mandela's triumph and his lifelong quest to create a more just world.
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Niño Wrestles the World
Elementary School

Morales, Yuyi
No opponent is too big a challenge for the cunning skills of Niño—popsicle eater, toy lover, somersault expert, and world champion lucha libre competitor!
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Pancho Rabbit and the Coyote: A Migrant's Tale
Preschool/Elementary School

Tonatich, Duncan
In this allegorical picture book, a young rabbit named Pancho eagerly awaits his papa’s return...Duncan Tonatiuh brings to light the hardship and struggles faced by thousands of families who seek to make better lives for themselves and their children by illegally crossing the border.
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Parrots Over Puerto Rico
Elementary School

Roth, Susan L. & Trumbore, Cindy
With striking collage illustrations, a unique format, and engaging storytelling, PARROTS OVER PUERTO RICO invites readers to witness the amazing recovery efforts that have enabled Puerto Rican parrots to fly over their island once again.
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P.S. Be Eleven
Upper Elementary School/Middle School

Williams-Garcia, Rita
In this exquisite sequel to the New York Times bestseller One Crazy Summer, the Gaither sisters return to Brooklyn and find that changes large and small have come to their home.
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A Splash of Red: The Life and Art of Horace Pippin
Elementary School

Bryant, Jennifer
Jen Bryant and Melissa Sweet team up once again to share this inspiring story of a self-taught painter from humble beginnings who despite many obstacles, was ultimately able to do what he loved, and be recognized for who he was: an artist.
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This is the Rope: A Story From the Great Migration
Elementary School

Woodson, Jacqueline
During the time of the Great Migration, millions of African American families relocated from the South, seeking better opportunities. With grace and poignancy, Woodson’s lilting storytelling and Ransome’s masterful oil paintings of country and city life tell a rich story of a family adapting to change as they hold on to the past and embrace the future.
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Tito Puente, Mambo King
Elementary School

Brown, Monica
Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, clap your hands for Tito Puente... The Mambo King plays and sways ans people dance the mambo, the rumba, and the cha-cha.
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Tortoise & The Hare
Elementary School

Pinkney, Jerry
This companion to the Caldecott Medal-winning the Lion & the Mouse tells the tale of how Even the slowest tortoise can defeat the quickest hare, and even the proudest hare can learn a timeless lesson from the most humble tortoise.
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The Thing About Luck
Upper Elementary School/Middle School

Kadohata, Cynthia
There is bad luck, good luck, and making your own luck—which is exactly what Summer must do to save her family.
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Wild Berries
Elementary School

Flett, Julie
Spend the day picking wild blueberries with Clarence and his grandmother. Meet ant, spider, and fox in a beautiful woodland landscape, the ancestral home of author and illustrator Julie Flett. This book is written in both English and Cree, in particular the n-dialect, also known as Swampy Cree from the Cumberland House area.
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