Best Multicultural Children’s Books 2014

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 2014 winners from our catalog! Take a look at the 2014 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!

Because They Marched: The People's Campaign for Voting that Changed America
Middle School/High School

Freedman, Russell
For the 50th anniversary of the 1965 march for voting right from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, Newberry Medalist Russell Freedman has written a riveting account of this pivotal event in the history of civil rights. Illustrated with more than forty photographs, this is an essential chronicle of events every American should know.
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The Blossoming Universe of Violet Diamond
Upper Elementary School/Middle School

Woods, Brenda
Coretta Scott King Honor winner Brenda Woods’ moving, uplifting story of a girl finally meeting the African American side of her family explores racism and how it feels to be biracial, and celebrates families of all kinds.
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Brown Girl Dreaming
Upper Elementary School/Middle School/High School

Woodson, Jacqueline
Raised in South Carolina and New York, Woodson always felt halfway home in each place. In vivid poems, she shares what it was like to grow up as an African American in the 1960s and 1970s, living with the remnants of Jim Crow and her growing awareness of the Civil Rights movement.
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The Crossover
Middle School/High School

Alexander, Kwame
Josh and Jordan must come to grips with growing up on and off the court to realize breaking the rules comes at a terrible price, as their story's heart-stopping climax proves a game-changer for the entire family.
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Dreaming in Indian: Contemporary Native American Voices
Middle School/High School

Ed. Charleyboy, Lisa & Leatherdale, Mary Beth
A powerful and visually stunning anthology from some of the most groundbreaking Native artists working in North America today.
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The Freedom Summer Murders
Middle School/High School

Mitchell, Don
In June of 1964, three idealistic young men (one black and two white) were lynched by the Ku Klux Klan in Mississippi. They were trying to register African Americans to vote as part of the Freedom Summer effort to bring democracy to the South. Their disappearance and murder caused a national uproar and was one of the most significant incidents of the Civil Rights Movement, and contributed to the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
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Frida & Diego: Art, Love, Life
Middle School/High School

Reef, Catherine
Nontraditional, controversial, rebellious, and politically volatile, the Mexican artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera are remembered for their provocative paintings as well as for their deep love for each other. Their marriage was one of the most tumultuous and infamous in history—filled with passion, pain, betrayal, revolution, and, above all, art that helped define the twentieth century.
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Gabi: A Girl in Pieces
High School

Quintero, Isabel
Gabi Hernandez chronicles her last year in high school in her diary: college applications, Cindy's pregnancy, Sebastian's coming out, the cute boys, her father's meth habit, and the food she craves. And best of all, the poetry that helps forge her identity.
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The Great Greene Heist
Upper Elementary School/Middle School

Johnson, Varian
Jackson Greene swears he's given up scheming. Then school bully Keith Sinclair announces he's running for Student Council president, against Jackson's former friend Gaby de la Cruz. Gaby wants Jackson to stay out of it -- but he knows Keith has "connections" to the principal, which could win him the presidency no matter the vote count.
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Green is a Chile Pepper: A Book of Colors
Preschool/Elementary School

Thong, Roseanne Greenfield
A little girl discovers all the bright colors in her Hispanic American neighborhood.
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Hidden Like Anne Frank: 14 True Stories of Survival
Middle School/High School

Prins, Marcel & Steenhuis, Peter Henk
Fourteen unforgettable true stories of children hidden away during World War II.
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Josephine: The Dazzling Life of Josephine Baker
Elementary School/Middle School/High School

Powell, Patricia Hruby
In exuberant verse and stirring pictures, Patricia Hruby Powell and Christian Robinson create an extraordinary portrait for young people of the passionate performer and civil rights advocate Josephine Baker, the woman who worked her way from the slums of St. Louis to the grandest stages in the world.
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King for a Day
Preschool/Elementary School

Khan, Rukhsana
A boy in a wheelchair overpowers the neighborhood bully with his kite-flying savvy and keen, compassionate eye. While this is undeniably grounded in a Lahori tradition, it is also a universal tale of one boy’s good-natured, competitive spirit and desire to shine, if only for a day.
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Little Melba and Her Big Trombone
Preschool/Elementary School

Russell-Brown, Katherine
At age seven, Melba fell in love with a big, shiny trombone, and soon taught herself to play the instrument. By the time she was a teenager, Melba’s extraordinary gift for music led her to the world of jazz. She joined a band led by trumpet player Gerald Wilson and toured the country. Overcoming obstacles of race and gender, Melba went on to become a famed trombone player and arranger, spinning rhythms, harmonies, and melodies into gorgeous songs for all the jazz greats.
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Little Roja Riding Hood
Preschool/Elementary School

Elya, Susan Middleton
While Roja picks flowers on the way to her grandma's, a mean wolf sneaks away with her cape to surprise Abuelita. But Grandma's no fool and Roja's no ordinary chica. They send that hungry lobo packing with a caliente surprise!
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The Madman of Piney Woods
Upper Elementary School/Middle School

Curtis, Christopher Paul
Benji and Red couldn't be more different. They aren't friends. They don't even live in the same town. But their fates are entwined. A chance meeting leads the boys to discover that they have more in common than meets the eye. Both of them have encountered a strange presence in the forest, watching them, tracking them. Could the Madman of Piney Woods be real? In a tale brimming with intrigue and adventure, Christopher Paul Curtis returns to the vibrant world he brought to life in Elijah of Buxton. Here is another novel that will break your heart--and expand it, too.
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Malala: A Brave Girl from Pakistan & Iqbal: A Brave Boy from Pakistan
Elementary School

Winter, Jeanette
Meet two heroes of Pakistan who stood up for the rights to freedom and education in these inspirational nonfiction tales from acclaimed author-illustrator Jeanette Winter. Two stories of bravery in one beautiful book including the story of Malala Yousafzai, a winner of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize!
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The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, & the Fight for Civil Rights
Middle School/High School

Sheinkin, Steve
This is a fascinating story of the prejudice that faced black men and women in America's armed forces during World War II, and a nuanced look at those who gave their lives in service of a country where they lacked the most basic rights.
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The Red Pencil
Upper Elementary School/Middle School

Pinkney, Andrea Davis
Finally, Amira is twelve. Old enough to wear a toob, old enough for new responsibilities. And maybe old enough to go to school in Nyala-- Amira's one true dream. But life in her peaceful Sudanese village is shattered when the Janjaweed arrive. After she loses nearly everything, Amira makes the long journey-- on foot-- to safety at a refugee camp. Her days are tough at the camp, until the gift of a simple red pencil opens her mind-- and all kinds of possibilities.
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Revolution
Upper Elementary School/Middle School

Wiles, Deborah
It's 1964, and Sunny's town is being invaded. Or at least that's what the adults of Greenwood, Mississippi, are saying. All Sunny knows is that people from up north are coming to help people register to vote. They're calling it Freedom Summer.
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Searching for Sarah Rector
Upper Elementary School/Middle School

Bolden, Tonya
Sarah Rector was once famously hailed as “the richest black girl in America.” Set against the backdrop of American history, her tale encompasses the creation of Indian Territory, the making of Oklahoma, and the establishment of black towns and oil-rich boomtowns.
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Separate Is Never Equal: Sylvia Mendez & Her Family's Flight for Desegregation
Elementary School

Tonatiuh, Duncan
Almost 10 years before Brown vs. Board of Education, Sylvia Mendez and her parents helped end school segregation in California. An American citizen of Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage who spoke and wrote perfect English, Mendez was denied enrollment to a “Whites only” school. Her parents took action by organizing the Hispanic community and filing a lawsuit in federal district court. Their success eventually brought an end to the era of segregated education in California.
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The Shadow Hero
Middle School/High School

Yang, Gene Luen
Illustrator extraordinaire Sonny Liew and I tell the story of Hank Chu, a mild-mannered Chinese American teenager growing up in a fictional 1930′s Chinatown. Hank wants nothing more than to work in his family’s grocery store, but his mother has more ambitious plans. She wants him to embody the excitement of their new country.
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Strike!: The Farm Workers' Fight for Their Rights
Middle School/High School

Brimner, Larry Dane
Brimner, a master researcher, fills this riveting account of the strike and its aftermath with the words of migrant workers, union organizers, and grape growers, as well as archival images that capture that first strike in 1965 and the ones that subsequently followed.
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A Time to Dance
Middle School/High School

Venkatraman, Padma
Padma Venkatraman’s inspiring story of a young girl’s struggle to regain her passion and find a new peace is told lyrically through verse that captures the beauty and mystery of India and the ancient bharatanatyam dance form. This is a stunning novel about spiritual awakening, the power of art, and above all, the courage and resilience of the human spirit.
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Twenty-Two Cents: Muhammad Yunus and the village Bank
Elementary School

Akib, Jamel
"A biography of Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus, who from a young age was determined to make difference in the world and eventually revolutionized global antipoverty efforts by developing the innovative economic concept of micro-lending. Includes an afterword and author's sources".
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Viva Frida
Elementary School

Morales, Yuyi
Frida Kahlo, one of the world's most famous and unusual artists is revered around the world. Her life was filled with laughter, love, and tragedy, all of which influenced what she painted on her canvases. Distinguished author/illustrator Yuyi Morales illuminates Frida's life and work in this elegant and fascinating book.
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