Best Multicultural Books for Children

This is a list of multicultural books for children - picture books through middle-grade. A good multicultural book should:
- present the character's culture accurately and sensitively;
- empower children of different ethnic backgrounds;
- have strong literary merit.

Books that do not meet these criteria are subject to removal from this list, as there are many books out there that feature characters of ethnicity, but are not respectful toward their culture.
1

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3.90 avg rating — 48,595 ratings
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2

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4.32 avg rating — 16,028 ratings
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3

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4.29 avg rating — 2,226 ratings
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4

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4.20 avg rating — 2,942 ratings
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5

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3.94 avg rating — 44,786 ratings
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6

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4.39 avg rating — 9,191 ratings
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7

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4.33 avg rating — 15 ratings
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8

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4.15 avg rating — 35,902 ratings
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9

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4.07 avg rating — 1,048 ratings
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10

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4.06 avg rating — 1,412 ratings
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11

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3.68 avg rating — 8,732 ratings
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12

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4.01 avg rating — 20,058 ratings
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13

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4.03 avg rating — 725 ratings
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14

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4.12 avg rating — 469 ratings
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15

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4.09 avg rating — 34,251 ratings
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16

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3.81 avg rating — 4,290 ratings
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17

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4.11 avg rating — 3,497 ratings
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18

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4.08 avg rating — 5,282 ratings
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19

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3.94 avg rating — 94 ratings
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20

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4.19 avg rating — 21 ratings
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21

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4.55 avg rating — 130 ratings
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22

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3.75 avg rating — 77 ratings
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23

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4.12 avg rating — 13,075 ratings
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24

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4.45 avg rating — 10,845 ratings
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25

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3.88 avg rating — 72,603 ratings
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26

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3.98 avg rating — 1,276 ratings
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27

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4.60 avg rating — 35 ratings
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28

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4.61 avg rating — 23 ratings
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29

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4.11 avg rating — 1,165 ratings
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29

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4.08 avg rating — 25,598 ratings
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31

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4.06 avg rating — 689 ratings
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32

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4.11 avg rating — 162,082 ratings
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33

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3.67 avg rating — 27 ratings
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34

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4.11 avg rating — 168 ratings
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35

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4.18 avg rating — 245 ratings
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36

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3.91 avg rating — 3,197 ratings
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36

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4.18 avg rating — 453 ratings
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36

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3.73 avg rating — 26,690 ratings
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39

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4.11 avg rating — 1,116 ratings
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40

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4.59 avg rating — 27 ratings
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40

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it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 8 ratings
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40

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4.86 avg rating — 7 ratings
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43

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4.50 avg rating — 12 ratings
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44

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4.07 avg rating — 94 ratings
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44

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4.11 avg rating — 4,458 ratings
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46

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3.77 avg rating — 6,093 ratings
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46

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4.90 avg rating — 10 ratings
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48

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4.12 avg rating — 478 ratings
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49

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4.42 avg rating — 8,559 ratings
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50

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4.18 avg rating — 4,329 ratings
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51

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3.81 avg rating — 2,389 ratings
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51

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4.38 avg rating — 16 ratings
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51

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4.18 avg rating — 38 ratings
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51

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4.27 avg rating — 45 ratings
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51

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3.91 avg rating — 22 ratings
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51

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4.35 avg rating — 347 ratings
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51

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4.25 avg rating — 4 ratings
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51

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4.33 avg rating — 12 ratings
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59

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4.68 avg rating — 63 ratings
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60

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4.08 avg rating — 32,054 ratings
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60

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2.68 avg rating — 37 ratings
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62

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3.96 avg rating — 180 ratings
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62

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3.94 avg rating — 77,924 ratings
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62

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3.97 avg rating — 31 ratings
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65

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3.92 avg rating — 1,039 ratings
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66

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4.22 avg rating — 7,668 ratings
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67

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3.68 avg rating — 2,991 ratings
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67

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4.05 avg rating — 749 ratings
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69

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3.80 avg rating — 3,674 ratings
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70

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4.25 avg rating — 182 ratings
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71

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4.12 avg rating — 710 ratings
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71

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4.25 avg rating — 102 ratings
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73

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4.24 avg rating — 3,184 ratings
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73

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4.05 avg rating — 1,266 ratings
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73

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3.81 avg rating — 163 ratings
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73

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3.78 avg rating — 95,296 ratings
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77

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3.72 avg rating — 5,936 ratings
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78

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3.88 avg rating — 635 ratings
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79

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3.82 avg rating — 260 ratings
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80

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4.04 avg rating — 301 ratings
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81

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3.96 avg rating — 379 ratings
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82

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4.16 avg rating — 38 ratings
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82

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4.28 avg rating — 1,063 ratings
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82

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3.70 avg rating — 249 ratings
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82

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4.67 avg rating — 3 ratings
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82

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4.06 avg rating — 176 ratings
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82

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it was ok 2.00 avg rating — 1 rating
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82

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3.78 avg rating — 147 ratings
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82

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it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 1 rating
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82

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4.55 avg rating — 29 ratings
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82

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3.64 avg rating — 14 ratings
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82

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4.53 avg rating — 47 ratings
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82

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4.57 avg rating — 7 ratings
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82

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3.82 avg rating — 434 ratings
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82

by
3.92 avg rating — 157 ratings
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82

by
3.91 avg rating — 376 ratings
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82

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4.08 avg rating — 76 ratings
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82

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4.49 avg rating — 37 ratings
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82

by
4.27 avg rating — 11 ratings
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82

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4.75 avg rating — 12 ratings
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221 books · 203 voters · list created December 3rd, 2009 by Liz (votes) .
71 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Liz 685 books
122 friends
Donna-Lee 234 books
36 friends
Susan 2575 books
42 friends
Jacqueline 663 books
364 friends
Dolly 12612 books
54 friends
Dori 50 books
26 friends
Xenophon 1944 books
21 friends
Rebecca 2903 books
53 friends

More voters…


Comments (showing 1-5 of 5) (5 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Donna (last edited Feb 08, 2013 05:41PM) (new)

Donna Davis To what age are you headed here? Do you want primary/picture books only, or are books for young adults also considered? Also, I don't know who added the Amityville Horror, but it should be removed.


message 2: by Thaddeus (new)

Thaddeus Are you kidding me? FIVE CHINESE BROTHERS on a "multicultural" list of children's books?

This list is "multicultural" in the way that White Castle hamburgers are "beef": Barely, and not in a way that anyone should be exceedingly proud of.


message 3: by Denise (new)

Denise Tad, you forgot to talk about the ballad to sensitivity that is Tikki Tikki Tembo.


message 4: by Kate (new)

Kate A lot of these books don't really meet what I'd hope a quality list of multicultural books would be. I'm going to be adding a description and removing books that are straight-up racist as opposed to good books featuring characters of color. Bear with me while I work on this!


message 5: by Ellena (last edited Jan 28, 2015 12:46PM) (new)

Ellena Thaddeus wrote: "Are you kidding me? FIVE CHINESE BROTHERS on a "multicultural" list of children's books?

This list is "multicultural" in the way that White Castle hamburgers are "beef": Barely, and not in a way t..."


Yes thank you for that response. As a child my teacher read the Five Chinese Brothers to our class and I enjoyed it. I was innocent and didn't realize how wrong this book was. Fast forward years later as an adult I thought I would pick up a book I enjoyed as a child and was disgusted at how racist it was. It reminds me of Mickey Rooney's foul portrayal of an Chinese man in Breakfast at Tiffany's. I wonder if my teacher didn't realize how insensitive this book was for Asian children. I want to become a teacher one day and I will introduce my students to books on diversity. This book will NOT be on my list.


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