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Best Multicultural Books for Children

This is a list of multicultural books for children - picture books through elementary chapter books. A good multicultural book should:
- present the character's culture accurately and sensitively;
- feature marginalized protagonists or protagonists of color;
- 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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4.01 avg rating — 90,293 ratings
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2

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4.37 avg rating — 5,475 ratings
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3

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4.35 avg rating — 20,311 ratings
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4

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4.25 avg rating — 4,724 ratings
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5

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4.86 avg rating — 29 ratings
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6

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3.99 avg rating — 64,705 ratings
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7

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4.39 avg rating — 12,017 ratings
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8

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3.95 avg rating — 105,339 ratings
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9

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3.87 avg rating — 6,004 ratings
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10

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4.14 avg rating — 16,308 ratings
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11

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4.24 avg rating — 1,023 ratings
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12

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4.08 avg rating — 251,150 ratings
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13

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3.87 avg rating — 120,077 ratings
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14

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4.08 avg rating — 2,366 ratings
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15

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3.89 avg rating — 245 ratings
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16

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4.10 avg rating — 1,570 ratings
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17

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4.14 avg rating — 81,144 ratings
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18

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3.77 avg rating — 14,057 ratings
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19

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4.04 avg rating — 25,854 ratings
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20

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4.58 avg rating — 48 ratings
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21

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4.08 avg rating — 1,106 ratings
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22

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4.19 avg rating — 6,753 ratings
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23

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4.14 avg rating — 4,623 ratings
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24

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4.57 avg rating — 60 ratings
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25

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4.12 avg rating — 24 ratings
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26

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4.15 avg rating — 42,576 ratings
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27

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4.15 avg rating — 1,781 ratings
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28

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3.77 avg rating — 7,039 ratings
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29

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4.50 avg rating — 15,606 ratings
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30

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4.11 avg rating — 6,944 ratings
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31

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4.42 avg rating — 48 ratings
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31

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 257 ratings
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33

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3.96 avg rating — 113 ratings
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34

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4.16 avg rating — 43 ratings
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35

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3.89 avg rating — 161 ratings
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36

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4.14 avg rating — 1,021 ratings
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37

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 34,449 ratings
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38

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3.74 avg rating — 3,870 ratings
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38

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4.12 avg rating — 55,152 ratings
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40

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4.51 avg rating — 8,263 ratings
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41

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4.26 avg rating — 3,337 ratings
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42

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4.39 avg rating — 28 ratings
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43

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3.78 avg rating — 34,386 ratings
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44

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 1,896 ratings
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44

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3.48 avg rating — 33 ratings
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46

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3.84 avg rating — 4,813 ratings
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47

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4.07 avg rating — 1,277 ratings
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48

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4.25 avg rating — 886 ratings
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49

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4.20 avg rating — 5,657 ratings
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50

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4.12 avg rating — 782 ratings
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51

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4.30 avg rating — 12,959 ratings
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52

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4.03 avg rating — 33 ratings
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53

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4.07 avg rating — 1,917 ratings
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54

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4.08 avg rating — 258 ratings
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54

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3.95 avg rating — 266 ratings
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56

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3.75 avg rating — 7,875 ratings
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57

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4.18 avg rating — 3,303,611 ratings
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58

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4.10 avg rating — 52,713 ratings
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58

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4.12 avg rating — 2,067 ratings
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60

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3.94 avg rating — 5,223 ratings
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61

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4.34 avg rating — 2,039 ratings
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62

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4.02 avg rating — 9,166 ratings
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63

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4.98 avg rating — 44 ratings
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63

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4.77 avg rating — 71 ratings
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63

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4.58 avg rating — 48 ratings
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66

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4.05 avg rating — 20 ratings
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67

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4.07 avg rating — 1,913 ratings
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67

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4.02 avg rating — 97 ratings
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69

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3.80 avg rating — 436 ratings
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69

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4.46 avg rating — 24 ratings
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69

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4.15 avg rating — 72 ratings
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72

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4.19 avg rating — 26 ratings
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73

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3.91 avg rating — 114,423 ratings
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73

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3.76 avg rating — 102 ratings
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75

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4.28 avg rating — 2,951 ratings
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76

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4.12 avg rating — 401 ratings
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76

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4.27 avg rating — 72,354 ratings
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78

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4.49 avg rating — 4,004 ratings
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79

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4.31 avg rating — 228 ratings
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80

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4.36 avg rating — 1,797 ratings
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81

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4.04 avg rating — 150 ratings
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81

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4.31 avg rating — 575 ratings
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83

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3.96 avg rating — 1,953 ratings
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84

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4.19 avg rating — 1,062 ratings
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85

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4.14 avg rating — 924 ratings
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86

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4.06 avg rating — 17,837 ratings
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87

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4.46 avg rating — 5,288 ratings
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88

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4.26 avg rating — 3,964 ratings
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89

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3.67 avg rating — 376 ratings
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90

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3.84 avg rating — 1,378 ratings
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91

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4.44 avg rating — 12,609 ratings
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92

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3.86 avg rating — 3,481 ratings
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92

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4.22 avg rating — 37 ratings
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92

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4.20 avg rating — 46 ratings
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92

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4.11 avg rating — 72 ratings
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92

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4.28 avg rating — 32 ratings
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92

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4.08 avg rating — 75 ratings
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98

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3.94 avg rating — 596 ratings
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98

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4.61 avg rating — 72 ratings
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98

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it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 3 ratings
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445 books · 350 voters · list created December 3rd, 2009 by Liz (votes) .
137 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Liz 1193 books
143 friends
Donna-Lee 462 books
40 friends
Susan 3444 books
50 friends
Jacqueline 894 books
394 friends
Dolly 14910 books
66 friends
Dori Jones 191 books
31 friends
Xenophon 2141 books
28 friends
Rebecca 3460 books
71 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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