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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3.99 avg rating — 81,008 ratings
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2

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4.36 avg rating — 4,787 ratings
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3

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4.34 avg rating — 20,000 ratings
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4

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4.25 avg rating — 4,619 ratings
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5

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4.96 avg rating — 27 ratings
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6

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3.97 avg rating — 62,354 ratings
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7

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4.39 avg rating — 11,718 ratings
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8

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3.94 avg rating — 101,530 ratings
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9

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3.86 avg rating — 5,736 ratings
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10

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4.14 avg rating — 16,007 ratings
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11

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4.08 avg rating — 239,772 ratings
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12

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3.85 avg rating — 116,453 ratings
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13

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4.24 avg rating — 914 ratings
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14

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4.10 avg rating — 2,022 ratings
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15

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4.03 avg rating — 25,588 ratings
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16

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3.87 avg rating — 230 ratings
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17

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4.10 avg rating — 1,495 ratings
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18

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4.11 avg rating — 76,047 ratings
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19

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3.75 avg rating — 12,758 ratings
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20

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4.14 avg rating — 42,368 ratings
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21

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4.09 avg rating — 1,042 ratings
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22

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4.16 avg rating — 6,412 ratings
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23

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4.14 avg rating — 4,499 ratings
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24

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4.65 avg rating — 52 ratings
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25

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4.17 avg rating — 23 ratings
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26

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4.15 avg rating — 1,692 ratings
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27

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3.77 avg rating — 6,934 ratings
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28

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4.49 avg rating — 15,096 ratings
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29

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4.11 avg rating — 6,762 ratings
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30

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4.45 avg rating — 49 ratings
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31

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3.93 avg rating — 107 ratings
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32

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4.15 avg rating — 40 ratings
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33

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3.88 avg rating — 154 ratings
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34

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4.13 avg rating — 986 ratings
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35

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3.98 avg rating — 32,620 ratings
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36

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3.73 avg rating — 3,785 ratings
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36

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4.10 avg rating — 49,779 ratings
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38

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4.24 avg rating — 3,203 ratings
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39

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4.41 avg rating — 27 ratings
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40

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3.78 avg rating — 32,943 ratings
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41

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4.01 avg rating — 1,808 ratings
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41

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3.48 avg rating — 33 ratings
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43

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3.82 avg rating — 4,635 ratings
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44

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4.06 avg rating — 1,197 ratings
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45

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4.20 avg rating — 5,528 ratings
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46

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4.11 avg rating — 729 ratings
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47

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4.25 avg rating — 13,491 ratings
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48

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4.03 avg rating — 33 ratings
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49

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4.07 avg rating — 1,812 ratings
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50

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4.51 avg rating — 8,033 ratings
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51

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4.10 avg rating — 239 ratings
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52

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3.75 avg rating — 7,463 ratings
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53

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4.10 avg rating — 50,065 ratings
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53

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4.10 avg rating — 1,899 ratings
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55

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3.94 avg rating — 4,863 ratings
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56

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4.32 avg rating — 1,816 ratings
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57

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4.98 avg rating — 44 ratings
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57

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4.79 avg rating — 63 ratings
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59

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4.05 avg rating — 20 ratings
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60

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4.08 avg rating — 1,777 ratings
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60

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3.98 avg rating — 88 ratings
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62

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3.82 avg rating — 397 ratings
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62

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4.48 avg rating — 23 ratings
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62

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4.17 avg rating — 59 ratings
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65

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4.15 avg rating — 26 ratings
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66

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3.92 avg rating — 108,593 ratings
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66

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3.75 avg rating — 96 ratings
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68

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4.27 avg rating — 2,786 ratings
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69

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4.15 avg rating — 379 ratings
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69

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4.28 avg rating — 61,043 ratings
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71

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4.48 avg rating — 3,641 ratings
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72

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4.30 avg rating — 210 ratings
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73

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4.25 avg rating — 826 ratings
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74

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4.35 avg rating — 1,717 ratings
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75

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4.05 avg rating — 136 ratings
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75

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4.32 avg rating — 545 ratings
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77

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3.96 avg rating — 1,784 ratings
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78

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4.17 avg rating — 1,018 ratings
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79

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3.96 avg rating — 252 ratings
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79

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4.14 avg rating — 830 ratings
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81

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4.05 avg rating — 17,542 ratings
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82

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4.45 avg rating — 4,964 ratings
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82

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4.16 avg rating — 2,961,630 ratings
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84

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 7,820 ratings
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85

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4.25 avg rating — 3,899 ratings
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86

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3.66 avg rating — 352 ratings
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87

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3.83 avg rating — 1,277 ratings
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88

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4.44 avg rating — 12,397 ratings
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89

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3.85 avg rating — 3,273 ratings
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89

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4.24 avg rating — 33 ratings
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89

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4.18 avg rating — 45 ratings
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89

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4.12 avg rating — 69 ratings
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89

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4.28 avg rating — 32 ratings
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94

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3.93 avg rating — 551 ratings
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94

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4.65 avg rating — 71 ratings
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94

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it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 4 ratings
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97

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2.71 avg rating — 38 ratings
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97

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3.73 avg rating — 338 ratings
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97

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it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 9 ratings
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100

by
4.01 avg rating — 328 ratings
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426 books · 322 voters · list created December 3rd, 2009 by Liz (votes) .
132 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Liz 991 books
143 friends
Donna-Lee 350 books
41 friends
Susan 3221 books
49 friends
Jacqueline 845 books
389 friends
Dolly 14678 books
65 friends
Dori 158 books
29 friends
Xenophon 2122 books
30 friends
Rebecca 3299 books
65 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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