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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3.98 avg rating — 70,046 ratings
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2

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4.34 avg rating — 19,608 ratings
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3

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4.35 avg rating — 4,148 ratings
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4

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4.25 avg rating — 4,521 ratings
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5

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3.98 avg rating — 57,316 ratings
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6

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4.39 avg rating — 11,438 ratings
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7

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3.94 avg rating — 94,976 ratings
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8

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3.85 avg rating — 5,499 ratings
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9

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4.21 avg rating — 761 ratings
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10

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4.10 avg rating — 1,946 ratings
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11

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4.10 avg rating — 221,114 ratings
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12

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4.16 avg rating — 40,337 ratings
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13

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4.13 avg rating — 15,608 ratings
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14

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4.03 avg rating — 25,215 ratings
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15

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3.84 avg rating — 110,251 ratings
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16

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3.85 avg rating — 218 ratings
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17

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4.16 avg rating — 61,353 ratings
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18

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4.10 avg rating — 1,405 ratings
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19

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3.73 avg rating — 11,886 ratings
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20

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4.14 avg rating — 6,047 ratings
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21

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4.14 avg rating — 4,348 ratings
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22

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4.49 avg rating — 14,420 ratings
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23

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4.11 avg rating — 6,558 ratings
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24

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4.65 avg rating — 48 ratings
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25

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4.14 avg rating — 22 ratings
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26

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4.08 avg rating — 984 ratings
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27

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4.16 avg rating — 1,599 ratings
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28

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3.77 avg rating — 6,831 ratings
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29

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3.87 avg rating — 130 ratings
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30

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 27,602 ratings
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31

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4.47 avg rating — 45 ratings
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32

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3.92 avg rating — 93 ratings
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33

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4.17 avg rating — 35 ratings
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34

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4.19 avg rating — 5,376 ratings
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35

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3.73 avg rating — 3,677 ratings
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35

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4.13 avg rating — 41,794 ratings
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37

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 1,736 ratings
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38

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4.24 avg rating — 3,056 ratings
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39

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4.45 avg rating — 10,674 ratings
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40

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3.74 avg rating — 7,130 ratings
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41

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4.41 avg rating — 27 ratings
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42

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4.12 avg rating — 937 ratings
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42

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3.77 avg rating — 31,722 ratings
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44

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3.48 avg rating — 33 ratings
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45

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3.83 avg rating — 4,500 ratings
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46

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4.27 avg rating — 50,443 ratings
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47

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4.03 avg rating — 30 ratings
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48

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4.51 avg rating — 7,693 ratings
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49

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4.10 avg rating — 46,236 ratings
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50

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3.96 avg rating — 1,580 ratings
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51

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4.10 avg rating — 229 ratings
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52

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4.11 avg rating — 684 ratings
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53

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4.25 avg rating — 24 ratings
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54

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4.15 avg rating — 353 ratings
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54

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4.09 avg rating — 1,779 ratings
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56

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3.75 avg rating — 89 ratings
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57

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3.94 avg rating — 4,644 ratings
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58

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4.32 avg rating — 1,658 ratings
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59

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4.06 avg rating — 1,723 ratings
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59

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4.05 avg rating — 133 ratings
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61

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4.17 avg rating — 969 ratings
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62

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3.93 avg rating — 233 ratings
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63

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4.45 avg rating — 4,568 ratings
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64

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4.98 avg rating — 44 ratings
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65

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4.05 avg rating — 20 ratings
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66

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4.08 avg rating — 1,672 ratings
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66

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3.94 avg rating — 78 ratings
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68

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3.81 avg rating — 336 ratings
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68

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4.60 avg rating — 20 ratings
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68

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4.23 avg rating — 53 ratings
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71

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4.05 avg rating — 1,119 ratings
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72

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3.93 avg rating — 100,992 ratings
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72

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4.44 avg rating — 12,028 ratings
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74

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4.25 avg rating — 2,473 ratings
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75

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4.23 avg rating — 9,797 ratings
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75

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4.47 avg rating — 3,241 ratings
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77

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4.27 avg rating — 194 ratings
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78

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4.24 avg rating — 771 ratings
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79

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4.31 avg rating — 509 ratings
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80

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4.12 avg rating — 722 ratings
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81

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4.05 avg rating — 17,150 ratings
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82

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3.99 avg rating — 287 ratings
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83

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4.27 avg rating — 551 ratings
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84

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3.84 avg rating — 284,465 ratings
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85

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 626 ratings
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86

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4.24 avg rating — 3,831 ratings
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87

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4.35 avg rating — 1,624 ratings
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88

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4.35 avg rating — 5,492 ratings
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89

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3.84 avg rating — 3,106 ratings
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89

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4.34 avg rating — 29 ratings
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89

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4.16 avg rating — 44 ratings
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89

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4.16 avg rating — 63 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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3.91 avg rating — 491 ratings
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94

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4.65 avg rating — 72 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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2.69 avg rating — 39 ratings
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97

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3.74 avg rating — 328 ratings
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99

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4.03 avg rating — 59 ratings
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100

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4.67 avg rating — 12 ratings
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442 books · 295 voters · list created December 3rd, 2009 by Liz (votes) .
123 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Liz 864 books
141 friends
Donna-Lee 304 books
42 friends
Susan 3046 books
47 friends
Jacqueline 814 books
386 friends
Dolly 14616 books
65 friends
Dori 120 books
28 friends
Xenophon 2108 books
28 friends
Rebecca 3200 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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