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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3.94 avg rating — 57,530 ratings
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2

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4.33 avg rating — 18,542 ratings
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3

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4.33 avg rating — 3,244 ratings
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4

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4.23 avg rating — 4,040 ratings
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5

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3.96 avg rating — 51,956 ratings
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6

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4.39 avg rating — 10,548 ratings
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7

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4.16 avg rating — 601 ratings
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8

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4.08 avg rating — 1,729 ratings
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9

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3.91 avg rating — 85,002 ratings
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10

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3.82 avg rating — 4,919 ratings
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11

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4.12 avg rating — 195,637 ratings
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12

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4.12 avg rating — 14,535 ratings
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13

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4.02 avg rating — 23,456 ratings
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14

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4.13 avg rating — 47,776 ratings
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15

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4.15 avg rating — 38,554 ratings
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15

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3.70 avg rating — 10,264 ratings
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17

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4.09 avg rating — 1,258 ratings
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18

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4.10 avg rating — 5,979 ratings
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19

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3.85 avg rating — 162 ratings
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20

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4.13 avg rating — 3,964 ratings
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21

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3.81 avg rating — 102,815 ratings
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22

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4.37 avg rating — 19 ratings
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23

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4.13 avg rating — 1,413 ratings
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24

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4.10 avg rating — 5,355 ratings
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25

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4.07 avg rating — 876 ratings
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26

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4.48 avg rating — 12,943 ratings
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27

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3.77 avg rating — 97 ratings
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28

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4.18 avg rating — 4,933 ratings
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29

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3.90 avg rating — 87,301 ratings
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30

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 1,565 ratings
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31

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4.47 avg rating — 43 ratings
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32

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3.91 avg rating — 100 ratings
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33

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4.26 avg rating — 31 ratings
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34

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4.25 avg rating — 620 ratings
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35

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3.77 avg rating — 6,526 ratings
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36

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3.70 avg rating — 3,382 ratings
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37

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4.21 avg rating — 2,689 ratings
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38

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4.10 avg rating — 595 ratings
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39

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4.43 avg rating — 9,844 ratings
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40

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4.07 avg rating — 107 ratings
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40

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4.18 avg rating — 304 ratings
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42

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3.73 avg rating — 6,579 ratings
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43

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4.52 avg rating — 25 ratings
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44

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4.11 avg rating — 32,950 ratings
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45

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4.10 avg rating — 837 ratings
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45

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3.75 avg rating — 29,191 ratings
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47

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4.49 avg rating — 160 ratings
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48

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3.53 avg rating — 32 ratings
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49

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4.05 avg rating — 944 ratings
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50

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3.82 avg rating — 4,145 ratings
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51

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4.10 avg rating — 40,460 ratings
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52

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4.09 avg rating — 198 ratings
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53

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4.25 avg rating — 34,037 ratings
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54

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4.04 avg rating — 25 ratings
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55

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4.49 avg rating — 6,787 ratings
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56

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3.93 avg rating — 1,268 ratings
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57

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4.33 avg rating — 18 ratings
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58

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3.88 avg rating — 60 ratings
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59

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3.93 avg rating — 4,017 ratings
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60

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3.97 avg rating — 23,751 ratings
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61

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4.06 avg rating — 1,500 ratings
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62

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4.15 avg rating — 868 ratings
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63

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3.87 avg rating — 195 ratings
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64

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4.43 avg rating — 4,106 ratings
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65

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it was amazing 5.00 avg rating — 41 ratings
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66

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4.75 avg rating — 4 ratings
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67

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4.10 avg rating — 1,429 ratings
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67

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4.20 avg rating — 30 ratings
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69

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3.94 avg rating — 90,089 ratings
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69

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3.82 avg rating — 236 ratings
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69

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4.92 avg rating — 12 ratings
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69

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4.26 avg rating — 31 ratings
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73

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4.23 avg rating — 8,699 ratings
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74

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4.24 avg rating — 144 ratings
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75

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4.31 avg rating — 455 ratings
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76

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4.24 avg rating — 3,605 ratings
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77

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3.97 avg rating — 219 ratings
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78

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4.21 avg rating — 355 ratings
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79

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3.81 avg rating — 259,260 ratings
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80

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3.96 avg rating — 505 ratings
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81

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4.34 avg rating — 5,030 ratings
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82

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3.99 avg rating — 461 ratings
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83

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4.42 avg rating — 10,975 ratings
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84

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3.84 avg rating — 2,756 ratings
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84

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4.41 avg rating — 22 ratings
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84

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4.14 avg rating — 42 ratings
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84

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4.20 avg rating — 50 ratings
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84

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4.25 avg rating — 4 ratings
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84

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4.23 avg rating — 26 ratings
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90

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4.65 avg rating — 68 ratings
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91

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2.63 avg rating — 38 ratings
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91

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3.72 avg rating — 297 ratings
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93

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4.07 avg rating — 45 ratings
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94

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4.50 avg rating — 1,699 ratings
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95

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4.02 avg rating — 90 ratings
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95

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4.36 avg rating — 1,232 ratings
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97

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4.22 avg rating — 1,056 ratings
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98

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3.95 avg rating — 1,027 ratings
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99

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4.09 avg rating — 12,883 ratings
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100

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4.39 avg rating — 1,520 ratings
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451 books · 265 voters · list created December 3rd, 2009 by Liz (votes) .
101 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Liz 756 books
134 friends
Donna-Lee 280 books
41 friends
Susan 2773 books
46 friends
Jacqueline 746 books
373 friends
Dolly 13734 books
61 friends
Dori 81 books
27 friends
Xenophon 2042 books
26 friends
Rebecca 3159 books
60 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-6 of 6 (6 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.


message 6: by Madison-chan (new)

Madison-chan Great list! ;)


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