Best Multicultural Children’s Books 2015

Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature is among the leading educational research centers in the field of multicultural literature. Our mission is to preserve the richness of the many cultures in the field of children’s and young adult literature.

Center for the Study of Multicultural Children’s Literature

Here are some of the 2015 winners from our catalog! Take a look at the 2015 Winners page for the full list. Don’t forget to contact the Southfield library to place items on hold if we don’t have a copy available right away!

Bayou Magic
Upper Elementary School/Middle School

Rhodes, Jewell Parker
A coming-of-age tale rich with folk magic, set in the wake of the Gulf oil spill, Bayou Magic celebrates hope, friendship, and family, and captures the wonder of life in the Deep South.
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Blackbird Fly
Epper Elementary School/Middle School

Kelly, Erin Entrada
Future rock star, or friendless misfit? That’s no choice at all. In this debut tween novel, twelve-year-old Apple grapples with being different; with friends and backstabbers and following her dreams.
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The Case for Loving: The Fight for Interracial Marriage
Upper Elementary School/Middle School

Alko, Selina
For most children these days it would come as a great shock to know that before 1967, they could not marry a person of a race different from their own. That was the year that the Supreme Court issued its decision in Loving v. Virginia.
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Draw What You See: The Life and Art of Benny Andrews
Elementary School/Middle School

Benson, Kathleen
Benny Andrews loved to draw. He drew his nine brothers and sisters, and his parents. He drew the red earth of the fields where they all worked, the hot sun that beat down, and the rows and rows of crops. As Benny hauled buckets of water, he made pictures in his head. And he dreamed of a better life—something beyond the segregation, the backbreaking labor, and the limited opportunities of his world.
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Drowned City: Hurricane Katrina & New Orleans
Upper Elementary School/Middle School/High School

Brown, Don
Don Brown’s kinetic art and as-it-happens narrative capture both the tragedy and triumph of one of the worst natural disasters in American history. A portion of the proceeds from this book has been donated to Habitat for Humanity New Orleans.
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Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl's Courage Changed Music
Elementary School

Engle, Margarita
Inspired by the childhood of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba's traditional taboo against female drummers, Drum Dream Girl tells an inspiring true story for dreamers everywhere.
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Echo: A Novel
Upper Elementary School/Middle School

Ryan, Pam Muñoz
Lost and alone in a forbidden forest, Otto meets three mysterious sisters and suddenly finds himself entwined in a puzzling quest involving a prophecy, a promise, and a harmonica.
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Everything, Everything
Middle School/High School

Yoon, Nicola
My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla. But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely.
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Full Cicada Moon
Upper Elementary School/Middle School

Hilton, Marilyn
Inside Out and Back Again meets One Crazy Summer and Brown Girl Dreaming in this novel-in-verse about fitting in and standing up for what’s right It's 1969, and the Apollo 11 mission is getting ready to go to the moon. But for half-black, half-Japanese Mimi, moving to a predominantly white Vermont town is enough to make her feel alien.
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Funny Bones: Posada and His Day of the Dead Calaveras
Elementary School

Tonatiuh, Duncan
Funny Bones tells the story of how the amusing calaveras—skeletons performing various everyday or festive activities—came to be.
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Gone in Crazy in Alabama
Upper Elementary School/Middle School

Williams-Garcia, Rita
Newbery Honor winner and New York Times bestselling author Rita Williams-Garcia tells the story of the Gaither sisters, who are about to learn what it's like to be fish out of water as they travel from the streets of Brooklyn to the rural South for the summer of a lifetime.
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In the Footsteps of Crazy Horse
Upper Elementary School/Middle School

Marshall III, Joseph
Jimmy McClean is a Lakota boy—though you would not guess it by his name: his father is a white man and his mother is Lakota. When he embarks on a journey with his grandfather, Nyles High Eagle, he learns more and more about his Lakota heritage—in particular, the story of Crazy Horse, one of the most important figures in Lakota history.
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Juna's Jar
Preschool/Elementary School

Bahk, Jane
Determined to find her friend Hector, Juna turns to her special kimchi jar for help each night. She plunges into the depths of the ocean, swings on vines through the jungle, and flies through the night sky in search of her friend. What Juna finds is that adventure--and new friends--can be found in the most unexpected places.
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Last Stop on Market Street
Preschool/Elementary School

de la Peña, Matt
This energetic ride through a bustling city highlights the wonderful perspective only grandparent and grandchild can share, and comes to life through Matt de la Pena’s vibrant text and Christian Robinson’s radiant illustrations.
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Lillian's Right to Vote: A Celebration of the Voting Rights Act of 1968
Elementary School

Winter, Joseph
An elderly African American woman, en route to vote, remembers her family’s tumultuous voting history in this picture book publishing in time for the fiftieth anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
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Listen, Slowly
Upper Elementary School/Middle School

Lại, Thanhhà
Vietnam is hot, smelly, and the last place she wants to be. Besides barely speaking the language, she doesn't know the geography, the local customs, or even her distant relatives. To survive her trip, Mai must find a balance between her two completely different worlds.
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Mama's Nightingale: A Story of Immigration and Separation
Elementary School

Danticat, Edwidge
After Saya's mother is sent to an immigration detention center, Saya finds comfort in listening to her mother's warm greeting on their answering machine. To ease the distance between them while she’s in jail, Mama begins sending Saya bedtime stories inspired by Haitian folklore on cassette tape. Moved by her mother's tales and her father's attempts to reunite their family, Saya writes a story of her own—one that just might bring her mother home for good.
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March: Book Two
Upper Elementary School/Middle School/High School

Lewis, John
The #1 New York Times bestselling series continues! Congressman John Lewis, an American icon and one of the key figures of the civil rights movement, continues his award-winning graphic novel trilogy with co-writer Andrew Aydin and artist Nate Powell, inspired by a 1950s comic book that helped prepare his own generation to join the struggle. Now, March brings the lessons of history to vivid life for a new generation, urgently relevant for today's world.
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Miracle on 133rd Street
Elementary School

Manzano, Sonia
It’s Christmas Eve and Mami has bought a delicious roast for a Christmas feast. But, oh no! It’s too big to fit in the oven. Jose and Papa need to find an oven big enough to cook Mami’s roast. As they walk from door to door through their apartment building, no one seems to be in the Christmas spirit. So they head down the street to find someone willing to help, and only when they do, holiday cheer manifests in unexpected ways.
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My Seneca Village
Middle School/High School

Nelson, Marilyn
Poetry illustrated in the poet's own words - with brief prose descriptions of what she sees inside her work -- this exquisite collection takes readers back in time and deep into the mind's eye of Marilyn Nelson.
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New Shoes
Elementary School

Meyer, Susan Lynn
In this historical fiction picture book, Ella Mae and her cousin Charlotte, both African American, start their own shoe store when they learn that they cannot try on shoes at the shoe store.
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Pool
All Ages

Lee, JiHyeon
What happens when two shy children meet at a very crowded pool? Dive in to find out! Deceptively simple, this masterful book tells a story of quiet moments and surprising encounters, and reminds us that friendship and imagination have no bounds.
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Rhythm Ride: A Road Trip Through the Motown Sound
Middle School/High School

Pinkney, Andrea Davis
From award-winning author Andrea Davis Pinkney comes the story of the music that defined a generation and a movement that changed the world.
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The Shadowshaper
Middle School

Older, Daniel José
Sierra Santiago was looking forward to a fun summer of making art, hanging out with her friends, and skating around Brooklyn. But then a weird zombie guy crashes the first party of the season. Sierra's near-comatose abuelo begins to say "No importa" over and over. And when the graffiti murals in Bed-Stuy start to weep.... Well, something stranger than the usual New York mayhem is going on.
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Sitting Bull: Lakota Warrior and Defender of His People
Upper Elementary School/Middle School

Nelson, S. D.
Sitting Bull (c. 1831–1890) was one of the greatest Lakota/Sioux warriors and chiefs who ever lived. From Sitting Bull’s childhood—killing his first buffalo at age 10—to being named war chief to leading his people against the U.S. Army, Sitting Bull: Lakota Warrior and Defender of His People brings the story of the great chief to light.
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Stella By Starlight
Upper Elementary School/Middle School

Draper, Sharon M.
When the Ku Klux Klan's unwelcome reappearance rattles Stella's segregated southern town, bravery battles prejudice in this Depression-era tour de force from Sharon Draper, the New York Times bestselling author of Out of My Mind.
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Under a Painted Sky
Middle School/High School

Lee, Stacy
This beautifully written debut is an exciting adventure and heart-wrenching survival tale. But above all else, it’s a story about perseverance and trust that will restore your faith in the power of friendship.
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Voice of Freedom, Fannie Lou Hamer: Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement
Upper Elementary School/Middle School

Weatherford, Carole Boston
A stirring collection of poems and spirituals, accompanied by stunning collage illustrations, recollects the life of Fannie Lou Hamer, a champion of equal voting rights.
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Wangari Maathai: The Woman Who Planted Millions of Trees
Elementary School

Prévot, Franck
Wangari Maathai received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2004 for her efforts to lead women in a nonviolent struggle to bring peace and democracy to Africa through its reforestation. Her organization planted over thirty million trees in thirty years. This beautiful picture book tells the story of an amazing woman and an inspiring idea.
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X: A Novel
Middle School/High School

Shabazz, Ilyasah
Cowritten by Malcolm X’s daughter, this riveting and revealing novel follows the formative years of the man whose words and actions shook the world.
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