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Ely Library at Westfield State University
Multiculural Young Adult Literature
This is a guide to some of the ERC's Multicultural Young Adult Literature. The guide includes, novels that showcase current and relatable topics in many ethnic cultures.
Black/African Americanl/Young Adult
Call Number: PZ7.A17 Ay 2008
Publication Date: 2012-09-04
Aya is loosely based upon Marguerite Abouet's youth in Yop City. It is the story of the studious and clear-sighted nineteen-year-old Aya, her easygoing friends Adjoua and Bintou, and their meddling relatives and neighbors. It's a wryly funny, breezy account of the simple pleasures and private troubles of everyday life in Yop City.
Black Boy White School by
Call Number: PZ7.W15216 Bl 2012
Publication Date: 2012-01-03
Anthony has never been outside his rough neighborhood when he receives a scholarship to Belton Academy, an elite prep school in Maine. But at Belton things are far from perfect.
Bud, Not Buddy by
Call Number: PZ7.C94137 Bu 1999
Publication Date: 2004-09-14
It's 1936, in Flint Michigan. Times may be hard, and ten-year-old Bud may be a motherless boy on the run, but Bud's got a few things going for him: 1. He has his own suitcase full of special things. 2. He's the author of Bud Caldwell's Rules and Things for Having a Funner Life and Making a Better Liar Out of Yourself. 3. His momma never told him who his father was, but she left a clue: flyers advertising Herman E. Calloway and his famous band, the Dusky Devastators of the Depression!!!!!!
Elijah of Buxton by
Call Number: PZ7.C94137 El 2007
Publication Date: 2009-02-01
Master storyteller Christopher Paul Curtis lends his trademark humour and vibrant narrative style to the gripping tale of eleven-year-old Elijah Freeman. The first child born into freedom in Buxton, Ontario, a settlement of runaway slaves just over the border from Detroit.
Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry by
Call Number: PZ7.T21723 Ro 1976
Publication Date: 2004-04-12
Winner of the Newbery Medal, this remarkably moving novel has impressed the hearts and minds of millions of readers. Set in Mississippi at the height of the Depression, this is the story of one family's struggle to maintain their integrity, pride, and independence in the face of racism and social injustice.
Call Number: PZ7.A73394 So 1969
Publication Date: 2002-12-24
This classic novel shows the courage, love, and faith that bind an African American family together despite the racism and inhumanity they face. Readers who enjoy timeless dog stories such as Old Yeller and Where the Red Fern Grows will find much to love in Sounder.
The Crossover by
Call Number: PZ7 .A3772 Cr 2014
Publication Date: 2014-03-18
"With a bolt of lightning on my kicks . . .The court is SIZZLING. My sweat is DRIZZLING. Stop all that quivering. Cuz tonight I'm delivering," announces dread-locked, 12-year old Josh Bell. He and his twin brother Jordan are awesome on the court. But Josh has more than basketball in his blood, he's got mad beats, too, that tell his family's story in verse, in this fast and furious middle grade novel of family and brotherhood.
The Road to Memphis by
Call Number: PZ7.T21723 Rm 1990
Publication Date: 2016-04-12
As America hovers on the brink of war, seventeen year-old Cassie Logan fights a battle closer to home. She dreams of college and law school. But no amount of schooling can prepare her for the violent explosion that takes place when her friend Moe lashes out at his white tormentors--an action unheard of in Mississippi as the country prepares for World War II.
The Skin I'm In by
Call Number: PZ7.F59816 Sk 1998
Publication Date: 2007-07-17
Maleeka suffers every day from the taunts of the other kids in her class. If they're not getting at her about her homemade clothes or her good grades, it's about her dark, black skin. When a new teacher, whose face is blotched with a startling white patch, starts at their school, Maleeka can see there is bound to be trouble for her too. But the new teacher's attitude surprises Maleeka. Miss Saunders loves the skin she's in. Can Maleeka learn to do the same?
When the Black Girl Sings by
Call Number: PZ7.W9335 Wh 2008
Publication Date: 2008-01-01
Lahni Schuler is the only black student at her private prep school. She's also the adopted child of two loving, but white, parents who are on the road to divorce. Struggling to comfort her mother and angry with her dad, Lahni feels more and more alone. But when Lahni and her mother attend a local church one Sunday, Lahni hears the amazing gospel choir, and her life takes an unexpected turn.
Native American/Young Adult
Bowman's Store by
Call Number: CT4300.B864 B85 2001
Publication Date: 2001-04-01
Bowman's Store gracefully weaves themes from Joseph Bruchac's intimate knowledge of Native American cultures with the scenes from the past that have shaped his life.
Code Talker by
Call Number: PZ7.B82816 Co 2005
Publication Date: 2006-07-06
Throughout World War II, in the conflict fought against Japan, Navajo code talkers were a crucial part of the U.S. effort, sending messages back and forth in an unbreakable code that used their native language. They braved some of the heaviest fighting of the war, and with their code, they saved countless American lives.
Daughter of Winter by
Call Number: PZ7 .C6794 Dau 2010
Publication Date: 2010-10-12
It's 1849, and twelve-year-old Addie lives in the shipbuilding town of Essex, Massachusetts. Her father has left the family to seek gold on the West Coast, and now the flux has taken the lives of her mother and baby brother, leaving Addie all alone. Her fear of living as a servant in some other home drives her into the snowy woods, where she survives on her own for several weeks before a nomadic, silver-haired Wampanoag woman takes her in.
Call Number: PZ7.B82816 Sac 2000
Publication Date: 2008-10-01
Captured by her enemies, married to a foreigner, and a mother at age sixteen, Sacajawea lived a life of turmoil and change. Then, in 1804, the mysterious young Shoshone woman met Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. Acting as interpreter, peacemaker, and guide, Sacajawea bravely embarked on an epic journey that altered history forever.
The Birchbark House by
Call Number: PZ7.E72554 Bi 1999
Publication Date: 2002-05-13
"[In this] story of a young Ojibwa girl, Omakayas, living on an island in Lake Superior around 1847, Louise Erdrich is reversing the narrative perspective used in most children's stories about nineteenth-century Native Americans. The Birchbark House establishes its own ground, in the vicinity of Laura Ingalls Wilder's 'Little House' books." --The New York Times Book Review
Walk Two Moons: a Harper Classic by
Call Number: PZ7.C8615 Wal 1994
Publication Date: 2017-10-24
Thirteen-year-old Salamanca Tree Hiddle, proud of her country roots and the "Indian-ness in her blood," travels from Ohio to Idaho with her eccentric grandparents. Along the way, she tells them of the story of Phoebe Winterbottom, who received mysterious messages, who met a "potential lunatic," and whose mother disappeared. As Sal entertains her grandparents with Phoebe's outrageous story, her own story begins to unfold--the story of a thirteen-year-old girl whose only wish is to be reunited with her missing mother.
Asian American/Young Adult
American Born Chinese by
Call Number: PZ7.7.Y36 Am 2006
Publication Date: 2008-12-23
Jin Wang starts at a new school where he's the only Chinese-American student. When a boy from Taiwan joins his class, Jin doesn't want to be associated with an FOB like him. Jin just wants to be an all-American boy, because he's in love with an all-American girl.
Call Number: PZ7.Y44 Dr 1975
Publication Date: 2001-01-23
Inspired by the story of a Chinese immigrant who created a flying machine in 1909, Dragonwings touches on the struggles and dreams of Chinese immigrants navigating opportunity and prejudice in San Francisco.
In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson by
Call Number: PZ7.L8773 In 1984
Publication Date: 2003-09-02
Shirley Temple Wong sails from China to America with a heart full of dreams. Her new home is Brooklyn, New York. It's 1947, and Jackie Robinson, star of the Brooklyn Dodgers, is everyone's hero. He proves that a black man, the grandson of a slave, can make a difference in America. By watching Jackie Robinson, Shirley begins to truly feel at home in her new country, and that America really is the land of opportunity--both on and off the field.
Midnight at the Dragon Cafe by
Call Number: PZ7.B299 Mi 2005
Publication Date: 2005-03-23
The life of a young Chinese girl is torn apart by dark family secrets and divided loyalties in a small Ontario town in the 1950s.
When My Name Was Keoko by
Call Number: PZ7.P22115 Wh 2012
Publication Date: 2012-04-17
Sun-hee and her older brother, Tae-yul, live in Korea with their parents. Because Korea is under Japanese occupation, the children study Japanese and speak it at school. Their own language, their flag, the folktales Uncle tells them--even their names--are all part of the Korean culture that is now forbidden. When World War II comes to Korea, Sun-hee is surprised that the Japanese expect their Korean subjects to fight on their side.
Hispanig/Latin American/Young Adult
Before We Were Free by
Call Number: PZ7.A48 Be 2002
Publication Date: 2004-04-13
Anita de la Torre never questioned her freedom living in the Dominican Republic. But by her 12th birthday in 1960, most of her relatives have emigrated to the United States. Using the strength and courage of her family, Anita must overcome her fears and fly to freedom, leaving all that she once knew behind.
Esperanza Rising by
Call Number: PZ7.R9553 Es 2000
Publication Date: 2002-05-01
Esperanza thought she'd always live with her family on their ranch in Mexico--she'd always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home, and servants. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California during the Great Depression, and to settle in a camp for Mexican farm workers. Esperanza isn't ready for the hard labor, financial struggles, or lack of acceptance she now faces.
Mexican WhiteBoy by
Call Number: PZ7.P3725 Me 2008
Publication Date: 2010-01-12
Mexican Whiteboy is a story of friendship, baseball, acceptance, and the struggle to find your identity in a world of definitions. Danny' s brown. Half-Mexican brown. And growing up in San Diego that close to the border means everyone else knows exactly who he is before he even opens his mouth. Before they find out he can't speak Spanish, and before they realize his mom has blond hair and blue eyes, they've got him pegged. But it works the other way too. And Danny's convinced it's his whiteness that sent his father back to Mexico.
Return to Sender by
Call Number: PZ7.A48 Re 2009
Publication Date: 2010-09-14
After Tyler's father is injured in a tractor accident, his family is forced to hire migrant Mexican workers to help save their Vermont farm from foreclosure.
Salsa Stories by
Call Number: PZ7.D3696 Sal 2000
Publication Date: 2012-09-01
With energy, sensitivity, and warmth, Lulu Delacre introduces readers to a symphony of colorful characters whose nine stories dance through a year of Latin American holidays and customs. Countries include Mexico, Puerto Rico, Argentina, Guatemala, and Peru. Seventeen delicious and authentic recipes are included!
Yes! We Are Latinos by
Call Number: PZ7.A19 Ye 2013
Publication Date: 2016-03-01
Juanita lives in New York and is Mexican. Felipe lives in Chicago and is Panamanian, Venezuelan, and black. Michiko lives in Los Angeles and is Peruvian and Japanese. Each of them is also Latino. Thirteen young Latinos and Latinas living in America are introduced in this book celebrating the rich diversity of the Latino and Latina experience in the United States.
Children's Book Help and Information
Middle Eastern Amerian/Young Adult
Extra Credit by
Call Number: PZ7.C59118 Ex 2009
Publication Date: 2011-02-01
It isn't that Abby Carson can't do her schoolwork. She just doesn't like doing it. And consequently, Abby will have to repeat sixth grade--unless she meets some specific conditions, including taking on an extra credit project: find a pen pal in a distant country. But when Abby's first letter arrives at a small school in Afghanistan, complications arise.
The Red Pencil by
Call Number: PZ7 .P6333 Re 2014
Publication Date: 2015-11-03
Life in Amira's peaceful Sudanese village is shattered when Janjaweed attackers arrive, unleashing unspeakable horrors. After losing nearly everything, Amira needs to find the strength to make the long journey on foot to safety at a refugee camp. She begins to lose hope, until the gift of a simple red pencil opens her mind -- and all kinds of possibilities.
Brooklyn Bridge by
Call Number: PZ7.H4364 Bro 2008
Publication Date: 2011-11-08
Through all the warmth, the sadness, the frustration, and the laughter of one big, colorful family, Newbery Medalist Karen Hesse builds a stunning story of the lucky, the unlucky, and those in between, and reminds us that our lives--all our lives--are fragile, precious, and connected. Brooklyn Bridge is a 2009 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.
Children of the River by
Call Number: PZ7.C86815 Ch 1989
Publication Date: 1991-08-01
Sundara fled Cambodia with her aunt's family to escape the Khmer Rouge army when she was thirteen, leaving behind her parents, her brother and sister, and the boy she had loved since she was a child. Now, four years later, she struggles to fit in at her Oregon high school and to be "a good Cambodian girl" at home.
Hope in My Heart by
Call Number: PZ7.L3274 Ho 2003
Publication Date: 2003-11-01
When Sofia and her family arrive in Ellis Island after a long and difficult journey from Italy, a cruel twist of fate separates Sofia from her parents and sends her into "quarantine." There, in a state-run hopsital, she and her new friend, Maureen, must learn to overcome the twin hardships of immigration and alienation, while they maintain the hope that they will be reunited with their families.
Penny from Heaven by
Call Number: PZ7.H732226 Pe 2006
Publication Date: 2007-12-26
Set just after World War II, this thought-provoking novel also highlights the prejudice Penny's Italian American family must confront because people of Italian descent were "the enemy" not long ago.
Summer of My German Soldier by
Call Number: PZ7.G8283 Su 2006
Publication Date: 2006-04-20
When her small hometown in Arkansas becomes the site of a camp housing German prisoners during World War II, Patty learns what it means to open her heart. Even though she's Jewish, she begins to see a prison escapee, Anton, not as a Nazi, but as a lonely, frightened young man with feelings not unlike her own.
The Diary of a Young Girl by
Call Number: CT4300.F72 R64 1993
Publication Date: 1993-06-01
In 1942, with the Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, the Franks and another family lived cloistered in the "Secret Annexe" of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death.
The Night Crossing by
Call Number: PZ7.A1824 Ni 1994
Publication Date: 1995-04-25
It's hard to leave your home and friends, but the Nazis have invaded Clara's native Austria, and her family is no longer safe. Clara and her family take only what they can carry and travel by night to the Swiss border, where they hope to escape to freedom.
The Orphan of Ellis Island by
Call Number: PZ7.W865 Or 2000
Publication Date: 2000-08-01
During a school trip to Ellis Island, Dominick Avaro, a ten-year-old foster child, travels back in time to 1908 Italy and accompanies two young emigrants to America.