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Multicultural Reading List for Children and Award/Recommendation Lists for Diverse Children's Books
The Library of Michigan is pleased to present this reading list of award-winning and highly-recommended, multi-cultural and diverse children's books. Titles in this list were chosen to provide readers a broad and up-to-date selection during quickly changing times. As much as possible, these books reflect the current breadth of children's literature in our multi-cultural society.
The Library of Michigan's recommendations focus on specific book titles (rather than the corpus of works by a specific author or illustrator), recent and current titles, and a broad assortment of awards and recommendations that gives a fuller view of the great diversity of current children's literature.
Michigan State University's list of award and recommendation programs for diverse children's literature (https://libguides.lib.msu.edu/c.php?g=96613&p=626686) provided a helpful guide in the search for the books that are listed below. Many of these are not included in the Library of Michigan's collections. To request specific titles from other Michigan libraries, use the MeLCat catalog available at https://mel.org/.
Awards and recommendation lists represented below include
Amelia Bloomer Award The Amelia Bloomer Project, a committee of the Feminist Task Force of the Social Responsibilities Round Table, compiles the Amelia Bloomer List, an annual annotated book list (or bibliography) of well-written and well-illustrated books with significant feminist content, intended for young readers (ages birth through 18).
American Indian Youth Literature Award This award is given by the American Indian Library Association. Awarded biennially, the AIYLA identifies and honors the very best writing and illustrations by Native Americans and Indigenous peoples of North America. Books selected to receive the award present Indigenous North American peoples in the fullness of their humanity
Américas Book Award for Children's and Young Adult Literature The Américas Award recognizes U.S. published children's and young adult books that authentically and engagingly portray Latin America, the Caribbean, or Latinos in the United States.
Arab-American Book Award The Arab American Book Awards is a literary program created to honor books written by and about Arab Americans. The program generates greater awareness of Arab American scholarship and writing through an annual award competition and educational outreach.
Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature The Asian/Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA), an affiliate of the American Library Association, awards books that promote Asian/Pacific American culture and heritage based on their literary and artistic merit.
Coretta Scott King Book Awards (African-American) The Coretta Scott King Book Awards are given annually to outstanding African American authors and illustrators of books for children and young adults that demonstrate an appreciation of African American culture and universal human values.
Ezra Jack Keats Award The EJK Award is given annually to an outstanding new writer and new illustrator by the Ezra Jack Keats Foundation in partnership with the de Grummond Children's Literature Collection at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM).
John Steptoe New Talent Award (African-American) The John Steptoe New Talent Award is established to affirm new talent and to offer visibility to excellence in writing and/or illustration which otherwise might be formally unacknowledged within a given year within the structure of the two awards given annually by the Coretta Scott King Book Awards Committee.
Lambda Literary Award (LGBTQ) For over 30 years, the Lambda Literary Awards have identified and honored the best lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender books.
The Pura Belpré Award (Latino) The Pura Belpré Award, established in 1996, is presented to a Latino/Latina writer and illustrator whose work best portrays, affirms, and celebrates the Latino cultural experience in an outstanding work of literature for children and youth. It is co-sponsored by the Association for Library Service to Children (ALSC), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), and the National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking ( REFORMA), an ALA affiliate.
Schneider Family Book Awards (Disability) The Schneider Family Book Awards honor an author or illustrator for a book that embodies an artistic expression of the disability experience for child and adolescent audiences.
Sydney Taylor Book Awards (Jewish) The Sydney Taylor Book Award is presented annually to outstanding books for children and teens that authentically portray the Jewish experience.
Cherry, Matthew. Hair Love. Amelia Bloomer Book List
Child, Brenda J. Bowwow Powwow: Bagosenjige-niimi'idim. American Indian Youth Literature Award
Corrin, Ashleigh (illustrator) and Tallie, Mariahadessa Ekere (author). Layla's Happiness. Ezra Jack Keats Award for Illustrator and Writer Honor
Farina, Matthew. Lawrence in the Fall. Ezra Jack Keats Award Honor and Illustrator Honor
Flett, Julie. Birdsong. American Indian Youth Literature Honor
Gale, Heather. Ho'onani: Hula Warrior. Amelia Bloomer Book List
Gibbons, Janine. Raven makes the Aleuthians. American Indian Youth Literature Honor
Kensky, Jessica. Rescue & Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship. Schneider Family Book Award
Kotb, Hoda. I've Loved You Since Forever. Arab-American Book Award
Levy, Debbie. The Key from Spain: Flory Jagoda and Her Music. Sydney Taylor Picture Book Honor
Love, Jessica. Jullian is a Mermaid. Mike Morgan and Larry Romans Children's and Young Adult Literature Award
Macy, Sue. The Book Rescuer: How a Mensch from Massachusetts Saved Yiddish Literature for Generations to Come. Sydney Taylor Book Award
Maillard, Kevin Noble. Fry Bread: A Native American Story. American Indian Youth Literature Honor
Muhammad, Ibtihaj. The Proudest Blue. Amelia Bloomer Book List
Murphy, Frank. A Boy Like You. Amelia Bloomer Book List
Newman, Leslea. Gittel's Journey: An Ellis Island Story. Sydney Taylor Picture Book Honor
Oliveros, Jessie. Remember Balloons. Schneider Family Book Award
Robeson, Teresa. Queen of Physics: How Wu Chien Shiung Helped Unlock the Secrets of the Atom. Asian/Pacific American Picture Book Award
Saeed, Aisha. Bilal Cooks Daal. Asian/Pacific American Picture Book Honor
Smith, Sydney, Small in the City. Ezra Jack Keats Award
Sorell, Traci. At the Mountain's Base. Amelia Bloomer Book List, American Indian Youth Literature Honor
Sorell, Traci. We are Grateful: Otsaliheliga. American Indian Youth Literature Honor
Alexander, Kwame. The Undefeated. Coretta Scott King Book Awards Illustrator Winner
Argueta, Jorge. Fuego Fuegito/ Fire, Little Fire/ Tit, Titchin. Américas Award Commended Title
Barton, Chris. What Do You Do with a Voice like That? The Story of Extraordinary Congresswoman Barbara Jordan. Amelia Bloomer Book List
Carballido, José. Titanosaur. Américas Award Honorable Mention Title
Charles, Tami. Freedom Soup. Américas Award Honorable Mention Title
Denise, Anika Aldamuy. Planting Stories: The Life of Librarian and Storyteller Pura Belpré. Américas Award Commended Title
Duncan, Alice Faye. A Song for Gwendolyn Brooks. Amelia Bloomer Book List
Gonzales, Debbie. Girls with Guts! The Road to Breaking Barriers and Bashing Records. Amelia Bloomer Book List
Hegedus, Bethany. Rise! From Caged Bird to Poet of the People, Maya Angelou. Amelia Bloomer Book List
Kim, Patti. I'm OK. Asian/Pacific American Award for Children's Literature Honor Title
Maraniss, Andrew. Games of Deception: The True Story of the First U.S. Olympic Basketball Team at the 1936 Olympics in Hitler's Germany. Sydney Taylor Book Honor
Palacio, R.J., White Bird: A Wonder Story. Sydney Taylor Book Award
Pasternack, Sofiya. Anya and the Dragon. Sydney Taylor Book Honor
Perkins, Mitali. Between Us and Abuela: A Family Story from the Border. Américas Award Winner
Quintero, Isabel (author) and Peña, Zeke (illustrator). My Papi has a Motorcycle. Américas Award Honorable Mention and Ezra Jack Keats Illustrator Honor
Read, Kate (author and illustrator). One Fox: A Counting Book Thriller. Ezra Jack Keats Illustrator Honor
de Regil, Tania. A New Home. Américas Award Commended Title
Tapper, Alice Paul. Raise Your Hand. Amelia Bloomer Book List
Véissid, Jacqueline. Ruby's Sword. Amelia Bloomer Book List
Vilela, Fernando. Along the Tapajós. Américas Award Commended Title
Wan, Joyce. Dream Big. Amelia Bloomer Book List
Wang, Jen. Stargazing. Asian/Pacific American Award for Youth Literature
Argueta, Jorge. Caravan to the North. Américas Award Commended Title
Balcárcel, Rebecca. The Other Half of Happy. Américas Award Honorable Mention Title
Bigelow, Lisa Jenn. Hazel's Theory of Evolution. Lambda Literary Award
Callender, Kacen. Hurricane Child. Lambda Literary Award and Mike Morgan and Larry Romans Children's and Young Adult Literature Award
Connor, Leslie. Truth as Told by Mason Buttle. Schneider Family Book Award
Craft, Jerry. New Kid. Coretta Scott King Book Awards
Daud, Somaiya. Mirage. Arab-American Book Award
Day, Christine. I Can Make this Promise. American Indian Youth Literature Honor
Gyetxw, Hetxw'ms. Grizzly Mother. American Indian Youth Literature Honor
Hale, Shannon. Best Friends Amelia Bloomer Book List
Johnston, Tony. Beast Rider. Américas Award Winner
Kadarusman, Michelle. Girl of the Southern Sea Amelia Bloomer Book List
McManis, Charlene Willing with Traci Sorrell. Indian No More. Amelia Bloomer Book List, American Indian Youth Literature Award
O'Brien, Keith. Fly Girls Young Readers' Edition: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History Amelia Bloomer Book List
Ramée, Lisa Moore. A Good Kind of Trouble Amelia Bloomer Book List
Salazar, Aida. The Moon Within. Américas Award Honorable Mention
Takei, George. They Called Us Enemy. Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature
Villalobos, Juan Pablos. The Other Side: Stories fo Central American Teen Refugees Who Dream of Crossing the Border. Américas Award Commended Title
West, Jacqueline. The Collectors. Schneider Family Book Award
Williams, Alicia D. Genesis Begins Again. Coretta Scott King Book Awards John Steptoe Award for New Talent Author
Acevedo, Elizabeth. With The Fire on High. Amelia Bloomer Book List
Halse Anderson, Laurie. Shout. Amelia Bloomer Book List
Carlton, Susan Kaplan. In the Neighborhood of True. Amelia Bloomer Book List
Courtney, Nadine Jolie. All-American Muslim Girl. Amelia Bloomer Book List
Dewoskin, Rachel. Someday We Will Fly. Sydney Taylor Book Award
Fleming, Melissa. The Journey of Doaa Al Zamel: One Teen Refugee's Incredible Story of Love, Loss, and Survival. Amelia Bloomer Book
Jensen, Kelly. (Don't) Call Me Crazy: 33 Voices Start the Conversation about Mental Health. Schneider Family Book Award
Johnston, Angela Hovak. Reawakening Our Ancestors' Lines: Revitalizing Inuit Traditional Tattooing. American Indian Youth Literature Honor
Khan, Sabina. The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali. Amelia Bloomer Book List Amelia Bloomer Book List
Lemay, Kate Clarke, ed. Votes for Women!: A Portrait of Persistence Amelia Bloomer Book
Moskowitz, Hannah. Sick Kids in Love. Sydney Taylor Book Honor
Ortiz, Victoria. Dissenter on the Bench. Sydney Taylor Book Honor
Oshiro, Mark. Anger is a Gift. Schneider Family Book Award
Quigley, Dawn. Apple in the Middle. American Indian Youth Literature Honor
Reese, Debbie. An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States for Young People. American Indian Youth Literature Honor
Silverstein, Karol Ruth. Cursed. Schneider Family Book Award
Smith, Cynthia Leitich. Hearts Unbroken. American Indian Youth Literature Award
Spillet, Tasha. Surviving the City. American Indian Youth Literature Award
Villasante, Alexandra. The Grief Keeper. Lambda Literary Award
Yoon, David. Frankly in Love. Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature