Please submit your own book reviews.


This is intended to be a place where educators share information!
Here is a list of books to get you started. Please feel free to submit any books, even one that has already been submitted. Any "grading" discrepancies will be averaged to give one score.
This list was updated 11.19.96

The reviews work as follows:

Title author, publisher, date, illustrations, ethnic group, protaganist sex, genre.
Review.
Grade level. Grading of the book.

As noted on the previous page, the grading may be interpreted as follows: An F = unacceptable, C = passable, B = good quality/subject but lacking some important elements, A = oustanding content/quality/subject.


Go to the section you wish to look at by choosing through the following, or feel free scroll down:
African American Literature
Asian American/Pacific Islander Literature
Latino and Latina Literature
Native American and Eskimo Literature
Jewish
Middle Eastern or East Indian
Titles in English from Other Countries
Textbooks
Multiple Ethnicities
e-mail


African-American

Mama Day Gloria Naylor, Vintage Books, 1988, African-American, one female and one male, fiction.
Wonderfully rich, engrossing, and emotional tale about a man, a woman, and the woman's great-aunt, Mama Day. It's a story about love, history, family, death, and the continuance of life. Wonderful.
Suitable for high school. Grade: A+

Invisible Man Ralph Ellison, Vintage Books, 1947, African-American, male, fiction
The classic novel of the experience of African-Americans who are caught between what white society expects and what black society sees of them. Beautifully written, strong, moving, emotional. For older students who can understand its subtleties. Longish book.
Suitable for high-school upper classmen. Grade:A

Middle Passage Charles Johnson, Penguin Books, 1990 African-American, male, fiction
Winner of the National Book Award, Johnson's novel is about a freed slave who stows away on a slave ship. A quick read, a twist on the white "sea-faring" books a la Melville, but lacks the sharpness of Wright or Ellison.
Suitable for high school, and maybe some junior-high classes. Grade:B

The cay Theodore Taylor, Avon, 1969, African-American, two males, fiction.
Stranded on a tiny Caribbean island when their ship is torpedoed by a German submarine, an adolescent white boy, blinded by a blow on the head, and an old black man must find a way to survive. ..
Suitable for junior-high to high school. Grade: A (KSN)

Soul looks back in wonder Tom Feelings, Dial Books, 1993, African American, many, poetry.
A beautifully-illustrated collection of powerful poems by and about African Americans. .
Suitable for junior-high to high school. Grade: A (KSN)

A lesson before dying Ernest J. Gaines, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc, 1993, African-American, male, fiction.
Jefferson, a black youth, gets caught in the wrong place during a violent crime and is sentenced to death for something he did not do. With the support of his family and community, he regains his self-esteem and learns to face death with dignity. .
Suitable for junior-high to high school. Grade: A (KSN)

Letters from a slave girl:The story of Harriet Jacobs Mary E. Lyons, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1992, African-American, female, fiction.
In this fictionalized story based on true events, Harriet Jacobs writes letters describing her slavery in North Carolina and her preparations for escape in 1842. .
Suitable for junior-high to high school. Grade: A (KSN)

Nightjohn Gary Paulsen, Delacorte Press, 1993, African American, female, fiction.
Sarny faces the dangerous consequences when she accepts a newly-arrived slave's offer to teach her to read. .
Suitable for junior-high to high school. Grade: A (KSN)

Uncle Tom's Children Wright, Richard, Harper and Row, 1940, African American, multi-racial, male, fiction.
A collection of four novellas and an autobiographical essay from Black Boy, Uncle Tom's Children is realistic, brutal, yet beautiful fiction that examines the violence that racism produces. In what could almost be seen as a progression of methods of resitance, the first novela, "Big Boy Leaves Home" deals with an adolescent character who must run from the south pursued by racists. The methods progress from the individual to the collective, and in one of the last ones, a preacher must decide whether to organize a protest against hunger or give in to the mayor's requests that he ignore the wishes of his community and stop the protest from occurring..
Suitable for High School. Grade: A (PB)

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Mildred Taylor, ?, ?, African-American, female, fiction.
Cassie and her family live on land that they own, in the midst of white-owned plantations. She and her brothers confront differences in education, justice, attitudes, etc., and emerge triumphant. There are sequels..
Suitable for Middle School/Junior High. Grade: A+ (JB)

The Wedding Dorothy West, Anchor Books, Doubleday, 1995, African-American, female, fiction.
Written by the last surviving member of the Harlem Renaissance, Dorothy West tells a poignant story about the Cole and Shelby families. This story spans from the early days of feedom to the 1950's in Martha's Vinyard as the family prepares for a wedding that forces them to deal with both past and modern issues of race and class. .
Suitable for 11th, 12th grade and college. Grade: A (MP)

Life on The Color LineGregory Williams, ?, ?, African American, male, non-fiction.
The autobiography of Gregory Williams begins when he is a child growing up white. However, when his mother leaves, he must learn the truth about his paternal ancestry..
Suitable for High School. Grade: A (CM)

Warriors Don't Cry:A Searing Memoir of the Battle to Integrate Little Rock's Central High. Melba Patillo Beals, Archway Paperbacks, 1995, African American, Female, non-fiction:autobiography, photographs.
In 1957 Melba Patillo, a sixteen year old student, was selected as one of nine students to help integrate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. Melba kept a diary of her accounts of cruel remarks from schoolmates and their parents, what the National Guard and Little Rock police officers went through to protect the nine students from the mob, and her pain as she washes away the acid sprayed in her eyes. A wonderful, inspiring and important book for people all ages to get first hand account of the climate in the south during the Civil Rights Movement..
Suitable for middle school and high school.. Grade: A+ (JLT)

Jason's Adventures with The Tuskegee Airmen Millie Wright Pilgrim, Millie Wright Pilgrim, 1992, African-American, male, fiction.
..
Suitable for 4-6. Grade: A

Stolen Innocence:Preventing, Healing and Recovering from Child Molestation Dr. Ivory L. Toldson, CPHC, 1996, African American, female, Nonfiction, pictures.
Stolen Innocence tells the story of an African-American female child in therapy who has been sexually and physically abused. Through the child's character, children safely experience the emotional hullabaloo of sexual abuse. This motivates children to learn prevention skills the story contains. Child victims and adult survivors see themselves on a triumphant journey to wellness. Mental health professionals and educators see how to lead them. Mental health professionals who use play therapy procedures in the treatment of children will find the book indispensable. In an entertaining and nonthreatening story, Children learn ways to safeguard and protect themselves. The shame, an! ger, the confusion, the fears, the loss of control and the occasional joy in spite of all unfolds in the book. The book employs psychohistory as a technique in the story with the use of ancient African Egyptian beliefs about life..
Suitable for K-3, 4-6 Grade: A

Othello: a Novel Julius Lester, Scholastic Hardcover, 1995, African-American (The author is African-American, but the story is about an African.), male, fiction.
Julius Lester has updated Shakespeare's "Othello" to a quick compelling read. Some interesting changes: Iago is an African like Othello and the setting is moved from Venice, Italy to England. Good for reluctant readers of Shakespeare or any of the "classics.".
Suitable for Middle School/Junior High and High School. Grade: A (CL)

With Every Drop of Blood: A Novel of the Civil War James Lincoln Collier and Christopher Collier, Delacorte, 1992, African-American, male, fiction, map included.
A poor white Southerner is captured by a black Yankee and the Southerner must question his beliefs about war, race and States' rights. In preface, authors explain that the characters occasionally use ethnic slurs in order to remain authentic. .
Suitable for Middle school/junior high. Grade:B (CL)

Rainbow Jordan Alice Childress, Avon Flare, 1982, African-American, female, fiction.
Rainbow Jordon sometimes lives with her beautiful young mom or stays with neighbor "Miz Josie" from time to time. She tries to deal with her dysfunctional life the best way she can..
Suitable for Middle school/junior high. Grade:B (CL)

'Twas The Night B'fore Christmas. Melodye Rosales, Scholastic Inc., 1996, African American, male, fiction, illustrations.
During slavery, African-Americans on southern plantations often retold tales they heard in the "Big House," changing them here and there to make the stories all their own. Following that tradition, 'Twas The Night B'fore Christmas is retold from Clement Clark Moore's familiar poem, A Visit From St. Nicholas, whose African-American characters are placed on a small family dairy farm in rural North Carolina near the turn of the century..
Suitable for K-3. Grade: A

Asian-American and Pacific Islander

Desert Exile, Yoshiko Uchida, University of Washington Press, 1982, Japanese-American, female, autobiography
Internment Literature. Follows the war internment of a Japanese-American family. True story, quick read.
Suitable for middle school/junior high and high school. Grade:B+

Itsuka, Joy Kogawa, Anchor Books, 1992, Asian-American(actually Canadian), female, fiction
Internment Literature. Follows the life of a Japanese-Canadian woman and the group she belongs to who are fighting for compensation from the Canadian government for internment of Canadian citzens of Japanese decent during WWII.
Suitable for high school. Grade:B

Honor and Duty, Gus Lee, Ivy Books, 1994, Chinese-American, male, fiction
The follow-up to Lee's first book China Boy, follows Kai Ting through his ordeals at West Point as the only Chinese-American in the school. Only caution, the book is long.
Suitable for high-school. Grade:B+

Children of the river Linda Crew, Dell Publishing, 1989, Asian-American (Cambodian), female, fiction.
She fled Cambodia with her aunt's family to escape the Khmer Rouge army. Now seventeen-year-old Sundara must find a way to remain faithful to her own people as she learns to become an American..
Suitable for junior-high to high school. Grade: A (KSN)

The clay marble Minfong Ho,Farrar, Straus & Giroux., 1991, Asian-American (Cambodian), many, fiction.
As a family flees the advance of Khmer Rouge soldiers in Cambodia, they become separated in the chaos..
Suitable for junior-high to high school.\par Grade: A (KSN)

Echoes of the white giraffeSook Nyul Choi, Houghton Mifflin, 1993, Asian American (Korean), female, fiction.
As Sookan adjusts to life in the refugee village in Pusan, she clings to her hope that the civil war will end and her family will be reunited in Seoul. Sequel to Year of Impossible Goodbyes. .
Suitable for junior-high to high school. Grade: A (KSN)

Goodbye Vietnam Gloria Whelan, Random House, 1992, Asian American (Vietnamese), many, fiction.
The seemingly-impossible dream of escaping Vietnam for Hong Kong and freedom challenges a refugee family's courage and perseverance. .
Suitable for junior-high to high school. Grade: A (KSN)

Shadow of the dragon Sherry Garland, Harcourt, 1993, Asian American (Vietnamese), male, fiction.
Danny Vo tries to bring peace between a Vietnamese gang and his girlfriend's brother, a skinhead. .
Suitable for junior-high to high school. Grade: A (KSN)

Shizuko's daughter Kyoko Mori, Henry Holt and Company, 1993, Asian American (Japanese), female, fiction.
Yuki's life turns upside down when her mother dies and she must live with a father she doesn't know. She learns to rely on her own inner strength and find her place in a new family. .
Suitable for junior-high to high school. Grade: A (KSN)

To Destroy You Is No Loss JoAn Criddle, East/West Bridge Publishing House, 1987, Cambodian, Cambodian American, Female, non-fiction:biography/Oral History, photographs.
This book follows one prominent Cambodian family's struggle to survive four years of unprecedented brutality and wanton destruction during Pol Pot's communist Khmer Rouge regime. Featuring fifteen year-old Teeda, it is the true story of the four generation Butt family's efforts to stay alive,and their eventual terror-filled escape attempts from a war ravaged, famine riddled nation..
Suitable for junior high and high school Grade: A+ (JLT)

Peacebound Trains Haemi Balgassi, Clarion Books, 1996, Asian/Korean, female, Historical Fiction, illustrations.
In harsh winter, a South Korean mother and her young children flee from war aboard the roof of a southbound freight train. The story is poignant and deeply moving, and the watercolor artwork is stunning..
Suitable for K-3, 4-6. Grade: A

Finding my voice Marie Lee, Houghton Mifflin, 1992, Asian-American, female, fiction.
Ellen Sung is the only Asian-American in a small school in Minnesota and is having trouble finding her identity. Should she follow her sister to Harvard, receive a letter in gymnastics, and/or forgive the racial comments she hears?.
Suitable forMiddle school/junior high. Grade: B (CL)

The Golem and the Dragon Girl Sonia Levitin, Dials, 1993, Asian-American/Jewish, female and male, fiction.
Laurel Wang and her Chinese-American family have moved out of a house that she thinks is haunted by the dragon spirit of her great-grandfather. Jonathan and his Jewish family move into the house and he thinks a golem is haunting the house. Laurel and Jonathan use their cultures to exorcise the ghost..
Suitable for Middle school/junior high. Grade:B (CL)

The Joy Luck Club.Amy Tan, Ballantine Books, 1989, Chinese American, Female, fiction.
A novel about four Chinese American women and their Chinese mothers coping with their different cultural aspects. It's told through the voices of each of the mothers and their daughters. The vignettes are compelling, beautifully creative, and real tear-jerkers. We would recomend this to anyone, especially women. ..
Suitable for high school. Grade: (VJC)

If It Hadn't been for Yoon Jun.Marie G. Lee, Houghton Mifflin/Avon, 1993, Korean American, Female, fiction.
A funny big that also deals with racism in a serious was. Twelve-year-old Alice is an adoptee from Korea in a white family. She doesn't think of herself as Korean at all, but when a boy from Korean, Yoon Jun, ends up in her class, she has to face up to real issues of who she is..
Suitable for middle school/junior high. Grade: A+ (ATC)

Latino and Latina

Bless Me, Ultima, Rudolfo Anaya, Warner Books, 1972, Chicano, male, fiction
Warm, rich, magical story of a boy and his old friend who is a curandera-one who cures with herbs and magic. Funny and incredibly touching. Author has many excellent titles.
Suitable for high school. Grade:A+

The forty-third war Louise Moeri, Houghton Mifflin Company, 1989, Latino/Latina, male, fiction.
When twelve-year-old Uno Ramirez is forced to serve in a revolutionary army, he must find the courage to survive. .
Suitable for junior-high to high school. Grade: A (KSN)

Journey of the sparrows Fran Leeper Buss with Daisy Cubias, Dell Publishing, 1991,Latino/Latina, many, fiction.
After struggling to come to America, a family of Salvadoran refugees begins to find a new home..
Suitable for junior-high to high school. Grade: A (KSN)

Taking sides Gary Soto, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1991, Latino/Latina, male, fiction.
Lincoln Mendoza feels his loyalties torn when he leaves the Hispanic inner city to move to a white suburban neighborhood. .
Suitable for junior-high to high school. Grade: A (KSN)

Voices from the fields: Children of migrant farmers tell their stories. S. Beth Atkin, Joy Street Books, 1993, Latino/Latina, many, mixed.
Photographs, poems, and interviews with children reveal the hardships and hopes of Latino migrant farm workers and their families. .
Suitable for junior-high to high school. Grade: A (KSN)

Local news Gary Soto, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1993, Latino/Latina, many, fiction.
A collection of short stories about Mexican American youth in California's Central Valley. .
Suitable for junior-high to high school. Grade: A (KSN)

Crazy weekend Gary Soto, Scholastic, Inc, 1994, Latino/Latina, 2 male, fiction.
Hector and Mando inadvertently find themselves pursued by two thieves who think the boys witnessed their crime. .
Suitable for junior-high to high school. Grade: A (KSN)

Pacific crossing Gary Soto, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1992, Latino/Latina, male, fiction.
Fourteen-year-old Mexican American Lincoln Mendoza spends a summer with a host family in Japan, encountering new experiences and making new friends. .
Suitable for junior-high to high school. Grade: A (KSN)

Yo Soy Juaquin Rudolfo Gonzalez, ?, ?, chicano, male, poetry, photo essay.
This poem traces the roots of Chicano heritage and politics from Los Indios through Los Vatos in 1970's Southwest. Juaquin is the personification of all Chicano people. This piece was on of the poem the Chicano movement generated then rallied around. It's place in political history is as if not more important than its literary value, though it is strong writing. The drawback is that the poem is centered around a male experience. Its greatest strength is that the piece was written in both English and Spanish, so the text contains both versions. .
Suitable for K-3. Grade: B (ST)

The Hispanic 100 (Citadel) Himilce Novas, ?, 1995, Latino, nonfiction.
Great resource book about the Latino men and women who have most influenced American thought and Culture. .
Suitable for ? Grade: ? (HM)

Cool Salsa ?, ?, ?, Mexican-America, N/A, poetry.
This is a bilingual book of poetry. The poems are in both English and Spanish. I really liked "Why Do Men Only Wear One Earring?"..
Suitable for Middle School/Junior High and High School. Grade: A (JB)

JalapeŅo Bagels Natasha Wing, Atheneum, 1996, Mexican/Jewish, male, fiction, illustrations by Robert Casilla.
A warm family story set in a bakery owned by Pablo's Mexican mother and Jewish father. When Pablo needs to bring something to school from his culture for International Day heturns to his parents' bakery and choses something that represents both cultures - just like him! Includes glossary and recipes..
Suitable for K-3. Grade: A

TAINO:Guanin's Story. Edwin Fontanez, Exit Studio, 1996, Latino - Puerto Rican, male, historical fiction, illustrations.
This charming story-on-video and activity book describes the daily lives of Puerto Rico's indigenous people before the arrival of Spanish explorers. Beautifully illustrated, it highlights the dignity of this forgotten culture. Extensive notes for teachers and parents give a historical context to the story..
Suitable for K-3. Grade: A (SB)

The Vejigante and the Folk Festivals of Puerto Rico. Edwin Fontanez, Exit Studio, 1995, Latino - Puerto Rican, mixed, non-fiction, illustrations.
This video and activity book explore the Vejigante, a carnival folk character who is a mixture of the African, Spanish, and Caribbean cultures that embody Puerto Rico. Descriptions of the history and traditions are given in detail as well as instructions on making the Vejigante's papier-mache mask..
Suitable for 4-6. Grade: A (SB)

Native American and Eskimo

The Grass Dancer, Susan Power, Berkley Books, 1994, Native-American, Different protagonists, fiction.
Non-linear style (the plot line moves backward through time). Disturbing yet insightful. Deals with the struggles of Native-Americans in trying to keep their traditions in the face of internal and external pressures. But the novel goes beyond this, and deals with universal emotions, fears, and triumphs. More advanced because of literary style.
Suitable for upper-classmen in high school. Grade:B+

Scrub Dog of Alaska Walt Morey, Blue Heron Publishing, Inc., 1989, Native American, Male, Fiction.
Half-Indian David Martin saves Scrub, part-wolf pup, from cruel sled-dog trainer Smiley Jackson. Dave cares for Scrub as he grows into a magnificent lead dog and Smiley returns to claim him. While Scrub races in the Alaskan sled-dog circuit, Dave faces prejudice in Anchorage while he tries to reunite with Scrub. Suitable for 4-6 and Middle School/Junior High. Grade:A (DS)

Dancing teepees:Poems of American Indian youth Virginia Driving Hawk Sneve, Holiday House, 1989, Native American, many, poetry.
The writings of young American Indian poets..
Suitable for junior-high to high school. Grade: A (KSN)

I heard the owl call my name Margaret Craven, Clarke, Irwin., 1967, Native American, male, fiction.
An Anglican priest with a short time to live learns acceptance of death from the native people he has come to help on the northwest coast of British Columbia. .
Suitable for junior-high to high school. Grade: A (KSN)

Again calls the owl.Margaret Craven, Hall, 1980, Native American, many, fiction.
This sequel to I Heard the Owl Call My Name continues a native community's journey to accept the death of a friend..
Suitable for junior-high to high school. Grade: A (KSN)

Beardance Will Hobbs, Macmillan Publishing Company, 1993, Native American, male, fiction.
While accompanying his guardian on a trip into the San Juan Mountains, Cloyd tries to help two orphaned grizzly cubs survive and complete his own spirit mission. The sequel to Bearstone..
Suitable for junior-high to high school. Grade: A (KSN)

Bearstone Will Hobbs, Atheneum Publishers, 1989, Native American, male, fiction.
As a last chance to turn his life around, Cloyd, a Ute Indian boy, goes to live with an elderly rancher whose caring ways help him grow toward manhood..
Suitable for junior-high to high school. Grade: A (KSN)

The owl's song Janet Campbell Hale, Bantam Books, 1991, Native American, male, fiction.
Billy White Hawk leaves his Idaho reservation to find a better life in California, but discovers that hatred and hostility have followed him. .
Suitable for junior-high to high school. Grade: A (KSN)

Revolutions of the heartMarsha Qualey, Houghton Mifflin and Company, 1993, Native American, 1 female 1 male, fiction.
Cory must cope with family tragedy and small-town prejudice when she falls in love with a Native American boy. .
Suitable for junior-high to high school. Grade: A (KSN)

Rising voices: Writings of young Native AmericansSelected by Arlene B. Hirschfelder and Beverly R. Singer, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1992, Native American, many, mixed.
A collection of poems and essays in which young Native Americans speak of their identity, their families and communities, rituals, and the harsh realities of their lives. .
Suitable for junior-high to high school. Grade: A (KSN)

Walker of time Helen Hughes Vick, Harbinger, 1993, Native American, male, fiction.
A sudden journey back through time jolts a Hopi boy as he finds himself facing the challenges of an ancient people. .
Suitable for junior-high to high school. Grade: A (KSN)

A woman of her tribe Margaret Robinson, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1990, Native American (Canadian), female, fiction.
Fifteen-year-old Annette makes a physical, cultural, and psychological journey from her rural Nootka community on Vancouver Island to the city of Victoria to discover her cultural heritage. .
Suitable for junior-high to high school. Grade: A (KSN)

ROOTS OF PEACE, SEEDS OF HOPE:A Journey for Peacemakers Maggie Steincrohn Davis, Heartsong Books, 1994, Native American, N/A, non-fiction, Illustrations by Maggie Steincrohn Davis.
This unique, highly-praised, exquisitely simple book expresses the essence of Native-non-Native relations in this country and is a call for peacemakers. The book is written in the spirit of Albert Schweitzer's principle of 'Reverence for Life' and should be known and understood by all persons, of whatever race. .
Suitable for grades 3-12. Grade: A+

Julie of the Wolves Jean Craighead George, 1972, Inuit, female, fiction.
A story about a young girl in the far North who gets separated from her people and is forced to live with a pack of wolves to survive. Soon she becomes friends with the wolves, but when she gets older she has to decide to live in her village and stay with the old ways, or move to a city and take on new ways..
Suitable for High School. Grade: B (MD)

Uncegila's Seventh Spot Jill Rubalcaba, Clarion Books, 1995, Native American, male, fiction, illustrations.
This Native American folktale is poetically retold by theauthor. The story's adventure element is sure to appeal to young readers..
Suitable for K-3. Grade: A

I am Regina Sally M. Keehn, Philomel, 1991, Native Americans and Eskimo, female, fiction.
Based on a true story of an eleven-year-old girl captured by a Native American tribe in 1755. Regina Leininger was forced to adjust to a harsh life of hunger, disease and mistreatment until she was identified as a white captive in 1763. Her tombstone is located near present-day Stouchsburg, PA..
Suitable for Middle School/Junior High. Grade: A - (CL)

Dreamplace George Ella Lyon, Orchard Books, 1993, Native American, female, historical fiction, illustrations.
This beautifully illustrated book about the Anasazi uses watercolors to portray a young girl¼s vision of early life in Mesa Verde. It is an easily read book that introduces the reader to Anasazi life as well as the abandonment of the Mesa Verde cliff dwellings..
Suitable for K-3, 4-6. Grade: A+ (BC)

My Father Sees. Neil McCannel, Black Lake First Nations Education, 1996, Dene / English (Native American), male, fiction, illustrations.
This book may be read/reviewed as an on-line book at the following address:http://eagle.wbm.ca/users/lonewolf/online.bk.fathrsees/online.cov.html. This book shows the child recognizing that he and his father look at a tree differently...basically, the child sees the plant whilethe father sees things he can make from the tree; e.g. tobogann,boat.Written in Dene and English..
Suitable for K-6. Grade: A

I Hear the Drum.Michael Koops, Black Lake First Nations Education, 1996, Dene / English (Native American), male, fiction, illustrations.
This book may be read/reviewed as an on-line book at the following address:http://eagle.wbm.ca/users/lonewolf/online.bk.drum/online.cov.html. This 8 page book shows the cultural relevance of the drum andhow the sound of the drum is everywhere.Written in Dene and English..
Suitable for K-6. Grade: A

Jewish

Daniel's story Carol Matas, Scholastic, Inc, 1993, Jewish; Holocaust, male, fiction.
Daniel and his family must find the courage to survive the horror of the Holocaust "for all those who couldn't." Published in conjunction with the exhibit, "Daniel's Story:Remember the Children" at the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. Related themes:Families, Justice and Prejudice, Perseverance and Courage..
Suitable for junior-high to high school. Grade: A (KSN)

The devil's arithmeticJane Yolen, Viking Kestrel, 1988, Jewish; Holocaust, female, fiction.
A young woman struggles to understand her family's experience during the Holocaust. Going through a magical doorway, she suddenly realizes first-hand what they went through..
Suitable for junior-high to high school. Grade: A (KSN)

Jalapeno Bagels Natasha Wing, Atheneum, 1996, Mexican/Jewish, male, fiction, illustrations by Robert Casilla.
A warm family story set in a bakery owned by Pablo's Mexican mother and Jewish father. When Pablo needs to bring something to school from his culture for International Day heturns to his parents' bakery and choses something that represents both cultures - just like him! Includes glossary and recipes..
Suitable for K-3. Grade: A

The Man from the Other Side Uri Orlevi. English translation by Hillel Hallan., Houghton Mifflin, 1991, Jewish, male, fiction.
Based on a true story during World War II in Warsaw, Poland. A fourteen-year-old boy becomes involved with the Warsaw Ghetto uprising when he learns that his deceased father was a Jew..
Suitable for Middle School/Junior High. Grade: A (CL)

Middle Eastern or East Indian

Titles in English (or translations) from other countries

Shabanu:Daughter of the wind Suzanne Fisher Staples, Alfred A. Knopf, 1989, Pakastani, female, fiction.
When she is eleven, Shabanu's father gives her in marriage to an older man to bring prestige to the Pakistani family. She must decide whether to accept the decision or risk the consequences of going against her family and culture. .
Suitable for junior-high to high school. Grade: A (KSN)

Waiting for the rain Sheila Gordon, Bantam, 1987, South African, 2 male, fiction.
Two young men -- one black, one white -- struggle to remain friends through racial tensions in South Africa. .
Suitable for junior-high to high school. Grade: A (KSN)

Year of impossible goodbyes Sook Nyul Choi, Houghton Mifflin, 1991, Korean, female, fiction.
Sookan and her family survive the Japanese occupation of Korea, only to face overwhelming hardship at the hands of the Communist government which follows. This is the story of their escape to the South and everything that they must leave behind. .
Suitable for junior-high to high school. Grade: A (KSN)

Haveli Suzanne Fisher Staples, Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., 1993, Pakistani, female, fiction.
Shabanu submitted to the customs of her people in Pakistan and married the rich older man to whom she was pledged against her will. But now Shabanu becomes the victim of his family's blood feud and the malice of his other wives. Sequel to Shabanu:Daughter of the Wind. .
Suitable for junior-high to high school.(KSN) Grade: A

Zlata's diary Zlata Filipovic, Viking Press, 1994, Yugoslovian, female, non-fiction.
Through her diary, Zlata Filipovic recounts the mounting horror as her country, formerly Yugoslavia, dissolves into ethnic conflict. .
Suitable for junior-high to high school. Grade: A (KSN)

Kiss the dust Elizabeth Laird, Penguin Books USA, Inc., 1991, Middle Eastern (Iraqi), female, fiction.
To escape Iraqi forces, thirteen-year-old Tara must flee with her family over the border into Iran. There they face an uncertain future because of her father's involvement with the Kurdish resistance movement. .
Suitable for junior-high to high school. Grade: A (KSN)

Little brother Allan Baillie, Penguin Books USA, Inc., 1985, Asian (Cambodian), male, fiction.
Vithy must survive the Cambodian jungle and the Khmer Rouge soldiers to rescue his older brother. .
Suitable for junior-high to high school. Grade: A (KSN)

Candyman Simone Poirier-Bures, Oberon Press (Canada), 1994, French Acadian (Nova Scotia), Female, fiction.
A bittersweet coming-of-age story about the relationship between a girl and her father, the "Candyman," a wholesaler of penny candy. Set in Halifax NS in the 50's. Strong sense of place and time. Important theme is the mother's attempts to resist the gradual erosion of the family's cultural roots..
Suitable for High School. Grade: A

Textbooks

Classroom Publishing:A Practical Guide to Enhancing Student LiteracyKing, Laurie and Dennis Stovall, Blue Heron Publishing, Inc., 1992, Many, nonfiction, illustrations.
Case studies and how-to information on using publishing as curriculum, citing student work from a variety of classroom settings at all grade levels. Included are numerous examples of publications by or about ethnicity.
Suitable for 4-6 and Middle School/Junior High. Grade: A+ (DS)

Multiple Ethnicities

Writing Across Cultures Edna Kovacs, Blue Heron Publishing, Inc., 1993, Many, fiction-poetry and lyrical prose, illustrations.
At the elementary and middle school levels, a teacher's resource book. At the high school and university levels, a text.This playful book uses more than two dozen cultural forms to teach the range of poetic possibilities. Student examples are mixed with the work of famous or established writers. Suitable for 4-6, Middle School/Junior High, and High School. Grade A. (DS)

United States in LiteratureMiller, de Dwyer, Hayden, Hogan and Wood, Scott, Foresman and Co., 1982, textbook, illustrations.
This is a thoughtfully selected high school literature and languagearts text book. There is substantial historical material representing a multitude of ethnic and racial perspectives. They accomplishthis while still paying respect to the traditional western canon. .
Suitable for high school. Grade: A (BP)

Tar Beach Faith Ringhold, Random House, 1991,African American Native American mix, female, fiction, Illustrations.
Review #1: This is a great book that uses illustrations from Faith Ringhold's story quilts. The protagonist flies in her imagination over the structures her father works on. She flies over the Brooklyn Bridge, over the Union Building in New York, and over the ice cream factory. The story deals with issues of economic status, mixed heritage, and focuses on the power of the imagination. The text is rich and the illustrations incredible!(ST) Review #2: Excellent picture book derived from a quilt series. The pictures are magnificent and the storyline is full of joy, hope, and beauty. A tale full of freedom and power. (TP, JB, AM).
Suitable for K-3. Grade: B+

Race' and Nation - the British Experience Husband, R, Paragon Press, 1990, African-American, text.
This truely unplugs the history of the term 'race' and then it's continued use in todays european society's. A teacher's resource of substance and a real tool to unplug the taxonomic impossibility that is 'race.'.
Suitable for high school. Grade: A (JD)

Global Washington Handbook David Tremaine, Editor, REACH Center for Multicultural Global Education, 180 Nickerson, Suite 212, Seattle 98109, 1993, Inclusive/diversity, Non-fiction (professional manual).
The Global Washington Handbook was developed by a multiculturalteam of Washington State teachers. The K-12 integration processdescribed is applicable to projects throughout the U.S. Rave reviewsfrom global and multicultural leaders. Limited copies availablethrough REACH Center for Multicultural Education, Seattle..
Suitable for Teachers of Students K-12. Grade: A

Homeground Kathryn Trueblood & Linda Stovall, Editors, Blue Heron Publishing, Inc., 1996, Multiple, Multiple, Fiction and nonfiction.
That common denominator, home, is considred from a variety of ethnic, class, and gender perspectives. A co-publication of Blue Heron and the Before Columbus Foundation (originators of the term "multicultural")..
Suitable for High School. Grade: A++ (DS)

Voices from the Streets:Young Former Gang Members Tell Their Stories. S.Beth Atkin, Little, Brown, 1996, Mixed, Male/Female, non-fiction, photographs.
Through first-person interviews and photographs, accompanied by youth's poems, qoutes and journal entries-young former gang members tell how and why they joined a gang and what and who has helped them get out.The interviews are honest and arresting as well as the photographs. Becauase of of the diversity of their gender, ethniticy, age, and where they live- as well as the topics they discuss- their words and faces help to breakdown stereotypes about the youth who join gangs. Most importantly- this book give a message of hope because the author/photographer concentrated on kids who have left gang life.Glossary, how to get help, intervention page and suggested reading list included. Ages 10 through adult. ABA- pick of 1996. .
Suitable for grades 4 through high school. Grade: A+

Sister Stew. Juliet S. Kono and Cathy Song ed, Bamboo Ridge Press, 1991, Various, male and female, non-fiction.
This is a wonderful collection of poetical works and short story from women writers in Hawaii. All selections have the special qualities of island peoples. Many are written in "pigin" the local language. It shares the vibrant song of the lives of women in Hawaii. The young women in my classes particularly like it..
Suitable for high school.. Grade: A (JK)


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We will make it a point to Thank and Recognize those who have contributed to this page (unless they wish to remain anonymous!). Contributors intials appear after their reviews.

Contributors of Multicultural Book Reviews:
KSN = Katherine Schlick Noe
BP = Bruce Patt
DS = Dennis Stoval
ST = Sarah Talbot
TP = Trudy Patton
JB = Jo Baune
AM = Amy Matsuoka
HM = Himilce Novas
JD = Jim Duffield
PB=Paul Barra
JB = J. Babb
MP = Margie Pedregon
CM = Claudine Meilink
MD = Marcella Desroches
JLT = Jamie Louise Turner
CL = Carol Littlejohn
BC = Bob Causey
SB = Scott Bushnell
VJC = VJ CLAMP
JK = Judy Kaupp