• books for younger students


    Books for Children/Youth


    by Linda Sue Park,
    illustrated by Ho Baek Lee
    Nothing is more comforting than food! This sweet little rhyming book celebrates making this humble dish with mama — recipe included. 

     Bee-bim Bop

    by Rosemary Wells
    Yoko, the first in a series by beloved children’s book author Rosemary Wells, offers another sweet lesson about diversity through the lens of food. Yoko’s favorite lunch is sushi, but her classmates aren’t so sure about it — in fact, they think it’s pretty gross. For a lot of modern kids, sushi isn’t so very exotic. But it still serves as a jumping off point for a lesson about cultural differences. 


    dear juno 
    by Soyung Park, illustrated by Susan Kathleen Hartung
    Two people who love each other can surpass whatever intergenerational, cross-cultural hurdles there may be to communicate. Juno’s grandmother writes in Korean; Juno sends pictures — and they understand each other just fine.

     dear june
    Eyes That Kiss in the Corners
    by Joanna Ho
    A young Asian girl notices that her eyes look different from her peers'. They have big, round eyes and long lashes. She realizes that her eyes are like her mother’s, her grandmother's, and her little sister's. Drawing from the strength of these powerful women in her life, she recognizes her own beauty and discovers a path to self-love and empowerment. 

    Eyes that Kiss in the Corners

    The Name Jar 
    by Emily Westbrooks

    The Name Jar explores questions about difference, identity, and cultural assimilation. When Unhei, a young Korean girl, moves to America with her family and arrives at a new school, she begins to wonder if she should also choose a new name. Her classmates suggest Daisy, Miranda, Lex, and more, but nothing seems to fit. Does she need an American name? How will she choose? And what should she do about her Korean name?

    The Name Jar
    Zen Shorts
    by Joh Muth

    Zen Shorts is a Caldecott Honor Book that spent 41 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list — that alone says a lot. In it, author John Muth uses a panda named Stillwater to tell, in an accessible way, three ancient Zen tales meant to get us thinking about Big Ideas, like forgiveness, good and evil, and the price of anger. Even kids who miss the deeper messages will adore the illustration and storytelling. Muth followed this with a companion book, Zen Ties.
     Zen Shorts
    Hot, Hot Roti by F. Zia, illustrated by Ken Min
    Another food-focused trip, through India this time. Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-ji won the 2012 Asian Pacific American Award for Literature Honor for Picture Books and the Best Children's Books of the Year Bank Street College of Education for its depiction of Aneel and his grandparents, visiting from India and full of wondrous tales, powered by roti! Recipe included.
     Hot Hot Roti

    Wabi Sabi by Mark Reibstein
    “Am I beautiful or ordinary?” asks Wabi Sabi, a brown cat from Kyoto who embarks on a journey to understand her name. The answer, she finds, is both — like the Japanese word for which she is named, which celebrates the beauty in what is simple, imperfect, and modest. It was the New York Times Best Illustrated Children's Book for 2008 and an Asian Pacific American Librarians Association (APALA) Picture Book winner that same year.

    Wabi Sabi
    The Great Wall of Lucy Wu by Wendy Wan-Long Shang
    In this APALA award-winning Chinese-American coming-of-age tale, Lucy Wu is a sixth-grader who loves basketball and just wants a room of her own. Her big plans are foiled when her aunt comes from China, and the lesson is that what looks like good or bad luck at first often turns out to be just the opposite.
     The Great Wall of Lucy Wu

    In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson by Bette Bao Lord, illustrated by Marc Simont
    When 10-year-old Bandit learns she’s moving from China to New York to be with family, she renames herself Shirley Temple Wong. The year is 1947 — the same year Jackie Robinson breaks the color barrier in American baseball. In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson, an American Library Association Notable Children’s Book, uses humor to diffuse the classic immigrant tale of the outsider slowly learning to become an American.

    Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson
    by Ryan Inzana

    For the slightly older, more mature reader, Ichiro is a graphic novel about the nature of war. After his American father is killed in the Iraq War, Ichiro and his Japanese mother move back to Japan to join her father. The illustrations and storytelling combine modern, ancient, and fantasy-like elements into one visually arresting tale.
    When You Trap a Tiger
    by Tae Keller

    When Lily and her family move in with her sick grandmother, a magical tiger straight out of her halmoni’s Korean folktales arrives, prompting Lily to unravel a secret family history. Long, long ago, Halmoni stole something from the tigers. Now they want it back. With the help of her sister and her new friend Ricky, Lily must find her voice…and the courage to face a tiger.
     When you trap a tiger

    Yaffa and Fatima: Shalom, Salaam

    by Fawzia Gilani-Williams

    Two neighbors―one Jewish, one Muslim―have always been best friends. When they both fall on hard times, can they find a way to help each other? In Fawzia Gilani's retelling of this folktale―which has both Jewish and Arab origins―differences are not always causes for conflict and friendship can overcome any obstacle.

    Yaffa and Fatima

    The Lemon Tree (Young Readers' Edition): An Arab, A Jew, and the Heart of the Middle East

    by Sandy Tolan

    In 1967, a twenty-five-year-old refugee named Bashir Khairi traveled from the Palestinian hill town of Ramallah to Ramla, Israel, with a goal: to see the beloved stone house with the lemon tree in its backyard that he and his family had been forced to leave nineteen years earlier. When he arrived, he was greeted by one of its new residents: Dalia Eshkenazi Landau, a nineteen-year-old Israeli college student whose family had fled Europe following the Holocaust. On the stoop of this shared house, Dalia and Bashir began a surprising friendship. 

    The Lemon Tree

    Young Palestinians Speak : Living Under Occupation / Anthony Robinson & Annemarie Young ; with photography

    by Anthony Robinson

    In Palestine today, a second generation of children and young people is growing up experiencing life under occupation. These are children who know only fear when they see an Israeli soldier or come across a roadblock. This book provides a platform for young people, from all over this occupied land, to speak in their own voices about the day-to-day experience of living under occupation.

    Young Palestinians Speak : Living Under Occupation / Anthony Robinson & Annemarie Young ; with photography 

    Additional Resources

    Additional Resources

    Colours of Us- All About Multicultural Children’s Books


    Anti-Racism for Kids 101: Starting To Talk About Race

    Books for Littles

    Indigenous Reads by Indigenous Writers: A Children’s Reading List

    Social Justice book lists for kids

    Top 154 Recommended African-American Children’s Books


    Muslim YA books

    Afoma Umesi