Multicultural Literature

Choosing Multicultural Literature
A. Cultural diversity as an asset
B. Respect for continuation of cultural traditions
C. Strong plot, effective characterization (avoidance of stereotyping)
> D. Historical accuracy


l. Conquista! by Clyde R. Bulla. Crowell, 1978.
A horse escapes its Spanish rider and is tamed by a young Indian boy.

2. The end of the Golden Age of the Indian A powerful novel: Sing Down the Moon by Scott O’Dell. Houghton, 1970.
The story of the Navajos on the Trail of Tears, the defeat of Tall Boy and the survival of Bright Morning.

3. A Pattern for Responding to the Novel (Use for any literary character)
> You are: changing, changing,
You feel: describe the atmosphere
You are: two adjectives
You: two verbs or verb phrases
You do not: what is different?
As you: three participle phrases
It is: adjective and simile
You are: name

5. Novel: The Talking Earth by Jean Craighead George. Harper, 83.
A young girl scoffs at the ideas of the elders of her tribe until she learns for herself that the earth does indeed talk.


6. Nettie’s Trip South. A. Turner. Macmillan, 1987.
13 year old Nettie observes conditions in the South just before the Civil War.

7. Picture Book: The Wagon by Tony Johnston. Tambourine, 1996.
A slave child dreams that the wagon he helps to build for the master will become a glorious chariot for freedom.

8. Amazing Grace by M. Hoffman. Dial Books, 199.
Grace proves you can do anything if you believe you can.

9. Nobody Owns the Sky: The Story of Brave Bessie Coleman by Reeve Lindbergh. Candlewick, 1997

10. The Real McCoy by Wendy Towle. Scholastic, 1996.
The story of inventor, Elijah McCoy.


Have a corn contest. In one minute list as many corn dishes as you can. Then introduce:

11.Three Stalks of Corn by Leo Politi. Scribner’s, 93.
A grandmother tells her grandchild the legend of the three stalks of corn.

12.A Birthday Basket for Tia by P. Mora. Macmillan, 1992.
A loving relationship of a child and her aunt in the cumulative tale.

13.Too Many Tamales by Gary Soto. Losing her mother’s ring in the tamales gives a young girl a holiday surprise.

14 Mama’s Birthday Surprise by Elizabeth Spurr. Hyperion, 1996.
Mama recalls her childhood in Mexico to the disbelief of her children .

15.Novel: Elena by Diane Stanley. Hyperion, 1995.
A brave mother takes her children to freedom during the Mexican Revolution.

16.Gathering the Sun by Alma Flor Ada, Lothrop,’97
A celebration of Hispanic culture


21. Chang’s Paper Pony by E. Coerr. Harper, 1988.
A Chinese immigrant longs for a pony. (Primary)

22. Angel Child, Dragon Child by M. Surat. Raintree, 1989. Gr 2-4.
A Vietnamese child finds her new American school a painful experience at first.

23. I Hate English by E. Levine. Scholastic, 1989.
A young Chinese immigrant refuses to learn English.

24. Non-Fiction:
Famous Asian-Americans by J. Morey and W. Dunn. Cobblehill, 1992. Gr 4-8.
Short bios of Jose Aruego, illustrator; Michael Chang, tennis star; Connie Chung, TV journalist; Daniel Inouye, U. S. Senator and others.
Research idea: Choose two and read about them. Write a letter from one to the other giving advice and revealing something
about both.

25. A Children’s Chorus. UNICEF. Dutton, 1993.
Paintings by illustrators from all over the world depicting the 30th anniversary of UNICEF’s Universal declaration of the Rights of the Child.