Now that Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Book Friday is over I can get back to the Multicultural Middle Grade and YA books I promised to list (just in time for Cyber Monday).
But first, let’s discuss the term Multicultural Literature.
A single book can be a mirror for some readers and a window for others”
—Rudine Sims Bishop, Ginny Moore Kruse
MC Lit is written by and about people of color. MC books are not only for “minorities” but for all people. The value you receive, or give, when buying MC books are many.
- MC Lit reflects the diversity that already exists in society and your community.
- Presents people of different ethnicities which provides a more realistic picture to a child or teen.
- Readers gain an understanding of other cultures which enhance our interactions with others and can help kids develop empathy towards their peers.
- MC Lit opens the world to others by stimulating conversations about traditions, heritage, food and language. One of my favorites in this area is Gary Soto’s holiday classic :
- Stories with a cultural backdrop (especially Picture Books) often use words in other languages with an English equivalent
- MC Lit can heighten a child’s global awareness especially when the books include historical or geographic details.
- When kids grow up exposed to diverse cultures, people, and places they become more open to exploring.
- MC Lit can take us on global trips which enrich our experiences and understanding.
- Educator Jaclyn DeForge, M.S states:
- Students should have the opportunity to be exposed to both classic and contemporary literature as well as nonfiction texts.
- All students should have the opportunity to see themselves reflected back, as well as to be exposed to cultures and experiences that may differ from their own, in the literature and nonfiction texts we study.
- 10. For children from mainstream culture, multicultural books assist in teaching understanding which leads to cultural sensitivity. For children who are culturally diverse, the use of multicultural books assists in building a positive self-concept.
“MC Books Every Teen Should Know” comes from the School of Education-University of Wisconsin.
Lee and Low (formerly Children’s Book Press) is dedicated to multicultural literature for kids and teens.
For award winning books on African American, American Indian, Middle Eastern literature please see this list.
A book is a gift you can open again and again-Garrison Keillor