Monday, January 27, 2014

Multicultural Children's Book Day

I'm not sure if I'm late or not, but happy Multicultural Children's Day! I don't review children's books, although I do review YA novels, which I will present on this blog, along with the links. Considering how the entire world is populated by different cultures as well as mindsets that are different, its important to acknowledge and celebrate this diversity; after all we have more in common than we think. Here are some YA books I've reviewed: I focus a lot on Asian-American/Asian culture and a few are of Jewish origins: I will give links to other websites that focus on those who are African-American, Native American and so forth. Most of the books are for Grades 9 and up. (I do hope all are okay. Let me know if some don't' meet criteria thus I'll remove them)


When I was in high school, it was common for students read The Joy Luck Club by Amy Tan. I personally didn't like the book due to the negative portrayal of Asian men, but I'm including it anyways.

The Joy Luck Club-Amy Tan

In college for a Jewish-American history class we had to read The Chosen by Chaim Potok which I liked a great deal and which I feel is relevant to the Jews of 21st century. There is a sequel titled The Promise, but I'm not sure if it should be part of YA literature or not. 

The Chosen-Chaim Potok 

I went to a local bookstore with a friend one time and discovered a book titled Chenxi and the Foreigner. Although the protagonist is a white female and its mainly her story, the book mentions and talks about attitudes in China in 1980s. 

Chenxi and the Foreigner-Sally Rippin

On the same day in the same bookstore I came across a little well known treasure titled When My Name is Keoko by Linda Sue Park which is about what life was like in Korea during Japanese occupation, something people in America aren't familiar with. 

When My name was Keoko-Linda Sue Park

When I was a kid I was a big fan of Judy Blume's books, in fact almost every day when I was in elementary school I'd read her books over and over again. Although not my favorite, I do think it should fit in with Multicultural Children's Book Day because the character is half Jewish and half Christian, which is very common with a lot of kids these days. 

Are you there God? Its Me, Margaret-Judy Blume

Few years back I discovered an Asian-American author by the name of Lisa Yee who wrote the infamous Milly Trilly Trilogy about the same summer from three different points of view. The first I read and reviewed would be So Totally Emily Ebers. As much as I want to include her in the list, her struggles are pretty different than those of her two friends, Millicent Min and Stanford Wong. 

Millicent Min, Girl Genius-Lisa Yee

Stanford Wong Flunks Big Time-Lisa Yee

I think one of the more famous books would be Number the Stars by Lois Lowry that takes place in Denmark about a young Danish girl's family doing their best for their Jewish friends. 

Number the Stars-Lois Lowry 

One of the other books I've read that was Summer of My German Soldier by Bette Greene which deals with being Jewish in America in the South in particular during WWII, and about her befriending a German prisoner as well as learning valuable lessons. 

Summer of my German Soldier-Bette Greene

I've heard a lot of good things about the Chemistry Trilogy by Simone Elkeles and decided to try them out. I really liked the first book, and felt that the second and third one was a bit repetitious. The book has Mexican male leads and the last one is Mexican male lead as well as Mexican-American female lead. 

Perfect Chemistry-Simone Elkeles

Rules of Attraction-Simone Elkeles

Chain Reaction-Simone Elkeles

Years and years ago in the same bookstore as I got few other books, I came across Yoshiko Uchida's book titled Journey Home which is a sequel to Journey to Topaz. The first book deals with the Japanese-American family traveling to an internment camp and trying to make a living there, while the second one talks about life for them after WWII. 

Journey to Topaz- Yoshiko Uchida

Journey Home-Yoshiko Uchida

I won Eleanor and Park sometime in November of 2012 as one of the Goodreads first reads. Funny story is that at first I could care less about it, but when I started to do research and read more and more, I fell in love with it. Unfortunately I had to wait until December 24th, 2012 for the book to arrive, and boy those were some frustrating weeks! Well it was worth the wait. The male character is half Korean half American and it takes place in 1986, so a lot of nostalgia for those who remember the '80s. 

Eleanor and Park-Rainbow Rowell 

My first encounter with David Yoo was in a library, where I got intrigued by his book Stop Me If You Heard This One Before, which I got and read. Along with that there is also Girls for Breakfast. I liked Stop Me If You Heard This One Before a lot more than Girls for Breakfast. Both books are about Korean guys; Girls for Breakfast traces a guy's roots from 3rd grade until graduation from high school (not recommended for children,) and it focuses a lot on him trying to find a place between his Korean/American roots. The second one is about a friendless guy who falls in love with a popular girl in high school. Girls for Breakfast hit a lot of nerves for me personally which explains why I gave it low rating on my blog. 

Girls for Breakfast-David Yoo

Stop Me If You Heard This One Before-David Yoo

If you are looking for a graphic novel that depicts Holocaust in a way children can understand, then look no further than Keeping My Hope by Christian Huh (The author was 13 years old at the time he wrote it). The character there is Jewish and he is very accurate with Holocaust depiction, as well as giving a lot of unpleasant history one doesn't learn in school. I took Holocaust in Media Representation in college, and he is very accurate with the facts.



Some of the books I reviewed on another blog but ones I think will fit in with the topic: 

Princess of Princesses; Jahanara, India, 1627-Kathryn Lasky



Dreams in the Golden Country; Diary of Zipporah Feldman, a Jewish Immigrant Girl, New York 1903-Kathryn Lasky


Other Blogs:

Pragmaticmom

Jumpintoabook

Link to Jewish books




1 comment:

  1. Fantastic multicultural book list for YA readers. Thank you so much for the time and thought that went into this post. Thank you as well for celebrating Multicultural Children's Book Day with us.

    ReplyDelete

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