Good Reads

3rd-5th Grade Books That Celebrate Cultural Diversity

Book Cover Tales Our Abuelitas Told: A Hispanic Folktale Collection
By Campoy, F. Isabel
Ada, Alma Flor
Davalos, Felipe
2006/08 - Atheneum Books
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A mixture of popular tales and other bits of literary lore, this anthology is a true celebration of Hispanic culture. Bold artwork from four leading Hispanic artists highlights this energetic collection. ...More

Book Cover The Illustrator's Notebook
By Ellabbad, Mohieddine
2006/04 - Groundwood Books
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Through simple words and gorgeous images, Mohieddin Ellabbad reflects on his childhood and on the cultural influences that led him to become one of Egypt's finest illustrators. Using his own creative awakening as an example, he encourages young artists to find inspiration in the world around them, through the most ordinary sources: everyday objects, favorite books and magazines, even through explorations of their own feelings. Pages from Ellabbad's exquisitely illustrated notebooks are reproduced in their entirety, offering readers of all ages rare insight into the history and traditions of Arabic literature. ...More

Book Cover My Great-Grandmother's Gourd
By Kessler, Cristina
Krudop, Walter Lynn
2000/09 - Orchard Books (NY)
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Fatima is thrilled. Her village has a brand-new pump. No more camels hauling water. No more storing water in baobab trees. Life will be easier and better for all. Well, almost all. Fatima's grandmother refuses to change her ways. She insists upon preparing the baobab tree, just as her mother and grandmother did before her. The other villagers think she's foolish, but she doesn't care. She has plenty of work to do -- and so does her granddaughter, who decides to help her ...More

Book Cover Mama Does the Mambo
By Leiner, Katherine
Rodriguez, Edel
2001/09 - Hyperion Books for Children
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CCBC Choices - 2002
Sofia loved to watch her parents dance, but her father has been gone a long time now, and Sofia wonders if she will ever see her beautiful Mama dance again. The enduring nature of love and the depths of family relationships are explored in this masterfully crafted story that has a Cuban flair. Illustrations. ...More

Book Cover Talking with Mother Earth/Hablando Con Madre Tierra: Poems/Poemas
By Argueta, Jorge
Perez, Lucia Angela
2006/06 - Groundwood Books
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Tetl's skin is brown, his eyes are black, and his hair is long. He's different from the other children, whose taunts wound him deeply, leaving him confused and afraid. But Tetl's grandmother knows the ancient teachings of their Aztec ancestors, and how they viewed the earth as alive with sacred meaning. With her help, he learns to listen to the mountains, wind, corn, and stones. Tetl's journey from self-doubt to proud acceptance of his Nahuatl heritage is told in a series of powerful poems, beautifully expressed in both English and Spanish. Vivid illustrations celebrate nature's redemptive powers, offering a perfect complement to the poignant story. ...More

Book Cover Napi
By Ramirez, Antonio
2004/08 - Groundwood Books
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The joy of imagination permeates this beautifully illustrated, playful folktale about a young girl in Mexico whose dreams are based on her grandfather's stories. Full color. ...More

Book Cover A History of the Romani People
By Kyuchukov, Hristo
Hancock, Ian
2005/10 - Boyds Mills Press
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A thousand years ago, a group of people who later become the Romani were driven out of northern India by an invading army. This group then took to traveling the world, adopting words, cultural customs, and religious beliefs from the people they encountered throughout their journeys. Little by little, the Romani integrated these new beliefs with their old ways, eventually creating the unique Romani culture known today. Now Hristo Kyuchukov and Ian Hancock give readers the insider's perspective to this fascinating group of people. The Romani authors explain why Gypsy is a scornful name and why they prefer to be called Romanies, as they call themselves. They enlighten readers to Romani traditions, such as those surrounding weddings, the arrival of a baby, and the death of a family member. Readers learn how the Romani work to keep their langu ...More

Book Cover Dawn and Dusk
By Mead, Alice
2007/02 - Farrar Straus Giroux
9780374317089 Check Our Catalog

For as long as thirteen-year-old Azad can remember, the Islamic Republic of Iran, where he lives in the predominantly Kurdish town of Sardasht, has been at war with Saddam Hussein's Iraq, and his country has been a harsh society full of spies, secrets, and "disappearances." Still, most of the time Azad manages to live a normal life, hanging out at the bakery next door, going to school with his friend Hiwa, playing sports, and taking care of his parrot. Then Azad learns that his town may soon become a target for Saddam's weapons of mass destruction. Now more than ever, Azad feels torn between his divorced parents and his conflicting desires to remain in his home or escape. His father is somehow connected to the police and is rooted in the town. His mother may be part of the insurgency, yet is ready to flee. How can Azad make the choice? ...More

Book Cover Armando and the Blue Tarp School
By Fine, Edith Hope
Josephson, Judith Pinkerton
Sosa, Hernan
2007/10 - Lee & Low Books
9781584302780 Check Our Catalog

An artistic young Mexican boy living in a colonia (trash dump community) takes the first steps toward realizing his dream of getting an education. Based on the work of David Lynch, a teacher from New York who first began working in a colonia in Mexico in the early 1980s. Full color. ...More

Book Cover Yum! MmMm! Que Rico!: America's Sproutings
By Mora, Pat
Lopez, Rafael
2007/10 - Lee & Low Books
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2008 Américas Book Award Winner

This collection of haiku focuses on 14 foods native to the Americas and celebrates the fun of these foods as well as their origins. ...More

Book Cover Rickshaw Girl
By Perkins, Mitali
Hogan, Jamie
2007/02 - Charlesbridge Publishing
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2008 Jane Addams Children's Book Awards- Older Children Honor
A CCBC Book of the Week Selection

Naima is a talented painter of traditional alpana patterns, which Bangladeshi women and girls paint on their houses for special celebrations. But Naima is not satisfied just painting alpana. She wants to help earn money for her family, like her best friend, Saleem, does for his family. When Naima's rash effort to help puts her family deeper in debt, she draws on her resourceful nature and her talents to bravely save the day. ...More

Book Cover Bindi Babes
By Dhami, Narinder
2004/08 - Delacorte Press
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Meet Amber, Jazz, and Geena Dhillon--a.k.a. the Bindi Babes. They're three fabulous sisters with a reputation for being the coolest, best-dressed girls at their school. But their classmates don't know that the Dhillon sisters work extra hard to look perfect and together to all of their friends . . . while privately trying not to think how much they miss their mom, who died a year ago. What these struggling sisters certainly don't need is an interfering auntie from India inviting herself into their household to cramp their style. Unfortunately, that's exactly what their dad allows to happen.
Soon the sisters' pushover dad is saying no to designer clothes and expensive sneakers, and Auntie is butting into every area of their lives. What are the Bindi babes to do? There's only one way to be rid of Auntie: marry her off to some unsuspecti ...More

book cover Can You Guess My Name?: Traditional Tales Around the World
By Sierra, Judy
Vitale, Stefano
2002/10 - Clarion Books
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This companion to "Nursery Tales Around the World" contains 15 folktales, retold for a slightly older than nursery audience. These tales are grouped according to the familiar stories they resemble (tales like "The Three Pigs" and "The Bremen Town Musicians" for example), and come from 12 different countries plus three American traditions. Full-color illustrations. ...More

Book Cover Peace Tales: World Folktales to Talk about
By MacDonald, Margaret Read
1992/06 - Linnet Books
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Entertain young listeners while providing paths for conflict resolution that can be discussed afterward. These stories are authentic folk literature, flashing with the mirror images of war and peace. Children as young as six can learn to see the choices before them. How to make peace happen by choosing peace and working hard for it is at the heart of this book. ...More

Book Cover Ask the Bones: Scary Stories from Around the World
By Schwartz, Howard
Olson, Arielle N.
Olson, Arielle North
1999/03 - Viking Children's Books
0670875813 Check Our Catalog

The last thing the young man ever saw was a hideous skull grinning at him, just inches from his face, and long bony fingers closing around his throat. . . .

What is real and what is imaginary? Do monsters and wizards lurk in the shadows, along with ghosts and invisible men? Can women turn into snakes? Can skeletons take revenge? For generations, storytellers have given substance to our worst fears. In Ask the Bones, master storytellers Arielle North Olson and Howard Schwartz retell twenty-two of the world's eeriest folktales.

If you read these stories at night, keep your flashlight handy. You never know what may be prowling around outside your door. . . . ...More

Book Cover Tuck-Me-In Tales
By MacDonald, Margaret Read
Davis, Yvonne LeBrun
1996/01 - August House Publishers
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Around the world each night, parents tell stories to children as they put them to bed. Margaret Read MacDonald--a folklorist, storyteller, and children's librarian--uses bedtime tales in the daytime to end her story hours on a calm note. here she includes five of her favorites from around the world.Full color. ...More

Book Cover Drita, My Homegirl
By Lombard, Jenny
2006/04 - Putnam Publishing Group
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2007-2008 Sunshine State Young Reader's Book
Drita, a Muslim Albanian refugee from Kosovo, narrates her stuggle to understand American ways. In alternating chapters, Maxie, a bright African American fourth grader, tells her story. The two girls forge a friendship based on their mutual need to grieve, one for the loss of her mother and the other for her homeland. ...More



Last Updated: 10/23/09