Posts contained in the “Multicultural Literature” category:

I Am Not Joey Pigza (Jack Gantos)

If you’ve been following this blog, then you know how much I love the Joey Pigza books and how accurately they depict the life of a young boy with ADHD. You also know that this is a series that many young people, especially boys, really seem to connect with. So I was a little reserved …read more…

Before We Were Free (Julia Alvarez)

Twelve-year-old Anita has always had a happy life, living with her extended family in the Dominican Republic. Her middle class family live a life that few in her country can afford, with household servants and private schools for their children. And always, they are surrounded by portraits of “El Jefe,” whom Anita has always thought …read more…

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian (Sherman Alexie)

Update as of 26 October 2011: This book continues to be controversial. Only this past spring, I was asked to help fight a push to not just remove this book from the twelfth grade curriculum of a public high school, but to remove the book from the school library, as well. The irony is that …read more…

Angry Management (Chris Crutcher)

In this engaging trilogy of novellas, Chris Crutcher has taken a handful of characters from his earlier works—Sarah Byrnes, Angus Bethune, John Simet, Matt Miller, and Montana West—and imagined them “living outside of their original times and in some cases outside of their original settings” as he describes in his introduction (n. pag.). If you’ve …read more…

By the River (Steven Herrick)

The year is 1962, and fourteen-year-old Harry Hodby lives in a small town in Australia. His mother died when he was seven, his friend (and potential girlfriend) Linda was swept away in a flood, and he, along with his father and younger brother Keith, are left to sort out their hardscrabble lives, coping with poverty, …read more…

Latino Literature: A Guide to Reading Interests (Sara E. Martínez, ed.)

I find books like this one a bit maddening, first because they are expensive (all books for librarians are expensive), and second, because they are out of date almost as soon as they are in print. As an introduction to Latino literature for someone who is unfamiliar with it, it can be a good resource. …read more…

Every Man for Himself: Ten Short Stories About Being a Guy (Nancy Mercado, ed.)

I don’t know how I missed this one, but I did. And I’m a bit upset about that, because there are some fine stories in here. I warmed to this book from the very beginning, because Nancy Mercado tells us …what these stories are not. They are not stories about your voice changing, learning how …read more…

My Name is Brain Brian (Jeanne Betancourt)

If you’ve read my posts up to now, you’ll know how strongly I feel about what makes a book work or not. And if you’ve read my “10+ Rules” page (see the link above) and I tell you that the first chapter of this book is called “The Jokers Club” (sic) you can pretty much …read more…

Brothers (Yin)

In this sequel to Coolies, Shek and Wong’s younger brother Ming arrives in San Francisco from China to stay with his brothers and work in their store. Although he is admonished not to leave Chinatown, he eventually does, making his way to the local school. He meets the irrepressible Patrick, an Irish immigrant his own …read more…

Coolies (Yin)

As this book opens in modern times, a young unnamed boy hears the story of his ancestors, Shek and Wong, as they came to the United States from China and worked on the railroads in California, experiencing long hours, hard work, and over racism, while at the same time managing to hold on to their …read more…