Check out these multicultural chapter books suitable for elementary kids. From beginner reader to upper elementary, this list covers all.
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Multicultural Chapter Books For Elementary Students
Check out the multicultural chapter books suitable for early reader to grade 5.
Read inspirational biographies, 51 black leaders and role models, from history and present times. Rulers, scientists, musicians, civil rights activists – they have contributed to society in many forms. Learn about these leaders’ childhood, growing up years, and the obstacles they faced on their way to accomplishments.
Your child would read about Marie Van Brittan Brown, who created the first home security system, or Mark Dean, who invented the personal computer. Throughout history, black inventors have contributed to the betterment of society through their groundbreaking inventions. This book is a celebration of 15 black inventors who have made our lives matter. Learn about their creative process and how it helped society.
Ruby Bridges Goes to School
Meet Ruby Bridges, the first Black child to attend an all-white New Orleans elementary school. It is the courageous story of a 6 years-old, who stayed strong in the face of criticism and choose to attend school ignoring angry crowds. A good book for kids to understand the civil rights struggle in the USA. Simple texts and historical pictures make this early chapter book an easy read.
Simon B. Rhymin’
Fifth-grader Simon Barnes dreams about becoming a world-famous rapper one day. However, he is not confident about showcasing his talent. An opportunity comes one day at school. Would Simon get enough confidence to break out of his shell and help his community? With fun rhymes and whimsical illustrations, this book is a good read for elementary kids.
Let the Children March
This award-winning book narrates the story of the march of 1963 in Birmingham, where thousands of African American children participated. They were protesting the civil rights laws that kept white people separated from black. The writing by Monica Clark-Robinson is poetic and the oil-painted illustrations by Frank Morrison bring life to the pictures. It is an important and recommended read for kids age 6 to 9.
Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down
On February 1, 1960, four college students staged a peaceful protest by sitting at the “whites only” Woolworth’s lunch counter. They also ordered bagels and coffee. The author provides a perfect introduction of Jim Crow laws that mandated racial segregation in all public facilities of America. This book is a message of patience and standing up to wrong.
Planet Omar: Accidental Trouble Magnet
This book is about a boy with a big imagination. Omar, a Muslim boy, just moved to a new place and started a new school. Unfortunately, he meets the school bully and becomes the target of racist taunts. Read how Omar’s imagination and his family help him get through the tough times. This book is sure to spark a conversation about relationships, cultures, bullying. Check out other books from this series.
Lola Levine Is Not Mean!
This is the story of a soccer-loving second-grader Mexican child Lola Levine. When she accidentally hurts one of her classmates while playing soccer, everyone starts calling her mean. Read how Lola turns this around with the help of her family and best friend. This book is relatable for kids with parents from different cultures.
Ixchel wants to weave like her mother, grandmother, and generations of women of her culture. However, her mother is too busy preparing to sell her weaves for the market and there is not enough thread left for Ixchel. Dejected, she walks around her village. Looking at the discarded colorful plastic bags, she gets an idea. It is a beautiful book for teaching kids about the colorful Maya weaving heritage.
The Book Itch
Read the true story of how Lewis Michaux Sr. and his bookstore fostered new ideas and helped people stand up for their rights. In the 1930s, Lewis Michaux Sr. started a bookstore in Harlem and named it the National Memorial African Bookstore. It soon became the meeting ground reading books and sharing ideas. Muhammad Ali, Malcolm X, and Langston Hughes are among the few famous people who had visited the store. This chapter book is suitable for late elementary kids.
Once Upon an Eid
Celebrate Eid, the festival of hope and joy with 15 young Muslim voices. The kids narrate what Eid means to each one of them. The stories are sweet, and the narration provides a personal touch. Not only just Eid, but this book is also a celebration of different cultures.
American as Paneer Pie
This story is relatable to desi kids growing up as American citizens. Lekha, an Indian American girl in this story, leads two different lives – at home and school. She avoids displaying her Indian culture and avoids confrontation at school. Then a new girl Avantika moves into the neighborhood, who is new to the country. Avantika does not shy away from flaunting her Indian-ness. Read how does Rekha come to accept and live with her own roots.
Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business
Third-grader Mindy Kim has only three wishes – A puppy, to be able to fit in her new school, and for her dad to be happy again. Read to see if she will be able to achieve them all. It is a book for immigrated kids trying to fit in a new environment and new culture. Read this chapter book for a glimpse of the Asian-American community. Check out other Mindy Kim books from this series.
Mama and Papa Have a Store
Spend a day with an Asian child and her family living in Latin America. The girl’s emigrated Chinese family has a cloth shop in Guatemala City. The shop becomes a meeting point of different cultures, with Mexican, Chinese, and Mayan people thronging throughout the day. This beautiful book is a celebration of individual cultures and roots in a distant land.
My Name Is Maria Isabel
Travel through the provinces of Canada with Annie Magruder and her dog, Carson. As the journey through the car continues from British Columbia to Newfoundland, a little bit of the culture peeks through the food and places. This book is a good introduction to Canada for early elementary students.
Make Way for Dyamonde Daniel
Read the story of a confident black girl, Dyamonde Daniel. She is new to her school, has unmanageable hair, and has a skinny body. That does not stop Dyamonde from approaching others and making friends. This beginner-level book is a joyous read about a confident third-grader, who is not conscious about her appearance difference from others.