Multicultural Literature K-5

Multicultural Literature



Multicultural books are most often about a culture that is unlike the readers.  In most cases that means it is a book about African Americans, Native Americans or Hispanic Americans, just to name a few.  In years past this has been a contentious genre as the culture being portray was not always portrayed correctly.  Fortunately that trend is being reversed and today's multicultural books are much more factual.

Dave the Potter

Dave the Potter: Artist, Poet, Slave

By: Laban Carrick Hill

Illustrated By: Bryan Collier


Reviewer: Brandon Berrey

Grade Level: K-3

Reading Level: 3.1

This wonderful book is about a potter named Dave.  To use dirty might just be what you sweep off the floor, but to him if you ad water it becomes clay.  Dave begins to make a clay jar.  It grows from a huge chunk of clay into the shape of a jar.  The jar becomes so large he can not even put his arms around it.  Eventually Dave shapes the jar into the shape that was in his head before he place the chunk of clay on his wheel.  Before the clay is completely hardened he writes a message.  As it turns out Dave has written many more messages into jars.  What were all those messages about?  When did dave write these messages?  You will be surprised at how many messages Dave writes and why.

A Doll for Navidades


A Doll for Navidades

By: Esmeralda Satiago

Illustrator: Enrique O. Sanchez



Reviewer: Mike Slowinski

Grade Level: 2-4

Reading Level: 3.8

A Doll for Navidades tells the story of seven year old Esmerelda who is preparing for Christmas with her younger sister and parents in Puerto Rico. The story details all of the family's preparations for the holiday including Midnight Mass, setting out their shoes for the three Magi, cooking a big meal, and of course, awaiting presents. Esmerelda and her sister both ask for a little doll for Christmas like their friends have, but much to Esmerelda's dismay, when she wakes up the next morning, it is just her sister who receives a doll. Initially, Esmerelda is hurt and jealous, but after her father explains to her that there was only one left and the Magi knew that she was mature enough to handle the disappointment, Esmerelda slowly begins to come to terms with the situation and appreciate the gifts of the Magi. This book includes Spanish vocabulary and would be great for kids to see the similarities and differences in Christmas customs in other cultures.

Hallelujah Flight



Hallelujah Flight

By: Phil Bildner



Reviewer: Joseph Diefenthaler

Grade Level: 5-7

Reading Level: 5.0


The Hallelujah Flight is the story of two African-Americans who had a dream of flying across America.  In 1932, James Banning had an idea to take his bi-plain, which was old, worn and barley stayed in the sky, to make his dream come true.  It took 21 days to make it from Los Angels to New York but with the help and encouragement of people (who showed support by signing their wings), and not listening to the Naysayers who called them Flying Hobos, the two gentlemen (James Banning and his co-pilot Thomas Allen) became the first African-Americans to complete a transcontinental flight.