Multicultural Fiction

    Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, by Sherman Alexie: Budding cartoonist Junior leaves his troubled school on the Spokane Indian Reservation to attend an all-white farm town school where the only other Indian is the school mascot.

    Before We Were Free, by Julia Alvarez: In the early 1960s in the Dominican Republic, twelve-year-old Anita learns that her family is involved in the underground movement to end the bloody rule of the dictator, General Trujillo.

    Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of WWII, by Joesph Bruchac: After being taught in a whites-run boarding school that Navajo is a useless language, Ned Begay and other Navajos are recruited by Marines to become Code Talkers, and send messages during WWII in Navajo.

    Diamonds in the Shadow, by Caroline B. Cooney: The Finches, a Connecticut family, sponsor an African refugee family of four, all of whom have been scarred by the horrors of civil war, and who inadvertently put their benefactors in harm's way.

    In Darkness, by Nick Lake: In the aftermath of the Haitian earthquake, fifteen-year-old Shorty, a poor gang member from the slums of Site Soleil, is trapped in the rubble of a ruined hospital, and as he grows weaker he has visions and memories of his life of violence, his lost twin sister, and of Toussaint L'Ouverture, who liberated Haiti from French rule in the 1804.

    Necessary Roughness, by Marie G. Lee: Sixteen-year-old Korean American Chan moves from Los Angeles to a small town in Minnesota, where he must cope not only with racism on the football team but also with the tensions in his relationship with his strict father.

    An Ocean Apart, a World Away, by Namioka Lensy: At 16, Yanyan has no interest in marriage. She wants to become a doctor, but in 1921 China, women rarely attend university. Her feelings change when she meets Liang Baoshu, a scholar and martial arts student, who is passionate and dangerous.

    Never Fall Down, by Patricia McCormick: Cambodian child soldier Arn Chorn-Pond defied the odds and used all of his courage and wits to survive the murderous regime of the Khmer Rouge.

    The Fold, by An Na: Korean American high school student Joyce Kim feels like a nonentity compared to her beautiful older sister, and when her aunt offers to pay for plastic surgery on her eyes, she jumps at the chance, thinking it will change her life for the better.

    The Queen of Water, by Laura Resau and Maria Virginia Farinago: Living in a village in Ecuador, a Quechua Indian girl is sent to work as an indentured servant for an upper class "mestizo" family.

    Climbing the Stairs, by Padma Venkatraman: In India, in 1941, when her father becomes brain-damaged in a non-violent protest march, fifteen-year-old Vidya and her family are forced to move in with her father's extended family and become accustomed to a totally different way of life.