The Multicultural Minute #8: Biracial Middle Grade and YA

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In Multicultrual Minute #4 a few weeks ago, I promised to do an episode on books for older readers featuring characters who were biracial. I am nothing if not true to my word, so here it is:




Books mentioned in this episode:

Black Mirror by Nancy Werlin
Middle grade thriller/mystery featuring a half-Japanese, half-Jewish girl.

Bobby Versus Girls (Accidentally) by Lisa Yee
Middle grade humor featuring a half-Chinese, half-white boy. (Race not a foreground theme.)

Brendan Buckley's Universe and Everything Else In It by Sundee T. Frazier
Middle grade realistic fiction exploring racial themes around a boy who is half-black and half- white.

Half and Half by Lensey Namioka
Middle grade fiction about a girl's difficulties with choosing between her Chinese heritage and her Scottish heritage.

The House You Pass on the Way by Jacqueline Woodson
YA coming of age story exploring a half-black and half-white girl's experience with racism, homosexuality, and family.

Mexican White Boy by Matt de la Pena
YA novel featuring a half-Mexican, half-white boy who deals with many issues, including racial discrimination.

Monsoon Summer by Mitali Perkins
YA novel about a half-Indian, half-white girl who travels to India with her mother and discovers a lot about herself and racial perceptions.

Nothing But the Truth (and a Few White Lies) by Justina Chen Headley
YA novel about a half-Taiwanese, half-white girl who learns to celebrate her "hapa" status when she spends a summer at camp.

Outside Beauty by Cynthia Kadohata
Middle grade novel about a single-parent family where all the sisters share their Japanese mother but each have a different father. While race is not the central issue, their truly multicultural family plays a large role in shaping their characters.

The True Meaning of Smekday by Adam Rex
Middle grade humor/science fiction in which the main character is half-black and half-white. Race is not a central issue, though discrimination by an alien race is.




2 Comments

I've got one more for your fantastic list...

Jeff Stone's CRANE
YA novel about a half-Chinese, half-Dutch warrior monk girl in the 1600s who is looking for her roots while fighting for her life.

The Indigo Notebook by Laura Resau (younger YA) features a protagonist who is half white and half unidentified ethnicity (might sound odd, but central to the character's background); she has dark skin.






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Renee Ting is the President and Publisher of Shen's Books. She is the author of The Prince's Diary and the blog, Renee's Book of the Day.

Emily Jiang is a writer of children's and YA literature. She also blogs at TLeaf Readings.

Shen’s Books is a publisher of multicultural children’s literature that emphasizes cultural diversity and tolerance, with a focus on introducing children to the cultures of Asia.

Through books, we can share a world a stories, building greater understanding and tolerance within our increasingly diverse communities as well as throughout our continuously shrinking globe.

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