Connecting Cultures: A Guide to Multicultural Literature for Children

Connecting Cultures: A Guide to Multicultural Literature for Children

Connecting Cultures: A Guide to Multicultural Literature for Children

Connecting Cultures: A Guide to Multicultural Literature for Children

Synopsis

A comprehensive guide to multicultural literature for children, this valuable resource features more than 1,600 titles--including fiction, folktales, poetry, and song books--that focus on diverse cultural groups. The selected titles, pubished between the 1970s and 1990s are suitable for use with preschoolers through sixth graders and are likely to be found on the shelves of school and public libraries. Topics are timely, with an emphasis on books that reflect the needs and interests of today's children. Each detailed entry includes bibliographic information. Use level is also included, as are cultural designation, subjects, and a summary. The invaluable Subject Access section incorporates use level culture information.

Excerpt

As an Armenian American, my cultural heritage has been central to my personal and professional experiences. My father immigrated to America from Karput, Turkey, in 1915; my mother in 1922. I grew up in a home that included regular family gatherings to celebrate with stories, songs, and food. In my home, there was an emphasis on our heritage, a need to remember traditions and values. One of my favorite memories of childhood is hearing my parents tell Hodja stories, traditional stories of the Armenian culture. I still look for Armenian recipes in international cookbooks, often judging the quality of these books by the number and variety of recipes from my heritage.

As an adult, I read The Road from Home: The Story of an Armenian Girl by David Kherdian (Greenwillow, 1979). In Kherdian's reminiscence about his mother's life, I recognized a connection to my own family and childhood. It was as though I was reading my mother's story. Reading this personal reflection reinforced my knowledge of the importance of having your own stories and of making connections with other people.

In my capacity as director of library media for the Shaker Heights City Schools for over 25 years, I have encouraged the use of multicultural literature with our children during the librarians' monthly review meetings, with teachers on curriculum committees, and by bringing authors and illustrators from many cultures to our district to talk about their life and work. I have a commitment to introducing young people to the many opportunities that are available to them through literature and reading. As president of the Association for Library Service to Children, I worked on the planning for the ALSC/REFORMA Book Award, a new award planned for Latino literature. This award is being developed to recognize outstanding works written or illustrated by a Latino author or illustrator that affirm Chicano/Latino/Hispanic eth-

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