Multicultural Novels

Most of these books are Realistic Fiction (unless otherwise noted) and set in either other countries or non-Anglo-American cultures during the 20th and 21st centuries. More multicultural stories set during/with significant emphasis on historical events can be found on the Historical Fiction list.


Africa is My Home: A Child of the Amistad - Monica Edinger [African American slave trade]

Akata Witch - Nnedi Okorafor [Nigeria, magical]

Auma’s Long Run - Eucabeth Odhiambo [Kenya]

Benny & Omar - Eoin Colfer [Tunisia]

Home of the Brave - Katherine Applegate [Kenyan American]

Laugh with the Moon - Shana Burg [Malawi]

A Long Walk to Water - Linda Sue Park [Sudan]

Lost Girl Found - Leah Bassoff [Sudan]

Mosquitoes Don’t Bite Me - Pendred Noyce [Kenyan American]

The Other Side of Truth - Beverley Naidoo [Nigeria]

The Red Pencil - Andrea Davis Pinkney [Sudan]

So Much for Democracy - Kari Jones [Ghana]


Bamboo People - Mitali Perkins [Burma/Myanmar]

Born Confused - Tanuja Desai Hidier [Indian American]

Chained - Lynne Kelly [India]

The Conch Bearer - Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni [India, magical]

Cracker!: The Best Dog in Vietnam - Cynthia Kadohata [Vietnam]

The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn - Dorothy & Thomas Hoobler [Japan]

The Grand Plan to Fix Everything - Uma Krishnaswami [India]

Heart of a Samurai - Margie Preus [Japan]

In the Shadow of the Sun - Anne Sibley O’Brien [North Korea]

In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson - Betty Bao Lord [Chinese American]

Inside Out & Back Again - Thanhha Lai [Vietnam]

Kira-Kira - Cynthia Kadohata [Japanese American]

Listen, Slowly - Thanhha Lai [Vietnamese American]

A Million Shades of Gray - Cynthia Kadohata [Vietnam]

The Night Diary - Veera Hiranandani [India]

No Ordinary Day - Deborah Ellis [India]

Project Mulberry - Linda Sue Park [Korean American]

Red Scarf Girl - Ji Li Jiang [China, Autobiography]

Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes - Eleanor Coerr [Japan]

A Single Shard - Linda Sue Park [Korea]

Sold - Patricia McCormick [Nepal]

A Step From Heaven - An Na [Korean American]

The Thing About Luck - Cynthia Kadohata [Japanese American]

Ties That Bind, Ties That Break - Lensey Namioka [China]

Tua and the Elephant - R.P. Harris [Thailand]

The Unforgotten Coat - Frank Cottrell Boyce [Mongolia]

What Elephants Know - Eric Dinerstein [Nepal]

When My Name was Keoko - Linda Sue Park [Korea]

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon - Grace Lin [Chinese, Fairy tales]

Australia, New Zealand, & Pacific Islands

The Island at the End of Everything - Kiran Millwood Hargrave [Philippines]

Island of the Blue Dolphins - Scott O’Dell [Pacific Islands]

The Land of Forgotten Girls - Erin Entrada Kelly [Filipino American]

Whale Rider - Witi Ihimaera [New Zealand - Maori]


Half a World Away - Cynthia Kadohata [Kazakhstan]

The Whiz Mob and the Grenadine Kid - Colin Meloy [France]

Historical stories set in European countries can mostly be found on the Historical Fiction list.

The Middle East

The Breadwinner - Deborah Ellis [Afghanistan]

The Cat at the Wall - Deborah Ellis [Israel/Palestine]

The Green Bicycle - Haifaa Al Mansour [Saudi Arabia]

It Ain’t So Awful, Falafel - Firoozeh Dumas [Iranian American]

One Half from the East - Nadia Hashimi [Afghanistan]

Shabanu: Daughter of the Wind - Suzanne Fisher Staples [Pakistan]

Shooting Kabul - N.H. Senzai [Afghanistan]

North America

*Mexico is also included with Latin America because it matches culturally.

Africa is My Home: A Child of the Amistad - Monica Edinger [African American slave trade]

The Birchbark House - Louise Erdrich [Native American]

Code Talker - Joseph Bruchac [Native American]

Crossing the Wire - Will Hobbs [Mexican American]

Gaby, Lost and Found - Angela Cervantes [Honduran-American]

My Basmati Bat Mitzvah - Paula J. Freedman [Indian-Jewish American]

My Name is Not Easy - Debby Dahl Edwardson [Native American]

Touching Spirit Bear - Ben Mikaelsen [Native American]

Written in Stone - Rosanne Parry [Native American]

South America, Latin America, & the Caribbean

The Color of My Words - Lynn Joseph [Dominican Republic]

Crossing the Wire - Will Hobbs [Mexico]

The Dreamer - Pam Muñoz Ryan [Chile]

Esperanza Rising - Pam Muñoz Ryan [Mexican American]

Gone to Drift - Diana McCaulay [Jamaica]

Journey to the River Sea - Eva Ibbotson [Brazil]

The Only Road - Alexandra Diaz [Guatemala]

Serafina’s Promise - Ann E. Burg [Haiti]

Silver People: Voices from the Panama Canal - Margarita Engle [Panama]

Tropical Secrets: Holocaust Refugees in Cuba - Margarita Engle [Cuba]