“Each story matters. Every child counts.”
April 30th is Día! El día de los niños/El día de los libros, or Children’s Day/Book Day, is a celebration of children, books, and literacy. First observed in the US in 1997, Día was developed by children’s author Pat Mora to emphasize the importance of reading and representation for children from all backgrounds.
Reading about different cultures benefits school-age children in several ways. Research shows that students who read multicultural literature can experience:
- Increased understanding and appreciation of other cultures as well as their own
- A better sense of belonging and acceptance in society
- Increased empathy and feelings of connection
- Expanded knowledge of world history and traditions
- Elevated global awareness, interest and perspective
- Improved vocabulary and bilingual skills
We’re so excited to celebrate and share diverse books, languages and cultures this month—and all year long! The following titles are recommended for children in grades 3-5.
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If you’re looking for more book suggestions, we’re happy to recommend them to you! Use this Book Recommendation form to send us some information about what you like to read and we’ll curate a list just for you.
Best friends Isaac and Marco face various challenges in sixth grade, such as Isaac getting better grades, Marco winning a spot on the basketball team, and both seeing their efforts make a change in their respective family lives. They hope their friendship and support for one another will be enough to help them from falling short. You can also check out this title as an eBook on OverDrive/Libby, as eAudio on OverDrive/Libby, as an eBook on Hoopla or as eAudio on Hoopla.
After fleeing the plantation where they were enslaved, siblings Ada and Homer discover the secret community of Freewater, and work with freeborn Sanzi to protect their new home from the encroaching dangers of the outside world. This title is also available for checkout as an eBook on Overdrive/Libby or as eAudio on Overdrive/Libby.
Middle schooler Ariel Goldberg must find her own voice and define her own beliefs after her big sister elopes with a young man from India following the Supreme Court decision that strikes down laws banning interracial marriage. You can also check out this title as an eBook or as eAudio on OverDrive/Libby.
When Brie was younger, her mama used to surprise her with treasure hunts around their island town. After she died three years ago, these became Brie’s favorite memories. Now, on her twelfth birthday, her mama has another surprise: a series of letters leading Brie on one last treasure hunt. You can also check out this title as an eBook or as eAudio on OverDrive/Libby.
While twelve-year-old Andi has suffered from anxiety attacks ever since her mother died ten months ago, Zora starting hurting herself whenever she feels out of control. Both at Camp Harmony, an elite summer music camp, trying to deal with their problems and also the stress of competition–but as the summer passes they find themselves increasingly drawn to each other, and maybe not just as friends. You can also check out this title as an eBook on OverDrive/Libby.
Christina Soontornvat explores a young woman’s struggle to unburden herself of the past and chart her own destiny in a world of secrets. As assistant to Mangkon’s most celebrated mapmaker, twelve-year-old Sai plays the part of a well-bred young lady with a glittering future. In reality, her father is a conman–and in a kingdom where the status of one’s ancestors dictates their social position, the truth could ruin her. Sai seizes the chance to join an expedition to chart the southern seas, but she isn’t the only one aboard with secrets. When Sai learns that the ship might be heading for the fabled Sunderlands–a land of dragons, dangers, and riches beyond imagining–she must weigh the cost of her dreams. You can also check out this title as an eBook on OverDrive/Libby, as eAudio on OverDrive/Libby or as eAudio on Hoopla.
Evan Pao and his family move to Haddington, Virginia in hopes of keeping his father’s notoriety a secret, but a small southern town is not an easy place for a Chinese-American boy to fit in, and one kid, Brady Griggs, seems determined to make things difficult. You can also check out this title as an eBook on OverDrive/Libby, as eAudio on OverDrive/Libby or as eAudio on Hoopla.
Before she decides whether to accept her stepfather’s proposal of adoption, twelve-year-old Adela Ramírez reaches out to her estranged biological father–who is in the midst of a career comeback as a luchador–and the eccentric extended family of wrestlers she has never met, bringing Adela closer to understanding the expansive definition of family. You can also check out this title as an eBook or as eAudio on OverDrive/Libby.