Cynsations

Interracial Children’s and Young Adult Nonfiction

This bibliography features interracial literature for children and young adults. The intent is not to be comprehensive but rather to highlight.

ALL THE COLORS WE ARE: THE STORY OF HOW WE GOT OUR SKIN COLOR/ TODOS LOS COLORES DE NUESTRA PIEL (20th anniversary edition) by Katie Kissinger (Redleaf Press, 2013). This bilingual (English/Spanish) book offers children a simple, scientifically accurate explanation about how our skin color is determined by our ancestors, the sun, and melanin. It’s also filled with colorful photographs that capture the beautiful variety of skin tones. Reading this book frees children from the myths and stereotypes associated with skin color and helps them build positive identities as they accept, understand, and value our rich and diverse world. Unique activity ideas are included to help extend the conversation with children. Ages 3-up. Compiled from promotional materials.

BLACK INDIANS: A HIDDEN HERITAGE by William Loren Katz (Atheneum, 1986). A thorough but clear look at a critical and traditionally (by mainstream historians) discounted segment of Native and African-America. Ages 10-up. CYN NOTE: Native identity is based on tribal citizenship; however, there is diversity within Native Nations.

FOR MY FAMILY, LOVE, ALLIE by Ellen B. Senisi (Whitman, 1998). This photoessay features both side of Allie’s family coming together for a great, outdoor dinner, complete with water balloons, corn husking, and Allie’s peanut-butter treats (recipe included). Senisi simply introduces young readers to Allie’s family and lets them notice the diversity of its members or not. Ages 5-up.

MY HEROES, MY PEOPLE: AFRICAN AMERICANS AND NATIVE AMERICANS IN THE WEST by Ruth Katcher and Morgan Monceaux, who is also the illustrator (Frances Foster, 1999). A collection of biography sketches that features stylized, interpretative portraits and historical notes. Highlights well-and-lesser known figures of interest. Ages 12-up. CYN NOTE: Native identity is based on tribal citizenship; however, there is diversity within Native Nations.

PROUDLY RED AND BLACK: STORIES OF AFRICAN AND NATIVE AMERICANS by William Loren Katz (Atheneum, 1993). Brief biographies of notable figures of African and Native descent. From a rodeo star to a Seminole chief to a U.S. politician and more. Includes black-and-white photographs, drawings, and bibliography. Ages 9-up. CYN NOTE: Native identity is based on tribal citizenship; however, there is diversity within Native Nations.

TREVOR’S STORY by Bethany Kandel with photographs by Carol Halebian (Lerner, 1997). Centered on the question of dual identity and includes some historical background on racism as well as the legal and social challenges faced by biracial families. Ages 5-up.

WHAT ARE YOU: VOICES OF MIXED-RACE YOUNG PEOPLE edited by Pearl Fuyo Gaskins (Holt, 1999). Hear how it is straight from forty-five articulate young people with a wide diversity of mixed heritages. Includes additional resources such as books, movies, web sites, and support groups. Ages 12-up.