Interracial Children's
and Young Adult Nonfiction

What Are You coverBLACK 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.

FORBIDDEN LOVE: THE SECRET HISTORY OF MIXED-RACE AMERICA by Gary B. Nash (Holt, 1999). Now where has this book been all of this time? This YA history book destroys the myth that American history is that of distinct peoples of only four colors. From Pocahontas and John Rolfe to Tiger Woods, author Nash explores America then and now -- a nation of hues! Ages 13-up (excellent read for grown-ups, too).

FOR MY FAMILY, LOVE, ALLIE written and photographed by Ellen B. Senisi (Whitman, 1998). This photoessay features Allie's white mother's and (I think; apologies if not) Jamaican American father's sides of their family all coming together for a great, outdoor dinner, complete with water balloons, corn husking, and Allie's peanut-butter treats (recipe included). Readers leave feeling like mixed-race families are just like so many mono-race families. They love each other, confide in one another, and want to make each other happy. The diversity of the family is not explicit. Instead Senisi simply introduces readers to Allie's family and lets them notice the diversity of its members or not. At the same time, the book is still concept oriented and an example of someone thinking the idea for the book was important to share with children. Ages 5-up.

MY HEROES, MY PEOPLE: AFRICAN AMERICANS AND NATIVE AMERICANS IN THE WEST portraits by Morgan Monceaux (Creek-Seminole), text by Morgan Monceaux (Creek-Seminole) and Ruth Katcher (Frances Foster, 1999). A collection of biography sketches that features stylized, interpretative portraits and historical notes. Highlights well-and-lesser known figures of interest. A must-have for those with an interest in Black Indians and Native history. Ages 12-up.

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.

TREVOR'S STORY by Bethany Kandel with photographs by Carol Halebian (Lerner, 1997). Unlike the title above, this book is explicit in its decision to take on the question of growing up bi-racial. Although the photographs do introduce Trevor and his family, the book is centered on the question of dual identity and includes some historical background on racism as well as the legal and social challenges faced by mixed-race 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 excellent list of resources, including books, movies, web sites, and support groups. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Ages 12-up.