In Search of the Real Me

Books for Independent Reading


Shannon: An Ojibway Dancer
by Sandra King
Lerner 1993 (48p)
Preparing for powwows is an important part of Shannon's life as a contemporary Native American.

Onion Tears
by Diana Kidd
Orchard 1989 (62p)
A young Vietnamese girl faces loneliness and prejudice in Australia.

Rosy Cole: She Walks in Beauty
by Sheila Greenwald
Little 1994 (83p)
Rosy thinks her life will change if she becomes beautiful like her friend, a preteen model.

Angel Child, Dragon Child
by Michele Maria Surat
Raintree 1983 (32p); Scholastic 1989 paper
Ut, an immigrant child from Vietnam, must adjust to life in the United States.

Konnichiwa! I Am a Japanese- American Girl
by Tricia Brown
Holt 1995 (48p)
A photo essay of Laura Kamiya and her family in San Francisco.


Red-Dirt Jessie
by Anna Myers
Walker 1992 (107p); also paper
Jessie hopes taming a half-wild dog for a pet will cheer up her sad father.

Where the River Runs: A Portrait of a Refugee Family
by Nancy Price Graff
Little 1993 (71p)
Three generations of a Cambodian refugee family adapt to life in the United States.

A Boy Becomes a Man at Wounded Knee
by Ted Wood and Wanbli Numpa
Afraid of Hawk
Walker 1992 (48p); also paper
A boy endures numerous hardships on a 150-mile ride to Wounded Knee Creek to commemorate the suffering of his ancestors.

Have a Happy . . .
by Mildred Pitts Walter
Lothrop 1989 (144p); Camelot 1990 paper
As Chris celebrates Christmas and Kwanza, he learns more about his heritage.

Cassie Binegar
by Patricia MacLachlan
Harper 1982 (128p); also paper
Cassie longs to bring order to her loving but chaotic family.

Maizon at Blue Hill
by Jacqueline Woodson
Delacorte 1992 (132p)
Maizon leaves for boarding school, wondering what it will be like to be one of only five African American students.

by Jean Fritz
Putnam 1982 (160p); Dell 1984 paper
The author relates her experiences growing up in China.

Betsy in Spite of Herself
by Maud Hart Lovelace
Harper 1946 (272p); also paper
In this classic Betsy -- Tacy story, Betsy decides to remodel her personality.


Taking Sides
by Gary Soto
Harcourt 1991 (138p)
Lincoln Mendoza leaves his Hispanic American neighborhood and moves to the suburbs.

Vinegar Pancakes and Vanishing Cream
by Bonnie Pryor
Morrow 1987 (128p)
Martin, feeling like the only loser in his family, sets out to make a name for himself.

by Hadley Irwin
Macmillan 1987 (208p); Puffin paper
Although happy with her American family, Kim wants to learn about her Japanese American father whom she never knew.

Little by Little: A Writer's Education
by Jean Little
Viking 1988 (224p); Puffin 1991 paper
A young woman with limited vision is determined to become a writer.

The World of Daughter McGuire
by Sharon Dennis Wyeth
Delacorte 1994 (168p)
Teased because she is half African American and half Caucasian, Daughter McGuire learns even more about her family as a result of a school assignment.

by Vera B. Williams
Greenwillow 1993 (150p)
Elena Rose Rosen has an event-filled summer after a move to a new apartment.

by Virginia Hamilton
Macmillan 1967 (128p); also paper
On a visit to her uncle's farm, Geeder is convinced a neighbor woman is an African princess.

The Mozart Season
by Virginia Euwer Wolff
Holt 1991 (256p)
Allegra's preparation for a violin competition leads her to a greater appreciation of her heritage.

Champ Hobarth
by Judith Bernie Strommen
Holt 1993 (160p)
Saving a dog bound for the animal shelter helps Marty discover a sense of self-worth.

My Name Is San Ho
by Jayne Pettit
Scholastic 1992 (151p)
A Vietnamese boy makes the transition from wartime Saigon to peaceful California.

Do Bananas Chew Gum?
by Jamie Gilson
Lothrop 1980 (160p)
Sam must come to terms with the fact that he has a reading disability.

Hazel Rye
by Vera and Bill Cleaver
Harper 1983 (160p); also paper
A young girl bent on making money finds her values changing when she meets a poor family.

If It Hadn't Been for Yoon Jun
by Marie G. Lee
Houghton 1993 (134p); Camelot 1995 paper
Alice Larson learns to appreciate her Korean heritage through a new friendship.

The Real Plato Jones
by Nina Bawden
Clarion 1993 (168p)
During a funeral trip to Greece, Plato finds connections between the Scottish and Greek sides of his family.

Rabbit Ears
by Alfred Slote
Harper 1982 (128p); also paper
With his younger brother's help, Tip finds a way to restore his confidence as a pitcher.

A Fortunate Name
by Margaret Mahy
Delacorte 1993 (84p)
Lolly questions her identity when her father temporarily leaves.

On Being Sarah
by Elizabeth Helfman
Whitman 1993 (173p)
A wheelchair -- bound girl with cerebral palsy assimilates into a new sixth- grade class.

From Afar to Zulu: A Dictionary of African Cultures
by Jim Haskins with Joann Biondi
Walker 1995 (224p)
This book explores the history and traditions of thirty African cultures.


The Sunita Experiment
by Mitali Perkins
Little 1992 (192p)
Sunita Sen initially resents her grandparents from India and their traditional ways.

Now Is Your Time!
by Walter Dean Myers
Harper 1991 (320p); also paper
This book explores the African American experience from slavery through the Civil Rights movement through contemporary times.

Toning the Sweep
by Angela Johnson
Orchard 1993 (103p); Scholastic 1994 paper
As her grandmother is dying, a girl learns more about herself and her family.

M. C. Higgins, the Great
by Virginia Hamilton
Macmillan 1974 (288p); also paper
In trying to save his family's home from strip miners, M. C. comes to terms with his heritage and his own identity.

Books for Teachers to Read Aloud

Anne of Green Gables
by L. M. Montgomery
Puffin 1994 (256p); other editions
Anne hopes she has at last found a home with her foster family.

The Summer of the Swans
by Betsy Byars
Viking 1970 (144p) paper
Feeling dissatisfied with herself and her life, Sara gains a new perspective when her brother gets lost in the woods. Available in Spanish as El verano de los cisnes.

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