Multicultural Children’s Book Day is ALIVE and thriving today, January 27th!

I was thrilled to take part in this amazing phenomena of enjoying and promoting diversity in literature, especially children’s literature. Not only was I impressed with Drummer Girl’s ability to connect with readers and win literary awards back to back to back – but the books I read and reviewed as a Multicultural Book Day Reviewer were inspiring and so telling of the intense power children’s literature has on creating positive cultural change.


Carole P. Roman is a Social Studies teacher turned children’s book author with an interesting series of books. With this series, readers are delightfully taken into her vantage point as an educator of humanities and culture and swept away onto a platform that can resonate with young readers. With each book, the gap between an unknown place and people becomes narrower until a relationship develops with the young protagonists.

As a person that comes from a diverse background and writer myself, I admit to being weary. Were these series of books going to be a flat attempt at looking into different cultures? How would they speak to me and my children who could relate authentically to another language, a separate set of customs, and draw light on a demographic that’s categorized as foreign?


Once I put down my hater-ade and reminded myself my social studies teachers were my absolutely favorite while I was in elementary school, I was pleasantly surprised.

The If You Were Me and Lived In… series crossed the globe and handled everyday topics from different cultures in a smooth fashion. I especially enjoyed If You Were Me and Lived in Mars due to its imaginative lens into a world outside anyone’s reality.

Rocket-Bye was perfect in it’s rhythmic exploration of something adventurous toddlers could fall asleep to at bedtime. The language is easy for early readers as they find their way through the story and build their own foundation as readers.

Oh Susannah, It’s in the Bag will prompt a converastion with grade school children on how to handle stress and overwhelming feelings . With such a big life lesson straining between the pages, the explosion was comfortably wrapped into the calm closure and support of the Susannah’s parents arms.

A wide thank you to the 5th year of the Multicultural Children’s Book Day festivities found in the blogosphere and social media platforms. I’ll enjoy browsing more books to add to our personal library and reading lists.


(Drummer Girl Picture Credit: Thanks Mamanushka!)

Multicultural Children’s Book Day 2017 (1/27/18) is in its 5 th year and was founded by Valarie
Budayr from Jump Into A Book and Mia Wenjen from PragmaticMom. Our mission is to raise
awareness of the ongoing need to include kids’ books that celebrate diversity in home and school
bookshelves while also working diligently to get more of these types of books into the hands of
young readers, parents and educators.
MCBD 2018 is honored to have some amazing Sponsors on board. View our 2018 MCBD
Medallion Sponsors here: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/2106-sponsors/mcbd2018-
medallion-level- sponsors/
View our 2018 MCBD Author Sponsors here: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/2106-
sponsors/2018-author- sponsors/
We’d like to also give a shout-out to MCBD’s impressive CoHost Team who not only hosts the
book review link-up on celebration day, but who also works tirelessly to spread the word of this
event. View our CoHosts: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/about/co-hosts/
TWITTER PARTY Sponsored by Scholastic Book Clubs: MCBD’s super-popular (and
crazy-fun) annual Twitter Party will be held 1/27/18 at 9:00pm.
Join the conversation and win one of 12-5 book bundles and one Grand Prize Book Bundle (12
books) that will be given away at the party!
http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/twitter-party- great-conversations- fun-prizes-
chance-readyourworld- 1-27- 18/
Free Multicultural Books for Teachers: http://bit.ly/1kGZrta
Free Empathy Classroom Kit for Homeschoolers, Organizations, Librarians and
Educators: http://multiculturalchildrensbookday.com/teacher-classroom- empathy-kit/
Hashtag: Don’t forget to connect with us on social media and be sure and look for/use our
official hashtag #ReadYourWorld.

YA Novels

Originally published on the Daybreak Press Blog.

Books that are geared towards teenagers and young adults are one of the most popular and growing genres in the literary world. The Guardian even notes that over half of young adult novels are read by adults. Whether its fantasy, science fiction, chic lit, or historical fiction – young adult books have a beautiful authenticity that brings in readers by droves. What makes this genre so popular and appealing to the masses?

Nostalgia seems to be the biggest bait for adult readers of young adult novels. Not only do readers have an opportunity to slip back into times that they can look back on having survived – they can revel in moments that have passed by reliving memories drawn out by the characters in different books.

The element of escapism doesn’t escape the scene either, pun intended. Diving into a young adult novel carries an adult reader away from the responsibilities of day to day life and can be relaxing and meditative. Not all adult novels are melancholic or serious, but YA lit offers a fresh naiveté that may appeal to readers who want to experience life through a young person’s Experience…again.

Young adult novels are also crucial in helping their intended audience develop empathy and the ability to cope with interpersonal relationships in a healthy way. Stepping into someone else’s shoes can begin the journey into both self-discovery and outward exploration – helping readers learn to figure out why people who are different do things the way they do. What changes, circumstances, and beliefs lead them to what they’re doing now?

Let’s take a peek into three young adult novels and what they can bring to readers, whether they fit the intended audience demographic or not.

Sophia’s Journal. Sophia’s Journal is a young adult novel that’s also a time travel adventure. The main character hits her head in a river and is transported to pre-Civil War Kansas. There, she has to discover way to stay true to her Muslim identity while being surrounded by injustices like slavery and native American oppression. With some wholesome romance thrown in, this book may be the perfect holiday treat for history buffs and adventure-loving teens.

An Acquaintance. An Acquaintance follows the story of a Pennsylvania girl’s fight against the rising Islamophobia in her community and the growing affection she feels for a new boy at her high school. This young adult book takes readers into the intimate life of a Muslim teen girl who tries to balance her faith, her heart, and her relationships while keeping her head above water. Relatable characters will increase the chances that this book will bring the reality of Muslim Americans’ experiences to readers who may not have experienced them before. Read the first chapter excerpt HERE!

Picking up the Pieces. Picking up the Pieces chronicles the lives of one happy family in a small southern town. After returning from a trip with Doctors Without Borders, one of them is diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Faced with this reality, the rest must come to terms with the fact that their idyllic life may never be the same. This novel journeys into the world of understanding that everyone battles their own demons – young and old, men and women, parents and kids. Can the family’s unraveling hope be preserved? Watch for Hannah, Dahlia, Noreen, and Adam’s story – coming to you February 2018.

Sit back this winter with a few cups of tea or cocoa and delve into these young adult novels that will question your perspectives on the presence of Muslims in American history, the life of American Muslim teenagers, and even how the stigma and uncertainty of mental illness can tear a family apart…or bring them back together. What are you looking forward to reading the most?