Reviews of Multicultural Speculative Fiction for kids and teens

Here are my reviews of fantasy and science fiction books for kids/teenagers featuring central characters of diverse cultures and ethnicities.  I've organized them alphabetically within age groups.

Other great lists can be found at Stacy Whitmn's Grimoire (mg) and Poking Badgers With Spoons (YA)

Picture Books  (3)

Bonjour, Lonnie, by Faith Ringgold (1996)

Chalk, by Bill Thompson (2010)

The Secret Box, by Barbara Lehman (2011)


Graphic (or at least heavy on the graphics) Novels for Young Kids (ages 5-9) (6)

The Shark King, by R. Kikuo Johnson (2012)

The Adventures of Ook and Gluk, Kung-Fu Cavemen from the Future, by Dav Pilkey (2010)

Captain Underpants and the Terrifying Return of Tippy Tinkletrousers, by Dav Pilkey, (2012)

Astronaut Academy Zero Gravity (2011), and  Astronaut Academy Re-Entry (2013), by Dave Roman

Cleopatra In Space, Book 1: Target Practice, by Mike Maihack (2014)


Early Chapter Book/Elementary/Ages 5-9ish

The Magic Mirror, by Zetta Elliott (2014)

Mouldylocks and the Three Beards, and Little Red Quaking Hood (Princess Pink series), by Noah Z. Jones (2014)

The Phoenix on Barkley Street, by Zetta Elliott (2014)


Middle Grade/Ages 8-12 (56)

Archer's Quest, by Linda Sue Park (2006)

The Atomic Weight of Secrets, by Eden Unger Bowditch (2011) mg

Bansi O'Hara and the Bloodline Prophecy, by John Dougherty (2008)

The Book of Wonders, by Jasmine Richards (2012)

Breadcrumbs, by Anne Ursu (2011)

Bridge of Time, by Lewis Buzbee (2012)

The Cheerleaders of Doom (N.E.R.D.S. Book 3) by Michael Buckley (2011)

Celia's Robot, by Margaret Chang (2010)

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again,  (2012), and its sequel, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the Race Against Time, by Frank Cottrell Boyce (2013 in the US)

Chronal Engine, by Greg Leitich Smith (2012)

Chronicles of the Red King:  The Secret Kingdom (2011) and its sequels, The Stones of Ravenglass (2012), and Leopard's Gold (2013) by Jenny Nimmo

City of Fire, and its sequel, City of Ice, by Laurence Yep (2010, 2011)

Claws, by Mike and Rachel Grinti (2012)

Come Fall, by A.C.E. Bauer (2010)

The Conch Bearer, by Chitra Banerjee Divkaruni (2003)

The Creature Department, by Robert Paul Weston (2013)

Dragon Magic, by Andre Norton (1972)

The Dream Stealer, by Sid Fleischman (2009)

The Elsewhere Chronicles, by Nykko (2009)

The Extraordinary Book of Doors, by Anne E.G. Nydam (2014)

Freedom Stone, by Jeffrey Kluger (2011)

Galaxy Games: The Challengers, by Greg R. Fishbone (2011)

Geeks, Girls, and Secret Identities, by Mike Jung (2012)

I Lived on Butterfly Hill, by Marjorie Agosín (2014)

The Infinity Ring series (various authors): Mutiny in Time (2012),  Divide and Conquer (2012),  The Trap Door (2013),  Curse of the Ancients (2013) and Cave of Wonders (2013), Behind Enemy Lines (2013)

Jacob Wonderbar and the Cosmic Space Kapow (2011) and Jacob Wonderbar and the Interstellar Time Warp (2013) by Nathan Bransford

Jinx (2013) and Jinx's Magic (2014), by Sage Blackwood

Justice and Her Brothers, by Virginia Hamilton (1978)

The Magical Misadventures of Prunella Bogthistle, by Deva Fagan (2010)

The Menagerie (2013), and Dragon on Trial (2014) by Tui T. Sutherland and Kari Sutherland

The Mirror of Fire and Dreaming, by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (2005)

Monster Matsuri (Takeshita Demons, 3), by Cristy Burne (2012)

Moonshadow: Rise of the Ninja, by Simon Higgins (2010)

My Neighbor Totoro (the novel), by  Tsugiko Kubo (2013)

The Night Fairy, by Laura Amy Schlitz (2010)

Night of the Living Lawn Ornaments, by Emily Ecton (2009)

Ninth Ward, by Jewell Parker Rhodes (2010)

The Prince of Fenway Park, by Julianna Baggott (2009)

The Remarkable and Very True Story of Lucy and Snowcap, by H.M. Bouwman (2008)

Space Case, by Stuart Gibbs (2014)

Starry River of the Sky, by Grace Lin (2012)

This Side of Magic (Key Holders Vol. 1), by Debbie Dadey and Marcia Thornton Jones (2009)

The Taker and the Keeper, by Wim Coleman and Pat Perrin (2009)

Thief, by Malorie Blackman (1995)

Turning on a Dime, by Maggie Dana (2014)

Tut: The Story of My Immortal Life, by P.J. Hoover (2014)

The Water Castle, by Megan Frazer Blakemore (2013)

The Wells Bequest, by Polly Shulman (2013)

Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, by Grace Lin (2009)

Wild Born (Spirit Animals Book 1) by Brandon Mull (2013)

The Zero Degree Zombie Zone, by Patrik Henry Ness (2014)

Zombie Baseball Beatdown, by Paulo Bacigalupi (2013)


Middle Grade/Young Adult (books that in my opinion can be comfortably read both teenagers and older middle grade kids.  Which isn't to say the books that are just middle grade won't be enjoyed by some teenagers.  Or grown-ups) (47)

Akata Witch, by Nnedi Okorafor (2011)

The Black Canary, by Jane Louise Curry (2005)

The Boy at the End of the World, by Greg van Eekhout (2011)

Boys of Blur, by N.D. Wilson (2014)

Cat Girl's Day Off, by Kimberly Pauley (2012)

Circus Galacticus, by Deva Fagan (2011)

Cinder, by Marissa Meyer (2012)

City of a Thousand Dolls, by Miriam Forster (2013)

Dragon Keeper, by Carole Wilkinson (2003)

The Dragon's Tooth, by N.D. Wilson (2011)

Drift, by M.K. Hutchins (2014)

Dust Girl, by Sarah Zettel (2012)

East of the Sun, West of the Moon, by Jackie Morris (2013)

The Freedom Maze, by Delia Sherman (2011)

Gateway, by Sharon Shinn (2009)

The Galahad series, by Dom Testa, of which I've reviewed  The Dark Zone (2011) and The Galahad Legacy (2012)

The Girl Who Leapt Through Time, by Yasutaka Tsutsui (1967, 2011 English translation by David Karashima)

Hammer of Witches, by Shana Mlawski (2013)

Hannah's Winter, by Kierin Meehan (2001, 2009 in the US)

The Heavenward Path, by Kara Dalkey (1998)

House of the Star, by Caitlin Brennan (2010)

I Rode a Horse of Milk White Jade, by Diane Lee Wilson (1998)

The Immortal Fire (Chronus Chronicles) by Anne Ursu (2009)

Little Sister, by Kara Dalkey (1996)

The Lost Hero, by Rick Riordan (2010)

The Jaguar Stones series: Middleworld (2010), The End of the World Club (2010), and The River of No Return, by J. & P. Voelkel

The Order of Odd Fish, by James Kennedy (2008)

Parched, by Melanie Crowder (2013)

The Red Pyramid, by Rick Riordan (2010)

Remembering Green, by Lesley Beake (2010)

The Ring of Solomon, by Jonathan Stroud (2010)

The Savage Fortress, by Sarwat Chadda (2012)

Sea of the Dead, by Julia Durango (2009)

The Silver Anklet, by Mahtab Narsimhan (2009)

The Snipesville Chronicles: Don't Know Where, Don't Know When (2007), A Different Day, a Different Destiny (2009)
Look Ahead, Look Back (2012)  by Annette Laing

Sorrow's Knot, by Erin Bow (2013)

Summer of the Mariposas, by Guadalupe  Garcia McCall (2012)

Spirit's Princess, by Esther Friesner (2012)

Tall Story, by Candy Gourlay (2010 UK, 2011 US)

Watersmeet, by Ellen Jensen Abbott (2009) and its sequel, The Centaur's Daughter (2011)

Zahrah the Windseeker, by Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu (2005)


Young Adult (41)

The Afterlife, by Gary Soto (2003)

Along The River, by Adeline Yen Mah (2010)

Ash, by Malinda Lo (2009)

A Banquet for Hungry Ghosts, by Ying Chang Compestine (2009)

Black Dog, by Rachel Neumeier (2013)

Black Powder, by Staton Rabin (2005)

Bleeding Violet, by Dia Reeves (2010)

The Blending Time, by Michael Kinch (2010)

Bone and Jewel Creatures, by Elizabeth Bear (2010)

The Broken Lands, by Kate Milford (2012)

The Demon's Surrender, by Sarah Rees Brennan (2011)

 Diverse Energies, edited by Tobias S. Buckell and Joe Monti (2012)

Dragons of Darkness, by Antonia Michaelis (2010)

The Drowned Cities, by Paolo Bacigalupi (2012)

Echo, by Alicia Brewster (2013)

The Empty Kingdom, by Elizabeth Wein (2008)

Feral Nights, by Cynthia Leitich Smith (2013)


Gateway, by Sharon Shinn (2009)

Huntress, by Malinda Lo (2011)

The Immortal Rules, by Julie Kagawa (2012)

Libyrinth, by Pearl North (2009)

The Living, by Matt de la Peña (2013)

The Lost Girl, by Sangu Mandanna (2012)

Luminous, by Dawn Metcalf (2011)


Magic Under Glass, by Jaclyn Dolamore (2010)

Magic Under Stone, by Jaclyn Dolamore (2012)

Manifest, by Artist Arthur (2010)

Misfit, by Jon Skovron (2011)

Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit, by Nahoko Uehashi (2008)

Oreleans, by Sherri L. Smith (2013)

The Other Side of Dark, by Sarah Smith (2010)

Shadows on the Moon, by Zoe Marriott (2012)

Shipbreaker, by Paolo Bacigalupi (2010)

Sorrow's Knot, by Erin Bow (2013)

Soul Enchilada, by David Macinnis Gill (2009)

The Summer Prince, by Alaya Dawn Johnson (2013)

Tiger Moon, by Antonia Michaelis (2008 US edition)

Toads and Diamonds, by Heather Tomlinson (2010)

The Tomorrow Code, by Brian Falkner (2008 US edition)

Transcendence,  by C.J. Omololu (2012)

The Way We Fall, by Megan Crewe (2012)

A Wish After Midnight, by Zetta Elliott (2008)

Wolf Mark, by Joseph Bruchac (2011)


Published as adult books, but good cross-overs for YA readers (4)

Cold Magic, by Kate Elliott (2010)

The Indigo Pheasant, by Daniel Rabuzzi (2012) 

Kindred, by Octavia Butler (1979)

Norse Code, by Greg van Eekhout (2009)

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