An Awesome Multicultural Book List, Courtesy Of Reading Is Fundamental

I may be showing my age, but I remember even as a kid being moved by those Reading Is Fundamental commercials—the ones that promised cool, new books to kids who didn’t have any. All these years later, R.I.F. is still at it, using its resources and knowledge as the largest children’s literacy nonprofit in the United States to prepare and motivate children to be lifelong readers. R.I.F. provides new, free books to those children and families who need them most—and gives them the power of choice so that they really fall in love with the books they choose

What’s makes R.I.F. even more fly? Every Black History Month, the organization develops a multicultural book collection selected by the organization’s Literature Advisory Board. The booklist honors children’s literature by authors or about characters from a wide range of cultures, enabling children not only to see themselves in the books they read, but also to learn about different cultures through stories and pictures. Some of the books on the list even come with activities parents and educators can use to engage young readers and build on the book’s message—activities like building a collage or drawing a map of locations featured in the story.

Way. Cool.

This year’s R.I.F. multicultural book list includes 45 acclaimed hardcover children’s books representing American Indian, African-American and Latino themes as well as selections from additional culture groups. The African American picks including Christopher Meyers’ “Wings,” “One of Us,” by Peggy Moss, “The Moon Over Star,” by Dianna Hutts Aston, “The Last Black King of the Kentucky Derby,” by Crystal Hubbard and many more.

R.I.F.’s motivation for releasing a multicultural list is simple, yet profound:

When children seen themselves in books they read at a young age, they are motivated to read more books and read more often. Books are powerful mirrors and windows for all of us; children need more selections in both the “mirrors” and the “windows.”

A-to-the-doggone men! Um, you hear that children’s book publishing editors? Everybody should be reading quality children’s books featuring black children and other children of color. 

I encourage you to take a look at the 2012 Reading Is Fundamental multicultural booklist for an awesome line-up of great books to add to your child’s library. [Of course, some of them can be found at our favorite online bookstore,, where with every book purchase, a free books is given to a child in need.] While you’re at R.I.F., if you have the means, consider making a donation to this amazing program. Happy reading!


1. EVERYBODY Should Read Black Children’s Books
2. We Need More Black Children’s Books On Borders’s Bookshelves NOW.
3. The NorthParan Buzz List: Six Books Every Black Newborn Should Have On the Shelf
4. {My Four Sons} How One Dedicated Father Made Reading Fundamental For His Son

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Denene Millner

Mom. NY Times bestselling author. Pop culture ninja. Unapologetic lover of shoes, bacon and babies. Nice with the verbs. Founder of the top black parenting website, MyBrownBaby.


  1. This is great! I’m going to reach out to them to get our books included for next year’s list!!!

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