SLAV Online Book Club – September 9th 2021 – Culturally Diverse Books

Our thanks to those of you able to join us for our recent book club meeting to discuss Culturally Diverse titles. As always, so many of you had so many wonderful contributions to share with us, and it is very appreciated.

Below is the hugely diverse and broad list of titles and series shared and discussed. Some titles may have an indicated suitable age range next to each title, however this is merely a guide and we encourage you to use your own judgement, as you know your students best.

We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting on October 14th for the topic: Murder, Mystery and Mayhem. From the classic whodunnit to the modern-day book about political intrigue, murder and mystery are everywhere in print, on the screen, both real and imagined. What are your students reading in this space? Is this a cross over genre for young readers?

Disclaimer: The lists generated as a result of Book Club discussions are not, by any means, an exhaustive list of all titles or authors for each genre/category discussed. Nor will all titles be suitable for all libraries. We advise staff discretion when referencing these lists, to properly confirm individual title suitability for individual libraries, school and students needs. These are suggested titles only, shared by our members and inclusion on, or exclusion from, a list does not suggest SLAV endorsement or rejection of a title.

Book List

The F Team by Rawah Arja’s
Cinderella is Dead by Kalynn Bayron
The Poisoned Heart by Kalynn Bayron
Flock, First Nations Stories Then and Now. Curated by award-winning author Ellen van Neerven
The Firekeepers Daughter by Angeline Boulley
The Coconut Children by Vivian Pham
Future Girl by Asphyxia
You Must Be Layla by Yassmin Abdel-Magied
The Truths We Hold: An American Journey (Young Readers Edition) by Kamala Harris
Maxine Beneba Clarke – ALL Titles.
Yes, No, Maybe, So by Becky Albertalli with Aisha Saeed)
More to the Story by Hena Khan
The Surprising Power of a Good Dumpling by Wai Chim
Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah
When Michael Met Mina by Randa Abdel-Fattah
Little People Big Dreams Series for very young students, covers a very diverse range of key people in history.

Please Don’t Hug Me by Kay Kerr
One Hundred Days by Alice Pung
The Boy Who Tried to Shrink His Name by Sandhya Parappukkaran and Michelle Pereira
Sugar Town Queens by Malia Nunn
Culturally Diverse Resources – Languages & Multicultural Education – Oliver (
Frankly in Love by David Yoon
Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi
The Katha Chest by Radhiah Chowdhury and Lavanya Naidu
The Capybaras by Alfredo Soderguit
Mask of Shadows and Ruin of Stars by Linsey Miller
Parvana by Deborah Ellis ( a graphic novel is also available)
George by Alex Gino
When Stars Are Scattered – Victoria Jamieson GN
Muddy People by Sara El Sayed
My Name is Sangoel by Karen Lynn Williams, Khadra Mohammed, Catherine Stock
Alma and How She Got Her Name by Juana Martinez-Neal
The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi (available as eBook and picture books through LMERC)
My language, your language by Lisa Bullard
The book of languages : talk your way around the world by Mick Webb (2015)
Illegal – Eoin Colfer GN
When Stars Are Scattered – Victoria Jamieson GN
Stories for South Asian Supergirls by Khaira, Raj Kaur
The Ink Bridge by Neil Grant
When the Ground is Hard Malla Nunn
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo
Parachutes by Kelly Yang (Year 10 and above)
The Interrogation of Ashala Wolf by Ambelin Kwaymullina
On Two Feet and Wings – Abbas Kazerooni
Land Beyond the Wall : An Immigration Story by Charles, Veronika Martenova
This is How We Do It by Mat Lamothe
Bindi by Kirli Saunders and Dub Leffler
Suri’s Wall by Lucy Estela
Escape From Syria by Kullab, Samya GN
Anthologies such as Growing up Asian/Aboriginal/African/Disabled edited by Various
Catching Teller Crow by Ambelin Kwaymullina, Ezekiel Kwaymullina
Ghost Bird by Lisa Fuller
Paper boats: an anthology of short stories about journeys – great for EAL students with little English
After Story by Larissa Behrendt
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
The Happiest Refugee by Anh Do
A Long Way Home by Saroo Bierley,
Sold by Patricia McCormick,
Her Father’s Daughter by Alice Pung
Nona & Me by Clare Atkins
My Two Blankets by Irena Kobald, Freya Blackwood
Crow Country by Kate Constable
Becoming Kirrali Lewis by Jane Harrison
Look to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation website for lists of titles
The Song of the Crocodile by Nardi Simpson (adult)
All Will Kostakis Novels
Multiversity which is Marvel but the first issue features an Aboriginal Australian superhero called Thunderer, named after an Aboriginal thunder god, Wandjina
Where We Begin by Christie Nieman
Ubby’s Underdogs by Brenton E. McKenna, Banjo Woorunmurra GN
Matty Forever by Elizabeth Fensham (middle to upper primary)
Shauna’s Great Expectations by Kathleen Loughnan
Metal Fish, Falling Snow by Cath Moore
Yinti Desert Child Trilogy by Pat Lowe & Jimmy Pike
ALL Remy Lai books – humorous – upper primary, lower secondary
The Tribe by Michael Mohammed Ahmad (adult)
The Boy at the Back of the Class by Onjali Q. Rauf, Pippa Curnick

Welcome to the Aboriginal and or Torres Strait Islander Resource

We have older boys very interested in sport biographies–Majak Daw, Marlion Pickett (upper secondary)
Sister of the Bollywood Bride by Nandini Bajpai
Follow the Rabbit Proof Fence by Doris Pilkington
Freedom Ride by Digger J Jones
Little Jiany by Shirley Marr
From the Chat:
Proudest Blue is gorgeous picture book about wearing first hijab
When Dimple Met Rishi is good = has a Netflix tie in.
Noughts and crosses by Malorie Blackman explores a fantastic dystopian world – a Foxtel series
Henna Wars is fantastic – Latinx, Indian, LGBTIQA rep and discusses cultural appropriation
Basketball manga set in high schools in Japan… Kuroko’s basketball by Tadatoshi Fujimaki and another Slam Dunk by Takehiko Inoue He has also wrote another that is about Wheelchair Basketball
Living On Hope Street by Demet Divaroren
Cloudwish by Fiona Wood (CBCA Winner 2016). Between Us by Clare Atkins (pub. 2018) is excellent.
Becoming Muhammad Ali is a hit with a great cover by James Patterson
Young adult version of the Trevor Noah biography
Born a Crime
Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park. Graphic version is Nya’s Long Walk
I Am Malala- Malala Yousafzai. Different format of the story- Picture book, Biography
The Mediterranean- Armin Greder- Picture book older readers, quite confronting
The Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas
Sister Heart by Sally Morgan
Eric by Shaun Tan
The Happiest Man on Earth by Eddie Jaku
The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna – fantasy – fantastic cover and wonderful story
Fat Chance, Charlie Vega by Crystal Maldonado
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
Hello! illustrated by Tony Flowers
Russian folklore – The Republic of Birds and The Girl Who Speaks Bear
Rick Riordan Presents imprint – mythologies from diverse cultures told from the POV of people from those cultures. The ones I’ve read and LOVED are Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky, and Sal & Gabi Break the Universe
Fantasy – Raybearer by Jordan Ifueko (Redemptor – book 2 – has just been published). West-African based
The Monkey King’s Daughter is a series of books by author Todd DeBonis
Ms Marvel – Kamala Khan – Muslim teen superhero
Buttons my cat does not have boundaries
Adib Khorram – Darius the Great is not OK
Mazin Grace by Dylan Colemen
Last Gate of the Emperor by Kwame Mbalia and Joel David Makonnen
Our library has a learnpath page with info about culturally diverse literature
Kwame Alexander titles
Kicking Goals by Adam Goodes
Brown Girl Dreaming by Jacqueline Woodson is a great verse memoir

Adult Book List – What We Are Reading
Wild Abandon by Emily Bitto
I Am Change by Suzy Zail
The Mad Women’s Ball by Victoria Mas
Punching the air Zoboi, Ibi Aanu
Beautiful World Where Are You? by Sally Rooney
The Locksmith’s Daughter by Karen Brooks
I read The Auschwitz photographer, haunting
Just Mercy-biography about black lawyer in modern America fighting for justice in Alabama
Big sister, Little sister, Red sister about the Soong sisters in pre rev. China,
Emotional Female by Yumiko Kadota. Memoir about training to be a surgeon.
A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman (pub. 2015).
Once There Were Wolves by Charlotte McConaghy
I read the new Haruki Murakami short story collection.
The Book Ninja by Ali Berg
Salt Creek by Lisa Treloar
Wolf island by Lisa Treloar
The Mountains Sing by Nguyen Phan Que Mai
Anything But Fine – Tobias Madden
Muddy People by Sara El Sayed
Escape from Manus by Jaivet Ealom
One Hundred Days by Alice Pung
The Last Guests by J.P. Pomare
The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Hellar
Songbirds by Christy Lefteri
A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra


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