House of Purple Cedar

“The hour has come to speak of troubled times. It is time we spoke of Skullyville.” Thus begins Rose Goode’s story of her growing up in Indian Territory in pre-statehood Oklahoma. Skullyville, a once-thriving Choctaw community, was destroyed by land-grabbers, culminating in the arson on New Year’s Eve, 1896, of New Hope Academy for Girls. Twenty Choctaw girls died, but Rose escaped. She is blessed by the presence of her grandmother Pokoni and her grandfather Amafo, both respected elders who understand the old ways. Soon after the fire, the white sheriff beats Amafo in front of the town’s people, humiliating him. Instead of asking the Choctaw community to avenge the beating, her grandfather decides to follow the path of forgiveness. And so unwinds this tale of mystery, Indian-style magical realism, and deep wisdom.

Adelita and the Veggie Cousins

On her first day at a new school, Adelita makes new friends through a lesson on vegetables, including how some vegetables are “cousins” because they share certain characteristics.

Camel Rider

Adam and his family live comfortably in a compound with other foreigners who work in the Middle East. When war breaks out and all foreigners try to escape, Adam runs away in an effort to save his dog, which has been left behind. Alone and without resources in the desert, Adam meets Walid, an abused camel boy who has run away from his cruel masters. Together they struggle to bridge wide gulfs between their cultures and languages in order to survive. Ultimately both boys learn about true friendship.

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Erika-San

Allen Say creates a beautiful story about an American girl who seeks adventure in Japan and discovers more than she could have imagined. In her grandmother’s house there is one Japanese print of a small house with lighted windows. Even as a small girl, Erika loved that picture. It will pull her through childhood, across vast oceans and modern cities, then into towns—older, quieter places—she has only ever dreamed about. But Erika cannot truly know what she will find there, among the rocky seacoasts, the rice paddies, the circle of mountains, and the class of children.

Cocoa Ice

A girl in Santo Domingo tells how cocoa is harvested during the late 1800s while at the same time her counterpart in Maine tells about the harvesting of ice.

The Frozen Waterfall

When she finally joins her father and brothers in their new home in Switzerland, a twelve-year-old Turkish girl encounters the tremendous difficulty of living in a foreign country without knowing the language and customs.

Yoruba Girl Dancing

For Remi, growing up in Nigeria is a celebration of love and family, eccentricity and old ritual. She feels confident in her privilege and grounded in the heart of her culture. But when she turns six, she is sent to faraway England, to a posh all-girls’ boarding school where she will stay for what seems like a desolate, lonely eternity. There she’s left to find her own way – the only black in a school full of upper-class English girls whose rituals are as foreign to Remi as her’s are to them. Through sheer inner exuberance, Remi triumphs over the dismal climate, social anomalies, and glaring affronts that are her English experience. She endures foreign holidays celebrated with strangers, and navigates the labyrinth of race, caste, and culture, taking nothing lying down, and emerges victorious – if changed forever.

Yoruba Girl Dancing is the story of a girl’s exile from her homeland and her metamorphosis into someone that even she at times hardly recognizes.