Me, Too!

There are many reasons why Annie is best friends with Lillemor, who is from Sweden. “They’re the same age ? They like the same colors ? They like doing the same things ? They can both speak another language. Okay, so Annie made hers up, but she is pretty sure it still counts.” Annie and Lillemor like each other so much they play together every day. But then Lilianne, a new girl from France, arrives. Annie can’t stand that Lillemor has become friends with Lilianne, and that Lilianne seems to have more things in common with Lillemor than Annie does — even their names, which both begin with “Lil”! Has Annie lost her best friend forever? This funny, honest picture book by Annika Dunklee perfectly captures the rhythms of youngsters’ friendships and emotions, while also reminding them that there’s always room for new people in their lives.

My Name Is Jorge: On Both Sides of the River

A collection of 27 insightful poems that illuminates the migrant experience from the point of view of a grade school child from Mexico. Jorge doesn’t want to be called George. He thinks the name sounds strange. “What an ugly sound!/Like a sneeze!” His struggles to fit in result in a friendship with a boy named Tim; a tentative coming to terms with American society; and some degree of sadness when, upon his grandmother’s death, his family must cross the river again.

My Friend Mei Jing

Ever since Mei Jing came to Monifa’s school they’ve been best friends. They’re both artistic and like to create wild designs together. They love to play at each other’s houses; at Monifa’s they make a tent out of her mother’s African blanket, and at Mei Jing’s they play with her new puppy and dream of having a veterinary clinic when they grow up. On one visit to Mei Jing’s, Monifa notices that Mei Jing’s grandma spends a lot of time there. She speaks Chinese and calls her granddaughter Mui Mui. Mei Jing’s father shows Monifa how to use chopsticks, and Monifa tries food she’s never eaten before.  At Chinese New Year the girls learn the Dragon Dance, and when Mei Jing’s parents give Monifa a red envelope, she’s surprised to discover it has real money in it! Like My Friend Jamal, My Friend Mei Jing is a story that demonstrates how friendship is the strongest bond among kids living in a diverse community.