David Jumps In

It is David’s first day at his brand-new school. He doesn’t know anyone. At recess, he stands alone and watches the other children enjoying their activities on the playground, from practicing soccer moves and climbing monkey bars to playing hopscotch and daydreaming in the grass. Bundled deep inside David’s pocket is a string of rubber bands, knotted and ready for a game of elastic skip.

Open Mic

Using humor as the common denominator, a multicultural cast of YA authors steps up to the mic to share stories touching on race. Listen in as ten YA authors — some familiar, some new — use their own brand of humor to share their stories about growing up between cultures. Henry Choi Lee discovers that pretending to be a tai chi master or a sought-after wiz at math wins him friends for a while — until it comically backfires. A biracial girl is amused when her dad clears seats for his family on a crowded subway in under a minute, simply by sitting quietly between two uptight women. Edited by acclaimed author and speaker Mitali Perkins, this collection of fiction and nonfiction uses a mix of styles as diverse as their authors, from laugh-out-loud funny to wry, ironic, or poignant, in prose, poetry, and comic form.

What A Party!

If it is just a few days until your birthday, and your mother says you can invite anyone you like to come over to play, be careful! If you don’t watch out, you might soon be having the craziest party ever. Before you know it, night could come and go and a new day could begin, and the dancing might still be going strong. In a celebration of neighbors and diversity, an open-ended party invitation results in a raucous gathering of children, pets, and parents (plus salsa dancers and a reggae band!), all feasting on food from all over the world.

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.