For immediate release | August 20, 2013

Multiethnic books for the middle-school curriculum

CHICAGO— Focusing on titles dealing with ethnic and religious groups both in the U.S. and around the world, “Multiethnic Books for the Middle-School Curriculum,” published by ALA Editions, makes it easy for teachers and librarians working with children in grades 5-8 to infuse their curricular area with multicultural literature. Carefully vetted and annotated by authors Cherri Jones and J. B. Petty, the book encompasses fiction and non-fiction published in the last decade, making it an ideal reference and collection development tool for schools and public libraries as well as for classroom teachers. Sharing their extensive knowledge of the subject, Jones and Petty:

  • match selections to curricular areas such as health, language arts, performing arts, physical education, science and math, social studies, U.S. history and visual arts;
  • provide detailed annotations complete with summaries, evaluations and suggested age levels, perfect for quickly choosing a title for a book talk;
  • include quick reference citations noting the specific group or cultural connection that is addressed, making it easy to find just the right title;
  • offer a list of organizations, resources for educational standards and helpful websites for additional research.

Jones is head of the Curriculum Resource Center at Meyer Library and a professor of library science at Missouri State University. Her research, publications and presentations focus on multiethnic children’s and young adult literature, early childhood literacy and storytelling. She founded and directs the Children’s and Young Adult Book Review Board of Missouri. She served as president of the board of trustees of the Springfield–Greene County Public Library District and co-founded the Club de Cuentos Early Literacy program in Springfield, Mo.

Petty is professor emeritus of Missouri State University. Her career in librarianship spanned 35 years. She worked in school and academic libraries, serving children in a variety of grades and coordinated a library science program, teaching library science courses on the graduate level. Her research has focused on multicultural literature for elementary and middle-school students. She is the author of numerous journal articles and reviews, as well as a chapter in the second edition of “Venture into Cultures.” Since 2000 she has made annual presentations on multicultural literature for middle-schoolers and for public and school librarians. She served as president of the Arkansas Library Association (1997) and received their Special Service Award the following year. In 2010 she received the Special Service Award from the Missouri Association of School Librarians.

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Related Links

"Multiethnic Books for the Middle-School Curriculum"

"Transforming Young Adult Services"

"Diversity in Youth Literature: Opening Doors through Reading"


Rob Christopher

Marketing Coordinator

American Library Association

ALA Editions