breakdown of the middle ground.

topical books

The Red Pyramid

By:Rick Riordan

Since their mother�s death, six years ago, 12-year-old Sadie Kane has lived in London with her maternal grandparents while her older brother, 14-year-old Carter, has traveled the world with their father, a renowned African American Egyptologist. The first-person narrative shifts between Carter and Sadie, giving the novel an intriguing dual perspective made more complex by their biracial heritage and the tension between the siblings, who barely know each other at the story�s beginning. The first volume in the Kane Chronicles, this fantasy adventure delivers what fans loved about the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series: young protagonists with previously unsuspected magical powers, a riveting story marked by headlong adventure, a complex background rooted in ancient mythology, and wry, witty twenty-first-century narration.

Black is Brown is Tan

By: Arnold Adoff and Emily Arnold Mccully

A children’s book focused on an interracial couple (Causiuasion father, and African American mother) and their two biracial children. Race being the central story theme.

Two Mrs. Gibsons

A Japanese and Black young girl, and her story of noticing the different aspects and characteristics between her Black grandmother and Japanese mother.

Black, White, Just Right

A story of a young biracial girl talking about things her parents like and how she is similar to them.

The Hello Goodbye Window

by Norton Juster and Chris Raschka

A preschool aged book, that focuses on exchanges amongst an interracial family.

A Wild Cowboy

An imaginative young boy…

(Books mentioned in this episode:

Black Mirror by Nancy Werlin

Middle grade thriller/mystery featuring a half-Japanese, half-Jewish girl.

Bobby Versus Girls (Accidentally)

By: Lisa Yee

Middle grade humor featuring a half-Chinese, half-white boy. (Race not a foreground theme.)

Brendan Buckley’s Universe and Everything Else In It

By: Sundee T. Frazier

Middle grade realistic fiction exploring racial themes around a boy who is half-black and half- white.

Half and Half

By: Lensey Namioka

Middle grade fiction about a girl’s difficulties with choosing between her Chinese heritage and her Scottish heritage.

The House You Pass on the Way

By Jacqueline Woodson

YA coming of age story exploring a half-black and half-white girl’s experience with racism, homosexuality, and family.

Mexican White Boy

By: Matt de la Pena

YA novel featuring a half-Mexican, half-white boy who deals with many issues, including racial discrimination.

Monsoon Summer

By: Mitali Perkins

YA novel about a half-Indian, half-white girl who travels to India with her mother and discovers a lot about herself and racial perceptions.

Nothing But the Truth (and a Few White Lies)

By: Justina Chen Headley

YA novel about a half-Taiwanese, half-white girl who learns to celebrate her “hapa” status when she spends a summer at camp.

Outside Beauty

By: Cynthia Kadohata

Middle grade novel about a single-parent family where all the sisters share their Japanese mother but each have a different father. While race is not the central issue, their truly multicultural family plays a large role in shaping their characters.

The True Meaning of Smekday

By: Adam Rex

Middle grade humor/science fiction in which the main character is half-black and half-white. Race is not a central issue, though discrimination by an alien race is.


How My Parents Learned to Eat

By: Ina R. Friedman and Allen Say

A girl with a Japanese mother and American father explains how her parents met why they sometimes eat with chopsticks and sometimes with a fork.

I Love Saturdays y Domingos

By: Alma Flor Ada and Elivia Savadier

A girl visits her Caucasian grandparents on Saturdays and her Mexican-American grandparents on Sundays.

Jalapeno Bagels

By :Natasha Wing and Robert Casilla

A boy who with both Mexican and Jewish backgrounds has to figure out what to bring to his school’s International Day.

My Two Grannies

By: Floella Benjamin and Margaret Chamberlain

A girl has one grandmother from Trinidad and another from Yorkshire. When her parents go on a trip, both grannies come to take care of her.

Romina’s Rangoli

By: Malathi Michelle Iyengar and Jennifer Wanardi

A girl who is half Mexican and half Indian has to figure out an art project for school that represents both her cultures.

The Wakame Gatherers

By: Holly Thompson and Kazumi Wilds

Taking place in Japan, a girl with a Japanese grandmother and a Caucasian grandmother visiting from Maine spend the day at the seashore.

You Be Me and I’ll Be You

By: Pili Mandelbaum

A girl and her light-skinned father “trade” skin colors, but her African-American mother is not pleased.


By Jeff Stone

YA novel about a half-Chinese, half-Dutch warrior monk girl in the 1600s who is looking for her roots while fighting for her life.

The Indigo Notebook

By Laura Resau

Features a half white and half unidentified ethnicity protagonist (might sound odd, but central to the character’s background); she has dark skin.

Crossing the Line

By Laura Castor

(Contemporary adult romance)


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