Books in this category include customs and traditions of people around the world. In some books the emphasis is on commonalties among people; in others, the focus is on the ways that people and groups of people can be different from one another.
Dragon Soup Sally J. Smith (Illustrator), Arlene Williams (Author) When a young girl tries to steal a pearl from the Cloud Dragon's treasure in order to help her father, she finds herself resolving a dispute about soup recipes. [Grade Level: K - 3]
El Chino Written and Illustrated by Allen Say Billy, the son of immigrants from China, was always told by his father that "In America, you can be anything you want to be." Billy's dreams of being a famous basketball player, however, are met with laughs and comments like, "Who's ever heard of a Chinese athlete!" Billy gives up his hopes of being a great athlete and studies engineering. Years later, while visiting Spain, Billy's dreams are reawakened when he falls in love with bullfighting and defies expectations to become the first Asian matador. [Grade Level: 2 - 6]
Elijah's Angel: A Story for Chanukah and Christmas Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson (Illustrator), Michael J. Rosen (Author) A young Jewish boy, Michael, is given a carved wooden angel at Christmas-time by his African-American friend, an old man in his eighties (based on an actual person—Elijah Pierce, a wood carver, lay minister, barber, and educator from Columbus). Michael is concerned that an angel may not be an appropriate gift for a Jew, but his parents assure him that it is a gift of friendship and that friendship means the same thing in any religion. In return, Michael presents his friend with a menorah he made and, for all eight nights of Chanukah, the menorah glows and sheds light on Elijah’s beautiful carvings. [Grade Level: K - 6]
Ellen Ochoa: First Latina Astronaut Lila Guzman (Author), Rick Guzman (Author) Part of the Famous Latinos series, this easy-to-read biography describes the life of the first Hispanic woman in space. The daughter of Mexican immigrants, Ochoa excelled in school and went on to be an electrical engineer, inventor and pilot, but dreamed of being an astronaut. Ochoa pursued her goal, even after being turned down twice by NASA, and was accepted into the space program in 1990. Using simple text, numerous photographs, a timeline and glossary, the authors describe Ochoa’s training and experiences as an astronaut. The book is also available in a Spanish language edition, Ellen Ochoa: La Primera Astronauta Latina. [Grade Level: 2 - 4]