Dive Into Diversity: Food, Family, Friends

White Plains is a wonderfully diverse community! Parents, children, and teens have expressed an interest in titles that reflect the diversity in the community, and Ashley, Kathlyn, and Raquel's “Dive Into Diversity” column will spotlight noteworthy children's and teen titles that are inclusive, diverse, and multicultural to fulfill that interest. Ashley's portion is aimed at readers in grades 4-6.

As we delve deeper into the fall and the weather gets chillier, I usually find myself reconnecting with friends and spending time with family around the holidays. I hope you enjoy reading these diverse recommendations that combine all three – food, family, and friends – as you also spend time with your loved ones as well as enjoy delicious food!

A Place at the Table by Saadia Faruqi and Laura Shovan
For children in grades 5-7.
Library Collection: Print
hoopla: Audio
OverDrive: eBook

Sara and Elizabeth, both in the sixth grade, are two very different girls that meet at an after-school South Asian cooking class taught by Sara’s mom. Sara, who is Pakistani American, is new to their large public school and finds it to be very unlike the private Islamic school she used to attend. Although Sara can’t stand cooking, she’s forced to attend since her mother is the teacher. On the other hand, Elizabeth wants to learn more about cooking since her parents can never seem to find the time to make actual meals. She’s also struggling to deal with her British mum’s depression as well as her concerns about her best friend that she feels is replacing her. When Elizabeth is paired up with Sara, they form an alliance and team up as cooking partners. The girls even make plans to create a masterpiece cross-cultural dish in order to enter a local cooking contest. However, their blossoming friendship is shaken due to racist comments from Elizabeth’s best friend. Despite their differences, can they realize just how much they do have in common in order to actually become friends instead of just cooking partners? There’s a lot going on in this book but the main thing that I took from it was how important it is to stand up for what is right. Our Project LIT Book Club for Kids & Tweens will be meeting on Wednesday, November 10th at 4:30 PM to discuss and play trivia about this story. We hope you’ll join us! Please use this link to find out more information and to register.

Measuring Up by Lily LaMotte and illustrated by Ann Xu
For children in grades 3-7.
Library Collection: Print
OverDrive: eBook

“Twelve-year-old Cici’s life in Taiwan is upended when her parents decide to immigrate to Seattle in this full-color contemporary graphic novel debut. Saying goodbye to her friends is difficult, but leaving her beloved caretaker, cook, and paternal grandmother, A-Má, is much worse. Determined to bring A-Má over to celebrate her 70th birthday, Cici decides to enter Platinum Jr. Chef, a six-round Saturday cooking competition at a local cooking store with a $1,000 prize. Tensions arise as Cici struggles to navigate American-style cooking, new friendships, and her schoolwork, but encouragement from A-Má via video chats (and from Julia Child, via a recommendation from Cici’s favorite librarian) keeps her focused. LaMotte’s accessible writing resonates in sketching a diaspora experience (‘When people see us, no matter how American we become, they always see someone who’s not like them. We always have to prove ourselves first'), and Xu’s simple, inviting illustrations will charm young readers.” –Publishers Weekly

Krista Kim-Bap by Angela Ahn
For children in grades 4-6.
Library Collection: Print
hoopla: eBook

“Krista is tired of being the Korean Canadian girl that everyone thinks is Chinese. And now, with Heritage Month approaching, she again must be the reluctant ‘Korean Ambassador' to her middle school classmates. When she unexpectedly receives an invitation to a red-carpet party from the popular girl, Krista is launched into the inner circle of a clique comprised of four white girls—but Krista must put aside her friendship with others in order to fit in. While exploring this new social group and what it means to be a girl, Krista also learns more about her Korean heritage by spending time with her grandmother, making kim-bap, and taking a trip to a Korean beauty salon. Exploring questions of friendship, beauty, culture, and race, this title hits on many topics that will ring true with readers just entering the middle school years. Ahn writes Krista's voice with the right touch of innocence; realism and supporting characters are also well developed.” –School Library Journal

Categories: Authors & Books, Featured, Homepage Kids, Kids, and Library News.

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