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Beginning Chapter Books Whose Lead Characters Are POC
Beginning chapter books that feature kids of color! Most of the below are part of a series, so if you like them, look for the others.   Print this list Print this list

Contributed by Emily Lloyd
 

Anna Hibiscus /
Atinuke
Children's Fiction ATINUKE
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The no 1 car spotter /
Atinuke
Children's Fiction ATINUKE
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Brand-new school, brave new Ruby /
Barnes, Derrick D.
Children's Fiction
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The stories Huey tells /
Cameron, Ann, 1943-
In which Huey invents banana spaghetti for a Mother's Day breakfast-in-bed and fools his older brother Julian marvelously, among other things. When Julian gets a book on animal tracks and dismisses Huey's request to look at it because, J says, Huey isn't old enough, Huey sneaks peeks at the book, replicates the tracks of a zebra and an elephant leading up to the house, and has Julian agog for days and setting up zebra traps. When Huey isn't happy with the way his invention, banana spaghetti, looks and tastes and doesn't want to serve it to his mom for Mother's Day, Huey's dad (I love the parents in this book--firm with rules, patient with mistakes and concerns) praises the idea and helps him alter the execution, resulting in something the whole household finds tasty. One mark of a good beginning chapter book for me is, if it's a series, whether I'm inspired to go read more. With many I'm not, but with Huey (and, recently, Dyamonde Daniel and Anna Hibiscus) I am.
Adult Fiction CAMERON
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Julian, secret agent /
Cameron, Ann, 1943-
Children's Fiction CAMERON
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Sassy : Little Sister is not my name! /
Draper, Sharon M.
Children's Fiction DRAPER
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Nikki & Deja /
English, Karen
Children's Fiction ENGLISH
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Sugar plum ballerinas : plum fantastic /
Goldberg, Whoopi, 1955-
Children's Fiction GOLDBER
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Make way for Dyamonde Daniel /
Grimes, Nikki.
I love Dyamonde Daniel: she's smart, thoughtful, self-aware, and not overly concerned with what others think of her. In "Make Way," Dyamonde, just beginning at a new school herself, watches another new kid scowl and stomp and mope for a week. Everyone else avoids Free, but Dyamonde knows there's got to be more to this story. She decides to straight-up ask him: "Why are you so mad?", and a new friendship slowly begins. Dyamonde lives in a city (New York), and it's a nice change from the frequent suburban settings in beginning chapter books. Her parents are recently divorced, and she's comfortable feeling both sad about it and relieved that there isn't so much yelling and fighting going on in her life any more. A great beginning chapter book with a memorable lead, excellent writing, and fabulous illustrations.
Children's Fiction GRIMES
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Clara Lee and the apple pie dream /
Han, Jenny.
Children's Fiction HAN
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Zapato power : Freddie Ramos takes off /
Jules, Jacqueline, 1956-
Children's Fiction JULES
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Ruby Lu, brave and true /
Look, Lenore.
Children's Fiction LOOK
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The great cake mystery : Precious Ramotswe's very first case /
McCall Smith, Alexander, 1948-
Children's Fiction MCCALL
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Lulu and the duck in the park /
McKay, Hilary.
Lulu is "famous for loving animals"--all the way down to spiders. So when her 3rd grade class witnesses, on a field trip, two large dogs ruin a nest of duck eggs and Lulu finds that one egg has survived, what can she do but tuck it inside her sweater and hope it doesn't hatch before the end of the school day? A short, Ramona-like book about having a well-intentioned secret, with a happy ending.
Children's Fiction MCKAY
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Calvin Coconut : trouble magnet /
Salisbury, Graham.
Children's Fiction SALISBU
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Keena Ford and the secret journal mix-up /
Thomson, Melissa, 1979-
Children's Fiction THOMSON
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EllRay Jakes is a rock star! /
Warner, Sally, 1946-
Children's Fiction WARNER
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