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Culturally Diverse Library Collections for Youth

Totten, Herman L.
Brown, Risa W.
Garner, Carolyn

Neal-Schuman Publishers
Published:June 1, 1996

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Description: From Booklist
Confronted with making choices from a rapidly growing body of ethnic materials, librarians and teachers will find Culturally Diverse Library Collections for Youth useful. This bibliography features books and videos used in Totten's classes at the University of North Texas Library School, augmented by recommended titles from professional library literature. Covering 780 titles for young adults, it is similar to his Culturally Diverse Library Collections for Children.

The logical organization of entries into five major sections, subdivided by type of material, helps to facilitate the selection process. Four sections feature materials about African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Asian Americans; this last group is further subdivided into Cambodian Americans, Chinese Americans, etc. A fifth section, Multiethnic Materials, contains items spanning two or more ethnic boundaries. Each section is subdivided into biographies; folklore, literature, and poetry; fiction; reference and scholarly works; nonfiction; and videos. Out-of-print items are indicated, and a suggested age range is noted for each item. Curiously, several "not recommended" titles are included. Where titles have won awards, that information is cited. Annotations range from one-or two-sentence plot outlines to lengthy evaluations, especially for many of the nonfiction and reference/scholarly titles. Some of the fiction annotations seem cursory, as, for instance, the one for Robert Lipsyte's The Contender, which is described as being about the protagonist fleeing to a boxing club to escape the dangers of the street, while the book's main theme of his search for self-identity is not mentioned.

Title, author, and subject indexes are included; the subject index does not address some topics specifically mentioned in annotations. For example, I Hear a Symphony: African Americans Celebrate Love is indexed as an anthology. Love is the focus of this title, but "love" does not appear in the subject index. Librarians looking for materials in areas such as "self-esteem," "loneliness," "bigotry," and other vital issues for teens won't find them in the index. It would have been useful to have an index for those titles that contain bilingual material or that are in languages other than English.

The strength of this bibliography is the easy access it provides to such a diverse body of multicultural choices. It should prove valuable as a selection tool for public, middle-school, and high-school libraries, where it will update such books as Against Borders (ALA/Booklist Publications, 1993).

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