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Notable Books for a Global Society

Lauren Roberts & Alicia Taylor

November 28th, 2018

Dr. Barbara Ward

T&L 307

The topic of diversity in schools is something that is very prevalent, not only today, but also

throughout past years. For many years, diversity was a topic that was not brought up enough.

Children’s books focused on the norms of white society and books cherishing other ethnicities

and cultures were rare and difficult to find in classrooms. In 1995, the International Reading

Association created a committee titled the Notable Books for a Global Society Committee. This

committee was formed to help find some of most notable, outstanding, and best trade books that

identify and cover topics such as ethnicity, race, religion, sexual orientation, and culture. Every

year, the committee comes together to find twenty-five phenomenal trade books for K-12 they

feel exemplify all topics of diversity they have laid out. Many times it is difficult for educators

who have students who may be from different backgrounds than other students, but this

committee has made it more attainable for educators to have access to trade books that can

expose students to more diversity, in and out of the classroom.


The purpose of this assignment was to expose ourselves to trade books that would not only be

great books to have in our future classrooms, but books that can connect with our future students

and open their minds to a more diverse society. As future educators, bringing multicultural

awareness and diversity into the classroom should be a main focus. Sometimes, children can be

influenced by those around them and not even notice until they become older. Having access to

trade books or any diversifying literature in the classroom can be helpful because, “Literature

can be one of the most powerful tools for combating the ignorance that breeds xenophobic and

judgmental behaviors,” which allows students to think for themselves and disregard possible
influences around them (Tunnell & Jacobs, 202). Children should be celebrating their differences

amongst others and if they are not being exposed to diversity or multicultural awareness out of

the classroom, then it should be available and spoken about inside of the classroom.

Steps Taken to Complete the Project:

Doing this project as partners, we (Lauren and Alicia) got together multiple times to work and

collaborate. We both picked out books we thought seemed to be interesting and were also

available at the Owen Science Library. When we picked out our books we each took home four

books, read them, and then when we were finished reading them we switched and read the

remaining four books the other person had read. We made a google doc to help us with the

collaboration as well. This is where we added in all of the notes we took on each book. Most of

our notes and key points we gathered from the books were the same, but we did have a few that

the one person caught eye of a few details that the other person didn’t which made it helpful. We

set aside days that we would get together and complete parts of the project on. There were

multiple days we got together and each time we would collaborate and complete multiple parts

of the project. Over break, we were able to go through the project and fix any major/minor

details and add things in and take things out; it was a good time to double check our work.
Multicultural Literature Definition:

Multicultural literature is not just literature that speaks about different cultures. Multicultural

literature is pieces of art that represent different cultures, religions, sexual orientations, and the

diversity that is in the world. It is literature that is unlike any other kid because it exposes topics

that many people are afraid to talk about, write about, or explore on their own. A mass amount of

literature that is deemed as classic or famous literature includes topics that are very common. It

doesn’t take a stance on prevalent issues that are important to talk about or expose you to

different backgrounds. Before starting this project, we thought we had a general consensus of

what multicultural literature was, but it wasn’t until we starting reading our books and discussing

them until we really felt we had an understanding of multicultural literature. We feel that this

type of literature is something that should be incorporated into every time of literature and

especially in schools, since it can be both informational and captivating to read.

8 Notable Books We Read

No Choirboy: Murder, Violence, and Teenagers on Death Row

Kuklin, S. (2014). No choirboy: Murder, violence, and teenagers on death row. New York, NY:

Square Fish, Henry Holt and Company.


This novel written by Susan Kuklin takes a deeper look into our countries prison system

and the cases that led 3 teenagers to be placed on death row at such a young age. Kuklin

interviewed Roy Burgess Jr., Mark Melvin and Nanon Williams while they were all on death

row for the violent murders they committed when they were teens. Kuklin also talks to the

mother and brother of Napoleon Beazley, who had already been taken by the death penalty, and

their experience during their loved one’s time on the row. Paul and Mary Jenkins also speak out

about the murder of their brother and how they saved his killer from being put on death row due

to their beliefs. Bryan Stevenson represented Roy and Mark during their time in prison. Kuklin

interviewed each inmate and asked them to speak for themselves. Using their own words from

their own points of view—raw and uncensored—they talk about their daily lives in prison and

how they ended up there. Each inmate talks about the violence and manipulation that takes

places in state prisons from both inmates and the guarding officers. Roy was treated with respect

by the other inmates on the row. He was 16 years old when he was sentenced to death row. Roy

talks about how almost all the guys were much older than he was and how they could have easily

taken advantage of him physically, mentally and sexually, but instead, they took him under their

wings. Mark fell into the temptations of the homosexual acts that takes place in prisons. He was

just 14 when he was tried as an adult for the murder of two people. Mark was into art. He drew

portraits of the other inmates before they were executed. Nanon also had the demeanor that he
was not to be messed with. But, he was also very respected by the other inmates. He was placed

on death row when he was 17 years old. Nanon took his time in prison as an opportunity to

expand his knowledge about literature and released a couple books while on the row. Napoleon

Beazley’s mother, Rena Beazley, and brother, Jamaal Beazley, believed that Napoleon’s

sentence to the row was out of revenge. Napoleon was accused of shooting the father of a federal

judge. William Jenkins was the victim of a robbery and was shot in the neck. Paul and Mary,

William’s siblings, did not believe in the death penalty. Their father, Paul, went to the judge of

the case and told him not to give his son’s murderer the death penalty because they did not

believe in it. Bryan Stevenson was the lawyer for both Roy and Mark while they were on the

row. He is very passionate about what he does for a living.


One of the criteria for the NBGS is, “thought-provoking content that invites reflection,

critical analysis, and response”. No Choirboy is a book that is centered around capital

punishment and all of the arguments that come with the topic. The death penalty has been a

controversial issue for a long time. People are always debating whether or not it is ethical.

Throughout each story of the inmates, Susan Kuklin talks about the laws regarding the death

penalty with teenagers. It has been deemed unconstitutional to sentence a teenager under the age

of 18 at the time of the crime, to the death penalty. Roy, Mark, and Nanon were all convicted of

murder under the age of 18, but, since they were sentenced before the law changed, they were

left on the row. While reading, it made me think about the law and how all of those that were

convicted before the law changed, should have a chance at a re-trial. It also got me thinking

about the ethics behind capital punishment. Paul and Mary Jenkins’s family did not believe in the
death penalty, so they got their loved one’s murderer a sentence of life without parole. This book

focuses on different angles of the death penalty.


One element from the NBGS criteria that No Choirboy is lacking is, “an approach that

honors and celebrates diversity as well as the common bonds of humanity”. Throughout the

book, there are pictures of each of the people interviewed by Kuklin so you can put a face to the

name and story being told. But, in the interviews with the inmates, they mention that the majority

of the other inmates were African Americans and Latinos. This is in no way celebrating the

diversity that is in prison. It is rather implying that a majority of those in prison are of a certain


What the World Eats

Menzel, Peter, and Faith D'Aluisio. What the World Eats. Berkeley, Calif: Tricycle Press, 2008.



The title of this book says it all, it is a book about what people eat every week around the

world. This book also includes hundreds of facts about the different countries and the types of

food that they eat. Included is also tons of photos of family, food, and the different

environments/living conditions in which every family lives in. The photos show everything that

they family eats within a regular week, also included is the cost of their food in their countries

currency, as well as the US currency value. Some of the interesting facts listed for every country

range from population, price of health care per person, physicians per 100,000 people, to number

of McDonalds in the country. The main purpose of this book is to show what average families
around the world per week and to see how much they spend on food. It includes how much each

family spends on each food group (vegetables, meats, fruits, etc.) and every item that they family

buys. Most of the families featured in the book have also included family recipes to some of their

favorite dishes to make for their family. Along with all the facts and pictures of food, there are

also maps and graphs throughout the book describing where each family lives, and some stats

about their country.


One of the NBGS criteria that this book excels at is, “literature must have an appealing

format and be of enduring quality”. The formatting of this book is very appealing from the cover

until the very last page of the book. The on every page do an amazing job at capturing the

reader’s attention and providing them with a sense of understanding of the different cultures. The

pictures help bring the book to life, especially with the added captions describing what is going

on in the photos on the pages. This is a book where I found myself wanting to keep reading to

keep learning more and more about different cultures and their cuisines. The placement of the

random facts on the pages were very helpful and made the readers want to compare all the facts

from the different countries. The quality of this book is very well done. The elements of the book

are very clear. All the words on the pages make sense and the photographs help back up what is

being said on the pages.


One element from the NBGS criteria that What the Word Eats is lacking, is, “literature

must demonstrate unique language or style”. This book is missing a specific aspect of language
that would make it more descriptive and would put the readers in the feet of the families that the

book follows. There are only two elements of unique language in the book. They do not stand

out, nor do they have emphasis put on them. The elements are the names of the families and

where they come from and some of the recipes that the families included. All of it is done in

English. While I understand you need most of your readers to understand everything being said,

the author’s should have included some of the countries culture into the couple of pages that they

have in the book.

Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves

Nelson, V. (2009). Bad news for outlaws. Minneapolis, USA: Carolrhoda Books.


This book tells the incredible story of Bass Reeves, U.S Deputy Marshall. In the mid

1800s, Reeves started his life as a slave. Fortunately for him, his owner treated him very well and

would often sign Reeves up for shooting contests so his owner could show him off. Bass

impressed his owner so much that he took Bass with him to fight in the Civil War alongside one

another. After a dispute with his owner, Bass fled to Indian Territory where he later married a

woman named Jennie and had 11 children. The territory in which they lived was filled with

many bad people that had warrants out for their arrest. A judge named Isaac Parker was sent to

the area to manage other Deputy Marshalls’ to bring all the outlaws to justice. Bass Reeves was

one of them. Bass quickly became known for his ability to track down and capture the outlaws

and bring them in. During his time tracking down outlaws, he only fired his gun as a last resort.

Parker wanted the outlaws brought in either dead or alive. Reeves only had to resort to his

weapon 14 times during his 32 years of service. He ended up arresting over 3,000 outlaws both
men and woman and of all ethnicities. As time went on, Bass Reeves got sick and died in 1910.

Eighty-two years after his death, Bass Reeves was inducted into the Hall of Great Westerners of

the National Cowboy and the Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.


One of the NBGS criteria that this book excels at is, “an approach that honors and

celebrates diversity as well as the common bonds of humanity”. During the 1800s, slavery was a

common thing with white folk “owning” African Americans. Slaves were treated like property,

but, Bass Reeves had an owner that wanted to show other people everything that Reeves was

good at. When Reeves escaped the life of slavery, he made a name for himself. This book honors

all of Bass Reeves accomplishments as an African American U.S Deputy Marshall in the late

1800s. Even though slaves were considered to be free after the Civil War, a majority did not hold

such high level jobs. During his time as Deputy Marshall, Reeves brought in over 3,000 outlaws

while keeping the death rate of his captures to 14. Reeves was honored for the work he did by

being inducted into the Hall of Great Westerners of the National Cowboy and the Western

Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City.


One of the NBGS criteria that this book lacks, is “in-depth treatment of issues”. While

the story does mention Reeves personal experience with slavery, the author does not expand

much on the topic. It is an issue what happened in our history and has defined our society today.

This book could be a good introduction to slavery for kids, but it lacks the treatment of the issue

and how it ended. In the book it mentioned that is stopped after the Civil War, but how? The in-

depth treatment of issues would have helped this book become stronger.
Dare to Dream… Change the World

Corcoran, J., Jepson, B. J. (2012). Dare to dream… change the world. Tulsa, OK: Kane Miller,

A Division of EDC Publishing.


This book is a picture book that is filled with different poems. Each poem is different and

relates to different important events or important people that have helped shape the world and

society. Some of the topics and people covered by the poems in this book are the Holocaust,

hispanic segregation, fundraising for the less fortunate, humanitarian award winners, polio

research, multiple influential artists, Olympic medal winners, award winning authors, persons

with autism, choreographers, outstanding teachers, directors, and founders of websites. There are

two poems to every topic and between the poems is a description of the person/event that is

being discussed each poem. Two of the poems that stood out the most and are the best

representations of this book are ‘Nicholas Cobb’ and Under the Bridge’. We believe that these

are the best representations of the overarching theme of this book because ‘Nicholas Cobb,’

written by David L. Harrison, tells the story about Nicholas Cobb, how he took action into

making a difference for those who were less fortunate. As a young boy, he saw homeless men

and women under a bridge and began raising money for homeless to buy them coats. As an Eagle

Scout he did what he could to make a difference in the world and help those in need. The other

poem, ‘Under the Bridge,’ written by Jane Yolen, speaks about those who live under the bridge,

who are in need and are homeless. This is a poem bringing awareness about how most people

think of those who live under bridges and have nowhere to go- as trolls and hobos.
Strengths and Weaknesses:

Throughout this book, many strengths and weaknesses related the NBGS criteria can be

seen. The strengths definitely outweigh the weaknesses by meeting all of the part 2 criteria and

meeting part 1 criteria of number 4 and number 6. The number 4 criteria from part 1 is providing

in-depth treatment of cultural issues which can be seen through multiple poems in the book. The

poem on page 2 titled ‘The child,’ by Patrick Lewis, is about Sylvia Mendez. Mendez stood up

for hispanics and when they were segregated from schools in California in the 1940s. In the

poem, Lewis writes, “Under the billion-acre sky she wondered, Did white girls at 17th Street

Elementary really wear rainbow necklaces?” By this, Lewis indicates that Sylvia did not know

about white girls that went to 17th Street Elementary. She was curious and upset by the

segregation and the fact that she had to attend a ‘Mexican school’. Foreshadowing that Sylvia

was going to make a difference, Lewis writes dialogue between Sylvia and her mother, “How

can anyone ever get in? Sylvia asked. Someone must know who has the right key… She looked

up at her mother. Maybe me.” This proves as a strength of the book relating to part 1 number 4

NBGS criteria because Lewis foreshadows that Sylvia is going to treat the cultural issue of

hispanic segregation in schools and make a difference for her culture and community, as she did.

A weakness of the book would be that it does not have set characters, and it’s not rich in cultural

details. Even though this book provides multiple examples of cultural changing impacts by

people/events, it does not give a mass amount of details pertaining to each poem. The poems

give slight insight to events and influential people but this is seen as a weakness relating to the

NBGS criteria.
The Boy Who Dared

Bartoletti, S. C. (2016). The boy who dared. Halifax, Nova Scotia: Atlantic Provinces Special

Education Authority.


The story begin on Helmuth Hubner’s 264th day on death row in Nazi, Germany. While

in his cell, he reflects on his life and all the choices he’s made while he waits to see what his

future might hold. Helmuth thinks about his family and how close they were, especially his

grandparents who would look after him and his siblings while their mom was at work. Since

Germany lost World War I, times were tough trying to rebuild their economy and their country.

Germany was now filled with lots of reparations, poverty, unemployment, and inflation. Adolf

Hitler soon came into power promising the people of Germany to restore the German name.

Hitler was the newly elected leader of the Third Reich. Helmuth recalls the parades of men

wearing all brown suits with red and black armbands and tall black boots. As a teenager,

Helmuth joined an organization of Hitler Youth. Helmuth happily identifies as a Moron and

enjoys learning about the Church of Latter Day Saints. As Hitler’s reign gains more and more

power, Helmuth starts to notice patriotism turning into fanaticism. Everyone is turning against

each other, books are being burned, more and more rules are coming into play, radios linking

outside of Germany are banned as the Nazis quest for power spreads across Europe. After

Helmuth see’s a classmate of his beaten for being Jewish and a neighbor being taken from his

home to a concentration camp. After seeing that, Helmuth starts to rely on his radio, tuned into

the BBC network, for information. He becomes furious with what the Nazi soldiers are doing to

the people and decided to write up a newsletter to pass out to the people denouncing Hitler and
his regime. Soon after, Helmuth is arrested, beaten, tortured, and on death row waiting for his

execution, bringing it back to the beginning of the book.


One NBGS criteria that this book excels at is, “richness of detail concerning the group or

groups depicted”. The main groups depicted in this book are the Jewish, Nazis, the people living

in Germany, and everyone else in Europe affected by the Hitler regime. The author describes in

great detail the actions and consequences that each group faced during this time. For example,

during this time, the Jewish were treated very poorly by being taken from their homes at random

times of the day, being beaten and tortured, and being thrown into concentration camps. The

Nazis were the ones that carried out all of the horrible actions. They are also the ones who

patrolled the streets to bring order to Germany. Each group was focused on very well by the

author and was depicted in great detail.


One NBGS criteria that this book lacks is, “an approach that honors and celebrates

diversity as well as the common bonds of humanity”. The Jewish people nor the Nazis were

celebrated in this book. The Jewish people were abused and tormented for years at a time. Hitler

promised to build Germany back up from the ground, but instead he brought fear and

hopelessness to the country. The Nazis did inhumane things to the people who were trapped in

their concentration camps. No group mentioned in the book was honored or celebrated.

Twenty-two Cents: Muhammad Yunus and the Village Bank

Yoo, P., Akib, J. (2014). Twenty-two cents: muhammad yunus and the village bank. New York,

NY: Lee & Low Books Inc.


Twenty-two Cents: Muhammad Yunus and the Village Bank, is a picture book and a story

about life events of Muhammad Yunus who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006. The story

begins when Muhammad was a young boy. As a young boy his father had always pushed the

importance of education on him and encouraged him to learn from the world, as it is the greatest

learning he would receive. So Muhammad set out to study economics at Dhaka University in

Bangladesh. Form here, he excelled so much that he was awarded a scholarship to continue

studying economics in the United States. Muhammad witnessed protests in America, as this was

the time of the Vietnam War. As his home country was facing challenges and war, Muhammad

gathered those who were loyal to his home country and they marched for peace to bring

awareness to Americans of other tragic events that were happening around the world. When

Muhammad went back to him homeland, he saw the aftermath of the war that had happened,

specifically in the village of Jobra. There was poverty all over the village which angered

Muhammad. He met a young woman, named Sufiya, who weaved stools. She was incredibly

poor and was weak trying to support herself and her children. It cost Sufiya twenty-two cents to

get the supplies to make a stool and since she didn’t have the money, she borrowed money on

loans from a moneylender. The only problem was that the moneylender charged her high rates of

interest which meant she had an extremely difficult time making money herself because it all

went back to the moneylender. When Muhammad saw what was happening he set out to help

Sufiya and others. The banks in Bangladesh were not interested in helping the women of Jobra

and loaning money to them with fair interest rates, so Muhammad created his own bank where

he would give loans to the women of Jobra with fair interests rates. Women who participating in

Muhammad’s loan program were taught how to manage their finances and be financially stable,
learning how banking worked. Muhammad was known as the ‘Banker to the Poor’, and helped

those in poverty become stable. He and his bank were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in

2006 for their efforts to change the norm in the village of Jobra.

Strengths and Weaknesses:

This book demonstrated a lot of strengths relating to the NBGS criteria. Just on its own,

not taking a look at the criteria, one can tell this book is culturally diverse and educational,

providing the reader with information about a very influential person. Relating to the criteria, it’s

rich in cultural detail, has accuracy of authenticity of the characters, and definitely portrays the

social and economic status. A huge part of the book that sets the book up for success is the

advice Muhammad’s father gives to him, “Learning form the world is the greatest learning”

(Yoo, 2014, p. 6). The reason this is a huge part of the book is because it’s what sticks with

Muhammad his entire life. He goes out to learn about the world and for this, he remains

authentic in his learning and helpfulness to others. The entire book is a representation of social

and economical status for not only Muhammad but the village of Jobra. The beginning of

Muhammad’s impactful journey starts in 1965 when, “he won a prestigious Fulbright scholarship

to study economics in the United States,” (Yoo, 2016, p. 10). This gives indication to

Muhammad’s social status as someone who is very smart and takes pride in his education. From

here on, Muhammad’s economic status can also be determined since he studied economics and

also taught economics and the universities he studied at and was also hired at.

It was difficult to find a weakness of this book but the main weakness that stands out is that this

book is a children’s book but has many financial terms that would go right over children’s heads.

The author has to give definitions to a lot of terms, for instance on page 9 the author has to
define the term economics. Other terms used throughout the book are microcredit, loans, banks,

and moneylenders. More advanced readers may be able to comprehend these words without

needing definitions but even for some adults, the definitions and words are not something they

are familiar with, making this a weakness as it’s a children’s book.

The Orange Houses

Griffin, P. (2009). The orange houses. New York, NY: The Penguin Group.


The Orange Houses, by Paul Griffin, focuses on three main characters Mik, Fatima, and

Jimmi and follows them through a short journey set in the Bronx, New York. Mik is a girl in

high school who has a hearing problem. She has hearing aids but they don’t work well, they give

her infections, and she likes to turn them off so she can tune out the world. Jimmi is a guy who

enlisted in the army, came back, now has a drug problem, is trying to sober up, and makes

friends with Mik. Fatima is a young illegal immigrant who came to America for a better life. She

takes a risk and moves to New York, however instead of staying in a safer neighborhood where

her chances of getting caught by the police are lower, she moves to the Bronx where she tries to

get pursue her dream of going to the Statue of Liberty. Throughout the beginning of the book, it

bounces back and forth from character to character. We learn about Mik and how she has

problems at school with the other kids. A girl named Shanelle doesn’t like Mik and gives her a

hard time because a boy name Jaekwon seems interested in Mik. Even though Mik isn’t

interested in Jaekwon, Shanelle doesn’t care and is still mean to Mik. Jimmi writes poetry here at

there and has a hard time getting on the sober track. Mik tries to be his friend and help him but
she can only do so much. Fatima makes friends with Mik and Mik invited her over for dinner. At

dinner Fatima tells Mik’s mom and NaNa about her immigration and her dream to go to the

Statue of Liberty. Mik and Fatima become closer and Fatima tries to help Mik with her ear

situation. Continuing through Mik’s journey at school, we see more harassment from Shanelle,

but we also see Mik having feelings for a boy but not Jaekwon. Mik and Fatima end up going to

the Statue of Liberty one day but the boat can’t make it all of the way because it’s too foggy so

they have to turn around. Jimmi goes to buy more drugs after being sober for a few days but he

can’t get any drugs and he stumbles upon a gun. When immigration laws start becoming more

strict in the area, Mik and her mom help Fatima in fear she’s going to get deported, and take her

to a lawyer to fill out her immigration application. A big event in the book takes place and when

Mik is coming home from school one day, Shanelle and her friends harm Mik with a box cutter,

all because of Jaekwon. While Mik is hurt, Jimmi tries to help her but people think Mik has been

taken. Everyone then attacks Jimmi by tying rope around his ankles, hanging him, and then

hurting him since they think he is trying to hurt Mik. The police question him and he accidentally

tells them that Fatima is an illegal immigrant. Fatima gets arrested and Mik is upset that her new

friend who she cares about is being sent home to her home country. After Mik gets her new

hearing aids, she finally starts using them more and starts to not tune out the world so much and

actually hear what goes on around her.

Strengths and Weaknesses:

Taking into consideration the NBGS criteria, I believe The Orange Houses has many strengths.

A strength that stood out the most was in part 1 of the criteria that is including characters within

multiple cultural groups. The story follows three main characters Mik, Fatima, and Jimmi. Mik
and Jimmi are both African Americans and Fatima is is also African but has African culture

rather than American culture like Mik and Jimmi. For instance, Mik and Jimmi were both born in

the United States and Fatima was not. Mik and Jimmi had privileges that Fatima does not and

she shows through her journey to the United States how grateful she is for the opportunity to

have freedom. Fatima’s culture is completely different that Mik and Jimmi’s and in the

beginning of the book Fatima is asked why she is crying and she responds, “Because I am

happy,” (Griffin, 2009, p. 15). The reason this quote is included as the example point is because

it sets the entire stage for the book and the character of Fatima. She is crying because she is

happy and form this you know that her culture in her homeland is so different than the culture in

America. And when she becomes friends with Mik and Jimmi, their cultures mix and Fatima

shows Mik what to be grateful for. It’s hard to identify a weakness of the book but one weakness

would have to be the structure of the book. Obviously, NBGS believes the format is appealing

according to part 2 criteria but the titles of each chapter are the names of the main character and

usually when books are structured that way it means that the chapter is mostly all about them and

focuses mainly on that character. This structure doesn’t really work well for the book since a lot

of the book overlaps with each other and it’s telling a chronological story rather than providing


Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickels

Stone, T. L. (2013). Courage has no color: the true story of the triple nickels. Somerville, MA:

Candlewick Press.

Courage Has No Color by Tanya Lee Stone is a historical nonfiction chapter book that tells a

story about the first paratroopers of color in the military. In the 1940s, racial prejudice was still

prevalent and especially in the military. A requirement to be a paratrooper was that one had to be

white and not of color. First Sergeant Walter Morris is the main character throughout this

nonfiction book because he was overseeing black guards at the Fort Benning Parachute School in

the 1940s. When he saw all of this action about white males being trained to be paratroopers, he

didn’t understand white men of color couldn’t do the same and why discrimination had to play a

factor. So, he started gathering the colored guards and training them in areas of basic training and

parachute training. His men started acting like soldiers and Morris’ work was recognized by

General Ridgley Gaither. Morris was called into the General’s office and was asked to create an

all-black unit of paratroopers and in 1944 the 555th Parachute Infantry Company was created

and they were called the Triple Nickels. The Triple Nickels were faced with many challenges

and most had to deal with racist remarks. May white men didn’t want to be associated with men

of color and didn’t want to train with them. The Triple Nickels were not like the white

paratroopers, they didn’t go overseas, but instead they did inside jobs that were secretive. Japan

had been sending balloon bombs and the Triple Nickels were the ones to stop them. When WWII

had ended the Triple Nickels became the first colored division of military to be integrated into a

white division. This story is one of the first movements to show the desegregating the military is

not a bad things and it began paving the way for desegregation within the military.

Strengths and Weaknesses:

Overall, since this book is historical nonfiction it has many, many strengths to it since it covers

so many facts about history. The NBGS criteria that can be related to the strengths of this book is
including members of a minority group. The Triple Nickels faced a lot of discrimination against

them and in the military, especially in the paratrooper branch. Even when the Triple Nickel were

already a thing, “African-American citizens and soldiers alike were still being kept out of ‘white’

establishments,” (Stone, 2013, p. 39). The discrimination in the military happened because they

were the minority. Even though this is topic that is upsetting, it is a strength of the book related

to the NBGS criteria because it speaks so much about the colored people in the military being the

minority and not being treated the same. Another strength relating to the criteria is that the book

honors and celebrates the diversity within the military and how the Triple Nickels paved the way

to start desegregation in the military. In 1947, “the 555th was officially integrated into the 82nd

Airborne as the 3rd Battalion of the 505th Parachute Infantry Brigade,” (Stone, 2013, p. 97). This

book glorifies the Triple Nickels and all of their hard work. The only weakness of this book that

is relevant is that it isn’t very engaging. This book meet all of the criteria but it a bit bland in the

way it presents information. It very factual so it’s almost like just reading a history book.


Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves

Nelson, V. (2009). Bad news for outlaws. Minneapolis, USA: Carolrhoda Books.

The book that we chose as the best Notable Book for Global Society was, Bad News for

Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves by Vaunda Micheaux Nelson. We feel that this

story exemplifies every criteria that the Notable Book selection committee uses when choosing

their winners. It is a book that focuses on an individual, Bass Reeves, who defies social norms
and breaks away from slavery to hold a position of power among all races in his territory. It also

centers around the accomplishments of Reeves during his time as a U.S Deputy Marshall.

Meeting Notable Books for a Global Society Criteria:

Part 1: Accuracy and authenticity of the people depicted in terms of (a) physical

characteristics, (b) social and economic status, (c) intellectual and problem-solving abilities,

and (d) displays of leadership and cooperation.

(a) During the 1800s, life was very hard for men and woman. The amount of technology and

resources that people had were very limited; they also had very limited health care. In the

illustrations you can see that all the men were tall and skinny with a lot of facial hair. Men during

this time didn’t have time to be lazy because there was always work to be done. You can see

these characteristic in the illustrations. (b) Also during this time period is when it was believed

that women must stay home and look after the house and the children while the men do all the

work. Only men could hold such high positions such as Deputy Marshall. People that held a

position in the law were usually those of a higher social and economic status. Everyone else was

just trying to make a living and provide for their families. You could also tell who was of lower

class by the clothes they wore. Most of the time those who had holes in their clothing and shoes

were of a lower financial class. (c) This also led into the intellectual ability shown by Bass

Reeves. When he wanted to blend in with the outlaws, he would shoot holes in his hat to make it

seem like it was old and raggety. Reeves was very good at blending in with the people around

him because he was an African American so people thought the worst of him when he was really

a man of high power and respect. (d) Back then, if there were any problems in the area such as a

broken cart, or a broken wheel, most people would help immediately to fix it. When Reeves was
pretending to be an outlaw with a broken cart wheel, everyone, including outlaws, rushed over to

help him fix the problem.

Richness of detail concerning the group or groups depicted

The details throughout the story itself and the illustrations are very easy to see. The

illustration are able to tell the story without the words and they are able to provide more detail

than ever. In the story, the author tells the time about when Bass Reeves was pulling a steer by

the neck out of the mud. While you can see Reeves completing the task, you can also see the

reaction of the people around him which is not mentioned in the story itself. Everyone was in

shock and awe that a man was able to perform that task. You can also see that everyone was

dressed in what we call cowboy attire. Cowboy boots, jeans, long sleeves shirts and cowboy hats

with woman wearing long dresses that went to the floor. There is not a building or home in sight

during the scene. The illustrations made it evident that the only means of transportation was buy

horse or ox, but it was never physically said in the text. The illustrations really helped provide

more detail than ever to help make this story one that is well written.

An approach that honors and celebrates diversity as well as the common bonds of


This book is all about celebrating and honoring diversity. It is a story about an African

American during the time of slaves, who escapes and creates a better life for himself where is a

very well respected man by all races. Bass Reeves was an all around good man who wanted to do

good in the world by helping it become a safer place. As U.S Deputy Marshall, Reeves was in

charge of capturing all of the outlaws and throwing them in jail. During his 32 years as the

Marshall, he imprisoned over 3,000 men and woman and only killed 14 people. Even though he

was feared by some, he was respected by all. He always did what was right so matter the
consequences or who it was. Reeves even imprisoned his own son for the crime he committed.

The common bonds of humanity are addressed in many ways. Reeves saved a man who was

about to be publicly lynched and no one tried to stop him.

In-depth treatment of issues

In the story, at the top of some of the pages, it shows the different time periods in which

certain events in Bass Reeves life took place. At the beginning of the story, it takes place from

the 1840s to the 1860s when Bass Reeves was an owned slave. His owner was a Colonel in the

Civil War who thought very highly on Reeves. He was always taking him hunting and signed

him up for shooting contests so he could show him off to others. He even took Reeves to fight

beside him in the Civil War. But, later the story talks about how Reeves got in a fight with his

owner causing him to strike him and flee into Indian Territory. During this time that would have

been a major offense and even death of a slave. In the story there is also a scene where an

African American man is being lynched in the town center with the white people watching. This

was a very common occurrence during this time. When Reeves held up his badge and saved the

man, it was uncomfortable for the white people to see an African American in a position of

power during that time.

Depiction of substantive and authentic interaction among characters within and across


The way that African American were treated during the 1800s is accurately depicted.

White folk did not African Americans. They especially did not like to see an African American

man holding a position of power with a badge. Native Americans were also accurately depicted

in this book. Reeves fled from his owner into the Indian Territory. During this time the Native

Americans had their own land that no one was allowed to intrude on, but, they occasionally
accepted African Americans. When Reeves fled into their territory they accepted him right away

and he learned the way that they lived and helped many people. When Reeves stumbled upon the

lynching in the town center, it was very obvious in the illustrations that the people watching were

all white people while the one being lynched was African American. This was very common

during this time.

Inclusion of members of a "minority" group for purposes other than tokenism or

fulfillment of any type of "quota"

The minority group being represented in this book are the African Americans. Bass

Reeves is an African American man in the 1800s. Not only is he the main character of the book,

but he is a man that holds a high position of power during the time. He is a U.S Deputy Marshall

that is very respected by people of all races.

Thought-provoking content that invites reflection, critical analysis, and response

This book allows readers to think about they they have never heard of black westerners

before. Before reading this book, we had never heard of black westerners or Bass Reeves. We

feel that he should be an individual taught in our textbooks due to all of the accomplishment and

racial barriers he broke during his time. Having an African American man in a position of power

during slavery is historic. We are very surprised that we have never heard of Bass Reeves before.

The author points out in the story that in movies and television, all westerners are played by

white folk, not black. You can also talk about the fact that Bass Reeves had to put his personal

life aside and turn his son in for the murder that he committed. Even though he might not have

wanted to, Reeves did the right thing.

Uniqueness of language or style

The style and language used in this story was perfect for the time period in which it was

representing. The author uses a lot of vocabulary words that were only used back then. In the

back of the book there is a glossary of western terms that are used throughout the book. Some of

the words used by the author were: trifled, desperado, running muddy, didn’t cotton to, dry-

gulch, etc.

High quality as determined by evaluation in terms of generally accepted criteria for the


Even though this book has not won any awards for the pictures in the book, does not

mean that it is not a quality piece of work. It was a Caldecott Honor book for its illustrations.

This book is considered to be historical fiction because it is telling the story of Bass Reeves life.

The illustrations portray the time period very accurately in the way that people dress and they

way that the land was laid out. The events are all true as well as the characters mentioned.

Appealing format and enduring quality

The pictures in this book are very appealing to look at. Every picture is filled with lots of

detail and color and they add to the story being told by the text. The pages that do not have a

picture on them, have wanted poster paper behind them. It really helps add to the overall mood

of the story and they dynamics of the book.

NBGS Honor Books

Honor Book 1: Twenty-two Cents Muhammad Yunus and the Village Bank
We chose Twenty-two Cents as an honor book because we felt that this book displayed all of the

NBGS criteria in a manner that made it interesting to read and captivating. Twenty-two Cents

also is a story about a Nobel Peace Prize winner that many people do not know about. His story

shows his courage and his trust in people. Muhammad Yunus wanted to continuing learning

from the world and he wanted to share his knowledge with other to ensure they can have a

beneficial life of their own.

NGBS Criteria Part 1:

Portray cultural accuracy and authenticity of Twenty-two Cents displays cultural accuracy

characters in terms of (a) physical and authenticity by Muhammad Yunus’ life.

characteristics, (b) intellectual abilities and He is an economics major throughout college

problem solving capabilities, (c) leadership and then goes on to teach economics at

and cooperative dimensions, and (d) social universities. He then helps women in Jobra

and economic status; start to become financially stable.

Be rich in cultural details This book describes Muhammad’s life events

from when he was a young boy and what

culture was like in his hometown, to when he

went to the United States, to when he went

back to his home after the war. It gave details

about each culture mentioned throughout the


Honor and celebrate diversity as well as Muhammad was awarded the Nobel Peace

common bonds in humanity Prize in 2006 for his actions and stories the
book is written about.

Provide in-depth treatment of cultural issues When Muhammad was in the United States,

he held a march to bring about awareness of

the war in his homeland.

Include characters within a cultural group or This book talks about the war that happened

between two or more cultural groups who in Bangladesh when Muhammad was in the

interact substantively and authentically; United States and how the Bangladesh and

Pakistan went to to war.

Include members of a “minority” group for a The women in Jobra were part of a minority

purpose other than filling a “quota.” as there were in poverty and no one would

help them, no one believed in them, and no

one went out of their way to educate them like

Muhammad did.

NBGS Criteria Part 2:

Invite reflection, critical analysis, and This book reflected on the timeline of events

response; in Muhammad’s life and how everything he

did led to him being recognized and awarded

the Nobel Peace Prize.

Demonstrate unique language or style The language in the book is very academic for

a children’s book and sus a lot of technical

banking terms.

Meet generally-accepted criteria of quality for This book is in the biography genre and gives

the genre in which they are written the major life events that led Muhammad to

where he is, meeting the criteria for a


Have an appealing format and be of enduring The format of this book is small paragraphs

quality with the illustrations bringing the book to life.

Honor Book 2: Courage Has No Color: The True Story of the Triple Nickels

We chose Courage Has No Color as our second honor book because we both agreed that the

amount of detail and how in depth the book goes meets all of the criteria and stood out among

the other books. This book gives insight into the segregation that happened in the military and

how people of color were treated in the 1940s. Fortunately enough, there were brave men of

color who were able to stand up for themselves and prove that they are fully capable to do

everything a white man can do. This book is historical nonfiction and meets all the criteria.

NBGS Criteria Part 1:

Portray cultural accuracy and authenticity of This book follows the timeline of events and

characters in terms of (a) physical accuracy and authenticity of colored people

characteristics, (b) intellectual abilities and who were working towards desegregating the

problem solving capabilities, (c) leadership military and proving they are good enough.

and cooperative dimensions, and (d) social

and economic status;

Be rich in cultural details The culture of the military was that the white

male was dominant over colored people, but

Walter Morris was there to change the culture

of the military.

Honor and celebrate diversity as well as The Triple Nickels were integrated into the

common bonds in humanity military and were the first people of color to

be recognized in the military.

Provide in-depth treatment of cultural issues Segregation was very prevalent during the

1940s and this book provides insight to was it

was like within the government and not just

out in cities for those of color. The treatment

of those who were colored was disrespectful

even in terms of the government and is

displayed by the experiences of the Triple


Include characters within a cultural group or The Triple Nickels and all those of color in

between two or more cultural groups who the military and white men are the two

interact substantively and authentically; cultural groups in this book. They end up

positively interacting when the Triple Nickels

are integrated.

Include members of a “minority” group for a Colored men in the military were the minority

purpose other than filling a “quota.” throughout this story.

NGBS Criteria Part 2:

Invite reflection, critical analysis, and This book reflects on the timeline of events in

response history along with giving a critical analysis of

each components and event discussed in the

book to which the response in history was

integration in the military.

Demonstrate unique language or style The language in this book is very structured

because it is all factual based, making it

almost like a history book in a sense.

Meet generally-accepted criteria of quality for This book is historical nonfiction and meets

the genre in which they are written all the criteria for being both historical (filled

with historical events) and being nonfiction

(filled with evidence)

Have an appealing format and be of enduring The format of this book is appealing because

quality it provides pictures throughout the book,

almost on every page, and gives readers

something to look at rather than just words.


Overall, we learned a lot from this assignment. Not only did we learn what a

multicultural book was and and how to critique one, but we also found books that we as future

teachers can use in our classrooms in the future. Each book we read had a great takeaway. Where
it be learning a new piece of history that took place, or that everyone is going through different

struggles in life that we may not see on the surface. There are many books out there that follow a

minority group and tells their story in different ways. Everyone’s story deserves to be heard.

As future teachers, it is important to incorporate culture into your classroom. Introducing

multicultural books to students is a good step to open their eyes and minds to the world from the

past and maybe into the future. This world is filled with many different people; it is important to

be accepting to every type of person no matter their cultural background. It may be tough at first

finding which multicultural books go with what age-level, but it is a learning experience through

trial and error. It is important to do your research before giving students books to read.

If we were to do this assignment again, we think we would do more research on the

books that we chose and possibly broaden our horizons. When choosing the books that we were

going to read, we either looked at the titles of the books and chose them based off our interests,

or we picked what was available to us at the libraries. If we were to have to do this assignment

again we would choose different books that may be outside of our comfort range or maybe a

topic we don’t have a lot of knowledge on. This assignment is much like the other ones we have

completed in this class because it asks us to evaluate multiple books past what we see on the

surface and wind ways to incorporate them into our future classrooms. By evaluating all of the

books, it has grown our love for reading and literature and by growing our love for books, we

can help our future students by helping them love reading too. It can be a struggle to get kids to

read because they feel like it is something they are being forced to do. We can attest to this from

our own personal experiences while going through school. It is important that we introduce

reading to our students in a way that lets them explore and find different genres that they will

like. Not only is reading a fun thing to do, but reading is also a good way to teach your students.
Chances are that they will remember a good book that they teacher read to them versus what they

read in a boring textbook. While reading these multicultural books, we learned more about our

government system, our African American history, different cuisines around the world, the

different struggles that people go through, and different scholars who have made a difference in

our world. There are endless reasons for people to read. The key is to explore different genres

and find a book that takes you to a whole other world.


Tunnell, M.O., Jacobs, J.S., Young, T. A., & Bryan, G. (2016). Children’s literature, briefly.

Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Kuklin, S. (2014). No choirboy: Murder, violence, and teenagers on death row. New York, NY:

Square Fish, Henry Holt and Company.

Menzel, Peter, and Faith D'Aluisio. What the World Eats. Berkeley, Calif: Tricycle Press, 2008.


Nelson, V. (2009). Bad news for outlaws. Minneapolis, USA: Carolrhoda Books.

Corcoran, J., Jepson, B. J. (2012). Dare to dream… change the world. Tulsa, OK: Kane Miller,

A Division of EDC Publishing.

Griffin, P. (2009). The orange houses. New York, NY: The Penguin Group.

Bartoletti, S. C. (2016). The boy who dared. Halifax, Nova Scotia: Atlantic Provinces Special

Education Authority.

Stone, T. L. (2013). Courage has no color: the true story of the triple nickels. Somerville, MA:

Candlewick Press.
Yoo, P., Akib, J. (2014). Twenty-two cents: muhammad yunus and the village bank. New York,

NY: Lee & Low Books Inc.