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Updated multicultural SFF booklist

I’ve gotten a lot of great suggestions to add to the list, but my website seems to still be broken, and my own computer has a dead motherboard (well, it did when I started writing this last week—thankfully, it’s now fixed). I’m still figuring out why WordPress won’t let me edit any of my old content.

So, in the interest of having one place that people can use as a resource, I’m going to copy everything into this entry. Rather than divide the list by what I’ve read and what I haven’t, which was just more a personal exercise last year in wondering whether my own reading habits had reached past my own culture, I’ll divide the list by age group and genre (fantasy/SF). What that means is that I am not making a comment on how good I think a book is or recommending it/not recommending it—there are several books on this list I haven’t had a chance to read yet. It’s simply a list compiling what’s out there. I’ve also added books that I’ve discovered over the last year or that have been suggested to me in the comments. Go to the previous booklist post for comments on some of the books in this list.

Middle Grade Fantasy

  • Where the Mountain Meets the Moon, 2009, Grace Lin

  • Moribito: Guardian of the Spirit, 2008, Nahoko Uehashi, and its sequel, Moribito II

  • City of Fire, Laurence Yep

  • The Tiger’s Apprentice, Laurence Yep

  • Dragon of the Lost Sea, Laurence Yep (and pretty much anything else written by Laurence Yep)

  • Zahrah the Windseeker, Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu

  • Chronus Chronicles, Anne Ursu (someone mentioned this and I haven’t read them—are the main characters people of color or is it set in a non-Western culture? from its Amazon listing, it seems to star a white girl and use Greek mythology, which are great, but don’t fit the definition we’re using here)

  • The Red Pyramid, Rick Riordan

  • Sword and Wandering Warrior, Da Chen

  • The Conch Bearer, Chitra B. Divakaruni

  • Circle of Magic quartet, Tamora Pierce

  • Circle Opens series, Tamora Pierce

  • Pendragon series (?)

  • Un Lun Dun, China Mieville

  • Lavender-Green Magic, by Andre Norton

  • Dragon Keeper and Garden of the Purple Dragon, Carole Wilkinson

Middle Grade Science Fiction

  • The Animorphs series

  • The True Meaning of Smekday, Adam Rex

Young Adult Fantasy

  • Wildwood Dancing, Juliet Marillier

  • Book of a Thousand Days, Shannon Hale

  • Flora Segunda, Isabeau S. Wilce, and its sequel Flora’s Dare

  • Little Sister, Kara Dalkey, and a sequel for which I’ve forgotten the name

  • Magic or Madness, and its sequels, Justine Larbalestier

  • Eternal, Cynthia Leitich Smith

  • Tantalize, Cynthia Leitich Smith

  • Tantalize: Kieren’s Story, Cynthia Leitich Smith

  • Sucks to Be Me, Kimberly Pauley

  • Silver Phoenix, Cindy Pon

  • How to Ditch Your Fairy, Justine Larbalestier

  • Guardian of the Dead, Karen Healey

  • A Wish after Midnight, Zetta Elliott

  • The Black Canary, Jane Louise Curry

  • The Secrets of Jin-Shei, Alma Alexander (older YA and up)

  • The Worldweavers Trilogy, Alma Alexander

  • The Will of the Empress, Tamora Pierce and its sequels

  • Libyrinth, Pearl North

  • Across the Nightingale Floor and its sequels, Lian Hearn (older YA)

  • Devil’s Kiss, Sarwat Chadda

  • Annals of the Western Shore series, Ursula K. LeGuin

  • The Two Pearls of Wisdom (or Dragoneye Reborn as it’s known in the US), Alison Goodman

  • City of the Beasts, Isabel Allende

  • Blood Ninja, Nick Lake

  • Magic under Glass, Jaqueline Dolamore

Young Adult Science Fiction

  • The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm, Nancy Farmer

  • The House of the Scorpion, Nancy Farmer

  • A Wizard of Earthsea, Ursula K. Leguin

  • The Shadow Speaker, Nnedi Okorafor-Mbachu

  • Extras, Scott Westerfeld

Unsure of whether these books are MG or YA (have not read yet, pulled titles from Shweta Narayan and The Happy Nappy Bookseller‘s lists. Can someone give me a head’s-up what categories they fit in?

  • A Posse of Princesses Sherwood Smith. (Is this YA?)

  • Stormwitch, Susan Vaught

  • The Dragon Keeper, Carole Wilkinson

  • A Girl Named Disaster, Nancy Farmer

  • The Wizard series, Diane Duane

  • The Green Boy, Susan Cooper

  • The Magical Adventures of Pretty Pearl, Virginia Hamilton

  • Willie Bea and the Time the Martians Landed, Virginia Hamilton

  • 47, Walter Mosley

  • Pemba’s Song, Marilyn Nelson and Tonya C. Hegamin

  • The Icarus Girl, Helen Oyeyemi

  • Haroun and the Sea of Stories, Salman Rushdie

  • The Night Wanderer, Drew Hayden Taylor

  • Rogelia’s House of Magic, Jamie Martinez Wood

  • The Comet’s Curse: A Galahad Book, Dom Testa

  • Invisible Touch, Kelly Parra

  • Marvelous World #01: The Marvelous Effect, Troy Cle

  • Dread Locks (Dark Fusion), Neal Shusterman

Please feel free to continue to leave other suggestions in the comments.

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( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 14th, 2010 01:47 am (UTC)
I'll definitely take a look. I have an LJ entry somewhere with giant lists someone made on Amazon; when I have a spare moment, I'll go through them and look for the SF/F titles.

This is so very, very important. Thank you.
Jul. 15th, 2010 12:17 am (UTC)
Here are a few to add from a piece I wrote for Tor.com, with * indicating a secondary world inspired by named country or region:

MG fantasy:
Shiva’s Fire, by Suzanne Fisher Staples (India)

YA fantasy—
Bound, Donna Jo Napoli (China)
Beast, Donna Jo Napoli (ancient Persia)
Snow, Fire, Sword, Sophie Masson (*Indonesia)
Tiger Moon, Antonia Michaelis (India)
Toads & Diamonds, Heather Tomlinson (*India)
Trickster’s Choice; Trickster’s Queen, Tamora Pierce (*Indonesia)
The Oracle Betrayed & sequels, Catherine Fisher (*Egypt/Greece)
The Lion Hunter; The Empty Kingdom, Elizabeth Wein (Arthurian legend & 6th century Ethiopia)

The excellent Stormwitch is YA fantasy.
Jul. 15th, 2010 12:20 am (UTC)
How could I forget about those Donna Jo Napoli titles? I LOVE Beast. It's one of my favorites of hers. I guess I associate it with France because that's where they end up, but the main character is a Persian prince. Perfect.

I have Trickster's Choice and Trickster's Queen sitting here right by me but haven't had a chance to read them yet. Great to know! Thanks for adding to the list.
Jul. 17th, 2010 05:42 pm (UTC)
Great list. The Wizard series is YA at the library. Not sure about the rest.
Jul. 18th, 2010 04:32 am (UTC)
In Shannon Hale's graphic novels "Rapunzel's Revenge" and "Calamity Jack," Jack is Native American. He's a sidekick in the first book, but POV in the second. And HIS sidekick appears to be an African American fairy...
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )


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