Children’s Books – Interracial Families

Finding children’s books about interracial families:

This guide suggests four ways to find children’s books about interracial families. Interracial families include those where family members have differing ethnicities due to adoption, and those in which the biological mother and father have different ethnic backgrounds.You can search for book titles in

a) the library online catalog
b) bibliographies
c) the NoveList database
d) the Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database (CLCD).

a) Search the library online catalog

Tip 1: Use “juvenile” as a subject word to restrict your search to children’s books
Tip 2: Use “Search Limits” (click on the button that says “more limits” to get to the limiting page) to restrict your search within children’s books.There are cases where children’s books don’t have the word “juvenile” assigned to their catalog records. In order not to miss these books, you can use “Search Limits” as an alternative approach. Hold the “Ctrl” key, and in the “Location” box, click:

• Center for Children’s Books
• Education & Social Science
• University High School

The majority of the University Library’s children’s literature is kept in these three libraries, though not all books in the Education Library are children’s books.

Tip 3: After either putting “juvenile” in the subject field as directed in Tip 1, or limiting your search as directed in Tip 2, use the following subject terms in the Guided Keyword Search.
• Interracial marriage
• Interracial adoption
• Intercountry adoption
• Racially mixed children
• Racially mixed people

If following Tip 1: you can try these separately (in different searches) in the second subject line.

If following Tip 2: You can put at least three of them in separate boxes and “OR” them together.

Tip 4: Use specific words for regions, ethnic groups, etc.There are cases where books about racially mixed families don’t get the above subject terms assigned to their catalog records. In order not to miss these books, you can use more specific words to dig some of them out – use these strategies in combination with either Tip 1 or Tip 2.

Example: adopt? Korea? – all of these – Any Words
Example: adopt? – all of these – Any Words ANDChina Chinese – any of these – Any Words)

b) Locate book titles in bibliographies

The following web site: was developed by the Education and Social Science Library (ESSL) and provides references to books that enable the search of children’s books by topic. For example:

• That’s me! That’s you! That’s us! : selected current multicultural books for children and young adults presenting positive, empowering images, 5th ed.Call No.: S.011.62 Em364tLocation: Education Juvenile Reference

• A to zoo : subject access to children’s picture books (6th ed.)Call No.: S.011.62 L628a2001;Location: Education Juvenile Reference & LIS Library

• Best books for children : preschool through grade 6 (7th ed.)Call No.: S.011.62 G412b2002; S.011.62 G412b2003(supplement)Location: Education Juvenile Reference

• Multicultural literature for children and young adults : a selected listing of books by and about people of color. V. 2 (1st ed.)Call No.: Q.S. 011.62 K945mLocation: Education Juvenile Reference & Education Storage

• Kaleidoscope : a multicultural booklist for grades K-8Call No.: S.016.3058 K1242003Location: Education Juvenile Reference & Center for Childrens Books

• Adoption literature for children and young adults : an annotated bibliography Call No.: S. 016.362734 M597ALocation: Education Juvenile ReferenceYou can use their subject indexes and look for book titles listed under such terms as “Interracial families,” “Interracial marriages” or “Marriage, interracial,” “Biracial children,” “adoption,” etc.

• Children’s interracial fiction : an unselective bibliography. 1969. 124p.Call No.: S. 016.813 G458CLocation: Education Remote Storage (For those who want to do historical research, this may be worth a look.)

c) Search the NoveList database

NoveList, which is accessible through the “Online Research Resources” page, is a fiction database that provides subject heading access, reviews, annotations, etc. for fiction books for all ages. Go to the “New Search” page and click on “Boolean Search.” You can search fiction titles by subject terms or keywords. This page also offers a convenient way for you to define age range of the books you are looking for.To browse subject terms this database uses on books about interracial families, go to the “New Search” page and click on “All Authors, Titles, Series Names and Subjects.”

d) Search the Children’s Literature Comprehensive Database (CLCD)

The useful thing about CLCD is that it offers quick access to book reviews, as well as easy ways to distinguish between fiction and non-fiction, and to define age and grade level of the books you are looking for.“Interracial marriage,” “Interracial adoption,” “Intercountry adoption” are all good terms to use here. You can also try specific words that relate to regions and ethic groups in your search.

• To conduct a broad search, choose the default “singular and plural forms” and search within “All Fields;”

• To do a narrow search, choose “exact phrase” or “exact words” and search within “Subject Hdgs.”First-time users of the database can consult the tutorial document at for more guidance.

Finally, here are a few sample titles of children’s books in the University Library, fiction or non-fiction, concerning interracial families:

1. An Mei’s strange and wondrous journey / by Stephan Molnar-Fenton. 1998. 1v.[Call No.: SE. M7381a, Education S Collection]

2. Black is brown is tan / by Arnold Adoff. 1973. 31p.[Call No.: SE. AD71B, CCB & Education Storage]

3. Black, white, just right / Marguerite W. Davol. 1993. unpaged.[Call No.: SE. D311B, Education Storage]

4. Interracial marriages / by Paul Almonte and Theresa Desmond. c1992. 47 p.[Call No.: S. 306.846 AL68F, Education Storage]

5. Living in two worlds / by Maxine B. Rosenberg. c1986. 46 p.[Call No.: S. 306.846 R723L, CCB & Education Storage]

6. Loving v. Virginia : interracial marriage / Karen Alonso. c2000. 112 p.[Call No.: S.346.73016 Al72l, Education S Collection]

7. Mommy far, Mommy near : an adoption story / written by Carol Antoinette Peacock. 2000. 1v. [Call No.: S.P3131m 2000, Education S Collection]

8. The rainbow effect : interracial families / Kathlyn Gay. 1987. 141 p.[Call No.: 306.846 G252R, Main Stacks]

9. Trevor’s story : growing up biracial / Bethany Kandel. c1997. 40 p.[Call No.: S. 306.846 K131T, Education Storage]

10. Two Mrs. Gibsons / story by Toyomi Igus. 1996. 30p.[Call No.: SE. Ig8t, CCB & Education S Collection]

11. We adopted you, Benjamin Koo / Linda Walvoord Girard. 1989. 32p.[Call No.: S. 362.734 G441W, Education Remote Storage]

12. We don’t look like our Mom and Dad / by Harriet Langsam Sobol. 1984. 32p.[Call No.: S.362.7340973 So12w, Education Remote Storage]