50 Children’s Books set in the Caribbean

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Children's Books set in the Caribbean



June is National Caribbean American Heritage Month! It serves to celebrate the rich and diverse cultures of the Caribbean and the significance of Caribbean people and their descendants in the history and culture of the U.S.

As part of our Read Around The World series, I have compiled this list of beautiful children’s books set in the Caribbean. It includes books for all ages, from babies to teenagers, and some real gems!

50 Children’s Books set in the Caribbean

Babies & Toddlers

Island Counting 1 2 3
by Frane Lessac

Children's Books set in the Caribbean: Island Counting

A concept book with a Caribbean touch! Island Counting takes little readers on a fun tour around an exotic island where they can count things along the way, from three colourful houses to five market ladies and ten children celebrating carnival. With charming illustrations, this book is sure to be a hit with the tiniest readers. ~ African – Babies & Toddlers

More from Frane Lessac: Caribbean Alphabet // Nana’s Caribbean Alphabet // A Caribbean Journey from A to Y (Read and Discover What Happened to the Z)

Ava’s Caribbean ABC
by L & A Barker

Children's Books set in the Caribbean

Ava is proud of her Caribbean roots and desperately wants to share that with her baby brother Klay. Every night she exposes him to fun facts about Caribbean islands, revolutionaries and so much more all while learning the alphabet! Ava’s Caribbean ABC is a sweet story about heritage and sibling love. ~ Diverse & Babies & Toddlers

Related: 20 Multicultural Picture Books About New Siblings


Caribbean Dream
by Rachel Isadora

Children's Books set in the Caribbean: Caribbean Dream

“Where morning meets light, we rise. Where friends meet friends, we smile.” With expressive watercolour illustrations and lyrical text, Caribbean Dream celebrates the magic and the breeziness of the Caribbean. Happy children run, splash, sing and enjoy themselves on an island in the West Indies. ~ African – Preschool

More from Rachel Isadora: Say Hello! // The Princess and the Pea // Peekaboo Morning

Good Night Puerto Rico 
by Lisa Bolivar 

Children's Books set in the Caribbean: Good Night Puerto Rico

Part of the bestselling Good Night Our World series, Good Night Puerto Rico explores iconic locations such as Old San Juan, El Morro, and El Yunque, as well as local foods and more. With dynamic digital illustrations and rhythmic text, this board book captures the heart and soul of Puerto Rico. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Climb On!
by Baptiste Paul 

New Multicultural Children's Books March 2022

When a young child reminds her dad about the hike they planned, her father is hesitant —To the tippy top? It’s a great day to watch futbol (soccer). But as the two climb on, her enthusiasm is contagious. Filled with setbacks, surprises, and stunning views, Climb On! is a warm and humorous story that highlights the bonding power of a shared experience. A list of creatures at the end prompts a second look for keen-eyed readers to make discoveries of their own. ~ Diverse – Preschool

Related: 70+ Multicultural Children’s Books about Fathers

Birthday Suit
by Olive Senior

Children's Books set in the Caribbean: Birthday Suit

4-year-old Johnny loves splashing about naked in the ocean. But his mother says he is too old for that now and buys him a pair of overalls with 100% child-proof snap fasteners (that he wriggles out of in no time!). Only when his dad asks him if he doesn’t want to be big like him, Johnny decides to wear his swimsuit… well, at least some of the time. Birthday Suit is a charming story with bright illustrations that capture the spirit of the Caribbean. ~ African – Preschool

Marley and the Family Band
by C. Marley & T. Baptiste 

Children's Books set in the Caribbean

When Marley and her family move from Jamaica to Delaware, she knows life is about to change in big ways. And she’s got the perfect plan to help her and her siblings make friends: an outdoor concert for the whole neighbourhood! But when weather ruins their plans, she discovers help in the most unlikely places as her new neighbours quickly become the kindest of friends. Inspired by the author’s childhood and her iconic father, Marley And The Family Band is a vibrant picture book that celebrates music, love, and family. ~ African – Preschool

Related: 60+ Children’s Books About Legendary Black Musicians

Malaika’s Costume
by Nadia L. Hohn

Children's Books set in the Caribbean: Malaika's Costume

It’s the first Carnival since Malaika’s mother moved to Canada to provide for her family. She promised she would send money for a costume, but when the money doesn’t arrive, will Malaika still be able to dance in the parade? With bright collage-style illustrations and colloquial language, Malaika’s Costume is a heartwarming story that reflects the spirit of the Caribbean beautifully. ~ African – Preschool

Coquí in the City
by Nomar Perez

Miguel’s pet frog, Coquí, is always with him: as he greets his neighbours in San Juan, buys quesitos from the panadería, and listens to his abuelo’s story about meeting baseball legend Roberto Clemente. But then Miguel and his parents move to New York City, leaving his beloved grandparents, home in Puerto Rico, and even Coquí behind. Life in the city is overwhelming, with unfamiliar buildings, foods, and people. But when he and Mamá go exploring, they find a few familiar sights that remind them of home, and Miguel realizes there might be a way to keep a little bit of Puerto Rico with him. Coquí in the City is a heartfelt picture book based on the author’s own experience of immigration. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Related: 30 Multicultural Picture Books about Immigration

All the Way to Havana
by Margarita Engle

Children's Books set in the Caribbean: All The Way To Havana

“So we purr, cara cara, and we glide, taka taka, and we zoom, zoom, ZOOM!” In their classic old car, a boy and his parents are on their way to Havana to meet the newest cousin. Along the way, they experience the sights and sounds of the streets, from neighbours talking to musicians performing. With vibrant pencil and digital illustrations, All The way To Havana is a joyful celebration of the Cuban people and their culture. ~ Hispanic – Preschool

Looking for a Jumbie
by Tracey Baptiste

best multicultural picture books of 2021

“I’m looking for a jumbie, I’m going to find a scary one.” But Mama says jumbies exist only in stories. So Naya sets out on a nighttime adventure to find out for herself. “No such thing”, say the friends she makes along the way. But Naya is sure that jumbies are real. Some have big mouths. Or thick fur. Or glowing skin. Or sharp teeth. Kind of like her new friends.… Looking for a Jumbie is a bouncy and creepily fun read-aloud inspired by traditional Caribbean tales. ~ African – Preschool

Related: The 100 Best Multicultural Picture Books of 2021

Down by the River: Afro-Caribbean Rhymes, Games and Songs for Children
by Grace Hallworth

Children's Books set in the Caribbean: Down By The River

Down By The River is a fun collection of Afro-Caribbean rhymes, games and songs, collected by Trinidadian author Grace Hallworth, and brought to life by Caroline Binch’s expressive illustrations. Little ones will love it!  ~ African – Preschool

by Karen Lynn Williams

Children's Books set in the Caribbean: Tap-Tap

An oldie but goldie! Every day, Sasifi asks his mother if they can ride in a tap-tap, a truck that carries passengers and their belongings in rural Haiti. And every day her mother says ‘no’. Until one day, Sasifi uses the coins earned by helping her mother sell fruit at the market to finally ride home in one. Tap-Tap is a sweet and lively story, complemented by beautiful watercolour illustrations. ~ African – Preschool

Elementary School

Celia Cruz, Queen of Salsa
by Veronica Chambers

Children's Books set in the Caribbean: Celia Cruz

“In the fabled land of Havana, where rhythm grows, sweet and juicy, like oranges in Florida, there lived a girl.” That girl with a magical voice would later reach international fame as an extraordinary salsa singer. Vibrantly illustrated, Celia Cruz, Queen of Salsa tells the inspiring story of the flamboyant singer who passed away in 2003, from her childhood in Cuba to her rise to worldwide fame. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 40 Multicultural Children’s Books About Fabulous Female Artists

The Field
by Baptiste Paul

Children's Books set in the Caribbean: The Field

Vini! Come! The field calls!” A girl and her younger brother call their community for a game of soccer, and young and old, girls and boys come running. The field is cleared of cows, teams are formed, and the game continues through a tropical rainstorm until sunset. Just in time for the World Cup, The Field is a beautiful new release that celebrates the spirit of soccer and the beauty of St.Lucia. The rhythmic text is sprinkled with Creole words. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 12 Multicultural Children’s Books About Soccer

Knight of the Cape (Definitely Dominguita)
by Terry Catasús Jennings

Best Multicultural Chapter Books of 2021

All Dominguita wants to do is read. Especially the books in Spanish that Abuela gave to her just before she moved from Cuba to America. One of her favorites, Don Quixote, tells of a brave knight errant who tries to do good deeds. Dominguita decides that she, too, will become a knight and do good deeds around her community, creating a grand adventure for her to share with her abuela. And when the class bully tells Dominguita that girls can’t be knights, Dom is determined to prove him wrong. With a team of new friends, can Dominguita learn how to be the hero of her own story? Definitely Dominguita is thefirst book in a new chapter book series featuring a young Cuban American girl. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: The 30 Best Multicultural Chapter Books of 2021

The Legend of the Spirit Serpent
by Adaiah Sanford

NEW Multicultural Children's Books May 2022

Gorgeously illustrated The Legend of the Spirit Serpent is a retelling of a traditional Kalinago legend from the Caribbean island of Dominica recounts the story of a huge serpent who once guarded the indigenous people. This book is the winner of the 1st Annual Caribbean Writer’s Contest sponsored by Reycraft Books and the Ducreay Foundation. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: NEW Multicultural Children’s Books May 2022

Eight Days: A Story of Haiti
by Edwidge Danticat

Children's Books set in the Caribbean: Eight Days

While being trapped for 8 days beneath his collapsed house after an earthquake, 7-year-old Junior uses his imagination for comfort. Drawing on everyday-life memories, he paints a sparkling picture of Haiti for each of those days, from flying kites with his best friend to racing his sister around St. Marc’s Square. With expressive illustrations and powerful text, Eight Days is a heartfelt story of resilience, love and hope. ~ African – Elementary School

Cendrillon: A Caribbean Cinderella
by Robert D. San Souci

Children's Books set in the Caribbean: Cendrillon

“You may think you know this story I am going to tell you, but you have not heard it for true. I was there. So I will tell you the truth of it. Here. Now.”  With dramatic paintings and lyrical text sprinkled with French and Creole words, Cendrillon: A Caribbean Cinderella is a beautiful Caribbean version of the well-known fairytale. ~ African – Elementary School

Beauty Woke
by NoNieqa Ramos

Beauty is a Puerto Rican girl loved and admired by her family and community. At first, she’s awake to their beauty, and her own—a proud Boricua of Taíno and African descent. But as she grows older, she sees how people who look like her are treated badly, and she forgets what makes her special. So her community bands together to help remind her of her beautiful heritage. Beauty Woke is a powerful story of pride and community, told with bold lyricism and the heart of a fairy tale. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: Pura Belpré Award Winners 1996 – 2022

My Caribbean Grandma
by Sandra Campbell-Notice

Children's Books set in the Caribbean: My Caribbean Grandma

Based on the author’s memory of her maternal grandmother, My Caribbean Grandma takes readers on a journey from the rural hills of Jamaica, to the big city market where the grandmother sells her wares. With detailed and colourful illustrations, this picture book will inspire children to cherish all the special memories of their own grandmothers.  ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 40+ Multicultural Children’s Books about Grandparents

Mama God, Papa God: A Caribbean Tale
by Richardo Keens-Douglas

Children's Books set in the Caribbean: Mama God, Papa God

Mama God, Papa God is a lyrical tale that revisits the creation story from a new perspective. Not only is it set in the Caribbean but it also tells the creation story as a collaboration between male and female collaboration. This refreshing book will appeal to schools and libraries looking for diverse voices. ~ African – Elementary School

Juan Bobo Goes to Work: A Puerto Rican Folk Tale
by Marisa Montes

Children's Books set in the Caribbean: Juan Bobo goes to work

Juan Bobo sets out to find work at the farm and the grocery. Even though the tasks are simple and the directions clear, he totally bungles things up and leaves disaster in his wake. Juan Bobo Goes to Work is an exuberant tale of the hilarious antics of Puerto Rico’s well-loved “Simple John” character. Young readers will love it! ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 10 Laugh Out Loud Funny Multicultural Picture Books

I Am a Promise
by Shelly Ann Fraser Pryce

Children's Books About Extraordinary Black Athletes

Shelly Ann’s grandmother tells her early on that she is a promise. With this encouragement, the young runner goes on to become a six-time Olympic medal winner and the fastest woman in the world in 2012. I Am Promise tells Shelly Ann’s story from her childhood a tough inner-city community Kingston, Jamaica, through her development as a young athlete, to her first Olympic gold medal in the 100-meter sprint in 2008. An inspiring read that will encourage young readers to believe in themselves and follow their dreams! ~ African –  Elementary School

Related: 44 Children’s Books About Extraordinary Black Athletes

Growing Up Pedro
by Matt Tavares

Children's Books set in the Caribbean: Growing Up Pedro
Growing Up Pedro: How the Martinez Brothers Made It from the Dominican Republic All the Way to the Major Leagues celebrates baseball hero Pedro Martinez and his brother Ramón who supported Pedro on his way to fame. With detailed, realistic paintings and simple text, the book describes the deep connection between the two brothers, from their childhood throwing rocks at mangos or pitching against each other to giving each other strength through injury and other obstacles. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Related: 2016 Américas Award-Winning Children’s Books

Rice & Rocks
by Sandra L. Richards

Children's Books set in the Caribbean: Rice & Rocks

When Giovanni’s Jamaican grandmother serves his friends rice and beans, he worries his friends might find the traditional dish weird. But then his favourite Auntie and Giovanni’s pet parrot take him on a magical journey to visit places around the world where people eat rice and beans. Rice & Rocks is a vibrant story celebrating tradition and diversity. ~ African – Elementary School

Yes, I Can!: The Story of the Jamaican Bobsled Team
by Devon Harris

Children's Books set in the Caribbean: Yes, I Can!

A bobsled team from a tropical island? With no ice, no experience, no money and no support, four Jamaicans decided to follow their dream to qualify for the Olympics. Devon Harris, Michael White, Dudley Stokes and Christian Stokes sold T-Shirts to raise funds and rented an old inferior sled in order to compete. With dogged determination and a belief in themselves and each other they did the impossible and became their nation’s first Winter Olympic Team in 1988. Yes, I can! tells this inspiring true story of courage, determination and perseverance. ~ African – Elementary School

A Story About Afiya
by James Berry

New Multicultural Children’s Books April 2020

Some people have dresses for every occasion but Afiya needs only one. Her dress records the memories of her childhood, from roses in bloom to pigeons in flight, from tigers at the zoo to October leaves falling. With stunning expressive illustrations, A Story About Afiyah is a joyful celebration of a young girl’s childhood, written by the late Coretta Scott King Book Award-winning Jamaican poet James Berry. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: 250 Children’s Books Celebrating Black Girls

My Day with the Panye
by Tami Charles

best multicultural picture books of 2021

“To carry the panye, we move gracefully, even under the weight of the sun and the moon.” In the hills above Port-au-Prince, a young girl named Fallon wants more than anything to carry a large woven basket to the market, just like her Manman. As she watches her mother wrap her hair in a mouchwa, Fallon tries to twist her own braids into a scarf and balance the empty panye atop her head, but it’s much harder than she thought. Lyrical and with vibrant illustrations, My Day with the Panye is a story of family legacy, cultural tradition, and hope for the future. ~ African – Elementary School

Related: The 100 Best Multicultural Picture Books of 2021

The Chalk Doll
by Charlotte Pomerantz

Children's Books set in the Caribbean: The Chalk Doll

Little Rose has a cold. When her mom tucks her in for a nap, she tells Rose about growing up in Jamaica, from clickety-clacking to school on mango heels to making a rag doll because she couldn’t afford a chalk doll. Rose knows she’ll feel much better once she makes her own rag doll, too. The Chalk Doll is an early chapter book about a sweet conversation between mother and daughter, complemented by colourful illustrations. ~ African – Elementary School

Drum Dream Girl: How One Girl’s Courage Changed Music
by Margarita Engle

Children's Books set in the Caribbean: Drum Dream Girl

Based on the life of Millo Castro Zaldarriaga, Drum Dream Girl tells the story of a Chinese-African-Cuban girl who broke Cuba’s traditional taboo of female drumming. Dreaming of pounding congas and tapping bongós, little Millo practices in secret and goes on to become the first well-known female drummer in Cuba. With lyrical text and enchanting illustrations, this award-winning picture book will inspire children to follow their dreams. ~ Diverse – Elementary School

Me Encanta, I Love Puerto Rico
by Gabrielle Valerie DeGroat

Children's Books set in the Caribbean: Me Encanta, I Love Puerto Rico

Me Encanta, I Love Puerto Rico introduces young readers to the beauty of Puerto Rico, from its tropical landscape and friendly people to history, culture, and food. With dynamic illustrations and lively text, this fun book is sure to appeal to children anywhere. ~ Hispanic – Elementary School

Janjak and Freda Go to the Iron Market
by Elizabeth J. Turnbull

Children's Books set in the Caribbean: Janjak & Freda Go To The Iron Market

The first book in a bilingual series follows cousins Janjak, Freda and their grandmother to Haiti’s famous Iron Market. They taste new fruits, make new friends and help when a runaway goat causes havoc in the market. With English and Creole text and a fun storyline, Janjak And Freda Go To The Iron Market will leave young readers dreaming up their own adventures. Includes a Creole pronunciation guide and some history about the Iron Market.  ~ African – Elementary School

Middle School

Haiti My Country
by Rogé

Children's Books set in the Caribbean: Haiti My Country

“Pretty flowers in my country are for me / Like pink butterflies / That smile at the sun.” Haiti My Country is an award-winning collection of portraits of Haitian children accompanied by poems of Haitian teenagers. Despite the misery caused by natural disasters on the island, these young people still express their love and joy of nature in their pensive poems. ~ African – Middle School

Related: 26 Multicultural Poetry Books for Children

Hurricane Child
by Kheryn Callender

Children's Books set in the Caribbean: Hurricane Child

12-year-old Caroline Murphy struggles with being bullied by students and teachers alike at her small school on St. Thomas of the US Virgin Islands, a spirit that keeps following her, and the fact that her mother left home one day and never came back. When Caroline befriends Kalinda, a new student from Barbados, she soon realizes that her feelings for her are more than platonic. Although those feelings are not being reciprocated, Kalinda wants to help Caroline look for her missing mother and so the girls set out in a hurricane to find her before it is too late. Hurricane Child is a moving and suspenseful coming-of-age novel that young readers will love. ~ African – Middle School

Cuba in My Pocket
by Adrianna Cuevas

“I don’t remember. Tell me everything, Pepito. Tell me about Cuba.” When the failed Bay of Pigs invasion in 1961 solidifies Castro’s power in Cuba, twelve-year-old Cumba’s family makes the difficult decision to send him to Florida alone. From the author of 2021 Pura Belpré Honor Book The Total Eclipse of Nestor Lopezcomes Cuba In My Pocket, a sweeping, emotional middle grade historical novel about a twelve-year-old boy who leaves his family in Cuba to immigrate to the U.S. by himself, based on the author’s family history. ~ Hispanic – Middle School

Under the Royal Palms
by Alma Flor Ada

Children's Books set in the Caribbean: Under The Royal Palms

In ten poignant stories, Ama Flor Ada shares her childhood memories of growing up in post-war Cuba. Under the Royal Palms tells of the important people in the author’s life, from her loving mother and her daring uncle with his love of flying to a beloved dance teacher who helped her through a very difficult school year. This companion book to Where the Flame Trees Bloom offers young readers another inspiring collection of stories that might just encourage them to have a closer look at their own stories. Includes black-and-white photographs of the author and her family. ~ Hispanic – Middle School

Related: Pura Belpré Award Winners 1996 – 2022

Island Treasures
by Alma Flor Ada

Children's Books set in the Caribbean: Island Treasures

Island Treasures is a collection of autobiographical stories from renowned author Alma Flor Ada, offering a moving glimpse into her childhood in Cuba. The book features Ada’s award-winning books ‘Where the Flame Trees Bloom’ and ‘Under the Royal Palms’ as well as five new stories, family photos and a Spanish/English glossary. The poignant and often humorous stories bring to life some of the important people in Ada’s life, from her blind great-grandmother with her wisdom and generosity to her brave aeroplane-flying Uncle Medardo, from music-loving worker Samoné to Ada’s beloved and supportive dance teacher.  ~ Hispanic – Middle School

Pilar Ramirez and the Escape from Zafa
by Julian Randall

New Multicultural Children's Books March 2022

12-year-old Pilar Ramirez’s is intrigued by Abuela and Mami’s silence around her cousin Natasha―who vanished in the Dominican Republic fifty years ago during the Trujillo dictatorship. When Pilar discovers a folder with her cousin’s name on it, she gets sucked into the blank page within. She lands on Zafa, an island swarming with coconut-shaped demons, butterfly shapeshifters, and a sinister prison where her cousin is being held captive. Pilar has to go toe-to-toe with the fearsome Dominican boogeyman, El Cuco, in order to free Natasha and get back home. Pilar Ramirez and the Escape from Zafa is a gripping middle-grade fantasy that brings Dominican myths and legends to life. ~ Hispanic – Middle School

Related: Pura Belpré Award Winners 1996 – 2022

I and I Bob Marley
by Tony Medina

Children's Books set in the Caribbean: I And I Bob Marley

I and I Bob Marley is a stunning biography in verse about the Jamaican reggae legend. In gentle poems paired with vibrant illustrations, the book details the key events and themes in the famous musician’s life, including his biracial heritage, Rastafarian beliefs, and love of music. Endnotes on poems provide further biographical information. ~ African – Middle School

Related: 15 Multicultural Children’s Books based on famous songs

A Comb of Wishes
by Lisa Stringfellow

Ever since her mother’s death, Kela feels every bit as broken as the shards of glass, known as “mermaid’s tears,” that sparkle on the Caribbean beaches of St. Rita. So when Kela and her friend Lissy stumble across an ancient-looking comb in a coral cave, with all she’s already lost, Kela can’t help but bring home her very own found treasure. Far away, deep in the cold ocean, the mermaid Ophidia can feel that her comb has been taken. And despite her hatred of all humans, her magic requires that she make a bargain: the comb in exchange for a wish. But what Kela wants most is for her mother to be alive. And a wish that big will exact an even bigger price… Set against the backdrop of Caribbean folklore, A Comb of Wishes is a spellbinding middle grade debut about a grieving girl and a vengeful mermaid. ~ African – Middle School

High School

The Surrender Tree
by Margarita Engle

Children's Books set in the Caribbean: The Surrender Tree

After three wars for independence, Cuba is still is not free in 1896. People are sent to “reconcentration camps” where there is little food and plenty of illness. In alternating voices and free verse, The Surrender Tree reveals pieces of Cuba’s lesser-known past, drawing on Engle’s grandmother’s stories. The main narrator is Rosa, a traditional healer, who nurses runaway slaves and deserters in hidden caves. Other voices include those of Rosa’s husband José, camp escapee Silvia, and evil slave hunter Lieutenant Death who collects the ears of the slaves he has killed. ~ Hispanic – High School 

The Poet Slave of Cuba
by Margarita Engle

Children's Books set in the Caribbean: The Poet Slave of Cuba

Kept by a wealthy slave owner in 1797 Cuba, 6-year-old Juan Francisco Manzano was treated like a pet. His mistress abused his talent for memorizing and reciting poems by making him perform in front of her guests. After her death, Manzano became the property of an even crueller mistress. He had to endure countless beatings and confinements before his escape at age 16. In powerful free verse and with compelling illustrations, The Poet Slave of Cuba tells the heart-breaking story of a young survivor of slavery. Despite experiencing unspeakable cruelty, Manzano managed to maintain hope and went on to become a celebrated poet. ~ Hispanic – High School 

Before We Were Free
by Julia Alvarez

Children's Books set in the Caribbean: Before We Were Free

12-year-old Anita has never questioned her freedom living in the Dominican Republic. But then most of her family emigrates to the U.S., her Tío Toni disappears without a trace, and secret police terrorize her remaining family. Anita gradually becomes aware of the lack of freedom under the country’s dictatorship. When her father and uncle are arrested, Anita and her mother have to go into hiding in their friends’ bedroom closet. Before We Were Free is a stirring novel about adolescence, perseverance, and one girl’s struggle to be free. ~ Hispanic – High School 

An Island Like You: Stories of the Barrio
by Cofer, Judith Ortiz

Children's Books set in the Caribbean: An Island Like You

An Island Like You is a collection of twelve stories about growing up in the barrio. From Rita, who goes to live with her grandparents in Puerto Rico, to Luis, who works at his father’s junkyard, and Sandra, who tries to rediscover her natural Latino beauty, the vibrant stories capture the experiences of different teenagers in the barrio. ~ Hispanic – High School 

Krik? Krak!
by Edwidge Danticat

Children's Books set in the Caribbean: Krik? Krak!

Now as a 20th-anniversary edition with one new story added, Krik? Krak! is Haitian-American Edwidge Danticat’s only short story collection. All ten stories examine the lives of ordinary Haitians and their daily struggles under the brutal Duvalier regime. The stories are woven together by the female characters’ common ancestry and ties to the fictional Ville Rose. This is a remarkable collection by a gifted writer that I can highly recommend. ~ African – High School

The Star Side of Bird Hill: A Novel
by Naomi Jackson

Children's Books set in the Caribbean: The Star Side Of Bird Hill

When their mother can’t care for them anymore, two sisters are sent from their home in Brooklyn to Barbados to live with their grandmother, a midwife and practitioner of the local spiritual practice of obeah. Centred around an eccentric matriarchal family, The Star Side of Bird Hill is a lyrical debut novel about community, betrayal and love. ~ African – High School

Category Five
by Ann Dávila Cardinal

Best Multicultural Young Adult Novels 2020

The tiny island of Vieques, just off the main island of Puerto Rico, is trying to recover after hurricane Maria, but the already battered island is now half empty. To make matters worse, developers have come in to buy up the land at a fraction of its worth, taking advantage of the island when it is down. Lupe, Javier, and Marisol are back to investigate a series of murders that follow in the wake of a hurricane and in the shadow of a new supernatural threat. Category Five is a new supernatural YA thriller that picks up a year after the events of Five Midnights. ~ Hispanic – High School

Clap When You Land
by Elizabeth Acevedo

Best Multicultural Young Adult Novels 2020

Camino Rios lives for the summers when her father visits her in the Dominican Republic. But this time, on the day when his plane is supposed to land, Camino arrives at the airport to see crowds of crying people… In New York City, Yahaira Rios is called to the principal’s office, where her mother is waiting to tell her that her father, her hero, has died in a plane crash. Separated by distance—and Papi’s secrets—the two girls are forced to face a new reality in which their father is dead and their lives are forever altered. Clap When You Land is a novel-in-verse about the devastation of loss, the difficulty of forgiveness, and the bittersweet bonds that shape our lives. ~ African – High School

Here Comes the Sun: A Novel
by Nicole Dennis-Benn

Children's Books set in the Caribbean: Here Comes The Sun

Employed at one of Jamaica’s prestigious hotels, Margot sleeps with her boss in the hope of advancing her career. Taught from a young age to trade her sexuality for survival, she is determined to pay for her younger sister’s education to shield her from the same fate. When plans for a new hotel threaten their village, Margot sees not only an opportunity for her own financial independence but also a chance to admit her forbidden love for another woman. Featuring complex and humanly flawed characters and rich language, Here Comes The Sun is a radiant novel that captures the distinct rhythms and challenges of Jamaican life. ~ African – High School 

Puerto Rico Strong: A Comics Anthology Supporting Puerto Rico Disaster
by Vita Ayala

Children's Books set in the Caribbean: Puerto Rico Strong

Puerto Rico Strong is a comics anthology that explores what it means to be Puerto Rican. The stories by today’s most exciting comic creators follow individuals from different walks of life who are all part of the culture that is Puerto Rico. All profits go to towards disaster relief and recovery programs to support Puerto Rico. ~ African – High School

Never Look Back
by Lilliam Rivera

Best Multicultural Young Adult Novels 2020

Haunted by losing everything in Hurricane Maria–and by an evil spirit, Ato — Eury arrives in the Bronx, fully expecting the tragedy that befell her and her family in Puerto Rico to catch up with her in New York. Yet, for a time, she can almost set this fear aside, because there’s this boy . . . Pheus is a golden-voiced, bachata-singing charmer who wants to put a smile on Eury’s face and fight off her demons. But some dangers are too powerful for even the strongest love, and as the world threatens to tear them apart, Eury and Pheus must fight for each other and their lives. Featuring contemporary Afro-Latinx characters, Never Look Back is a modern retelling of the Greek myth Orpheus and Eurydice. ~ Hispanic – High School

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5 Responses

  1. Carolyn Willuams
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    I am looking for an old reading book Jamaicans use to read for first graders. “Mr. Joe Built a house. I do not know the Authors name. The book use to be red and white and have an old man with a donkey on the front. Please help me find it. It was my first book. I could read it without looking in it. I remember some of it.
    My name is Carolyn Williams

  2. Cindy Fisher
    | Reply

    Thank you for the amazing resource! In addition to being a wonderful for me as a future counselor, I am an ESOL specialist now. Third grade social studies standards in FL call for teaching the Caribbean. Compared to other regions, the on grade level reading options for nonfiction are weak. You’ve provided a treasure trove for incorporating literature into social studies. Thank you so much!

    • Colours of Us

      My pleasure! I am always happy to hear that my lists are useful.

  3. Mia Wenjen
    | Reply

    Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Diaz accused of sexual misconduct, misogynistic behavior: https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/arts-and-entertainment/wp/2018/05/05/pulitzer-prize-winning-author-junot-diaz-accused-of-sexual-misconduct-misogynistic-behavior/?utm_term=.0553daca7fdf

    • Colours of Us

      Oh no, not another one. Will it ever end? Thanks for making me aware, Mia.

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