Our 10 Favorite Multicultural Books for Second Grade

Reading books with children at a young age not only helps them better prepare for school, but it also opens their minds to new cultures and experiences. Exposing children early to both “mirror” and “window” books – that is, books in which they can see themselves, and books in which they can learn about others- is the best way to create engaged readers and support social and emotional growth.

Lee & Low Books offers hundreds of great books for second graders. Our books include English, Spanish, and bilingual titles; books about many different cultures; books that span a wide range of subjects and themes; and both fiction and nonfiction. Browse our prek-2 classroom collections to see what we offer, and check out our other book lists by grade:

Our 10 Favorite Multicultural Books for Preschool

Our 10 Favorite Multicultural Books for Kindergarten

Our 10 Favorite Multicultural Books for First Grade

While we have hundreds of titles to choose from, here are 10 of our absolute favorite diverse books for second grade! our favorite multicultural books for second grade
1. All Around Us by Xelena González, illus. by Adriana M. Garcia:

Circles are all around us–in the sky, in the earth, in our neighborhoods, in ourselves, and sometimes in the most unusual places. We just have to look for them. Also available in Spanish, Por nuestro alrededor.

2. When the Shadbush Blooms by Carla J. S. Messinger & Susan Katz, illus. by David Kanietakeron Fadden: 

A young Lenape Indian girl observes and reflects on the small, important ways her family today, and her ancestors generations before, celebrate the cycle of seasons.

3. When Aidan Became a Brother by Kyle Lukoff,  illus. by Kaylani Juanita:

This sweet #ownvoices picture book celebrates the changes in a transgender boy’s life, from his initial coming-out to becoming a big brother. Also available in Spanish, Cómo Aidan llegó a ser un hermano.

4The Bee Tree by Stephen Buchmann & Diana Cohn illus. by Paul Mirocha:

A story of bees, honey, and a grandfather in Malaysia teaching his grandson honey-gathering in the tall Tualang tree.

5. Nibi’s Water Song by Sunshine Tenasco, illus. by Chief Lady Bird: 

This bright and vivacious book from two Native creators celebrates the energy, moxie, and determination of water activists of all ages.

6. Nacho’s Nachos by Sandra Nickel, illus. by Oliver Dominguez:

The delicious true story of an inventive chef and the serendipitous events that led to the creation of the world’s favorite snack–nachos!

7. Saltypie by Tim Tingle, illus. by Karen Clarkson: 

Saltypie is the story of one family’s efforts to honor the past while struggling to gain a foothold in modern America.

8. Todos Iguales/All Equal written and illus. by Christy Hale:

The empowering true story of the 1931 Lemon Grove Incident, in which Mexican families in southern California won the first Mexican American school desegregation case in US history.

9. Every Month is a New Year: Celebrations Around the World by Marilyn Singer, illus. by Susan L. Roth:

Happy New Year … in July! This versatile collection of engaging original poems showcases New Year celebrations throughout the year and around the world.

10. Bookjoy, Wordjoy by Pat Mora, illus. by Raúl Colón: 

An inspiring collection of Pat Mora’s own glorious poems celebrating a love of words and all the ways we use and interact with them: reading, speaking, writing, and singing.

Further Reading

Bebop Books: Guided Reading Book Sets for the Classroom

Building Classroom Community in Second Grade

Social Activism Books for Second Grade

Also check out our amazing PreK-Second Grade collections:

Diverse Background English Collection for PreK-2preschool classroom collections image

English Fiction Collection for PreK-2

Poetry Collection for PreK-2

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