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Multicultural Mythology Recommendations for YA Readers

Myths are often at the foundation of many cultures – they have formed stories, rituals, and events that are still relevant today. They illustrate the need to preserve our traditions and histories. Throughout time, they have served as inspiration for some of our most exciting and interesting stories.

Young readers are drawn to mythology for the excitement, world building, and connection to culture. Often, the stories that are represented in mainstream novels only portray a small percentage of the cultures in our society. This list of Multicultural Mythology Recommendations for YA Readers will excite readers even more; they will be able to see themselves and their peers showcased and learn more about other cultures that are often underrepresented.

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Author: Ellen Oh | Publisher: HarperTeen

In this exciting and riveting fantasy novel by author Ellen Oh, outcast Kira defies the odds by being the only female in the King’s army. She also is the Prince’s bodyguard, a dragon slayer, and the city of Hansong’s only hope as a demon invasion threatens their kingdom. Faced with an ambiguous prophecy, an evil shaman, and the Demon Lord, Kira and the Prince must try to survive while on the run.

Wicked Fox

Author: Kat Cho | Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers

The Bright & the Pale

Author: Jessica Rubinkowski | Publisher: Quill Tree Books

A Thousand Steps into Night

Author: Traci Chee | Publisher: Clarion Books

A Thousand Steps into Night is a Japanese-influenced fantasy novel full of adventure, gods, monsters, curses, and complications for main character Miuko.

Miuko is an ordinary girl resigned to a safe life as an innkeepers daughter in a realm where gods, monsters, and humans all exist together. Just as she begins to realize her life, although safe, may be uneventful, Miuko is cursed and begins to change into a demon with a deadly touch. As she commences a quest to reverse the curse, she is dealt tricksters, demon hunters, a demon prince, and feral gods, that she must escape if she wants to return home to her normal life. But the more she changes, the more power and freedom she receives - is saving her soul worth reverting back to her ordinary life that she may have never belonged to fully in the first place?

A Snake Falls to Earth

Author: Darcie Little Badger | Publisher: Levine Querido


Author: Aaron Paquette | Publisher: Kegedonce Press

From Cree and Métis author and artist Aaron Paquette comes a story of love, loss, growing up, and a “millenia old struggle for the future of life on earth.”

When Aisling, a young Cree woman, sets out with her Kokum (grandmother), Aunty, and two young men to rescue her runaway younger brother she faces more than she ever expected. Aisling begins to learn that the legends of her people just might be real and that she has budding powers inside of her as well.

The Deep

Authors: Rivers Solomon with Daveed Diggs, William Hutson, and Jonathan Snipes | Publisher: Saga Press / Gallery Books

The Chaos of Stars

Author: Kierstin White | Publisher: HarperTeen

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin

Author: Roseanne A. Brown | Publisher: Balzer + Bray

Akata Witch

Author: Nnedi Okorafor | Publisher: Viking Children’s

Children of Blood and Bone

Author: Tomi Adeyemi | Publisher: Henry Holt Company

The Tiger at Midnight

Author: Swati Teerdhala | Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books

Teerdhala draws inspiration from Hindu mythology and Indian history in this action-filled, romantic, and captivating book. The readers follow two characters – Esha, a secret rebel assassin dedicated to taking down General Hotha, and Kunal, the General’s nephew who was raised to do nothing but train and fight beside the King of Vardaan. When the two meet, they are forced to consider their own beliefs and make choices that they may not be able to come back from.

Wicked as you Wish

Author: Rin Chupeco | Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire

This Woven Kingdom

Author: Tahereh Mafi | Publisher: HarperCollins


Author: Romina Garber| Publisher: Wednesday Books

Manu’s life has turned upside down: after fleeing from her father’s Argentinian crime-family, Manu and her mother settle in Miami, Florida. But that’s just the beginning of Manu’s story. After arriving in Miami, her surrogate grandmother is attacked and her mother is arrested by ICE. Now completely by herself, Manu begins to investigate her past with the only clue she possesses, an emblem with just one letter – “Z.” She discovers that Argentinian folklore may not be just folklore. Brujas and lobizóns may exist after all. Manu needs to find her place as not only her citizenship is labeled “illegal” but also her entire being.

The Wrath and the Dawn

Author: Renee Ahdieh | Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers

The Candle and the Flame

Author: Nafiza Azad | Publisher: Scholastic

Summer of the Mariposas

Author: Guadalupe Garcia McCall | Publisher: Tu Books


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