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Sample Literature Evaluation Form

Multicultural Children's Literature Evaluation Tool


Book Title

Author____________________________________
PUBLICATION Date ________________________

1.      The story is well written.

  • The story itself is interesting and engaging
  • Syntax, grammar, word usage, etc. makes the story easy to read for children of the age for which it is written

Comments:

Yes/True              Somewhat             No/False

      

       _______

       _______

2.      There are no distortions or omissions of history.

  •   Various perspectives are represented
  •    All cultures involved are represented accurately

Comments:

Yes/True              Somewhat             No/False

         _______

         _______

3.      There is no stereotyping in the text of the ethnic group being portrayed.

  • There are no derogatory overtones used in the text to describe the characters and culture in the story (such as "savage," primitive," "lazy," or "backward")
  •  Ethnic characters are portrayed as individuals, not as combinations of culturally stereotypical characteristics

Comments:

Yes/True              Somewhat             No/False

         _______

         _______

4.      The illustrations are authentic and non-stereotyped.

  • The illustrations do not generalize about aspects of the cultural being portrayed
  • Characters of the same ethnic group are depicted as individuals and do not all look alike; the illustrations show a variety of physical attributes

Comments:

Yes/True              Somewhat             No/False


       _______



       _______

5.      Lifestyles of the characters are culturally accurate.

  • The lifestyles of the characters are not oversimplified or generalized, but are genuine and accurate

Comments:

Yes/True              Somewhat             No/False


          _______

6.      The dialogue used is culturally authentic.

The characters use speech that accurately represents the oral tradition from which they come

Comments:

Yes/True              Somewhat             No/False

          _______

7.      Standards of success are consistent across cultures.

  • The ethnic characters are not portrayed as helpless, or in need of the assistance of a white authority figure
  • Ethnic characters do not have to exhibit extraordinary qualities to gain acceptance or approval with the majority

Comments:

Yes/True              Somewhat             No/False


        _______


      

        _______

8.      The role of females, elders, and family are culturally accurate.

  • Women and the elderly are portrayed accurately within their culture
  • The significance of family is portrayed accurately for the culture.

Comments:

Yes/True              Somewhat             No/False

        _______

        _______

9.      Effects to a child's self-image are taken into consideration.

  • There is nothing in the story that would embarrass or offend a child whose culture is being portrayed
  • You would be willing to share the book with a mixed-race group of children

Comments:

Yes/True              Somewhat             No/False

        _______

        _______

10.  The author's and/or illustrator's background is relevant to the culture portrayed.

  •  The author and illustrator have the qualifications and background needed to deal with the cultural group accurately and respectfully
  •  The author and illustrator are members of the cultural or ethnic group they are portraying

Comments:

Yes/True              Somewhat             No/False


       _______


      
       _______

11.  Relationships between characters from different cultures are relevant and authentic.

  • Whites do not possess the power while cultural minorities play a supporting or subservient role
  • The minority characters are leaders in the community and solve their own problems

Comments:

Yes/True              Somewhat             No/False


         _______

       

         _______

12.  Heroines and Heroes are portrayed authentically within their respective cultures.

  • Heroines and heroes are defined according to the concepts of and struggles for justice appropriate to their cultural group. They are not those who avoid conflict with and thus benefit the white male establishment

Comments:

Yes/True              Somewhat             No/False






         _______

13.  The copyright date reflects the current understanding of the dynamics of the culture being written about.

  • The book was originally written within the past decade

Comments:

Yes/True              Somewhat             No/False




          _______

Return to: Multicultural Children's Literature: Creating and Applying an Evaluation Tool in Response to the Needs of Urban Educators by Jennifer Johnson Higgins.

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