What are the best multicultural books for children?

asked by Anonymous
390 contributors
40 solutions
  1. 39

    #1The Rough-Face Girl

    The Rough-Face Girl

    The Rough-Face Girl is based on Algonquin Indian folklore. It tells the story of an invisible being looking for a wife and all the girls vying to be his bride. However, only the scarredrough-face girl can see him and can win his heart.


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    Jeffrey Watkins
    Written on March 5, 2018
    "This is an interesting book about a fascinating subject. It is based on Indian folklore, and is a good book for children."
  2. 36

    #2Grandfather's Journey

    Grandfather's Journey

    Grandfather's Journey tells the story of one man's deep love for two countries. It conveys feelings of being stuck between two worlds and wanting to be at both places at the same time.


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    Sue Kong
    Written on March 23, 2018
    "Grandfather's Journey is a good multicultural book for children."
  3. 33

    #3Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters

    Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters

    Inspired by a traditional African folktale, Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters is the story of Mufaro and his daughters, Nyasha and Manyara. When the king decides to marry, he chooses the kind and gentle Nyasha over the selfish Manyara.


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    Jane Tran
    Written on March 8, 2018
    "Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters is a great children's book that shows traditional African culture. In this story a king chooses between two sisters who he will marry and he chooses kindness. "
  1. 32

    #4Brown Girl Dreaming

    Brown Girl Dreaming
    Brown Girl Dreaming recounts the author's own experiences in growing up as an African American in the 60s. Written in verse, the poems portray a child's desire to find her place in the world.

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    Jorge Luis Carrera
    Written on March 3, 2018
    "Jacqueline Woodson is a talented writer so I knew this would be a good read, even if I'm not so much into children's books. It's a really quick read because of the style she writes in: short, powerful little stories that all seem to flow together into a beautiful tale of childhood. Would recommend this to people young and old!"
  2. 30

    #5The Name Jar

    The Name Jar
    In The Name Jar, a Korean girl decides to change her name to fit in in America. Her classmates fill a jar with suggestions for new names, but the jar disappears. She finally chooses a name for herself: her own name, Unhei.

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    David Sanchez
    Written on March 7, 2018
    "This looks like a pretty interesting book. But there are a lot of other multicultural books as well that can be considered American classics. I'd rather read those instead."
  3. 28

    #6Tea with Milk

    Tea with Milk

    Tea With Milk tells the story of a Japanese girl named May. May struggles with her identity when her family moves back to Japan and finds herself homesick for America.


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    Michelle Morales
    Written on March 1, 2018
    "Just the title Tea with Milk makes me want to read it immediately.My daughter would also really love it."
  4. 26

    #7Too Many Tamales

    Too Many Tamales
    Too Many Tamales is the story of how one Chrismas Eve, Maria and her cousins eat a whole batch of tamales in an attempt to find a lost diamond ring and fix Maria's mistake before they get in trouble.

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    Billy Ray
    Written on March 2, 2018
    "I have two young children and this multicultural book keeps them both entertained while providing them with positive messages. Cute pictures too! I would consider this perfectly appropriate as a valuable multicultural book for kids in preschool up to about 8 years old."
  5. 23

    #8The Story about Ping

    The Story about Ping
    The Story about Ping by Marjorie Flack tells the story of a duck living in the Yangtze River and the adventures he gets himself into. It is a children's book that shows the importance of obedience and family into a child's growing up phase.

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    Christian Hunter
    Written on March 8, 2018
    "Great book with a cool story, great for reading to kids or letting kids read themselves."
  6. 22


    Abuela follows the story of Rosalba and her grandmother. Their bus ride takes a turn for the better as they imagine soaring over the streets of New York City. The English narration is interspersed with Spanish phrases.


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    Brittany Bell
    Written on March 3, 2018
    "I like this book a lot. I was charmed by the story. It has a great multicultural theme."
  7. 21

    #10Suki's Kimono

    Suki's Kimono
    In Suki's Kimono, Suki gets carried away while presenting in class about her summer adventures. She tells them about the street festival she went to and ends up singing and dancing while wearing her favorite kimono.

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    Vincent Ortiz
    Written on March 8, 2018
    "this book sounds really interesting,. i like it. "
  8. 18

    #11Esperanza Rising

    Esperanza Rising
    Esperanza Rising is a children's book written by the award-winning author, Pam Muñoz Ryan. It was first published in 2000, and it tells the story of a Mexican girl and the challenges she faced during the Great Depression.

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    Christopher Arnold
    Written on April 25, 2018
    "Esperanza Rising is far from the best multicultural books for children. The story is hard to follow if you're a kid. My kid was having a real hard time following it."
  9. 16

    #12The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian

    The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
    The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian is an award-winning young adult novel by Sherman Alexie. It tells the story of Junior, a Spokane Indian who left the reservation to go to an all-white high school.


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    Peter Cole
    Written on April 27, 2018
    "Sherman Alexie is really amazing. His way of putting the reader in their shoes and painting such a vivid image of something so difficult. "
  10. 12

    #13Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

    Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry
    During the Great Depression in Mississippi, this story talks about the struggle of a family to maintain pride, independence and integrity against the racism and social inequity. 

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    Ricardo Andrade
    Written on March 8, 2018
    "I have my children read a broad spectrum of books. I recently had them read Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry. I thought it was good for them to read about human difficulties during real hard times. I think they liked and learned some things. I am glad they got to read a story from a different perspective than they are used too."
  11. 10

    #14Red Scarf Girl

    Red Scarf Girl

    Red Scarf Girl: A Memoir of the Cultural Revolution is a memoir written by Ji-li Jiang about her experience during the years of Mao Ze-dong's rule in China. It won the ALA Best Book for Young Adults.


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    Dennis Franklin
    Written on April 6, 2018
    "I really enjoyed reading the Red Scarf Girl by Ji-li Jiang. It is one of the best multicultural books for children that I have read in many years. This book is great reading children of all culurres and ages."
  12. 3

    #15Bud, Not Buddy

    Bud, Not Buddy

    Despite having a hard time, Bud is determined to find his father. This 10-year old kid from Flint, Michigan is ready to find him, and only carrying his suitcase, he will hit the road in order to find the mysterious man that has been missing his whole life. 


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    Charles Torres
    Written on April 2, 2018
    "A good multicultural book about children "
  13. 1

    #16The Watsons Go to Birmingham 1963

    The Watsons Go to Birmingham 1963

    The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963 is a Newbery Honor book written by Christopher Paul Curtis. This historical fiction book for children and young adult readers was originally published in 1995.


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    Helen Brewer
    Written on May 4, 2018
    "The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963 is a fun book for kids that includes a great story and relatable characters. It's about a black family, but I think white families will learn from this book as well so let them read this as well. A good book knows no color after all."
  14. 0

    #17John Henry

    John Henry
    John Henry is a picture book for kids and adults written by Julius Lester and illustrated by Jerry Pinkney. It is an illustrated retelling of the popular African-American folk-ballad about a strong man that can outwork machines.

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    Carl Hansen
    Written on March 9, 2018
    "This folk story for children is a must for introducing them to multicultural ideals at a young age. The themes here are very important to present to children about the power of will and hard work and I wholeheartedly recommend this as part of your children's library."
  15. 0

    #18Waiting for the Biblioburro

    Waiting for the Biblioburro

    Waiting for the Biblioburro is a children's book written by Monica Brown and illustrated by John Parra. It tells the story of a girl who loves to read so much that she decided to write her own story.


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    Thomas Fuller
    Written on April 29, 2018
    "The plot of this story is fascinating, it is an analogy of life, most human beings are always limited to what society puts in front of us, it is as if we have already read everything, but there is always something new that know how to remove that blindfold from our eyes and find our true path"
  16. 0

    #19I Love Saturdays y Domingos

    I Love Saturdays y Domingos
    I Love Saturdays y Domingos is a children's picture book written by Alma Flor Ada and illustrated by Elivia Savadier. It was first published in 1999, and it tells the story of a child who comes from a multiracial family.

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    Catherine Ruiz
    Written on May 13, 2018
    "I really liked this booky Alma Flor Ada , how it presents two different cultures from the point of view of a delightful little girl. She spends time with both sets of grandparents and describes the adventures and different cultures she experiences. Wonderfully well written . I love reading about other cultures and this teaches children about other languages and how other families love and live. Highly recommend."
  17. 0

    #20Goin' Someplace Special

    Goin' Someplace Special

    Goin' Someplace Special is a picture book written by Patricia C. McKissack and drawn by famous illustrator Jerry Pinkney. It is about how African-Americans were treated differently in the south of America during the 1950s.


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    Rebecca Stewart
    Written on March 13, 2018
    "Goin Someplace Special is a fantastic read. I try to read it with my kids as much as possible because it really helps them to learn the beauty and importance of other cultures that are significant and important."
  18. 0

    #21America's National Parks: A Pop-Up Book

    America's National Parks: A Pop-Up Book
    America's National Parks: A Pop-Up Book is a geographical children's pop-up book written by Don Compton and illustrated by Dave Ember. It was published April 8, 2013 by Farcountry Press.

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    Matthew Gray
    Written on May 21, 2018
    "A colorful popup book about all the parks in America. This is informational for your children and a fairly entertaining flip through."
  19. 0

    #22The Sandwich Swap

    The Sandwich Swap

    The Sandwich Swap s a Cultural, Children's Picture Book written by Queen Rania of Jordan, Al Abdullah, Kelly Di Pucchio and illustrated by Tricia Tusa. It was published April 20, 2010 by Disney-Hyperion.


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    Ronald Cruz
    Written on May 15, 2018
    "A wonderful book for children is a book called The Sandwich Swap. This book is geared to children aged around 4-7 and talks about cultural difference between people in a fun way that kids can relate to. The book is about friends that have difference in food choices. It explains that while people have different food choices that does not make the weird. It shows how understanding a willingness to try new things will help expand a child's mind when it comes to different types of cultural. "
  20. 0

    #23The Reluctant Mullah

    The Reluctant Mullah

    The Reluctant Mullah Lost is a fictional novel written by Sagheer Afzal. First published in 2010 by Halban, it focuses on the story of Musa, a Muslim woman, and her struggles against the Muslim tradition.


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    Charles Weaver
    Written on May 11, 2018
    "Fact: Nobody likes an arranged marriage. It's on this basis that the novel The Reluctant Mullah makes its case. In it, Musa has just thirty days to find a wife that he actually likes, or else he's stuck with the one chosen for him. He fears who will be selected for him, as it goes against every romantic bone in his body. Thus, he begins searching on his own. It's not simple, as Muslim tradition makes getting to know any woman a near impossibility. He's aided (and thwarted) by friends more bent on the humor of the situation than by real concern for his future. Musa himself is intriguing. Besides his romantic nature, he has a sense of humor not expected from a Westerner's perspective. For example, he sings Sinatra music, "My Way", but changes the words: "And now the end is near, and so I face the final cousin. My friend, I'll say it clear. I'll state my case of which I'm certain. I've been to muslimbrides, I've travelled to each fa-mi-ly. But more, much more than this, I did it my way." It's his irreverance mixed with a shocking amount of modern humor that makes him an extremely likable character. The novel makes a fascinating read because it discusses Muslim culture without delving into political or religious polarities. Instead, it focuses on the social life and complications of people dealing with both tradition and outside influence, all in a modern world. I appreciated that the women in the story do not appear to be slavish nor repressed, but rather amusing and sassy and quite capable of taking care of themselves. In fact, what surprised me most was how close family ties were, especially with aunts and uncles all concerned and involved in each other's lives. Sure, Musa finds it a bit obnoxious as he seeks true love, but the unity and reliability on each other is inspiring. In all, this was an amusing novel that still had a share of deeper complexities. Because, despite the humor and ridiculous situations that Musa finds himself in, a darker side of tradition will still assail him. He finds love, but he finds heartbreak as well. This is what makes the novel both timeless and appropriate for anyone: affairs of the heart know no national, political, or religious boundaries."
  21. 0

    #24Mice And Beans

    Mice And Beans
    Mice and Beans is a picture book for children written by Pam Muñoz Ryan and illustrated by Joe Cepeda. It tells the story of a Rosa Maria as she prepares a feast for her granddaughter's birthday.

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    Patricia Wallace
    Written on April 24, 2018
    "Mice And Beans is a children's picture book centered on Rosa Maria as she prepares a feast for her granddaughter's birthday. It's an excellent choice for those looking to provide multicultural stories for children."
  22. 0



    Conquistadora is a young adult historical fiction novel written by Puerto Rican author Esmeralda Santiago. It is about a Spanish girl who married a Puerto Rican plantation owner and the effect of the U.S. Civil War on their lives.


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    Justin Wagner
    Written on April 8, 2018
    "I've read 'Conquistadora' once in my early twenties and still think about that book to this day. This book spans across an ocean that tells a story of intertwined cultures during an historical event. I would be a great gift to give to a child for them to better understand different cultures in history. "
  23. 0

    #26Roses for Isabella

    Roses for Isabella

    Roses for Isabella is a children's picture book written by Diana Cohn and illustrated by Amy Cordova. It was first published in 2001, and it tells the story of an Ecuadorian girl named Isabella and her dreams of becoming a writer.

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    Eugene Watson
    Written on May 7, 2018
    "Roses for Isabella is the story of an Ecuadorian girl, Isabella, and her dreams of becoming a writer. It is a children's picture book, and I would suggest it for anyone with kids. However, I wouldn't really say it is multicultural."
  24. 0



    Kaalam is a book by M.T.Vasudevan Nair that tells the story of contractual marriages in Kerala. This book exposes the problems within the setup and how it affects the lives of children who are forced to do this. 


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    Ryan Matthews
    Written on March 24, 2018
    "This is a good book to learn about contractual marriages. I had to read this book for a college class and it opened my eyes to something I knew nothing about."
  25. 0

    #28This Is the Way We Go to School

    This Is the Way We Go to School

    This Is the Way We Go to School: A Book About Children Around the World is a picture book written by Edith Baer and illustrated by Steve Bjorkman. It aims to teach children about basic geography and the different modes of transportation.


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    Johnny Tran
    Written on March 29, 2018
    "Great introduction of different cultures for children. Kids can learn something about themselves and others. "
  26. 0

    #29Arabian Sands

    Arabian Sands

    Arabian Sands: Revised Edition (Travel Library) is an adventure, historical biography and travel book written by Wilfred Thesiger. It was published March 5, 1985 by Penguin Books.


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    Kevin Chen
    Written on May 15, 2018
    "This books seems like it would be good just not for children. Penguin Books made very good judgement when creating this book, and I am eager to read it. "
  27. 0

    #30Chicken Sunday

    Chicken Sunday

    Chicken Sunday is a dramatic picture book authored and illustrated by Patricia Polacco. It is about a white Russian girl and her African-American "brothers" finding a way to give their grandmother a great hat.


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    Matthew Hayes
    Written on March 19, 2018
    "This is a wonderful multicultural book for all not just children, it should be shared."
  28. 0



    Verukal is a book by  Malayattoor Ramakrishnan. The story was inspired by the experiences of the author. It tells the story of a man who came back to his town after several years and plans on selling his townhouse but changed his mind. 


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    Michael Burns
    Written on March 13, 2018
    "Verukal is a good book. It has good characters and a powerful message. I think it would be a good read for kids and adults alike. I enjoyed it, but it is maybe not for everyone."
  29. 0

    #32Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot

    Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot

    Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot is a picture book by Margot Theis Raven and illustrated by Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen. The book was first published in 2002 by Sleeping Bear Press under ISBN 1585360694.


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    Virginia Peterson
    Written on May 5, 2018
    "I liked the multicultural aspect of this book. I keep it on the shelf for when the young relatives visit."
  30. 0

    #33The Lamentations of a Sombre Sky

    The Lamentations of a Sombre Sky

    The Lamentations of a Sombre Sky is a Contemporary, Cultural Fiction novel written by Manan Kapoor. It was published April 19, 2016 by Frog Books.


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    Lori Wheeler
    Written on May 7, 2018
    "This book has not been reviewed. It is described as a book discussing the family in a different culture so it would meet the requirement of the solution. I would read this book based on the recommendation. "
  31. 0

    #34How Tia Lola Came to (Visit) Stay

    How Tia Lola Came to (Visit) Stay

    How Tia Lola Came to (Visit) Stay is a children's book by Julia Alvarez. First published in 2002, it tells the story of Miguel and how his life was changed by his parents' divorce and the arrival of his aunt from the Dominican Republic.


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    Kyle Tran
    Written on April 26, 2018
    "This book is about a Dominican republic boy Moving to Vermont after his parents split, Miguel has plenty to worry about! Tía Lola, his quirky, carismática, and maybe magical aunt makes his life even more unpredictable when she arrives from the Dominican Republic to help out his Mami. Like her stories for adults, Julia Alvarez’s first middle-grade book sparkles with magic as it illuminates a child’s experiences living in two cultures."
  32. 0

    #35The Skirt

    The Skirt
    The Skirt is a children's book written by Gary Soto, first published in 1992. It tells the story of Miata Ramirez, a Hispanic girl who brought a folklorico skirt to school for show and tell.

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    Nicholas Warren
    Written on April 21, 2018
    "I would recommend The Skirt as a mulitcultural read for kids because the protagonist, Miata, is so relatable. She learns valuable lessons about responsibility and friendships that kids can take a positive messages from. This book is a great conversation starter."
  33. 0

    #36Tar Beach

    Tar Beach

    Tar Beach is a children's picture book written and drawn by Faith Ringgold. It is part-fiction and part-autobiography and is centered on Ringgold's childhood dream to fly over the rooftops of a 1930s Harlem neighborhood.


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    Matthew Ortiz
    Written on March 10, 2018
    "I love showing my kids multicultural books and this one is a great one done by a great artist."
  34. 0

    #37Tortilla Sun

    Tortilla Sun
    Tortilla Sun is a children's novel by Jennifer Cervantes, originally published in 2010. It tells the story of a twelve-year-old girl named Izzy, who spent the summer with her grandmother and explored her Hispanic roots.

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    Joyce Hernandez
    Written on April 19, 2018
    "This is a great premise for a children's novel! the cover art is amazing, it's based on Hispanic culture, and the main character is relate able. This would make a great read for a multicultural book for children! "
  35. 0

    #38Flight: A Quantum Fiction Novel

    Flight: A Quantum Fiction Novel

    Flight: A Quantum Fiction Novel is a Cultural and Science Fiction Novel written by Vanna Bonta. It was published June 1, 1995 by Meridian House. It follows the story of a writer who started believing in his own work.


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    Aaron Woods
    Written on April 29, 2018
    "The Characters in the book are unforgettable. From Aira Flight, the super girl that is oh so human, to Mendle Orion, a guy who wants a woman for her soul, to Onx, the dragon dog, oh I really want a dragon dog now. The characters and plot kept me guessing until the end. The humor mixed with the quotable wisdom on almost every page supports the theme of the book. The book design is outstanding, for example each chapter is set up as minutes on a clock and the end of the book, is the count down. Exciting read, a real escape into another world yet holds to associated reality and wisdom for our own world. Sometimes the style is fairy tale like and the language is formal, but I think the author was going for that. Hence it's a modern fable"
  36. 0

    #39The Dwindling Party

    The Dwindling Party

    The Dwindling Party (A Pop-Up Book from Random House) is a fictional children's pop-up book written by Edward Gorey with the assistance of Ib Penick. It was published September 12, 1982 by Random House.


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    María de Lourdes Uribe
    Written on May 8, 2018
    "A great book for the whole family to enjoy! Children will love the pop-up pictures and the silliness of the story. Despite being an older book, it is a timeless classic that any present family or child will enjoy. "
  37. 0

    #40The Streets are Free

    The Streets are Free
    The Streets are Free is a picture book for children written by Kurusa and illustrated by Monika Doppert. Set in a small town in Venezuela, it aims to teach children that they can be involved in helping change the world for the better.

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    Jonathan Butler
    Written on May 15, 2018
    "This is a really inspiring story, based in Venezuela. Its premise seemed strange to my kids, who have their choice of parks to play in around town, but that's part of the beauty of the story. It simply portrays the differences in life others face and shows how to work toward overcoming challenges wherever you are. The artwork is also great. "


Best What are the best multicultural books for children
1The Rough-Face GirlBooks 39 Paid
2Grandfather's JourneyBooks 36 Paid
3Mufaro's Beautiful DaughtersBooks 33 Paid
4Brown Girl DreamingBooks 32 Paid
5The Name JarBooks 30 Paid
6Tea with MilkBooks 28 Paid
7Too Many TamalesBooks 26 Paid
8The Story about PingBooks 23 Paid
9AbuelaBooks 22 Paid
10Suki's KimonoBooks 21 Paid

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