Resources for Bicultural Families
-FAMILY: Verdana">These books offer deepened understanding and advice for parents raising children in bicultural families.

Beyond the Mask: When American Women Marry Japanese Men, by Nancy Brown Diggs, State University of New York Press, 2001.

-FAMILY: Verdana">• Family in Transition, 12th edition, edited by Arlene and Jerome Skolnick, Allyn & Bacon, 2002.

-FAMILY: Verdana">• Intercultural Marriage: Promises & Pitfalls, by Dugan Romano, Intercultural Press, 2001.

-FAMILY: Verdana">• Mixed Matches: How to Create Successful Interracial, Interethnic and Interfaith Relationships, by Joel Crohn, Ballantine Books, 1995.

Books for Children

-FAMILY: Verdana">There are many books for children that deal with specific ethnic heritages. These will appeal to children no matter what their cultural makeup.

-FAMILY: Verdana">• A Real American, by Richard Easton, Clarion Books, 2002.

-FAMILY: Verdana">• Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret, by Judy Blume, Dell Publishing, 1970.

Black, White, Just Right!, by Marguerite W. Davol, Albert Whitman & Company, 1993.

Kim/Kimi, by Hadley Irwin, M.K. McElderry Books, 1987.

People, by Peter Spier, Doubleday, 1988.

Fiction/Memoirs for Adults

These stories offer insights from the perspective of people of mixed ethnicity.

Caucasia, by Danzy Senna, Riverhead Books, 1998.

The Color of Water: A Black Man’s Tribute to His White Mother, by James McBride, Riverhead Books, 1996.

Polite Lies: On Being a Woman Caught Between Cultures, by Kyoko Mori, Fawcett Books, 1999.

Turning Japanese: Memoirs of a Sansei, by David Mura, Atlantic Monthly Press, 1991.


StarFestival This multimedia K-12 curriculum about Japan and issues of cultural identity features an interactive CD-ROM and teacher’s guide.

With StarFestival, Linguistics professor Shigeru Miyagawa has created the interactive CD-ROM that he wishes had been around when he was a kid. StarFestival, for children in kindergarten through 12th grade, focuses on Japanese culture and issues of bicultural identity, including Who am I? Where do I fit in? Although it focuses on Japanese culture, children of any background can relate.

“Children from many countries sit in classes every day feeling like they don’t belong,” says Debbie Washington, a social studies program director who has used the program for more than a year. “StarFestival shows them that it’s acceptable to talk about culture and validates their worth. Kids love it because it focuses not on how people are different, but on how we are the same.”

The CD-ROM tells the story of a Japanese professor who returns to his homeland after 30 years. Viewers discover the professor’s electronic diary in the street and use it to piece together the professor’s journey. Actor George Takei, who was Mr. Sulu on the Star Trek TV series, narrates the voice of the professor.

Miyagawa says he needed a program like this when he moved from Japan to the southeastern United States when he was 10 years old. “You gain a tremendous richness by being bicultural, but there’s a price to be paid,” he says. “You never feel quite whole. I hope that this program will help bicultural children feel like they belong.”

See the complete contents of Bicultural Families:

Part 1: Meeting the Challenges of Raising Children With Two Cultures

Part 2: Helping Kids Embrace Both Cultures

Part 3: Stages of Cultural Identity

Part 4: How Bicultural Families Make It Work

Part 5: Resources for Bicultural Families

Sandra Whitehead is an award-winning writer and a lecturer at Marquette University. She lives with her husband and three children.