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People in the United States have not melted into one homogeneous group. Ethnic groups have retained customs, language, and beliefs. Some have referred to this special diversity as the "tossed salad" effect. Diversity in our population is likely to remain. In 1987, immigrants from 48 different countries arrived on U.S. shores. Our country's Hispanic population increased 30 percent in the last decade. More than 37 million Americans have disabilities and the majority of disabled children spend a good part of their day in regular classes. As educators, we find many representatives of this diverse population in our classrooms. We have an obligation to teach all of these children and to do so effectively. In order to be effective, we must understand, accept, and address our students' differences. In educational terms, acceptance of diversity has come to be known as multicultural education. More precisely, multicultural education is the term used "to describe educational policies and practices that recognize, accept, and affirm human differences and similarities related to gender, race, handicap, and class" (Sleeter and Grant, 1988, p. 137). The purpose of this article is to provide guidelines for teaching reading in a multicultural framE3work, to discuss why, when and how to use multicultural literature, and to offer criteria for choosing good multicultural literature.

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