Young Adult Fiction
Can Patrik and his family escape their totalitarian country before they are found out?
multicultural middle grade fiction
In Baghdad, war is being waged all around Talib and Nouri. Can these two Iraqi boys solve their own war and live in peace with each other?
Living in the Mayan jungle, Rosalba knows nothing about the prophesy of the end of the world. Then sophisticated Alicia comes from Mexico City to tell her all about it...
Susana and Pina grow up in an Italian orphanage Will either find a parent?
Can a white boy and an African boy keep their friendship in a changing world?
Overnight, Tinh's Vietnamese village is destroyed by a cyclone. How can Tinh make things right for himself and his family?
Binh's Ameican aunt is coming to her Vietnamese village. Will she bring the riches that Binh longs for?
Gregory has to leave the Navajo reservation for the big city of Tucson.
Why won't the new Chinese girl be Ginny's friend?
In this sequel to The Gold-Threaded Dress, Oy must again make a decision. In the talent show will she do what others want or be true to herself?
What if your best friend is also your biggest rival?
Will Noi be sent to the factory to work, or can she learn to paint umbrellas? Will a young artist be able to pursue her gift?
Gloria wakes up on Christmas morning to find that Mama is going to work instead of taking her to Nana's house in Mexico to celebrate.
Oy, a Thai immigrant, has to decide what she will give up to fit in. What would you do if the most popular girl demanded that you bring your special dress to school, or else?

Oy, a Thai immigrant, has to decide what she will give up to fit in. What would you do if the most popular girl demanded that you bring or special dress to school, or else?

A Booklist Top 10 Youth First Novel of 2002
Book Sense Spring 2007 Children’s Picks “great reading group suggestions”

on the following master lists:
Iowa Children's Choice (2005-2006)
Sunshine State Young Readers' Award (Florida, 2004/​2005 Finalist)
Pennsylvania Young Readers' Choice Award (2004-2005)
North Carolina Children's Book Award (2004-2005)
Prairie Pasque Award (North Carolina 2004-2005)
and was nominated for:
Minnesota Youth Reading Awards: the Maud Hart Lovelace Award
South Carolina Children's Book Award (2005)
Dorothy Canfield Fisher Award (Vermont, 2003)
Rhode Island Children's Book Award (2004)
Alabama Emphasis on Reading (2003)


“Marsden writes with keen observation and finesse about the social dynamics of the classroom and with simplicity reveals layers of emotion.” Booklist-starred review

“A fine novel for early independent readers that conveys a lot of information—about Thailand and about making friends—in a familiar kind of classroom story." The New York Times

“Marsden hits the issues of this age group squarely and truthfully.” Publishers Weekly—starred review

“Carolyn Marsden’s debut novel about the beauty of differences is sure to connect with young readers in our increasingly diverse country.” Washington Parent

When my daughter, Preeya, was in elementary school in Tucson, Arizona, she was teased about being Chinese. Because my husband is Thai, Preeya is half-Thai. I suggested ways that she could prove this to her friends. Meanwhile, I was watching the conflict carefully, coming up with ideas for a book.

*teasing and bullying
*Thai culture
*what it's like to be an immigrant

Here are Maleeka and Preeya in their gold-threaded dresses.