Skip to Main Content
Read, Watch, Listen

Suggested Titles

Diverse Folktales

March 2024

Folklore is the creative expression of a culture: it encompasses verbal traditions, customs and practices, and the material culture of a population, reflecting their beliefs and giving shape to their cultural identity. It connects memory and history with living traditions.

We are all familiar with folktales or folk sayings from our own cultures, or ones we have been exposed to through education or social connections. We tend to view these stories as quaint entertainments from long-ago times, disconnected from our current realities. But folk tales are how cultures share wisdom, communicate values, and make sense of the world. All of these still matter, and are still evolving, in the present! Reading a folk tale from an unfamiliar culture isn’t just a fun way to pass time: it can help you gain an understanding of how they see themselves and think about the world.

With the advent of Percy Jackson, myths and folktales from around the world have been incorporated into hundreds of popular books. This list attempts to bring it all back to the sources with relatively recent books that convey stories more closely to their original forms and details (without being patronizing or misrepresenting them, as is common in some older publications). Some of them are popular and recognizable, available in many libraries: others will be unfamiliar, and harder to find. There are many more out there if you go looking! In addition to the titles on this list, look for books from the publisher Wisdom Tales, the series Discover Graphics: Global Folktales from Capstone Publishers, and Barefoot Books’ Stories from Around the World series.

Suggested Titles

Picture Books

Middle Grade and Young Adult

Adult Selections

List Created By

Aviva Rosenberg, Ridgefield Free Public Library


Related Guides