I've started a class on multicultural literacy and the analogy used for its importance is a window and a mirror. This analogy, referring to exposing children to literature that reflects back an essence of themselves (a mirror) and provides a safe haven for exploring other cultures (a window) epitomizes why educators ought to search out the best books to engage young readers.
Think back to the first time you remember loving a book. Was it a window and/or a mirror? I would bet so. To really ignite a passion for books, we need to expose readers to those books that are worth being passionate. For an assignment in this class my colleges and I will be compiling a website highlighting some of these books we would like to share with students in the future. We will include both children's and YA lit from 5 regions as well as a sampling from the "new" multicultural categories including religion, gender/sexuality, ability, etc.
I've found a few sites which list some samplings of multicultural literature that might speak well to your student(s) or child.
Celebrating Cultural Diversity through Children's Literature
How to choose the best multicultural books, includes lists for different categories
Lists of books evaluated for the use of urban educators
50 multicultural Books Every Child Should Read