Are you looking for nonfiction, or fiction? Written within that culture, or about it?
This one is nonfiction, and more science-based, but I think it's a good way to think about all the places they read about:
(It's mostly picture-book, illustrated, but good summary of the water cycle and water conservation issues world-wide, complete with suggestions of things to do at the end of the book).
This was a fun chapter book, very absorbing, using Chinese folklore techniques: http://www.amazon.com/Where-Mountain-Meets-Moon-Grace/dp/0316038636/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1304229290&sr=8-1 (fantasy-type novel)
Heidi, of course - Switzerland/Germany
Ireland: http://www.amazon.com/Nory-Ryans-Song-Patricia-Reilly/dp/0440418291/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1304229362&sr=8-1 (about the Irish Potato Famine, historical fiction - sad, but realistic and a happy-ish ending)
Sudan - following two children (a boy and a girl) in the famine/war (there is some description of murder/violence, the book is intended for kids though so it is not dwelt upon): http://www.amazon.com/Long-Walk-Water-Based-Story/dp/0547251270/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1304229478&sr=8-1 - at the end, you discover that the boy's story was about 15 years earlier - it's about his program building wells in Sudan today.
An easily-read and non-traditional book about Native American culture would be http://www.amazon.com/Way-Rainy-Mountain-Scott-Momaday/dp/0826304362/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1304488726&sr=8-1 - very lyrical, interesting structure.
....So, that's a start?? Hope something looks interesting?
Edited by elanorh - 5/3/11 at 10:59pm