Diaspora in Recent Global Books & Identity Formation

by Seemi Aziz

BlogJulyThe books to the left portray the identity formation of individual characters as they adjust to new and challenging environments.

Going Over by Kephart is a heartfelt novel about a girl and a boy living in the divided Berlin in February 1983. There are barricades and a wall separating east from west. Ada lives among the protesters, and immigrants of Kreuzberg in West Berlin. Stefan lives in East Berlin, in a nondescript apartment bunker of Friedrichshain. The separation between the two sides is merely 165 feet. The characters are bound by love and strong family ties but are separated by their circumstance. The only way out is Read More »

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Diaspora in Recent Global Books: Diamond Boy

by Seemi Aziz

The first book that had an impact on the discussion of diaspora was Diamond Boy by Michael Williams. This story is about Patson Moyo a 15-year-old living with his father, stepmother and sister in Zimbabwe. His father is a schoolteacher who believes in his profession with all his heart but the stepmother wants more financially. The search for ‘more’ takes them to the Marange diamond fields; a portion of which belongs to the stepmother’s brother.Here the family divides as the stepmother opts to stay with her brother’s large family of two wives and children while Patson and his father and sister are driven to live in tobacco sheds while they search for their fortune in a ‘girazi’ (a priceless stone) that would change their lives forever. Read More »

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Diaspora in Recent Global Books

by Seemi Aziz

shinkiari-81770_640The month of July continues the issues, topics, and concerns that deal with diaspora and its impact in today’s global society. As the discussion about diaspora continues in this forum I needed to add a few thoughts and books that deal with the topic that I have recently come across. Read More »

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What It’s Like to be on the Caldecott Committee

Kathy G. Short

CaldecottMedal2The last column for this month focuses on the process of selecting an award-winning book, rather than on resources for global literature. Because the deliberations of the Caldecott committee occur behind closed doors, I have always wondered what really goes on behind those doors and so was thrilled to experience that process as a member of the 2014 Caldecott committee. The more secretive something is, the more we all want to know what really happens. Read More »

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Award-Winning Global Literature in the U.S.

by Kathy G. Short

AwardBooksGlobal literature for children and adolescents has become increasingly available in the United States but is still a relatively small proportion of the number of books published each year. Recent statistics for 2013 from the Cooperative Children’s Book Center show the continuing decrease in the number of books depicting people of color from either the U.S. or the world, down to 7.3% of the total books received in 2013. The number of translated books published in the U.S. continues to be a very small percentage, 2-3%, of the total books for children published each year. Read More »

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Exploring the World through Cultural Community Story Boxes

by Kathy G. Short

CaribbeanCulStoryBoxYoung children understand the world through making connections to their lives and experiences within their families and communities. Some educators believe that their need for connections means that young children are egocentric and unable to understand cultures outside of their immediate life experiences. We believe that story provides a way for young children to see themselves as connected to children around the world. They may not understand where that specific community is located–seeing the other side of the globe as a nearby city–but they can still feel connected to children living in communities that differ from their own. Read More »

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Connecting to Family Funds of Knowledge through Story

by Kathy G. Short

RainBackpackThe oral stories that are shared in families both reflect and build on family funds of knowledge, providing a potential connection for meaningful home/school partnerships. At Worlds of Words, we have been exploring family story backpacks as a way to connect with families. Typically, the materials we send home from school tell parents how to do school with their child rather than encouraging them to share their stories and knowledge with us—we want to bring the home into school rather than just take school into the home. Read More »

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Introducing Children to Global Cultures and Languages

by Kathy G. Short

KitsThe focus of the June blogs is on the classroom resources that we have been developing in Worlds of Words to encourage the integration of global literature into preschool, elementary, and middle school classrooms. Each blog will focus on a different resource, describing the resource and the ways in which we are exploring that resource in classrooms as well as providing links to book lists and engagements for educators who want to create their own sets of these resources. Read More »

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“The Aftermath of Diaspora”

by Holly Johnson

washington-dc-chinatownThe month of May has allowed us to think about diaspora and movement. And with such movement, there is the question of the aftermath of such movements. Do those who were forced to move feel settled in their new homes? Is the new place even home? I would suggest that the aftermath may be similar to borderlands, whereby there is a hybridity of both the old mixed with the new. Read More »

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“World War II and Diasporas”

by Rebecca Gasiewicz

file3401282459142These writings may shock or horrify you, but that is not my intention. It is my greatest hope that the pages in this jar stir your deepest well of human compassion. I hope they prompt you to do something, to tell someone. Only then can we ensure that this kind of evil is never allowed to repeat itself.” Ruta Sepetys, Between Shades of Gray Read More »

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