By Rebecca Ballenger, Coordinator of Outreach and Collections, Worlds of Words
Worlds of Words in the University of Arizona College of Education added a World Language collection of over a thousand texts to its main collection of 36,000 global books. Due to what the book industry refers to as the “translation gap,” it’s likely that fewer than 3.7 percent of WOW’s new World Language collection has an English version.
Book of the Month, May 2017
Dreamland Burning by Jennifer Latham
As the summer of 1921 kicks in, racial tensions in Tulsa strain to the point of violence. This leads to the (controversially named) Tulsa Race Riots, which are not officially part of the Oklahoma History curriculum until July 1, 2012. In this setting, Will and Rowan, biracial teens struggling with both privilege and prejudice, live 90 years apart. A murder ties them together. Dreamland Burning blends historical fiction with mystery to show how “history has a way of sneaking back around.” Carefully paced, compelling, and true-to-life, this is a book I needed growing up in Oklahoma. -Recommended by Rebecca Ballenger
Book of the Month, February 2017
Samurai Rising: The Epic Life of Minamoto Yoshitsune by Pamela S. Turner with illustrations by Gareth Hinds
This brutal account of the turbulent life of Minamoto Yoshitsune comes with a warning: “Very few people in this story die of natural causes.” Yoshitsune is perhaps the most famous warrior in Japanese history and also known for committing seppuku (ritual suicide involving disembowelment). Turner helps readers understand the bloody and betrayal-filled events through relatable speculation, often involving sports and sensory references. The brush and ink illustrations by Hinds include battle maps, helpful details, and family seals on every page. This biography reads like fiction with a thick set of end notes for motivated readers to dive into and so naturally earned a spot as a finalist for the YALSA Award for Excellence in Nonfiction for Young Adults. Samurai Rising gives readers a chance to meet the real Yoshitsune, who is often referenced in video games, manga, and movies. -Recommended by Rebecca Ballenger
By Rebecca Ballenger, Coordinator of Outreach and Collections for Worlds of Words
Award-winning author and illustrator Joan Sandin reflects on the experience researching, writing and publishing the children’s book Coyote School News from 3 to 5 p.m. on January 28 in Worlds of Words. The event celebrates the opening of Worlds of Words’s new exhibit, Imagination to Celebration: Publishing Journeys.