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Reaction to Illegal. A Disappeared Novel by Francisco X. Stork from a Criminologist’s Point of View

By Kelly Weese, Saundra D. Trujillo, and Mary L. Fahrenbruck, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico

Cover depicts a teenage boy running across a trainyard with a train in the background, backlit by yellow sunlight.

WOW Currents for June will feature reactions to young adult literature from graduate students enrolled in the Criminal Justice Program at New Mexico State University. Using a criminology/criminal justice lens, students enrolled in Saundra’s Criminal Justice course, Race, Crime and Justice examined current young adult literature as a part of their studies. Saundra, a Criminology/Criminal Justice professor, and Mary, a Language, Literacy and Culture professor, were curious to learn if incorporating young adult literature could push students’ engagement with various theories and inspire creativity in students’ ability to apply criminology theories related to the intersections of race, ethnicity, crime, justice, cultural and structural contexts. Continue reading

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MTYT: El Cucuy is Scared Too

Seemi Aziz, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, and Deanna Day-Wiff, Washington State University, Vancouver, WA

Our theme for this month includes discussions around picturebooks that depict anxiety and stress in and around our world. Recently with COVID-19 and the push against immigration, this has become a more pressing concern with children being isolated within the parameters of their, forever colliding, physical and psychological worlds.

Further, lack of literacy is an historic and immediate concern for children around the world, especially girls. This is based on the concept that if you control knowledge you control the people, as women are the ones who, essentially, hold future generations in arms, thus, controlling them controls the future. In the present situation where we belong to a global society and knowledge is circulated through devices in the palm of our hands, keeping knowledge away from people in far flung areas is challenging. This has allowed people all over to wake up and try to take their lives and education in their hands. Girls are pushing back to speak truth to power, and this creates anxiety and stress in their lives. The issues presented in these books significantly address anxiety and stress in children. Children’s books are a strong avenue to frame and present issues and then subtly suggest ways to combat them.

We will be exploring in further detail four books that represent this issue:

  • El Cucuy is Scared Too by Donna Barbara Higuera
  • The Secret Kingdom by Rosenstock
  • One Girl by Andrea Beaty
  • Malala’s Magic Pencil by Mala Yousafzai

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WOW Recommends: Book of the Month

WOW Recommends: They Called Us Enemy

Cover art shows a line of people waiting to enter an internment camp and one Japanese boy looking over his shoulder at the reader.
George Takei is well-known as the actor who portrayed Sulu, the physicist on board the USS Enterprise in the Star Trek series. Now in his 80’s, his graphic memoir They Called Us Enemy chronicles points in his life connected to his years in the WWII Japanese internment camps. So how does one go from being an ostracized child surrounded by barbed wire to a beloved TV star? The graphic novel answers that question, but it does much more. It gives a window into the complex history of the internment camps and how one family of five weathered the four-year journey that started in the spring of 1942 with the forced move from their Los Angeles home to the Santa Anita racetrack horse stables. They then spent two years at Camp Rohwer in Arkansas, and finally two years in Camp Tule Lake in Northern California from where they left in March of 1946 to return to Los Angeles. Continue reading

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Virtual Tour of Critique to Support and Stretch

By Rebecca Ballenger, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Brutal honesty connects award winning illustrators Juana Martinez-Neal and Molly Idle. An exhibit of original illustrations and picturebooks put this partnership front and center at Worlds of Words. The pandemic brought Critique to Support and Stretch: A Conversation between Juana Martinez-Neal and Molly Idle to an early close–but not before we filmed a virtual tour. Take a look!

Virtual Tour of Worlds of Words Center’s Critique to Support & Stretch Exhibit from UArizona College of Education.

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MTYT: The Day Saida Arrived Week 3

Janine Schall, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg, TX, and Jeanne Fain, Lipscomb University, Nashville, TN

This month in My Take/Your Take, Janine Schall and Jeanne Fain focus their discussions on the picture book The Day Saida Arrived by Susana Gómez Redondo and Sonja Wimmer, translated from the original Spanish by Lawrence Schimel. Along the way we’ll highlight related books.

In our third installment, Janine and Jeanne talk about how language is used in the book.

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MTYT: The Day Saida Arrived Week 2

Janine Schall, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg, TX, and Jeanne Fain, Lipscomb University, Nashville, TN

This month in My Take/Your Take, Janine Schall and Jeanne Fain focus their discussions on the picture book The Day Saida Arrived by Susana Gómez Redondo and Sonja Wimmer, translated from the original Spanish by Lawrence Schimel. Along the way we’ll highlight related books.

In our second installment, Janine and Jeanne talk about the relationship of the two main characters.

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Re-Introducing Our Advanced Search Function

By Rebecca Ballenger, The University of Arizona

This month, we take a look at recent updates to our website made possible with help from Longview Foundation. We highlighted our book lists and will discuss our work with UArizona Libraries for digital archiving and preservation of our on-line journals. This week, we share our advanced search function and tips on how to use it to narrow search results.

Top navigation bar with spy glass icon circled. Continue reading

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MTYT: The Day Saida Arrived

Janine Schall, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, Edinburg, TX, and Jeanne Fain, Lipscomb University, Nashville, TN

This month in My Take/Your Take, Janine Schall and Jeanne Fain focus their discussions on the book The Day Saida Arrived by Susana Gómez Redondo and Sonja Wimmer, translated from the original Spanish by Lawrence Schimel. Along the way we’ll mention related books. In this first installment, Janine and Jeanne talk about the use of Arabic within the text.

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Website Improvements Include Updated Book Lists

By Rebecca Ballenger, The University of Arizona

With help from Longview Foundation, Worlds of Words spent a year improving our website. Much of this work won’t be noticeable to the average visitor, who is likely less concerned that we reduced the size of our website by a third without losing any content than they are accessing the content. This month, we take a look at some of the noticeable changes, including updating our book lists and resources, re-launching our Advance Search function and partnering with UArizona Libraries for digital archiving and preservation of our on-line journals.

The Longview Foundation logo is the institution name where the O is replaced with a globe gridded on the diagonal. Continue reading

WOW Recommends: Book of the Month

WOW Recommends: The Cat Man of Aleppo

Cover of The Cat Man of Aleppo, depicting a man in a red and grey jacket surrounded by cats with a city in the background.
This true story of The Cat Man of Aleppo will always remain in my heart. In this time of the virus and difficult challenges, this true story is an inspiration. A note from the Cat Man, Mohammad Alaa Aljsleed, in the beginning of the book says, “This is a story about cats and war and people. But most of all, it is a story about love”. His love for cats and how he cared for them after the terrible destruction of the civil war in Syria is the focus of the story. Continue reading