Compiled by the Worlds of Words Center Board
November, December and January are every bookworm’s favorite months because many book awards are announced. The National Council of English broadcasts the Orbis Pictus and Charlotte Huck awards before Thanksgiving. In December, the National Book Awards are celebrated and then in the first month of the year, the American Library Association announces the children’s and young adult award winning books for numerous awards such as the Pura Belpré Award, Schneider Family Book Award and the Mildred L. Batchelder Award. At a recent Worlds of Words Center gathering, we discussed the many titles that were acknowledged, but were disappointed that some of our favorite 2022 books didn’t receive greater recognition. This month’s WOW Dozen shares the books that we think should have done better this awards season. What book titles do you think should have won a major award? Please share in the comments section. Continue reading
By Rebecca Ballenger, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ
Photo by Aaron Perkins.
Judy I. Lin’s Duology of Tea is steeped in the terrain of the Taiwanese mountains, known for oolong teas. Lin, who was born in Taiwan and now lives in Canada, wanted to explore tea ceremonies around the world for a story brewing in her imagination. In that process, she came right back to the type of tea ceremony that she grew up with. Imagining the tea ceremony has magical properties for the sake of a young adult novel posed challenges.
“It’s not like blasting a fireball from your hands or any type of elemental magic where you can just directly influence the world around you, because it’s a quieter sort of magic. You have to be the one drinking it, or you have to make the other person drink it, or you have to have the ingredients available to you,” says Lin. You also must have all the specialized tools. That thought process inspired the magical competition that brings the protagonist, Ning, to the palace in A Magic Steeped In Poison, book one of the Duology of Tea. The result is an immersive young adult fantasy that transports readers to another time and place and reinforces the importance of relationships and trust in our lives. Continue reading
The Worlds of Words Center at the University of Arizona College of Education launched a new podcast called “WOW Reads” that centers the voices of teens and pre-teens around literature for young people. The podcast, which currently has four episodes of about 15 minutes each and a bonus episode, features WOW Center Reading Ambassadors discussing books after having met the authors of those books.