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2023 Trends in Global Literature: Climate Change and the Environment

By Kathy G. Short, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

A young boy holds Earth in his hands.Global news reports are constantly documenting increasing temperatures, extreme weather, and natural disasters from around the world. The 2023 K-12 global recommended book lists indicate an increase in books on climate change, endangered animals, and conservation of the environment. The books are set in different parts of the world and depict both the problems and possible responses. Continue reading

A Dozen Books on Activism

By Deanna Day-Wiff, Washington State University, Vancouver, WA

Children and adolescents are taking action and making a difference in their communities and across the globe each day. This WOW Dozen highlights titles around the theme of activism. Each picturebook or novel shows how young people are working for change on causes that matter to them such as: saving a lending library, turning a vacant lot into a natural space for butterflies or creating light for a community in the dark. Other titles may inspire readers to speak up for climate change, demonstrate peacefully or sing for transformation. Reading aloud these titles could encourage K-8 readers to think about the needs or changes in their own communities to change our world. Continue reading

Imagination Friday with Christina Soontornvat

Join Christina in this exciting presentation of her book All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Boys Tai Soccer Team. Combining material from community interviews with in-depth science content and details about the region’s culture and religion, All Thirteen paints two scenes of unflagging perseverance: Aboveground, a global rescue team of military personnel, engineers, medics, cave divers, and other volunteers races to find the trapped boys. Almost half a mile below, a similarly heroic effort is taking place in the quiet darkness as the Wild Boars focus on conserving their energy and oxygen, and—most importantly—keeping their hopes up. Both the boys and their rescuers will soon prove to the world that even in the face of impossible odds, the human spirit is an irrepressible force.

Imagination Fridays participants can order signed copies of the books featured at

Host: Kathy Short, Professor of Teaching, Learning and Sociocultural Studies and Director of WOW.
Panelists: Christina Soontornvat
Co-Sponsor: Tucson Festival of Books

Head shot of Christina Soontornvat smiling in an outdoor environment.

Photo credit: Sam Bond Photography

Christina Soontornvat grew up behind the counter of her parents’ Thai restaurant in a small Texas town with her nose stuck in a book. She is the author of the fantasy middle grade series, The Changelings, and the early chapter book series, Diary of an Ice Princess. Her books published in 2020 include the middle grade fantasy, A Wish in the Dark, and All Thirteen. In addition to being an author, Christina holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a master’s degree in Science Education. She spent a decade working in the science museum field, where she designed programs and exhibits to get kids excited about science. She is passionate about STEM (science, technology engineering, and math), and loves learning new things. She lives in Austin, Texas with her husband, two young children and one old cat.

Imagination Friday is co-sponsored by the Tucson Festival of Books and Worlds of Words, University of Arizona College of Education and occurs Fridays from 1 to 1:40 p.m. through December 2020 with a different author or illustrator each week. Add some excitement to Fridays with world-renowned children’s authors and illustrator to promote new books and encourage children as readers, writers and illustrators.

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