By Kathy G. Short, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ and Kathleen Crawford-McKinney, Wayne State University, Detroit, MI
Although we are constantly bombarded with images of the war in Ukraine, many people know little about this country, its culture, or its long history of conflict with Russia/Soviet Union. This set of books reflects a range of perspectives on Ukrainian culture and history, many authored and illustrated by Ukrainians or people with Ukrainian heritage. The stories involve significant historical events, such as Stalin’s mass starvation of Ukrainian people in 1932, the Nazi occupation in 1941-1943, the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in 1986, and the 2022 siege of Mariupol by Russian forces. Pairing these books with recent news articles connects this history to current events. The strength of Ukrainian people, especially the Jewish population, in the midst of suffering is thus a frequent theme, but the set does include several humorous folktales. Continue reading
By Michele Ebersole, University of Hawaii, Hilo, HI, and Yoo Kyung Sung, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
This month, Michele and Yoo Kyung give their takes on rethinking cultural and physical borders in children’s literature to understand today’s global politics through history. In week two, they share The Unwanted by Don Brown.
Many readers are looking for virtual escape as movement is restricted due to the spread of COVID-19. Schools nation-wide are closed, but they will soon open either on line or face-to-face and teachers will be keen to help young people make sense of current events. The Executive Board of Worlds of Words came together to determine how we might assist in the effort to find quality literature for young people around epidemics and pandemics.
This post includes a booklist of recently published fiction and non-fiction books as well as links to previously published WOW Currents posts with this focus. We’d love to hear from you too! Provide your comments and recommendations of books and other resources below. Continue reading