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2023 Trends in Global Youth Literature

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

A young boy lays in his grandmother's lap, her blue sari covering him. A cat sleeps on the end of the sari.The trends in global literature published and/or distributed in the U.S. between Summer 2022 and Summer 2023 are the focus of this month’s WOW Currents. These trends were identified by examining new books published during this time period and consulting book reviews to search for books of most interest to K-12 educators. This column provides an overview of the trends from these recent books; two additional blogs this month take on one of these trends in more depth. Continue reading

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2021 Trends in Global Literature for Children and Adolescents

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

Boy wearing headphones looks out a window at European-style houses that cast a shadow of Middle Eastern buildings on the wall behind him..This month, WOW Currents highlights the trends in global books published in the U.S. between Summer 2020 and 2021. The list was created by exploring new books and reading reviews to create an update of the K-12 global reading lists, fiction and nonfiction, to post on the Worlds of Words Center website. This update also provides an opportunity to identify trends and patterns across this annual collection of global books. This post overviews these trends and the weekly blogs over the month of September will examine one trend in more depth with examples of books. Continue reading

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Paired Books: Reading a Book in the Context of another Book

Kathy G. Short, University of Arizona

Critically reading books set in global cultures is difficult when you only have surface knowledge about those cultures. In a global literature class, we found that reading a book in the context of other books provided us with perspectives that facilitated more critical reading. One effective strategy was to read paired books that were from the same culture or had similar themes, but provided differing perspectives. These pairings often exposed problematic issues, such as the domination of western views or assumptions about race, class or gender. The books in each pair were selected to reflect opposing points of view and so we were able to read the books against and beside each other, which supported us in uncovering problematic issues. We learned how to read critically as we read globally.

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