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2023 Trends in Global Literature: Books Set in African Countries

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

Three young African girls stand facing the viewing waering modern, fashionable clothing while a fourth girl is closer to the view, smiling as she wears more traditional clothing. One continuing trend in K-12 global literature in the U.S. is the dominance of books set in English-speaking countries, especially the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The more exciting trend is the diversification of global communities that challenge this dominance. Over the last several years, there has been an explosion of books set in India and other South Asian countries or featuring characters whose heritage is South Asian. In 2023, there were noticeably more books set in African countries or traditions, although West Africa, especially Nigeria and Ghana, dominate. As with the South Asian books, the majority are written by authors whose heritage is Nigerian or Ghanian and who currently live in the U.S. or the U.K. Continue reading