WOW Dozen: Children’s Books for Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage

By Stephanie E. Mahar, Washington State University

Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month occurs every May. The U.S. Congress officially acknowledged the history and contributions of Asian American communities in the United States in 1977. Representative Frank Horton of New York and Senator Daniel Inouye of Hawaii spearheaded the commemoration to be observed for the first ten days of May. The celebration was initially marked for one week but was later extended to a full month-long tribute, starting in May 1990. May also commemorates the arrival of the first Japanese immigrants to the United States in 1843. Additionally, May marks the transcontinental railroad’s completion on May 10, 1869, which Chinese immigrants primarily built. This WOW dozen contains an assortment of 12 picturebooks and middle grade books to honor and celebrate the cultures of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander people. Continue reading

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2021 Global Literature Trends: Books about Activism and Conservation

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

Coer of Rise Up! The Art of Protest depicting a black fist holding a blue paintrbush and an orange paintbrush in front of a red background.
In a time of political division and global uncertainty, despair can be offset by hope through taking action to make a change; a perspective found in global books on activism and conservation. Instead of ignoring global issues or waiting for adults to take action, these books portray the commitment and actions of young people who act to make a difference. These themes go across nonfiction and fiction as well as across ages, providing young people with examples of real people who work for change and with story worlds in which characters act for a cause that matters to them. Continue reading