WOW Recommends: Book of the Month

WOW Recommends: Wishes

A group of emigrants wrapped in blankets huddle on a sailboat while one girl looks at the reader against a starry, foggy background.Wishes is a compelling story about a Vietnamese family’s escape to find a new home across the world and the impact of their journey on one of the youngest children. The story is told through the young girl’s experiences and the wishes made by inanimate objects such as the rice packets that wishes they were deeper and the clock at the departure that wishes it was slower. The story is inspired by the author’s autobiographical accounts of her personal fears and experiences as a young immigrant and refugee in the 1980s when she and her family were forced to leave Vietnam. The story is seamlessly told in prose with beautiful illustrations resembling each wish along her journey. Each illustration and wish leads to her final wish—for a place to call home. Continue reading

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2021 Global Literature: Refugee and Immigrant Experiences in Children’s and YA Literature

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

The cover of In Search of Safety, depicting a black woman staring contemplatively to the right while sitting in a brown room.
The experiences of refugees dominate the national news, most recently images of Central American asylum seekers at the Mexico/U.S. border and refugees from Afghanistan trying to board planes and attempting border crossings into Pakistan. These experiences also dominate children’s and young adult books, especially in the last ten years with many books about Syrian refugees and refugees from Mexico and Central America. The experiences of immigrant families and children are also increasingly depicted in literature, but instead of focusing on trauma, these books focus on children who navigate multiple cultural identities and locations. Continue reading