Evaluating Global Literature

Prejudices are learned, not innate—children start out naturally curious, accepting, open-minded. Children’s books nurture and affirm those qualities. – John Mason, Marketing, Scholastic

Rich, thoughtfully selected, global literature selections are an important tool for providing a wider and more accurate view of the world to students. Global literature provides the potential for children to understand their own cultural perspectives as well as opens the way for building understandings of global cultures. Children need to see how their own lives and needs connect with children throughout the world as well as to explore what makes each culture unique.

The danger exists, however, that they may see other cultures as exotic, strange or different — “not like us.”  Literature selections made without reasonable care (especially dated texts that are allowed to stand as contemporary) can actually reinforce stereotypes. Recognizing that most consumers of children’s literature have not been especially trained in selecting global literature texts, Worlds of Words is happy to share some of the processes used to evaluate texts.

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