Globalizing K-12 Reading Lists of Children’s and Young Adult Literature

A Brief User’s Guide
Global Reading Lists for K-12 Classrooms and Libraries

Each grade level band includes the following lists of global books:
• A recommended list of fiction books and a recommended list of informational books.
• Global fiction organized around broad themes such as strength through relationships, forced journeys, taking action, locating self in the world, and traditional literature. Also includes several examples of classic novels paired with global books.
• Global informational books organized around science, social studies, cultures, and arts topics.

For each book, the following information is included, when available:
• Information on text complexity, Lexile level, Fountas and Pinnell level, reading level, and length of the book.
• Short description of plot and major themes for each book.
• The global setting for the book and an indication if the book is translated (TR).
• NV indicates the book is a novel in verse, GN indicates the book is a graphic novel, PB for a picturebook, and COL for collection.
• Genre for each book (RF, HF, FAN, Info, Bio) and the date of publication.

Global literature includes the following types of books:
• A book set in a global culture outside of the U.S.
• Books may be authored by a writer from the U.S. but is set in a global culture.
• Books may have first been written and published in another culture and then published in the U.S.
• Some books were first written in another language and then translated into English; those books are indicated with the designation TR under Global setting and the original language noted.

The global lists can be used in a variety of ways:
• The books can be used for small group literature circles, read alouds, or independent reading.
• Small groups can each read a different book from the same theme sets.
• Paired books where students read a classic text alongside a contemporary global book that has a similar theme.
• Global nonfiction books can be paired with fiction to provide informational context for the story.
• Several global nonfiction books about the same topic can be read and compared.

10 thoughts on “Globalizing K-12 Reading Lists of Children’s and Young Adult Literature

    • Kathy Short says:

      These books are all copyrighted by their publishers and so can only be accessed through purchase as physical books or e books.

  1. Maria says:

    I work in a very conservative district. Have all of these books been reviewed for grade-appropriate content? Or, have the reviews mainly focused on the reading-level for each book? Thanks!

  2. Kathy Short says:

    The books were all reviewed for content appropriate to the educational goals for the various grade levels, not just reading levels. However, given the tremendous differences across districts in what is considered appropriate, you should attend to the annotation to make your own decisions and seek out longer book reviews if you have questions.

  3. Kathy Short says:

    We do list some series at the end of the book lists, see for example Grades 2-3, but our major focus is on recommended books that teachers might use in their classrooms.

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