Wow Review: Reading Across Cultures

Introduction and Editor’s Note

The reviews submitted for this issue indicate that readers are finding quite a variety of international books that appeal to their interests and needs. Just as international literature can span across continents and cultures, so it is found across genre and unique literary forms. The current issue of WOW Review, without specific planning on the part of the editorial committee, reflects a diversity of genre for readers of all ages.

Hannah’s Winter, while meeting the criteria for realistic fiction, dips into the past and the supernatural. The current realities of poverty and disability frame the realistic fiction story in Waiting for Normal. Of course, realistic fiction for younger readers is easily identified as Yoon and the Jade Bracelet creates yet another event in the life of this familiar character. This issue includes, as well, realistic fiction in the form of a graphic novel, American Born Chinese, and offers readers an invitation to explore this extremely popular literary form through a story of the challenges young people face when they are culturally diverse as well as recently immigrated to the United States.

Contemporary fantasy in Chester and Bobbie Dazzler point to the universal delight of personified animals whose humorous adventures make us laugh as well as reveal insights into daily life. Fantasy, for those who are intrigued with the futuristic dystopian society, lies waiting in The Declaration. Historical fiction invites readers on journeys across time and place. Secret Keeper takes readers to India in the 1970’s while Tamar: A Novel of Espionage, Passion, and Betrayal paints yet another picture of Nazi occupation during WWII, this time in Holland. Both biographical and informational, Three Cups of Tea tells the story of one man’s efforts to build schools in Pakistan—an ongoing endeavor.

As you read these reviews, you will hopefully find many invitations to explore these diverse genres and realize that each offers unique ways to connect readers to the global community. Hopefully you will also be reminded of books from each genre that you have read and would like to share with readers of WOW Review. Our next issue will focus on the theme of “Hope Amidst Conflict.” You can find submission guidelines on this site as well as resources for identifying cultural authenticity. We look forward to your submissions, due November 15, as we hope to explore this theme from a variety of perspectives and genre. If you have further questions about submissions or wish to notify us in advance of a particular title you are planning to submit, please Janelle Mathis.

Janelle B. Mathis, University of North Texas, Denton, TX

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