This issue of WOW Review begins and ends with an invitation to consider the many stories and perspectives of others across the globe and across eras. The opening review of At the Same Moment around the World, takes readers eastward from the Greenwich meridian suggesting many potential stories of the 24 fictitious children we meet. The issue closes with a review that asks the question, What’s Your Story? as it tells of an orphan boy who has migrated from England to Australia in 1788 and an Aboriginal girl who befriends the boy as they ultimately share their varied stories. This non-themed issue of WOW Review presents an interesting collection of titles that together reflect an insight described in What’s Your Story?–that history is “a collection of stories—not just one story but many stories by many different people.”
The stories shared in this issue provide insight to historical events and those not so distant to which readers can personally connect and come to know. The Man with the Violin, a true contemporary story of a young child who pauses to listen to a violin player in a subway amidst the adults who hurry by, can help us remember to savor life as it happens around us. Tua and the Elephant is a refreshing reminder of people supporting each other in protection of the natural world around them. Stories of courage and resilience beckon readers to find their own sense of agency in their own situations—such stories as Victoria, Sugar Kid: A Story of the Girl from the Last Century Told by Stella Nudolskaya, and Rose under Fire. The costs of conflict in personal lives and relationships is revealed in Nazi Hunter, So Much for Democracy, and Soldier Doll–potential lessons that remind readers to take a stand for justice. Flying the Dragon points to the struggle, but importance, of developing identity in light of one’s culture while The Princess and the Foal speaks to holding onto one’s dreams despite the stereotypes that might challenge a goal.
As you read this issue of WOW Review and conclude with the question, “What’s Your Story?” you may decide that many of your stories might well be woven within the books reviewed here. We hope these reviews are an invitation to read many of these titles and we encourage you to share your story of reading and responding to any of these books with us.
Additionally, we invite you to consider submitting a review for Vol. VII, Issue 2 of WOW Review. This theme for this issue is “Humor in International Children’s Literature” and the call for submissions, due November 1, can be found here.
Janelle Mathis, Editor