Introduction and Editors’ Notes
Trauma is a word originally from Greek that literally means ‘wound.’ The wounds profiled in this issue span emotional, physical and intellectual trauma and impact children of all ages, all over the world. Trauma is a universal experience, and this issue gives readers a look at wounds that hurt regardless of age or location.
A feeling of being traumatized is usually generated by an event. Several of the titles in this issue involve war and the sudden intrusion of gunfire, bombs, grenades and death into children’s lives–The Day the War Came and Grenade. Other titles portray the violence and danger of civil unrest or living within an oppressive regime–Walk with Me and Buried Beneath the Baobab Tree. Sometimes a bully instigates the trauma–The Stars at Oktober Bend and Amal Unbound. In other titles it is an illness (Dorothea’s Eyes), an episode of depression (Night Shift), death of loved ones (Calling the Water Drum), or coping with being a teen in a new culture (Anya’s Ghost). The titles demonstrate that trauma can occur in many ways.
If the stories stopped with a description of the traumatic events, they would be a depressing set of books to read! But just as the trauma portrayed covers a range of instigators, they also portray the hope, the perseverance, and the tools that each protagonist uses to cope and survive. In The Stars at Oktober Bend, Alice uses her own poetry to regain her voice, and, in Calling the Water Drum, Henri uses a musical instrument to communicate the grief his mouth cannot express. In Walk with Me, the sister cares for her young brother with the help of an imaginary lion, and in Night Shift, it is the sight of a simple feather that helps give hope to a depressed young woman.
Stories of trauma give hope. While the events in these stories can be hard to read about, the resiliency of the human spirit comes through.
We invite submission of critical book reviews! The next themes and submission deadlines are below.
- Open-themed issue, submission deadline Feb. 15, 2019
- Global Non-Fiction themed issue, submission deadline May 15, 2019
We invite critical book reviews of informational texts that portray global cultures in some way. This includes the range of titles that are typically shelved with the Dewey system in a public library. They can be created by global author/illustrators, feature information from other parts of the world, or feature biographies of people who have made an impact on their part of the world.
Susan Corapi and Prisca Martens, Editors