Introduction and Editors’ Note
Resilience: noun signifying inner toughness, the capacity to adapt in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats and significant sources of stress.
Living in a pandemic with the limitations of lockdowns, quarantines, face masks, and virus-inspired or stress-related anxiety has meant that many of us have had to draw on inner resilience more than normal. The collection of titles in this issue are stories that examine human resilience in difficult times.
Our issue opens in India in a fairy tale world. Anklet for a Princess is a Cinderella story in which Sora’s unjust treatment by a stepmother and stepsister is checked by a magical Godfather snake. From an imagined world in which resilience is aided by magic, we shift to the harsh realities of war and being a refugee when there is no magic and resilience is demonstrated in everyday living and survival. In Search of Safety: Voices of Refugees profiles the stories of five young people who had to flee their home countries due to threats on their lives, religious persecution, terrorist groups, civil war and genocide. Brother’s Keeper takes a historical look at a sister and brother escaping North Korea in 1950, while When the Stars Are Scattered is a graphic memoir of two brothers fleeing civil war in Somalia and the subsequent years in a refugee camp in Kenya.
Resilience is called on in three titles about identity construction in challenging situations. El Deafo is the memoir of Cece Bell as she learns to cope with her hearing loss through an assistive hearing device. Through the power of microphones and amplified sound, Cece constructs a super hero self that can, among other things, warn students of a teacher approaching. In A Suitcase of Seaweed and Others, Janet Wong uses sparse verse and background stories to portray the identity juggling she does as a Los Angeles-born Asian American with a Chinese father and a Korean mother. Finally, Flowers in the Sky is the story of a young sister heading to New York from her small town in Trinidad to join her brother. As she struggles with relationships including with her brother, she constructs a sense of self that includes elements of her old and new homes.
Please consider submitting a review for our future issues. The editors welcome reviews of any children’s or YA book that highlights intercultural understanding and global perspectives around these themes:
Volume 13, Issue 2 – Bilingual Books (Winter 2021) – submission deadline: November 30, 2020. The editors welcome reviews of books that feature another language. The author may insert another language into the text (She said “Voilà!” as she drew une grande ligne with a flourish), or may include two languages next to each other (He glanced at him / Il lui a jetté un coup d’oeil).
Volume 13, Issue 3 – Open theme (Spring 2021) – submission deadline: February 15, 2021. The editors welcome reviews of children’s or YA books that highlight intercultural understanding and global perspectives.
Susan Corapi and Prisca Martens, Co-Editors
WOW review: reading across cultures