WOW Review: Volume XIV, Issue 1

Introduction and Editors’ Note

Our open themed issues include a collection of books that, at first sight, seem to share little to no connections across content. This issue is no exception; however, looking carefully reveals that this open themed issue contains 12 books that invite readers to explore the concept of kindness as an act of individual preservation, an act to restore a community, or an act to reinforce kindness between fellow humans. Across this collection, examples of actions are marked by generosity, consideration, and concern for others.

Some of the books explore acts of kindness during painful situations and uncertain times. In Hold on to Your Music: The Inspiring True Story of the Children of Willesden Lane, Lisa Jura’s parents made the kind but difficult decision to send Lisa to London through the Kindertransport to protect her from the persecution of Jews in Vienna during pre-World War II. While living on Willesden Lane Lisa shares her music as a way to bring hope and comfort to the children and adults around her. In The Phone Booth in Mr. Hirota’s Garden, Mr. Hirota builds a phone booth to help his community cope with the loved ones they lost after the big wave snatched everything. In Orange for the Sunsets, set in Uganda, Asha and Yesofu learn that they need to better understand themselves before they can understand each other, their friendship, and their futures. In Efrén Divided, after his mother is deported to Mexico, Efrén experiences advocacy as the bravest act of kindness.

Some of the books address the significance of being true to oneself as an act of preservation. I Am Enough sends the message that each child, girls in particular, are unique and worthy of love, opportunities, dignity, and kindness. In The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family, older sister, Asiya, walks to school wearing her blue hijab for the first time. Despite mocking laughs and judgmental eyes, Asiya walks strong, friendly, and smiling. In All Are Welcome, diverse children and adults are encouraged to live their uniqueness and see their diversity as a resource and strength. In Firekeeper’s Daughter, Daunis engages in a journey of self-discovery and self-acceptance as she investigates a mystery in the nearby Ojibwe community.

Some of the books describe characters whose acts of kindness created spaces for their peers to thrive. In My Beijing: Four Stories of Everyday Wonder, Daijiang confronted three male children who were mean to Yu’er and her rescued butterfly. In Julián at the Wedding, Marisol’s special dress is ruined while children play at a relatives’ wedding. Julián saves the day by reimagining and fixing Marisol’s clothing. In Milo Imagines the World, Milo notices that his drawings of the people he encounters in the subway can unintentionally lead to simplified, incomplete, and even stereotyped assumptions about their lives. “Maybe you can’t really know anyone just by looking at their face.” In Voices of Freedom: Fannie Lou Hamer: Spirit of the Civil Rights Movement, Fannie Lou Hamer uses her music to support the civil rights movements, giving voice to to Black people and inspiring them during a time of struggle.

Please consider submitting a review for our future issues. The editors welcome reviews of children’s or young adult books that highlight intercultural understanding and global perspectives around these themes:

Volume 14, Issue 3 – Open theme (Spring 2022) – submission deadline: April 15, 2022. The editors welcome reviews of global or multicultural children’s or young adult books published within the last three years that highlight intercultural understanding and global perspectives.

Volume 14, Issue 4 – Themed issue on Trauma and Healing (Summer 2022) – submission deadline June 15, 2022. The editors welcome reviews of global or multicultural children’s or young adult books published within the last three years that highlight intercultural understanding and global perspectives. Our world is recovering from a pandemic that has led to trauma and a need for healing. This issue will address recovery with an emphasis on the healing journey from social or emotional trauma, a health-related issue, or an emotional issue.

María V. Acevedo-Aquino, co-editor
Susan Corapi, co-editor

© 2021 by Susan Corapi and María V. Acevedo-Aquino

Creative Commons License

WOW Review, Volume XIV, Issue 1 by Worlds of Words is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Based on work by Susan Corapi and María V. Acevedo-Aquino at

One thought on “WOW Review: Volume XIV, Issue 1

  1. Tom Moats says:

    Thanks you! What an eye opening review!!!! So well written and dedicated to the truth of representing our daily lives, our first thoughts, our judgements. At 70 I reflect back on my life and realized at a younger age that I unknowingly judged sight, smell, touch, hearing and taste from my surroundings and events! It is so rewarding that at an early age our senses can be richly directed from reading these kind of observed stories. Opening our eyes and hearts to knew horizons!

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