Introduction and Editors’ Note
Once again, we are amazed by how seemingly unrelated titles come together as a collection addressing an underlying theme, this time finding home and finding ourselves. Each of these texts has a way of making readers think and reflect about the universal emotion of longing for home and the experience of discovering and rediscovering oneself across time and space.
Several of the books highlight the importance of inter-generational relationships as sources of knowledge and connection to home and self. In Eyes that Speak to the Stars (Ho & Ho, 2022), a young Chinese American boy discovers that his eyes are like his Baba (father), Agong (grandfather), and Di-Di (baby brother). Their eyes are visionary, powerful, and “hold the wisdom of generations.” Similarly, in The Year We Learned to Fly (Woodson & López, 2022), grandma’s ancestral stories support two Black siblings as they navigate universal emotions like boredom and anger and learn “that nobody can ever cuff your beautiful and brilliant mind.” In When Lola Visits (Sterling & Asis, 2021), summer smells like a Filipino grandmother’s sampaguita soap, suman rice cake, Kalamansi pie and lumpia, and sounds like her “soft, sweet singing in Tagalog and Ilocano.” Exploring a different perspective in Comings and Goings (Kontoleon, Kontoleon & Tikkou, 2021), a young Greek boy is excited, but also anxious and scared about traveling far away by himself to meet Grandpa Leander, Grandma Phoebe and other relatives for the first time. Can you feel at home and yourself with people that you have never met? Do you still belong even when you live far away? This story explores home and familial connections that travel through long distances. Thematically connected, Carmela Full of Wishes (de la Peña & Robinson, 2018) describes a young Mexican American girl who is discovering herself through the kind of wishes she asks for. Should she wish for candies for herself, a comfortable bed for her hard-working mother, or to be reunited with her father? What if she makes the wrong wish? What if she loses the opportunity to make her wishes? Will she also lose herself?
Other books invite readers to reflect upon the role of a relocation in the journeys of finding home and finding oneself. For Conejo, the main character in the Mexican story Finding Home (Meza, 2021), that includes taking a long walk, climbing a tree, and having a cup of coffee with a friend. His journey also encompasses time alone with sadness as he dives into what it means to rebuild the house he lost during a storm. However, finding home and oneself may not involve a relocation as in Tomorrow (Kaadan, 2018). In this story Yazan, along with his Syrian parents must redefine home as they struggle with not being able to leave their house or feel safe due to war. Together, they rediscover each other and invent new ways of spending time together during difficult times.
We invite you to savor these books and consider writing and submitting a review for future issues.
Volume 15, Issue 1 – Open theme (Fall 2022) – submission deadline October 1, 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 15, Issue 2 – Themed issue on inter-generational relationships (Winter 2022) – submission deadline November 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, especially highlighting perspectives that might change as children and young adults interact with other generations (e.g., grandparents).
Volume 15, Issue 3 – Open theme (Spring 2023) – submission deadline February 15, 2023. 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.
María Acevedo-Aquino and Susan Corapi, Co-editors
Authors retain copyright over the vignettes published in this journal and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under the following Creative Commons License:
WOW Review, Volume XIV, Issue 3 by Worlds of Words is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Based on work at https://wowlit.org/on-line-publications/review/xiv-3/2
WOW review: reading across cultures