WOW Review: Volume XVI, Issue 2

Introduction and Editors’ Note
Stories of the lives of real people offer a window not only into their time and sphere of influence, but also into their thinking processes. This is particularly true of this group of biographies because each person profiled dealt with social issues that limited them and they resisted in ways that prompted change.

Two of the stories feature artists, Hilma af Klint and Jerry Pinkney. They grew up decades and worlds apart–Hilma during the second half of the 1800’s in Sweden, Jerry a century later in Pennsylvania. Both left a mark on the world of the arts; Hilma painting the abstract spiritual world and Jerry anchored in the world of nature or historical events. The Art and Life of Hilma af Klint profiles her efforts to be recognized as the first abstract painter, something that did not happen as a woman until after her death. In Just Jerry, Pinkney talks not only about growing up Black in the 1950’s but also how he overcame the limitations of dyslexia.

Several of the books highlight people who worked for civil rights, whether in the 1700’s with the slave trade through the voice of Olaudah Equiano or in the 1950’s with justice for a Black boy in the South through the bravery of his mother. Nearer My Freedom is the extraordinary story of an enslaved person who purchased his freedom, worked as an abolitionist, and became the first best-selling author of African descent in the Western world. Choosing Brave is the story of Mamie Till-Mobley, the mother who bravely showed the world her son’s body after he was violently murdered.

More recent activism is profiled in Playing at the Border, describing the efforts of Yo-Yo Ma in 2018-2020 when he played his cello on geographical borders to build bridges instead of walls. Finally young activists are given a voice in Until Someone Listens through the story of Estela Juarez who wrote letters in protest of the deportation of her mother. Both Yo-Yo Ma and Estela Juarez worked to tear down walls instead of build them.

We invite you to read the stories of how each person made the decision to take a stand and speak out, whether through writing, painting, speaking or playing an instrument.

Volume 16, Issue 3 – Open theme (Spring 2024) – submission deadline: March 15, 2024. 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 16, Issue 4 – Themed issue on technology and inventiveness in our lives (Summer 2024) – submission deadline June 1, 2024. The editors welcome reviews of global or multicultural children’s or young adult books published within the last three years that address technology and human invention in daily life; books that approach technology as the practical application of scientific knowledge to solve problems and fulfill human needs.

Susan Corapi, co-editor

María V. Acevedo-Aquino, co-editor

© 2023 by María V. Acevedo-Aquino and Susan Corapi

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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 XVI, Issue 2 by Worlds of Words is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. Based on work by María V. Acevedo-Aquino and Susan Corapi at

WOW review: reading across cultures
ISSN 2577-0527