Book Club

Held monthly during the academic year, these free hour-long virtual events are geared toward K-12 educators but open to all. Each event focuses on a recently published book with international content that was written for or accessible to elementary, middle, and/or high school students. Book selections include graphic novels, memoirs, chapter books, young adult fiction, and picture books. Participants are asked to read the book before attending the event. Each book club typically features a scholar, educator, or practitioner with expertise in the book’s subject area and invites attendees to participate in discussion. 

Below you can see the books we’ve discussed and resources provided by our speakers to further explore topics. Many of our events are recorded and published on this site.

Upcoming Book Club Events

Wed 29

Using Literature to Explore SDG 4: Quality Education

September 29 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Oct 20

Go Big Read Book Discussion: Transcendent Kingdom

October 20 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm

Award-Winning and Outstanding Global Children’s Literature Book Fair (K-12)

June 2021

Outstanding Global Children’s Literature

Madeline Tyner and Megan Schliesman

Librarians, Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC), School of Education, UW-Madison

Award-Winning Indigenous Children’s Literature

Dr. Lauren Candy Waukau-Villagomez, Teacher Education Faculty, College of Menominee Nation

Dr. Debbie Reese, Founder of American Indians in Children’s Literature

Resources

Finding Children’s and Young Adult Global Literature  

Compiled by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center

School of Education, UW-Madison

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

CCBC Resources

Global Reading: Selected Books for Children and Teens Set in Other Countries: CCBC booklist

CCBC-Recommended Book Search: Books recommended in annual editions of CCBC Choices, the CCBC’s annual best-of the-year list. In addition to filtering by broad diversity subject, age ranges and more, subject headings assigned to books  include specifics of identity and experience (e.g., “Immigrants and Refugees,” “Japanese and Japanese Americans,”  “Mexicans and Mexican Americans,” “Somalis and Somali Americans,” etc); and broad–and some specific –historical  categories (e.g., “Middle Ages,” “Vietnam War,” “World History,” “19th century,” “20th century,” etc.)

CCBC Book Search tutorial: a video tutorial providing an overview of the CCBC’s thematic booklists and recommended book search.

Resources beyond the CCBC: 

The CCBC web site includes links to many children’s and young adult literature award and best-of-the-year lists. Below are awards and lists with a global focus.

Selected Annual Awards

Américas Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award/Commended List 

Outstanding books about Latin America or Latinos in the United States (Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs  Committee on Teaching and Outreach

Children’s Africana Book Awards 

The best children’s books about Africa (Outreach Council of the African Studies Association)

Jane Addams Children’s Book Award 

For promotion of peace, social justice, world community, and/or equality of the sexes and all races (Jane Addams Peace  Association/Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom)

Mildred L. Batchelder Award  

For outstanding book originally published in another country in another language before being translated into English for  publication in the United States. (Association for Library Service to Children/American Library Association)

Middle East Outreach Council Book Awards 

“…quality books for children and young adults that contribute meaningfully to an understanding of the Middle East and its  component societies and cultures.” (Middle East Outreach Council)

South Asia Book Award 

Books that “accurately and skillfully” depict South Asia/South Asian experience, including the South Asian diaspora (South Asia  National Outreach Consortium)

Selected Best-of-the-Year-Lists

Notable Books for a Global Society 

Annual list of “outstanding trade books for enhancing student understanding of people and cultures throughout the world.”  (International Reading Association)

Outstanding International Books 

Annual list of outstanding books originally published in countries other than the United States and published here in the U.S.  in the preceding year (United States Board on Books for Young People)

Selected Other Resources

Africa Access Review 

Searchable database of critical reviews of titles about Africa.

Readers Inspired 

Blog devoted to children’s books about Africa and the African diaspora includes spotlights on creators, recommended books and more.

See What We See: Social Justice Books 

Books can be accessed by “theme,” including areas of the world. (Teaching for Change)

Worlds of Words 

Original articles about international, translated, and multicultural books and publishing, booklists and book reviews, a  searchable database and links to additional resources. (University f Arizona College of Education)

Outstanding Global Children’s Literature (June 2, 2021) 

Compiled by Megan Schliesman and Madeline Tyner

Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC)

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

A Note on Selection

In choosing books for this presentation, we focused on titles from the most recent edition of  CCBC Choices, the CCBC’s annual best-of-the-year list, and new (c2021) books we’ve read and  appreciated.

For the purpose of our presentation, we are defining “global” as books set in other countries or about people from outside the United States migrating here.

As always when looking at children’s literature set in other countries, just as when evaluating books about any aspect of diversity, we are aware of that no single narrative can speak to an the complexities of identity and experience—no single book speaks for multitudes. Additionally, we know that when it comes to global stories, what gets published here in the United States is often (though not always) stories that focus on painful struggles and challenges. As important as such stories are, it’s just as important to remember that life in other places is far more than stories of struggle and hardship alone.

There are many more books with international settings recommended by the CCBC. See the Global Reading Resources list we developed for how to search the CCBC web site, as well as annual award-and-best-of-the-year lists from other organizations that relate to books set around the world.

Picture Books

Binford, Warren. Hear My Voice/Escucha mi voz: The Testimonies of Children Detained at the Southern  Border of the United States. Illustrated by 17 Mexican and Mexican American artists. Workman, 2021. 96 pages (9781523513482)

Blackburne, Livia. I Dream of Popo. Illustrated by Julia Kuo. Roaring Brook Press, 2021. 40 pages  (9781250249319)

Latham, Irene, and Karim Shamsi-Basha. The Cat Man of Aleppo. Illustrated by Yuko Shimizu. Putnam,  2020. 32 pages (9781984813787)

Quang, Phùng Nguyên and Hyunh Kim Liên. My First Day. Random House, 2021. 40 pages  (9780593306260)

Fiction

Alkaf, Hanna. The Girl and the Ghost. Harper, 2020. 275 pages (9780062940957)

Dassu, A.M. Boy, Everywhere. Tu Books/Lee and Low, 2021. 400 pages (9781643791968) Fajardo, Anika. What if a Fish. Simon & Schuster, 2020. 231 pages (9781534449831)

Getten, Kereen. When Life Gives You Mangos. Delacorte, 2020. 193 pages (9780593173978)

Kuzki, Shaw. Soul Lanterns. Translated from the Japanese by Emily Balistrieri. Delacorte, 2021. 162 pages (9780593174340)

Okorafor, Nnedi. Ikenga. Viking, 2020. 240 pages (9780593113523)

Soontornvat, Christina. A Wish in the Dark. Candlewick, 2020. 375 pages (9781536204940)

Informational Books

Kunkel, Angela Burke. Digging for Words: José Alberto Gutiérrez and the Library He Built. Illustrated by  Paola Escobar. Schwartz & Wade, 2020. 32 pages (9781984892638)

Langeland, Deirdre. Meltdown: Earthquake, Tsunami, and Nuclear Disaster in Fukushima. Roaring Brook Press, 2021. 208 pages (9781626727007)

Sabic-El-Rayess, Amra, with Laura L. Sullivan. The Cat I Never Named: A True Story of Love, War, and  Survival. Bloomsbury, 2020. 370 pages (9781547604531)

Soontornvat, Christina. All Thirteen: The Incredible Cave Rescue of the Thai Boys’ Soccer Team.  Candlewick, 2020. 280 pages (978-1-5362-0945-7)

Indigenous Children's Literature 

Book Lists and Articles 

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

American Indians in Children's Literature

American Indian Youth Literature Award

American Indian Youth Literature Award

Awarded biennially, the AIYLA identifies and honors the very best writing and illustrations by Native Americans and Indigenous peoples of North America. Books selected to receive the award present Indigenous North American peoples in the fullness of their humanity.

Classroom Materials

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Lesson Plans

Tips for Teachers: Developing Instructional Materials about American Indians

We are Water Protectors Activity Kit

The Sacred Little One’s Project is an ongoing project, which was originally developed and funded through the American Indian College Fund. The College of Menominee Nation’s Teacher Education program continues to build on our long-term partnerships and existing infrastructures with the Menominee Nations early childhood education institutions and elementary schools by offering them culturally responsive materials.

American Indian Library Association (AILA) Read Native 2021 Challenge

Curriculum

The Circle Never Ends

A Multicultural Preschool Curriculum Model based in the American Indian Tradition created by The Sacred Little One’s Project.

Globalizing Children's Literature (K-5 Educators)

Global Reading Resources

Compiled by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center

School of Education, UW-Madison

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

Awards

Américas Children’s and Young Adult Literature Award/Commended List
Outstanding books about Latin America or Latinos in the United States (Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs Committee on Teaching and Outreach

Children’s Africana Book Awards:
The best children’s books about Africa (Outreach Council of the African Studies Association)

Jane Addams Children’s Book Award
For promotion of peace, social justice, world community, and/or equality of the sexes and all races (Jane Addams Peace Association/Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom)

Mildred L. Batchelder Award:
For outstanding book originally published in another country in another language before being translated into English for publication in the United States. (Association for Library Service to Children/American Library Association)

Middle East Outreach Council Book Awards
“…quality books for children and young adults that contribute meaningfully to an understanding of the Middle East and its component societies and cultures.” (Middle East Outreach Council)

South Asia Book Award:
Books that “accurately and skillfully” depict South Asia/South Asian experience, including the South Asian diaspora (South Asia National Outreach Consortium)

Best-of-the-Year Titles

Notable Books for a Global Society:
Annual list of “outstanding trade books for enhancing student understanding of people and cultures throughout the world.” (International Reading Association)

Outstanding International Books
Annual list of outstanding books originally published in countries other than the United States and published here in the U.S. in the preceding year (United States Board on Books for Young People)

Searchable Lists

Africa Access Review
Searchable database of critical reviews of titles about Africa.

Readers Inspired

Blog devoted to children’s books about Africa and the African diaspora includes spotlights on creators, recommended books and more.

See What We See: Social Justice Books

Books can be accessed by “theme,” including areas of the world. (Teaching for Change)

Worlds of Words

Original articles about international, translated, and multicultural books and publishing, booklists and book reviews, a searchable database and links to additional resources. (University of Arizona College of Education)

Titles on Migration

Compiled by Megan Schliesman & Madeline Tyner

Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC)

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

A Note on Selection

In choosing books for this workshop, we focused on titles from the past five years that we have recommended in the CCBC’s annual best-of-the-year list, CCBC Choices, and new (c2020) books we’ve read and appreciated.

As always when looking at children’s literature set in other countries, just as with books about life here in the United States, we are constantly learning when it comes to evaluation. More and more we are aware of how narratives by cultural outsiders may fall short in providing a full and accurate picture of experiences.  Additionally, we know that when it comes to global stories, what gets published here in the United States are often (though not always) stories that focus on painful struggles and challenges; we’re aware that these important stories alone cannot provide a full picture of life in other places.

Picture Books / Poetry

Argueta, Jorge. Somos como las nubes = We Are Like the Clouds. Illustrated by Alfonso Ruano.  Translated from the Spanish by Elisa Amado. Groundwood, 2016. 32 pages. Age 9 and older

Davies, Nicola. King of the Sky. Illustrated by Laura Carlin. Candlewick Press, 2017. 48 pages. Ages 5-8

Garland, Sarah. Azzi in Between.  Frances Lincoln, 2013. 32 pages. Ages 6-11

Kheiriyeh, Rashin. Saffron Ice Cream. Arthur A. Levine Books / Scholastic, 2018. 40 pages. Ages 4-7

Mills, Deborah, and Alfredo Alva. La frontera, el viaje con papá / My Journey with Papa. Illustrated by Claudia Navarro. Barefoot Books, 2018. Ages 7-10

Park, Linda Sue. Nya’s Long Walk. Clarion, 2019. 32 pages Ages 4-8

Sanna, Francesca. The Journey. Flying Eye Books, 2016. 44 pages. Ages 5-9

Novels/Graphic Novels

Blankman, Anne. The Blackbird Girls. Viking, 2020. 352 pages. Ages 9-12

Diaz, Alexandra. The Only Road. A aula Wiseman Book / Simon & Schuster, 2016. 308 pages. 9-13

Diaz, Alexandra. Santiago’s Road Home. A Paula Wiseman Book / Simon & Schuster, 2020. 336 pages. Ages 9-13

Hiranandani, Veera. The Night Diary. Dial, 2018. 264 pages. Ages 9-13

Jamieson, Victoria and Omar Mohamed. When Stars Are Scattered. Dial, 2020. 264 pages.
Ages 9-13

Lai, Remy. Pie in the Sky. Henry Holt, 2019. 380 pages. Ages 8-12

Ryan, Pam Munoz. Mañanaland. Scholastic Press, 2020. 256 pages. Ages 9-12

Warga, Jasmine. Other Words for Home. Balzer + Bray, 2019. 342 pages. Ages 8-12