Global Libraries Grant

Program Description

IRIS NRC is delighted to announce a newly created award for Wisconsin school libraries. The Global Libraries Grant has been created to support K-12 student engagement with internationally themed texts. Applicants may select up to 30 copies or titles from the thematic lists provided on the IRIS NRC priority themes of migration, human rights, global health, climate, or global Islam. Thematic lists have been curated by the Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC), School of Education, UW-Madison.

Award Recipients will Receive: 

  1. Up to 30 copies of internationally themed books for their school library/department
  2. Award certificate for display
  3. A press release sample for their school newsletter

Award Recipients are Asked to: 

  1. Highlight the books in a display in their school library or classroom
  2. Announce the award in a school or district newsletter
  3. Provide a testimonial or complete a questionnaire about the school’s use of the books

Grant Application Details

Who can apply? 
Any school library (or department if your school doesn’t have a library) in the state of Wisconsin may apply.

If selected, how many books will my school receive?

Up to thirty books can be selected as they meet your school’s needs. In your application, you can select 30 individual titles or multiple copies of individual titles.

How do I apply?

You will apply for the grant through a brief application form outlining the use of the books, the need for the books in your school, and potential initiatives at your school that the books could help support.

Applications due February 15th, 2022

Criteria for evaluation:

  • Geographical diversity: funding will be awarded to provide the maximum diversity across state school districts
  • Need: demonstrated financial or curricular need to internationalize the library collection
  • Alignment with mission: proposals must make a clear connection between school initiatives and one or more of the IRIS NRC priority themes of migration, human rights, global health, climate, or global Islam
  • Anticipated impact: discussion of how the books might impact the school and school community

Please direct all questions about the program to

Curated Book Lists

Cooperative Children’s Book Center, School of Education
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Books in this bibliography are arranged according to topic or theme. Age ranges are included at the end of each listing.

This list is meant to be a starting point rather than exhaustive. Titles link to additional information on the CCBC website, or you can look them up using the Recommended Book Search: (Books published in 2021 may not yet be available on the CCBC website.)

Related CCBC bibliography on the CCBC website that may be of interest:

Human Migration / Immigration

Alabed, Bana. My Name Is Bana. Illustrated by Nez Riaz. Salaam Reads / Simon & Schuster, 2021. 40 pages. Ages 7-12

Dassu, A. M. Boy, Everywhere. Tu / Lee & Low, 2021. 400 pages. Ages 10-13

Diaz, Alexandra. Santiago’s Road Home. Paula Wiseman Books / Simon & Schuster, 2020. 325 pages. Ages 9-12

Iftin, Abdi Nor and Max Alexander. Call Me American: The Extraordinary True Story of a Young Somali Immigrant. Delacorte / Random House, 2020. 255 pages. Age 12 and older

Kuklin, Susan. In Search of Safety: Voices of Refugees. Candlewick, 2020. 246 pages. Age 12 and older

Leung, Julie. Paper Son: The Inspiring Story of Tyrus Wong, Immigrant and Artist. Illustrated by Chris Sasaki. Schwartz & Wade, 2019. 32 pages. Ages 5-9

Ramadan, Danny. Salma the Syrian Chef. Illustrated by Anna Bron. Annick, 2020. 40 pages. Ages 4-8

Thị Văn, Mượn Thị. Wishes. Illustrated by Victo Ngai. Orchard / Scholastic, 2021. 40 pages. Ages 5-9

Villalobos, Juan Pablo. The Other Side: Stories of Central American Teen Refugees Who Dream of Crossing the Border. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2019. 147 pages. Age 12 and older

Yang, Kelly. Three Keys. Scholastic, 2020. 288 pages. Ages 9-12

Global Health

Milway, Katie Smith. The Banana-Leaf Ball: How Play Can Change the World. Illustrated by Shane W. Evans. Kids Can, 2017. 32 pages. Ages 7-10

Park, Linda Sue. Nya’s Long Walk: A Step at a Time. Clarion / Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2019. 32 pages. Ages 4-8

Pham, LeUyen. Outside, Inside. Roaring Brook, 2021. 48 pages. Ages 3-7


Lee, Seou. Bye, Penguin! Levine Querido, 2020. 32 pages. Ages 3-7

Nye, Naomi Shihab. Cast Away: Poems for Our Time. Greenwillow, 2020. 159 pages. Age 9 and older

Shusterman, Neal and Jarrod Shusterman. Dry. Simon & Schuster, 2018. 390 pages. Age 13 and older

Stewart, Melissa and Allen Young. No Monkeys, No Chocolate. Illustrated by Nicole Wong. Charlesbridge, 2013. Ages 5-9

Sylvester, Natalia. Running. Clarion / Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2020. 328 pages. Age 12 and older

Human Rights 

Binford, Warren, compiler. Hear My Voice: The Testimonies of Children Detained at the Southern Border of the United States / Escucha mi voz: Los testimonios de niños detenidos en la frontera sur de los Estados Unidos. Illustrated by various artists. Workman, 2021. 90 pages. Age 8 and older

Bowles, David. My Two Border Towns. Illustrated by Erik Meza. Kokila, 2021. 40 pages. Ages 4-8

Gibney, Shannon. Dream Country. Dutton / Penguin, 2018. 335 pages. Age 15 and older

Hopkinson, Deborah. We Had to Be Brave: Escaping the Nazis on the Kindertransport. Scholastic, 2020. 341 pages. Ages 10-14

Nagai, Mariko. Under the Broken Sky. Christy Ottaviano / Henry Holt, 2019. 293 pages. Ages 10-14

Otheguy, Emma. Marti’s Song for Freedom / Marti y sus versos por la libertad. Illustrated by Beatriz Vidal. Children’s Book Press, 2017. 32 pages. Ages 7-11

Smith, Pauline Vaeluaga. Dawn Raid. Illustrated by Mat Hunkin. Levine Querido, 2021. 224 pages. Ages 8-12

Sullivan, Tara. The Bitter Side of Sweet. Putnam, 2016. 299 pages. Ages 10-14

Wright, Adrienne. Hector: A Boy, a Protest, and the Photograph that Changed Apartheid. Page Street Kids, 2019. 48 pages. Age 11 and older

Global Islam 

Abdel-Fattah, Randa. The Lines We Cross. Scholastic Press, 2017. 400 pages. Ages 12 and older.

Ali, S. K. and Aisha Saeed, compilers. Once Upon an Eid: Stories of Hope and Joy by 15 Muslim Voices. Amulet, 2020. 272 pages. Ages 9-12

Clarke, Maxine Beneba. The Patchwork Bike. Illustrated by Van Thanh Rudd. Candlewick, 2018. 32 pages. Ages 4-8

Jamieson, Victoria and Omar Mohamed. When Stars Are Scattered. Illustrated by Victoria Jamieson. Dial / Penguin Random House, 2020. 256 pages. Ages 9-13

Javaherbin, Mina. My Grandma and Me. Illustrated by Lindsey Yankey. Candlewick, 2019. 32 pages. Ages 4-7

Sabic-El-Rayess, Amra and Laura L. Sullivan. The Cat I Never Named: A True Story of Love, War, and Survival. Bloomsbury, 2020. 370 pages. Age 13 and older

Saeed, Jamal and Sharon E. McKay. Yara’s Spring. Annick, 2020. 298 pages. Age 11 and older

Yuksel, M. O. In My Mosque. Illustrated by Hatem Ali. Harper / HarperCollins, 2021. 40 pages. Ages 4-8

Literature transforms human experience and reflects it back to us, and in that reflection we can see our own lives and experiences as part of the larger human experience.

Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop, Perspectives: Choosing and Using Books for the Classroom