When I was invited several months ago to guest-edit GLLI’s #IntlYALitMonth, I have to admit that I was apprehensive. I’m certainly not an expert on global literature. While I’ve spent almost my entire career abroad, every school I’ve worked at has been based on an American curriculum, and the collections I’ve worked with and curated have tended to be heavily American. I’m not proud of that. Like many of my colleagues in international schools, I recognize that all students deserve access to books that serve as windows, mirrors, and sliding glass doors, and I’m working hard to build a diverse collection that reflects all of my students and opens the world up to them.
So what does an American librarian abroad who was asked to guest-edit a global literature blog do when faced with her own limitations? She seeks the help of experts! Over the next month you’ll be introduced to YA books from around the world by librarians, authors, teachers, and library activists from a variety of national and cultural backgrounds who all have incredible knowledge to share.
The books they’ve chosen to review are as varied as their backgrounds. This month you’ll read about classics and new releases, graphic novels and traditional prose. The books that will be reviewed feature characters that are straight and gay, abled and disabled. The books are set in places as varied as Finland, India, and South Africa, and their authors hail from across the globe. Some of the books were written in English, and others were read and reviewed in translation.
I’ve learned so much curating this month’s posts, and my order list has grown in all the right ways. Please join us each day to celebrate #IntlYALitMonth. You’re sure to find books to add to your own lists!
Linda Hoiseth is the high school librarian at the American School of Dubai and has previously worked at schools in the US, Japan, Kuwait, Malaysia, Poland, Peru, Qatar, and India. She has a B.S. in English and Secondary Education, an M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction, and a graduate certificate in School Library Media. Linda is an IB workshop leader and a member of the ECIS Libraries Special Interest Group. She’s a fierce advocate for all students to have access to all the books. Follow her on Twitter @lhoiseth.