#WorldKidLitWednesday: Brown

In Brown, a spare, quirky, satisfying book for middle grade readers, we meet Rusty, aka superhero Brown, at a rocky time in his life. His grandfather dies soon after his family moves to be nearby. A group of three bullies—including the minister’s son—destroy the fort that Rusty and his friend Jack have been building.  Rusty … Continue reading #WorldKidLitWednesday: Brown

#WorldKidLitWednesday: The Sages of Chelm and the Moon

There was once a town filled with people so wise that a body of Jewish folklore developed around their wisdom. Except, of course, they weren’t wise at all. Indeed, they were absolutely, thigh-slappingly, heart-stoppingly foolish—which is where much of the fun lies in the Chelm stories.* In Shlomo Abas’s droll version of the traditional tale, … Continue reading #WorldKidLitWednesday: The Sages of Chelm and the Moon

#WorldKidLitWednesday: Maresi: Red Mantle

An epistolary novel. A beautiful story with a strong female protagonist. The stand-alone conclusion to a trilogy. Maresi: Red Mantle by Maria Turtschaninoff is all of these. It’s also the co-winner of the 2020 GLLI Translated YA Book Prize—and deservedly so, as it’s a fabulous read. Set in an agrarian, mostly pre-literate, fantasy world, Red … Continue reading #WorldKidLitWednesday: Maresi: Red Mantle

#WorldKidLitWednesday: The Casket of Time

What if you could stop time? Would it work? Would it even be a good idea? That is the core dilemma in The Casket of Time, an intricately plotted, carefully wrought, and beautifully translated book for YA readers by Icelandic author, poet and former presidential candidate Andri Snær Magnason. Made up of two interwoven stories … Continue reading #WorldKidLitWednesday: The Casket of Time

#WorldKidLitWednesday: Bear and Fred: A World War II Story

“Many years ago,in a faraway land called Holland, in a city named Delft, I was Fred’s teddy bear. I never had a name. Fred never gave me one. I lived in his bedroom with other toys. I was a happy bear. Little Fred loved me more than any other toy. He took me everywhere he … Continue reading #WorldKidLitWednesday: Bear and Fred: A World War II Story

#WorldKidLitWednesday: The Book of Pearl

Mysterious and melancholy, The Book of Pearl consists of two complex, interwoven strands. One is historical fiction, the other is pure faerie fantasy, and both are the story of Joshua Iliån Pearl. Framing these two strands is the story of a young photographer/narrator who first appears as a teen and whose intervention many years later … Continue reading #WorldKidLitWednesday: The Book of Pearl

#WorldKidLitWednesday: Do Fish Sleep?

Originally an award-winning play for children, Do Fish Sleep? is a heartbreakingly matter-of-fact look at death for middle grade readers from the perspective of Jette, a 10-year-old whose little brother, Emil, dies during the course of the book. Unsurprisingly, she and Emil are both puzzled about what happens to people after they die—animals, too. When … Continue reading #WorldKidLitWednesday: Do Fish Sleep?

#WorldKidLitWednesday: Witch Hat Atelier, v. 1

What if the thing you most yearned to do was an innate ability? And you weren’t one of the lucky ones born with it? That’s the set up for Witch Hat Atelier, a wonderful YA coming-of-age manga series by Kamome Shirahama, translated by Stephen Kohler, the first volume of which just won an Eisner Award for the … Continue reading #WorldKidLitWednesday: Witch Hat Atelier, v. 1

#WorldKidLitWednesday: The Wolf in Underpants

“High above the forest lives the wolf. An icy cry. Crazy eyes. We know to move our butts when the wolf comes down to eat.” What a start for a children’s book! And this one is excellent, a sly, societal commentary cleverly disguised as a book for children. In this hybrid picture book/graphic novel for … Continue reading #WorldKidLitWednesday: The Wolf in Underpants

#WorldKidLitWednesday: Kiki’s Delivery Service

Make way for Kiki! A beloved children’s classic in Japan ever since it was originally published in 1985, Kiki’s Delivery Service by Eiko Kadono has been out of print in English translation for over a decade, despite its continuing fame via Hayao Miyazaki’s animated adaptation. And adaptation it is: there are significant differences between the book and the movie. … Continue reading #WorldKidLitWednesday: Kiki’s Delivery Service