#INTLYALITMONTH: Oksi by Mari Ahokoivu, translated by Silja-Maaria Aronpuro

Review by: Jennifer Baltes Oksi by Mari Ahokoivu Poorling doesn’t fit in. She’s not a bear cub, like her brothers, and with her tiny, upright body and flame-shaped head, she doesn’t look like anything in the forest. She desperately wants to be a bear: fierce, strong, and loved by her bear mother, Umi. As Poorling’s … Continue reading #INTLYALITMONTH: Oksi by Mari Ahokoivu, translated by Silja-Maaria Aronpuro

#WorldKidLit Wednesday: The Hunt is On (Seekers of the Aweto Book 1)

As an early literacy advocate, I am a huge proponent of graphic novels and comic books. Graphic novels can help hook reluctant readers, build visual literacy, and challenge students to read analytically. Do not let the presence of pictures fool you; as in picture books, there is often more to them that meets the eye. … Continue reading #WorldKidLit Wednesday: The Hunt is On (Seekers of the Aweto Book 1)

#WorldKidLit Wednesday: The Easy Life in Kamusari

Imagine leaving high school in a bustling metropolis and being sent deep into the mountains as a trainee forester. And—horror of horrors—having your mobile phone disabled on the day you arrive. This is what happens to Yuki Hirano, an eighteen-year-old Japanese boy, who freely admits that study is not his thing. Well, life in the … Continue reading #WorldKidLit Wednesday: The Easy Life in Kamusari

#WorldKidLit Wednesday: Colorful

As my dead soul leisurely drifted off to some dark place, this angel I’d never seen before suddenly appeared right in my way. "Congratulations! You’ve won the lottery!" The angel smiled. So begins Colorful, a surprisingly humorous YA novel about mental illness, bullying, and teen suicide. The protagonist—nameless throughout most of the book—isn’t thrilled to … Continue reading #WorldKidLit Wednesday: Colorful

#WorldKidLit Wednesday: Here the Whole Time

Last month I reviewed the first of our co-winners for the GLLI Translated YA Book Prize. This month we turn to the second winner of the prize, Here the Whole Time. Written by Vitor Martins, this book gives us another look into the lives of LGBTQ young people in Brazil. Also translated by Larissa Helena, … Continue reading #WorldKidLit Wednesday: Here the Whole Time

#WorldKidLit Wednesday: Where We Go From Here

As someone who grew up during the 80s and 90s, I have several memories of the earlier years of the AIDS epidemic. I still remember the news reports of gay men dying in large numbers, and learning about how HIV is spread—and how it is not. I also remember the death of Freddie Mercury (right … Continue reading #WorldKidLit Wednesday: Where We Go From Here

#WorldKidLit Wednesday: Fighting the Good Fight: Social Justice in Children’s (Translated) Books and Graphic Novels

Books for young readers help shape children’s minds, attitudes, and viewpoints. Hence it’s crucial for young readers to have the opportunity to hear diverse voices from around the world. Today’s impressionable, thoughtful young minds need to be aware of important issues and acts of historical or social justice. Graphic Novels Maus: A Survivor’s Tale From … Continue reading #WorldKidLit Wednesday: Fighting the Good Fight: Social Justice in Children’s (Translated) Books and Graphic Novels

#WorldKidLit Wednesday: The Forgotten Book

Books can transport us across time and space, even though the journey is only an imaginary one. The literary voyages readers take within the pages of a book can inspire us and affect how we see the world via the magic of the written word. Writers, indeed, have immense power. But what if that literary … Continue reading #WorldKidLit Wednesday: The Forgotten Book

#WorldKidLit Wednesday: The Other Side

Much of the rhetoric around immigration from Central America across the southern United States border discusses persons wanting to enter the U.S. in abstract and dehumanizing terms: as caravans, illegal aliens, vectors of disease, even as an invasion. We spend so much time talking about Central American refugees and what they represent, yet we rarely … Continue reading #WorldKidLit Wednesday: The Other Side

#WorldKidLit Wednesday: The End

What if the world actually ended with a bang and not with a whimper? (Pace, T.S. Eliot.)  And what if you knew the end was coming? How would you spend your final days? That’s the premise in The End, an award-winning upper YA novel by Swedish author Mats Strandberg. When the story begins, scientists have … Continue reading #WorldKidLit Wednesday: The End