How to Nurture Globally Competent Students


Multi-Cultural & Multi-National Literature-scroll down | Individual Countries & Flags | Databases & Facts | Helping | Teacher Resources | Games | Maps & Atlases

"A global citizen is one who not only dreams of a better place but
tries their best to rebuild it for the benefit of others. They believe
that if we work together this world can be all we have hoped for. They
believe they can make a difference, that we can be the change, but we
cannot do it alone. They do not wait for someone to take action,
instead they take action. They are willing to carry a small burden if
it means a big change."
Clara, a 5th grade student

How Can We Help? 
Microfinancing and Microcredit refer to the provision of financial services to low-income people which address a full range of banking needs for poor people. More broadly, they refer to a movement that envisions “a world in which as many poor and near-poor households as possible have permanent access to an appropriate range of high quality financial services, including not just credit but also savings, insurance, and fund transfers. Those who promote microfinance generally believe that such access will help poor people out of poverty. Kiva lets individual lenders choose an entrepreneur online and can track repayments through the course of the loan. | One Hen introduces microfinance top kids and has a wonderful site and companion book. | Heifer International is more well-known and could be introduced to children by reading "Beatrice's Goat". | Microcredit-Microcredit is a part of microfinance, which is the provision of a wider range of financial services to the very poor. 
Book Aid International every year sends around 500,000 books to sub-Saharan Africa to help children, families and communities gain access to the information that they need. Books that have the potential to change lives. Books for Africa collects, sorts, ships, and distributes books to children in Africa. Their goal: to end the book famine in Africa.
CARE: Defending Dignity, Fighting Poverty is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. They place special focus on working alongside poor women because, equipped with the proper resources, women have the power to help whole families and entire communities escape poverty. Women are at the heart of CARE's community-based efforts to improve basic education, prevent the spread of HIV, increase access to clean water and sanitation, expand economic opportunity and protect natural resources. CARE also delivers emergency aid to survivors of war and natural disasters, and helps people rebuild their lives. Students can write letters to elected officials to advocate action.Do Something is geared for teens to use online power to "do good stuff offline."
Habitat for Humanity has links to activities such as games and activities, e-cards and opportunities to "meet other young people by the world broken down by age level.Half the Sky is the website that accompanies the book by New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof and his wife Sheryl WuDunn which tells the stories of oppression of women around the world. Thei e"Get Involved" page lists organizations that help fight to empower and educate women and end trafficking, etc.
MercyCorps s a team of 3700 professionals helping turn crisis into opportunity for millions around the world. This would be a good organization to donate to if students decide to fund-raise as a way to help many urgent global needs.
One | ONE is a global advocacy and campaigning organization backed by more than 2 million people from around the world dedicated to fighting extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. Show students the video under "Act Now.".
Oxfam is part of a global movement for change. They raise public awareness of the causes of poverty and encourage ordinary people to take action for a fairer world. The site has info about programs and ways to get involved.
Partners in Health | Founded by Dr. Paul Farmer, author of Mountains Beyond Mountains, the site states, "our mission is both medical and moral. It is based on solidarity, rather than charity alone. When a person in Peru, or Siberia, or rural Haiti falls ill, PIH uses all of the means at our disposal to make them well—from pressuring drug manufacturers, to lobbying policy makers, to providing medical care and social services. Whatever it takes. Just as we would do if a member of our own family—or we ourselves—were ill."
Pennies For Peace has an international K-12 service learning program with fact sheets, printable maps, postcards, stickers and amazing videos. In an impoverished country one penny can but a pencil and opens the door to literacy. Check out the "For Kids" link. 
Project Linus has a mission to provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans, lovingly created by volunteer “blanketeers.”
Roots & is a program of the JAne Goodal Institute which provides opportunities for youth to be globally empowered through meaningful projects.
Ryan's Well Foundation is the site that goes with the book Ryan and Jimmy : and the well in Africa that brought them together.
Trickle Up empowers people living on less than $1 a day to take the first steps out of poverty, providing them with resources to build microenterprises for a better quality of life. In partnership with local agencies, they provide business training and seed capital to launch or expand a microenterprise, and savings support to build assets.
Water 1st's mission is to serve families in the poorest communities in the world as they implement community-managed projects that integrate water supply, sanitation, and health education. They envision a world free of extreme poverty. Providing people with safe water systems, latrines, and hygiene education is the 1st step to ending the cycle of poverty and death.
Water for People believes that everyone should expect to have safe water every day. 
World World Education is well known for its work around the globe in environmental education, community development, maternal and child health, school governance, integrated literacy, small enterprise development, HIV and AIDS education and prevention and care, and refugee training. World Education also works to strengthen literacy and adult basic education programs in the United States. Projects are designed to contribute to individual growth, as well as to community and national development.
You Think! Take Action Resources has many links to organizations to find opportunities to volunteer and like-minded people around the world.

Teacher Resources-new Resources & Downloads is a multi-media content service provider, systems technology developer and the largest electronic distributor of African news and information worldwide. Registered in Mauritius, with offices in Johannesburg, Dakar, Lagos and Washington, D.C., AllAfrica is one of a family of companies that aggregate, produce and distribute news from across Africa to tens of millions of end users. 
This website,, is among the Internet's largest content sites, posting over 1000 stories daily in English and French and offering a diversity of multi-lingual streaming programming as well as over 900,000 articles in our searchable archive.
Africa - "The mission of The Africa Society of the National Summit on Africa is to be the premiere entity that engages and educates Americans about Africa and to create, through partnerships, a better understanding of its peoples, diverse cultures, histories and economies."

Articles | Global Education on a Dime: A Low-Cost Way to Connect | 
Asia Society | A website by the Asia Society dedicated to improving K-12 teaching about the world.
Atlases, Maps & Newspapers 
BU African Studies Center-Outreach Booklists, the map & teaching resources about Africa are found here.
Choices Program seeks to empower young people with the skills, knowledge, and participatory habits to be engaged citizens who are capable of addressing international issues through thoughtful public discourse and informed decision making.
Connecting Globally
 | Around the World with 80 Schools-the goal is to connect w/Skype with 80 schools
CIESE 's enhanced mission is to catalyze and support excellence in teaching and learning of science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) and other core subjects through collaborative, innovative, research-based instructional strategies and use of novel technologies. 
 for collaborative projects
Connect All Schools - Where US teachers can register, find their school in the database and share how they're internationalizing their curriculum/classroom
ePals Safely connect, collaborate and learn using our leading protected email and blog solutions for schools and districts. 

Global Education Collaborative ning 
Global Nomads Group  | Global Readaloud The goal of this site is to foster 21st century learning through Internet-based collaboration. Educators can find collaborative tools, resources, and various interactive programs for students. They can browse through current projects; find teachers and classrooms to work with; and learn about and engage in project-based learning initiatives. 
ICONS Project advances learning by designing and delivering dynamic rol-play simulations for students and educators worldwide. is the world's largest non-profit global network that enables teachers and youth to use the Internet and other technologies to collaborate on projects that enhance learning and make a difference in the world.

 an apolitical, international, not-for-profit, non-governmental organization (NGO) headquartered in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Their
flagship project is a global letter exchange program introducing refugee students to non-refugee students. This project creates pen pal relationships between the students, helping non-refugee students learn about the issues facing refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). 
United Classrooms is a global social learning network that connects classrooms around the world with pen pals and other means.
WorldVillage is the wiki of a school to share information and to work on projects in a collaborative way. They're learning to use interactive tools to connect with one another and to understand each other better. 
YackPack is an audio e-mail service that allows students to share and exchange ideas in a user friendly graphical interface that requires little to no reading skills. 
 is a slightly more complex video e-mail/live video chat service. The Pack can be used for: storytelling, practicing reading with emotion, share their favorite book, talk about the author, reflecting on learning and the process of learning (metacognition), collecting “data” (for ex: for graphing activities). Students will use inspiration / kidspiration or an online mind mapping software to brainstorm ideas about what they will talk about so students are not reading from a script. 
Education Sites | Global Campaign for Education | United Nations Girls' Education Initiative  | Kid World Citizen |
Environmental Sites | Climate Change Activities | Greenstar | Safe Drinking Water is Essential | The Earth Institute at Columbia University | |

Facing the Future - Sustainability & Global Issue Resources has free downloadable curriculum.

Film Resources 2 Million Minutes From 9th grade to 12th grade there are approximately 2 million minutes. This film follows 6 students in 3 countries, comparing how different cultures make use of a student's time in high school. | Back to School (enter into search box) This film profiles 7 students in 7 countries and the obstacles they face in search of a quality education. | Bullfrog Films has become the leading US publisher of independently-produced, environmental DVDs & videos, that point the way to living healthily, happily, and with greater concern for the other inhabitants of this planet, and for our descendants. | Icarus Films has over 900 films with dozens of global topics, searchable by subject. | Taking Root: The Vision of Wangari Maathai is a great trailer about her. Journeys in Film In today's dynamic global economy, information of all kinds moves easily across local and international borders. This growing cultural and economic interdependence is affecting the choices young people face as they emerge into the world as adults. To prepare for their future participation in the global arena, U.S. students must understand and deeply respect that there is a world beyond U.S. borders. Moreover, middle school students are at an age where they are deciding what they believe, forming stronger opinions about the world around them, and exploring beyond their parents' views and ideas. Students seldom need to be coaxed into watching films. It is a media that evokes emotion and provokes stimulating discussion both inside and outside of the classroom. Wide Angle Filmshas global stories on a human scale, giving in-depth coverage from the perspective of the people directly involved in the stories. The program's website has a section for educators that includes lesson plans, classroom tips, and teacher resources. NobelityProject seeks to educate about global issues with Nobel Laureates speaking about how to address global problems.
Free the Children Free The Children’s domestic programs provide North American youth with the confidence and leadership skills they need to take action on social issues in their communities and overseas. Our motto for these programs is to “educate, engage and empower,” a three step process that helps young people develop into socially-conscious global citizens. The 11th Hour is a documentary narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio discussing the current ecological crisis and how we can reverse it. Site has some sample letters that can be sent to businesses.
Global Action Week - Where people across the US are registering and sharing how they are expanding awareness during the year of the importance that all young people worldwide receive an education.
Global Connections-The Middle East has materials & lesson plans focused on the mid-east.
Global Connections for Elementary Students or The paramount P's is simple, yet proven effective way to have students approach the study of a nation, is to have them organize their investigation, reading and other study around categories staring with "p" such as; place, people, products, problems.
Global Dimension has ideas and resources for teachers organized by subject, age group, and theme.
Globalist is a daily magazine about global economy, politics and culture with resources for use in the classroom.
Globalization & Education | Useful resources that provide curriculum content, background information and novel ways of incorporating global perspective in teaching.
The Globe Program An interactive cooperative project for teaching (mostly) science over the Internet. Teachers can enroll their classes in the project and compare results with scientists and schoolchildren around the world. Some good geography projects on this site.
Google Earth Virtual Tour of Asia 
Google Lit Trips uses Google Earth as a teaching tool to pair with literature. Students can see images of and learn about the places visited in the literature they are reading.
Health Sites | Harvard Medical School Center for Health & the Global Environment | Rx for Survival: A Global Health Challenge 
HERvoices works with and collects personal testimonies from communities of underrepresented women and girls to develop participatory, multimedia presentations which are shared with diverse audiences, including those at schools, libraries, museums, houses of worship, community centers, book groups and corporations.

Ideas from Kim Cofino
Kids Across the World uses photography to educate students about the world and also has lesson plans.
Kids Can Press is a publisher that has learning materials available for some books such as One Well & One Hen and Fountas & Pinell reading levels! Enter the title of the book in the search box. 
Middle East Resources Within one well-designed, user-friendly interface, Teaching the Middle East: A Resource for Educators presents scholarly perspectives, downloadable imagery, related links from across the Internet, textual resources, as well as selections from the Oriental Institute Museum’s own collection of Middle Eastern art and artifacts in a clear and logical online format.
My Wonderful offers many tips & resources aimed at enhancing students' global understanding and geography skills with a variety of games, links and interactive tools. From National Geographic
National Council for the Social Studies | A large site created by this national membership organization. Contains news and events for teachers, curriculum standards, lessons and recommendations, articles, etc.
National Geographic Education | Nat Geo Interactive Games
New Media Tools that support learners with special needs Animoto | VoiceThread | 
Outreach World | provides a searchable database of literature, films, curriculum units, and other resources for students and teachers. This website allows the user to search by region or country.
Oxfam Global Citizenship Curriculum Information, support and ideas for developing a Global Citizenship approach in your school. is a website about books in Engklish for young readers. It embraces multicultural books and is a wealth of resources for teachers and parents.
The Partnership for 21st Century Skills | This organization aims to strenghthen education by incorporating important 21dst century skills such as global awareness, collaboration, and information and communications literacy into curricula. The site provides online tools for educators.
Peace Corps Access hundreds of stories & free lesson plans based on accounts of Peace Corp volunteers. Listen to stories, subscribe to podcasts, and view slide shows and videos to make countries around the world come alive in class. Their partner site World Wise Schools has lesson plans and activities for thinking about how Americans from one culture interact with people from a new or unfamiliar culture and by region. WWS Educatorshas a large database of lesson plans.
Primary Source Library's Resources | Primary Source World | 
Programs in International Education Resource draws upon Yale University’s extensive resources to develop and implement programs, services, and resources designed to advance understanding of international and world regional issues through outreach to education, business, media, and the public. 
Skype for Educators if you would like to either find experts or share your expertise.
Service-Based Travel Opportunities | Epilogos has projects to improve the lives of the poor in El Salvador. Each year volunteers from throughout the U.S. travel to El Salvador to help realize our mission. Working alongside villagers, volunteers help children and families in need.Come join our team of volunteers and enrich you life while helping others. Visit their VOLUNTEER webpage and see how you can help. Volunteer AbroadVolunteering abroad is one way to make a difference. Volunteering abroad is not for everyone, so before you sign up for the Peace Corps or another similar program there are a few things you should consider. Often it helps to check out information from a group like IVPA which provides many different resources about volunteering abroad. Global Volunteers Join short-term volunteers in our non-profit network providing long-term, ethical service on a volunteer vacation abroad or a USA volunteer program. Live and work with local people on life-affirming service programs for one to six weeks. Extended-term service options up to 24 weeks. We support some 100 service partnerships year-around through short-term volunteer teams, direct project funding, classroom support, child sponsorships and student scholarships. Join our programs serving local people as a family, group or individual. No specialized skills are needed to contribute genuine, long-term development assistance. EF Education First offers both traditional educational tours, as well as language immersion, study abroad and student exchange programs. Tours take place both in the United States and around the world. Fulbright Teacher Exchange has helped nearly 23,000 teachers and administrators contribute to mutual understanding between the United States and countries around the world. If you are a full-time U.S. teacher or administrator, you may be eligible to apply to the regular program. For U.S. teachers, this opportunity involves a year, semester or six-week direct exchange of teaching positions with a counterpart in another country teaching the same subject(s) at the same level. Fulbright program staff in the U.S. and abroad match U.S. and overseas candidates in the spring of each year. Fulbright staff then propose matched-exchanges that each candidate and each school involved in the application process must approve before final selection to the program takes place.
Social Studies School Service | A commercial site which provides a wide array of classroom materials, including maps, photographs, multimedia, and lesson plans.
TakingITGlobal connects students to try to get them to be more involved in their local and global communities. is the product of ongoing collaboration of Ohio State University's Social Studies and Global Education program with OSU's African Studies Center, East Asian Studies Center, the Center for Latin American Studies, the Middle East Studies Center, the Slavic and Eastern European Studies Center and Indiana University's Center for the Study of Global Change. The Centers have approved all resources offered here for K-12 teachers.
Teaching Tolerance has classroom activities, web links, kits & handbooks.
UNA-USA Education has educational programs serve as a bridge between students eager to make an impact on their country and around the globe, by fostering direct interaction between American citizens and the UN. Through Global Classrooms, Model UN and our other educational initiatives, UNA-USA enables students to develop the skills and understanding to excel in this new era of globalization. (middle & hs)
United Nations Association of Greater Boston | serves as a resource for the citizens of the Greater Boston area on the broad agenda of critical global issues addressed by the United Nations and its agencies: peacekeeping, human rights, humanitarian relief, economic development, and education.
United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child 
a human rights education media environment to help introduce the CRC to learners.
United Nations CyberSchool Bus | 
Maintained by the United Nations, this site offers lesson plans and activities, contests, and quizzes, and lists of resources for teaching students about global issues and for connecting them to other learners around the world.
Wonderful World of Weather for use by students in the elementary grades to allow them to investigate weather phenomena both locally as well as in other places around the world. By using hands-on activities and real-time data investigations, the students will develop a basic understanding of how weather can be described in measurable quantities, such as temperature, wind and precipitation.

Worlds of Words Review (WOW) is an electronic journal of critical reviews on children’s and adolescent literature that highlight intercultural understanding and global perspectives.
World of Words Teachers share how they have used multicultural and international books in the classroom and students' responses to this literature.Worlds of Words Blog has conversation about the quality of published book reviews,
particularly in the area of cultural authenticity and accuracy. 

WorldBoston is a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to advancing public discourse on global affairs
and fostering professional exchanges with international visitors.They present an ongoing series of distinguished speakers and bring emerging leaders from around the world to Boston to share ideas, discover opportunities for mutual growth, and create bonds of friendship and understanding.
Worldmapper is a collection of world maps, where territories are re-sized on each map according to the subject of interest. There are now nearly 600 maps. Maps 1-366 are also available as PDF posters. Use the menu to find a map of interest.
World Savvy: Think Beyond Your Borders is a global education nonprofit serving youth and educators through three core programs in three offices nationwide. Our mission is to educate and engage youth in community and world affairs, to prepare them to learn, work and live as responsible global citizens in the 21st century.
Worldwatch Institute | is an independent research organization recognized by opinion leaders around the world for its accessible, fact-based analysis of critical global issues. Its mission is to generate and promote insights and ideas that empower decision makers to build an ecologically sustainable society that meets human needs. Visit their online features about the environment and how it is changing around the world. Check out "Good Stuff"
Youthink! Issues has information on global topics from the environment and health to gender and trade, some areas are aimed at teachers & students. 
Youth Sites | Voices of Youth | Peace Corps Kids | 
Global Brothers a mixture of information and fun from National Geographic. | KidsAsiaSociety

Factual Information and Games about Foreign Nations-scroll down further for individual countries

For younger students: 
Panwapa Kids   is a multimedia, global initiative designed to inspire and empower a new generation of children to be responsible global citizens. Research-based materials come in a range of media platforms, including online, video and print. 
National Geographic Kids/Countries has facts, photos, videos, and maps, and you can even e-mail your friend a postcard.

Quadblogging connects students in four different schools around the corner or around the world to blog with a purpose. Instead of having students write blog posts "that go in their tray to die" teachers sign up on this site and are linked with three other schools to provide an opportunity for elementary and secondary students to blog with each other. Over the last 12 months 100,000 pupils have been involved in QuadBlogging from 3000 40 countries. Grades 3-12.Tip: 
Use Quadblogging across curriculum areas to develop student awareness of similarities and differences of people from different cultures.

Time For Kids takes you on a tour of countries through sightseeing guides, folktales, quizzes, and more.

Scholastic Global Trek lets you plan your own virtual trip to any of 35 different countries, read all about their cultures and customs, and write down all that you learn in your own travel journal.
Culturegrams-see Mrs. Smith for password 
For older students:
CIA World Factbook
 provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 266 world entities. Reference tab includes: maps of the major world regions, as well as Flags of the World, a Physical Map of the World, a Political Map of the World, and a Standard Time Zones of the World map. Downloadable and printable images for almost 100 countries.
Nationmaster compiles data from sources such as the CIA World Factbook, UN, OECD, and makes it easy to compare dasta from one country to another.
BBC Country Profiles is similar to the CIA World Factbook but is easier to navigate and gives a clearer background, leaders and media.
Factmonster Each Country Profile provides information on: Geography · Maps · Flag · History · Current ruler · Area · Population · Capital · Largest cities · Languages · Ethnicity/race · Religion · Literacy rate · Economy · Government
Country Facts, Photos, Videos, Ecards, Maps Geography a mixture of information and fun from National Geographic Kids.
Gapminder brings all the data of the world to you.
If the World Were a Village is the companion website to David Smith's book and provides links to additional population & global information. The World of 100-graphic data about the proples of the world (not all appropriate for elementary) is a country comparison tool to understand and even visualize life outside our home.
Smithsonian Education has searchable databases of images, recordings, and other tools for studying world geography.
United Nations CyberSchool Bus | this site offers lesson plans and activities, contests, and quizzes, and lists of resources for teaching students about global issues and for connecting them to other learners around the world.
Infonation | Country Studies | Global Gateway | HRW World Atlas | Aneki | U.S. State Dept. | One World-Nations Online | Country Reports |Countries of the World | Factmonster World & News | CountryWatch | Cities & Countries | GeoHive | Geographia | International Database | Nations Illustrated | U.S. Dept of State | World Atlas & Map Library | GeoGlobe | IPL | National Geographic Countries | ABC World Fact Book Country Profiles | World Civilizations | State Department Info | Country at a Glance | Country Megasites | Open Directory Project Countries Directory |Virtual Library Regional Studies | Gateways to the World | One World Journeys | Terrafly | World of Money | Birthday Traditions around the WorldCountry Outline Maps | License Plates of the World | WHO Countries | World Atlas & Maps | World Factbook Dashboard | 

Games | Sporcle | Traveler IQ Challenge | FreeRice | Play this game and for each answer you get right, they donate 10 grains of rice through the UN World Food Program to help end hunger | Geography Games | GeoBee Challenge | Test Your Geography Knowledge | Geonet Game | Rethinking Schools map challenge | Where is That? | Geospy Game | Nation States-Create a Country | Sheppard Geography Games

Atlases & Maps | All the Worlds Maps | Atlapedia | National Geographic MapMaker |  For more Maps & Atlases see "Reference"

Learning Languages |  Duolingo | Babbel | Fluid in Three Months

Flags World Flag Database | Flags of the Nations | Flags of all Countries | Flags | Flags of the US & World | Flags of the World | Flags of the World

How many countries are there? Ask Earl | World Atlas-The List-All the Facts about Earth
| Numbers From 1-10 in over 4000 Languages
 | National Geographic Photos |

Afghanistan | Afghanistan for Kids | 
Africa for Kids | Africa | Africa-PBS Northern Africa | Africa | Africa Focus | Living Africa | Kid's Africa | Zoom School Africa | Africam | African Information Center | African Timelines | (news) | African Countries | K-12 Guide to Africa | Map & Picture Archive | Interactive MapThe Story of Africa | Africa | African Studies | African Writing Systems | Wonders of the African World | African Voices | In Search of the Ways of Knowing Trail 
Virtual Antarctica | Antarctica | 
AsiaSource | Asia Studies | 
Australia | Aboriginal Languages | Australia | Australia and New Zealand Sources | Australian Animal Printouts | Australian Animal Webquest |Australia Lesson Plans | Australian National Botanic Gardens | Great Barrier Reef | History | Jewels of the Sea | Virtual Australia | ZoomSchool Australia | Picture Australia | Australia | Guide to Australia | Indigenous Australia | Australia Hotlist 
Canada | Canadian Encyclopedia | Interactive Historical Map | Enchanted Learning 
Central America | Central America
All about China | Dynasty & Invention Links | China the Beautiful | Geography | Virtual China | China's Age of Invention | Chinese Culture | China Vista | Dragons in Ancient China | The China Experience | China Today | Virtual Tours | Chinese Art Forms | The China Experience | Standard Mandarin | Learn Chinese | China the Beautiful | China Hotlist | China Lessons | Get a Chinese Name | Ancient China | Currency & Coin History |Writing Characters | 
See also Social Studies page for Silk Road sites
Eternal Egypt | The Egyptian Presidency | Tour Egypt | Wild Egypt | Janna's Journey | Daily Life in Ancient Egypt | Discovering Egypt | Guardian's Ancient Egypt | Make Your Own Cartouche | Secrets of an Ancient World | 
Images of France | Eiffel Tower | Coloring Book | French Virtual Journey | Zut! 
Ghana | Ghana |
Gibraltar (not a country-read on!) | Discover Gilbraltar | Official Website | Gilbraltar Tours | Welcome to the Rock of Gilbraltar | 
Great Britain
Greece (Ancient) | Odyssey Online | 
Iceland Webquest | Destination Iceland | Iceland | 
India | India Sites | India & its Neighbors | Welcome to India | India-News & History | Mughal India | Ancient India | 
Around Ireland | Ireland Fun Facts | Irish Culture & Customs | Ireland | Ireland WebQuest 
Welcome to Israel | Israel |
Italy | Italy for Kids | Italy | Italian Alphabet | Rome Past & Present 
Kids' Web Japan | Japan Atlas | Guide to Japan | Museums, Galleries & Exhibits | Kyoto National Museum | Japan Country Study | Japan WebQuest |Becoming Japanese | Japan Links | Japanese Art | Japan Hotlist | Himeji Castle | Keiko Schneider's Bookmarks| | Mt Fuji Photo Gallery | Schools |Culture | Learn how to read Japanese Kanji | 
Hidden Korea | | Mr. Donn | Life Culture in Korea | South Korea Facts | History of North Korea | The People of Korea |South Korea Kids Online | Korea for Kids Crafts | Korean History | 
Mexico | Bienvenido | National Anthem | Anthem Lyrics in English & Spanish | Ancient Mexico 
Middle East | Middle East | 
New Zealand | New Zealand 
Nordic Pages 
Maps of the Philippines
Poland | 
Russia (The Face of) | History of Russia | A Russia Phototrack | Russia & Eastern Europe 
Scotland Outline Map | Scottish Clans & Tartans | Flag Outline | Gateway to Scotland 
South America 
Spain | Map
Tibet | Tibet & Himalayas
Ukraine | Ukraine 


Global Literature  see also Literature for Youth in a Diverse World | Legends & Folktales Map | Myths from Around the World | SurLaLune | International Children's Digital Library (click "Read Books" | Worlds of Words | African Books Collective | Children's Africana Book Award

Global Focus | Healthy Earth | Africa | Antarctica | Asia-Korea, Thailand and others | China, Tibet & Mongolia | India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, & Iraq | Japan | Russia | Australia & New Zealand | Europe & Israel | North America, Central America, Caribbean | South America | Food | Geography, Culture, Dictionaries, Language, Factual | History | Holidays & Celebrations | Immigration & Refugees | Play | Professional Reading | Middle & High School | Multicultural Resources

Global Focus
A Life Like Mine published by DK. Looks at what life is like for children of different countries and how each child can fulfill his or her hopes and ambitions no matter how little or much their human rights are infringed.

A School Like Mine published by DK. Introduces children from around the world and discusses where they live, how they play, and what their schools are like.

All the World by Liz Garton Scanlon. Charming illustrations and lyrical rhyming couplets speak volumes in celebration of the world and humankind, combining to create a lovely book that will be appreciated by a wide audience. K-1 

Be my Neighbor by Maya Ajmera & John D. Ivanko. An simple introduction to the characteristics of a neighborhood.

Earth from above for Young Readers by Yann Arthus-Bertrand. Presents aerial photographs of various scenes from around the world including fishermen in Morrocco, a farm on the island of Crete, and a mangrove forest in New Caledonia.

Every Human has Rights : a photographic declaration for kids based on the U.N. Universal Declaration for Kids. A photographic essay that provides an accessibly written list of the thirty rights set down in 1948 by the United Nations, with commentary by children and photographs illustrating each right.

Families by Susan Kuklin. Children from diverse families share thoughts about their families and photographs.

Families in Many Cultures by Heather Adamson. Simple text and photographs present families from many cultures.

Follow the Line Around the World by Laura Ljungvist. Learn about animals and their habitats from all around the world. 1-2

How Much? : visiting markets around the world by Ted Lewin. Describes sights, sounds, items, and people in marketplaces around the world including Egypt, Peru, Bangkok, and many more. 1-3

If the World were a Village by David J. Smith There are currently more than 6 billion people on the planet! This enormous number can be difficult to grasp, especially for a child. What if we imagine the whole world as a village of just 100 people? In this village, 22 people speak a Chinese dialect, 20 earn less than a dollar a day, 32 are of Christian faith, 17 cannot read or write, 39 are under age 19. This book offers a unique and objective resource and the author has tips on building "world-mindedness."

It's Back to School we go: first day stories from around the world by Ellen Jackson. In easy-to-read text, describes what the first day of school might be like for a child in Kenya, Kazakhstan, Canada, Australia, Japan, China, Peru, Germany, India, Russia, and the United States.

It's Our World, Too! : Young people who are making a difference by Phillip Hoose. A collection of essays about children who have made notable achievements, arranged in the categories "Taking a Stand," "Reaching Out to Others," "Healing the Earth," and "Creating a Safer Future," accompanied by a handbook for young activists.

Join Hands The Ways We Celebrate Life by Pat Mora weaves the repeating lines of a pantoum, a Malaysian poetic form, into a joyful tribute to community. K-1

Let's Eat!: what children eat around the world. by Beatrice Hollyer. Explains what five children living in South Africa, Mexico, Thailand, France, and India eat at mealtime with their families, how their families obtain and prepare food, what kind of foods may be eaten at celebrations, and what their favorite food it. Includes recipes.

Madlenka & Madlenka's Dog by Peter Sis. Madlenka, whose New York City neighbors include the French baker, the Indian news vendor, the Italian ice-cream man, the South American grocer, and the Chinese shopkeeper, goes around the block to show her friends her loose tooth and finds that it is like taking a trip around the world. K-1

My Granny went to Market by Stella Blackstone & Christopher Corr. A child's grandmother travels around the world, buying things in quantities that illustrate counting from one to ten. K

My Librarian is a Camel: How books are brought to children around the world by Margriet Ruurs. Contains photographs, information, and personal stories about mobile libraries and their young patrons in countries around the world, showing some of the unique ways by which books are delivered, including boat, camel, and elephant. 4-5

My School in the Rain forest by Margiet Ruurs. In this lively photo essay, readers get to know students who are pursuing their dreams of a brighter future and teachers who are devoted to improving people's lives, from the arid plains of southern Afghanistan to the rain forests of Guatemala.

The Milestones Project: celebrating childhood around the world
 by Richard Steckel. Contains a number of photographs from the Milestones Project documenting childhood experiences around the world such as first haircuts, beginning school, siblings, and special friends. 5

One World, One Day by Barbara Kerley uses exquisite, moving photographs and Barbara Kerley’s poetic text to convey a simple yet profound concept: we are one global family. This is a sophisticated concept book, presented as an elegant picture book with contributions from top international photographers. This beautiful photo book follows the course of one day in our world. Sunrise to sunset is captured in the essential things we all do daily, wherever we live in the world, and in the different ways we do them. The first meal of the day will take on a whole new dimension for American kids as an American pancake breakfast is contrasted with porridge in North Korea and churros in Spain. K-2

Our Living Earth A Story of People, Ecology, and Preservation by Yann Arthus-Bertrand. Wrapped around Arthus-Bertrand's magnificent aerial photographs from around the world, Delannoy's text is organized thematically, covering fresh water, biodiversity, oceans, land, cities, people, food, and climate. Each category is divided into three to five subtopics. For instance, "Food" looks at industrialized agriculture, the use of pesticides, the issues involved in monoculture, and the problems associated with meat. The pages provide snippets of information and address the myriad challenges of sustainability. Whether it is the discovery that 15 percent of the world's people own 80 percent of its wealth, or that women do two-thirds of the world's work yet earn 15 to 20 percent less than men, even in rich countries, readers will find surprising information and images to ponder. Almost every page supports the overarching theme that social justice and environmental protection are inextricably related. The book also offers hope. Gr 5 up.

Talking Walls by Margy Burns Knight. An illustrated description of walls around the world and their significance, from the Great Wall of China to the Berlin Wall. 5

This Child, Every Child; a book about the world's children by David Smith. Examines how children from different countries around the world live and how their lives differ from children elsewhere, including issues such as access to water, healthcare, and education.

We are All Born Free: The Universal Declaration Of Human Rights in Pictures was written to help Amnesty International celebrate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 60th anniversary.

What the World Eats by Peter Menzel. "A photographic collection exploring what the world eats featuring portraits of twenty-five families from twenty-one countries surrounded by a week's worth of food.

Where in the World? : around the globe in 13 works of art by Bob Raczka presents reproductions of thirteen works of art from around the world including "Tahitian Landscape" from Tahiti, "Moon and Mount McKinley," and "Cotopaxi" from Equador.

Healthy Earth
The new 50 simple things kids can do to save the earth by Michelle Montez. Offers fifty kid-friendly suggestions to preserve the environment, and describes saving water by discovering leaks, composting garbage, find local food, and more.

Common Ground: The Water, Earth, and Air we Share by Molly Bang. Imagines a village in which there are too many people consuming shared resources and discusses the challenge of handling our world's environment safely.

A Cool Drink of Water by Barbara Kerley. Depicts people around the world collecting, chilling, and drinking water.

The Down-to-Earth Guide to Global Warming by Laurie David & Cambria Gordon. A collection of facts and information about global warming and its consequences, with suggestions on maintaining a healthy environment in the home, at school, and in the community.

Earth from Above for Young Readers by Robert Burleigh. Presents aerial photographs of various scenes from around the world including fishermen in Morrocco, a farm on the island of Crete, and a mangrove forest in New Caledonia.

Every Last Drop: Bringing Clean Water Home
 by Michelle Mulder. 
Clean water is a precious resource in a thirsty world and in many families around the world, kids are the ones bringing it home. This book celebrates water in a variety of cultures-from the lake water guzzled by early humans to the filtered water we keep in our fridges, from reservoirs to treatment plants to sewers-and shows you how people seek out and care for the precious liquid that gives us life. Grade 4 and up

The Future of the Earth: an introduction to sustainable development for young readers by Yann Arthus-Bertrand. The large aerial photographs illustrate some worldwide environmental problems. The text mentions overpopulation, pollution, erosion, soild depletion and overfishing and stresses sustainable development. Grade 5 and up.

An Inconvenient Truth: the crisis of global warming (student version) by Al Gore. This young readers' version of the recent documentary film's companion adult volume cuts the page count by about a third but preserves the original's cogent message and many of its striking visuals. After explaining that his interest in the environment predates even his mother's reading of Silent Spring aloud to him as a teenager, Gore proceeds to document steeply rising carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere, and then to link that to accelerating changes in temperature and precipitation patterns worldwide. Using easy-to-grasp graphics and revealing before-and-after photos, he shows how glaciers and ice shelves are disappearing all over the globe with alarming speed, pointing to profound climate changes and increased danger from rising sea levels in the near future. O'Connor rephrases Gore's arguments in briefer, simpler language without compromising their flow, plainly intending to disturb readers rather than frighten them. He writes measured, matter-of-fact prose, letting facts and trends speak for themselves but, suggesting that "what happens locally has worldwide consequences," he closes with the assertion that we will all have to "change the way we live our lives." Like the film, this title may leave readers to look elsewhere for both documentation and for specific plans of action, but as an appeal to reason it's as polished and persuasive as it can be.

Living Sunlight : How Plants Bring the Earth to Life by Molly Bang. Sun shines on every page, celebrating its power with bursts of bright yellow connecting with the greens of the Earth. This light "becomes the energy for all life on Earth." Circular paintings emphasize the continuity of nature, while the spare narrative describes the process of converting energy and carbon dioxide into sugar, the building blocks of plant life. Even animal life thrives on this energy through the food it eats and the oxygen that plants emit into the air. Four pages of back matter accompany the poetic text, explaining the scientific process of photosynthesis.

Not a Drop to Drink by Michael Burgan. Examines the current water crisis in North America, explaining what has endangered the water supply and what can be done to stop the crisis and protect water resources.

One Well : The Story of Water on Earth by Rochelle Strauss. Water is a necessity of life on earth. Learn ways to protect it while learning water's story.

Our World of Water
 by Beatrice Hollyer. Wherever we live in this world—whether our country is rich or poor—water is vital to our survival on this planet. This book follows the daily lives of children in Peru,Mauritania, the United States, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, and Tajikistan, and explores what water means to them.Where does it come from? How do they use it? 
With the growing threat of climate change affecting all our lives, this book invites discussion on the ways different countries and cultures value this most precious of our planet’s natural resources. Gr 3 and up

Ryan and Jimmy and the Well in Africa that Brought them Together by Herb Shoveller. A story of one little boy's dream to provide clean drinking water to the people of Africa. 5

Wake Up World!: a day in the life of children around the world  by Beatrice Hollyer. Shakeel rides to school in an autorickshaw. Sasha builds houses in the snow. Cidinha helps her mother crack nuts to trade at the market. All around the world children are waking up, going to school, helping their families, and playing with their friends. This book follows eight children from eight countries as each one goes through his or her day. Young readers can compare their own lives with others' in such diverse places as Ghana, Russia, Australia, Vietnam, Brazil, England, India, and the U.S.

The Water Hole by Graeme Base. As ever growing numbers of animals visit a watering hole, introducing the numbers from one to ten, the water dwindles. K-2

The World that we Want by Kim Michelle Toft. Following the format of "The House That Jack Built," this picture book seeks to draw attention to the connection between ecosystems--such as reefs, rivers, mangroves, and rainforests--that all contribute to the sustainability and well-being of our planet. K-1


14 Cows for America by Carmen Agra Deedy ; in collaboration with Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah. In June of 2002, an Amercan diplomat is surrounded by hundreds of Maasai people. A gift is about to be bestowed on the men, women, and children of America, and he is there to accept it. The gift is as unsought and unexpected as it is extraordinary. A mere nine months have passed since the September 11 attacks, and hearts are raw. Word of the gift will travel news wires around the globe. For a heartsick nation, the gift of fourteen cows emerges from the choking dust an darkness as a soft light of hope and friendship.

A Good Trade by Alma Fullerton. 
Early morning in Uganda see a small boy struggle with jerry cans filled with the day's supply of water. At the villiage square he spies an aid truck fill with something amazing, what can a such a small barefoot boy to earn the treasure inside that truck

Africa is not a Country
 by Margy Burns Knight. Demonstrates the diversity of the African continent by describing daily life in some of its fifty-three nations.

African Acrostics A Word in Edgeways by Avis Harley. This dramatic picture book will draw readers with its mix of short poems and clear color photos of wild animals in the game parks of Namibia. Gr 1-4

Akimbo and the Elephants
 and others by Alexander McCall Smith. On the African game preserve where his father works, Akimbo devises a dangerous plan to capture a ring of elephant poachers. 2-3

Beatrice's Goat by Page McBrier tells the story of young girl's dream of attending school in her small Ugandan village being fulfilled after her family is given an income-producing goat. Based on a true story about the work of Project Heifer. Microfinance 1-4

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba. 
The author details how he ignored naysayers and was able to bring electricity and running water to his Malawian village when he built a makeshift windmill out of scrap metal and spare parts.

Bulu, African Wonder Dog by Dick Houston. This is the story not only of a remarkable terrier but also of the natural African landscape and the people who wish to educate others about the value of animals. Bulu, "wild dog" in the local Nyanja language, was at first unresponsive and unlike the other puppies in his litter. Steve and Anna Tolan were warned about having a pet in the wilds of Africa but they saw something different in him. He soon became a part of the family and helped as the Tolans set up a wildlife education center in Zambia. 4 and up

The Best Beekeeper of Lalibela by Cristina Kessler. In the Ethiopian mountain village of Lalibela, famous for its churches and honey, a young girl determines to find a way to be a beekeeper despite being told that is something only men can do. K-3

The Butter Man by Alizabeth and Ali Alalou. While Nora waits for the couscous her father is cooking to be finished, he tells her a story about his youth in the High Atlas Mountains of Morocco. K-3

Camel Rider by Prue Mason. Two expatriates living in a Middle Eastern country, twelve-year-old Adam from Australia and Walid from Bangladesh, must rely on one another when war breaks out and they find themselves in the desert, both trying to reach the same city with no water, little food, and no common language. 4-5

Catch that Goat! A Market day in Nigeria by Polly Alakija. Ayoka is put in charge of the family goat, who promptly vanishes, and as Ayoka searches the marketplace she learns from the vendors of many things that have recently disappeared--including bread, sunglasses, and a wig. K

Christophe's Story by Nicki Cornwell. Coping with a new country, a new school and a new language, Christophe wants to tell everyone why he had to leave Rwanda.

Deep in the Sahara
by Kelly Cunnane. 
An Arab girl of the Sahara who wants to wear a malafa, the veiled dress worn by her mother and older sister, learns that the garment represents beauty, mystery, tradition, belonging, and faith.

An Elephant in the Back Yard by Richard Sobol. Describes how special elephants are in the village of Tha Kleng in Thailand and looks at the life of one particular young elephant named Wan Pen. 2-3

Escape under the Forever Sky by Eve Yohalem. As a future conservation zoologist whose mother is the United States Ambassador to Ethiopia, thirteen-year-old Lucy uses her knowledge for survival when she is kidnapped and subsequently escapes. 5

Facing the Lion : Growing up Masai on the African Savanna by Joseph Lemasolai Lekuton. A member of the Masai people describes his life as he grew up in a northern Kenya village, travelled to America to attend college, and became an elementary school teacher in Virginia. 5 and up.

First come the Zebra by Lynne Barasch. When two young Kenyan boys, one Maasai and one Kikuyu, first meet, they are hostile toward each other based on traditional rivalries, but after they suddenly have to work together to save a baby in danger, the boys begin to discover what they have in common. 1-2

For you are a Kenyan Child by Kelly Cunnane. From rooster crow to bedtime, a Kenyan boy plays and visits neighbors all through his village, even though he is supposed to be watching his grandfather's cows. K-1

The Good Lion by Beryl Markham. An account of the time in the pilot Beryl Markham's 
childhood in Kenya when she was attacked by a lion that her neighbors kept as a pet. 1-2

The Herd Boy by Niki Daly. 
While doing a good job of caring for his grandfather's sheep and goat on the grasslands of South Africa, young Malusi dreams of everything from owning his own dog to becoming president one day.

Here Comes our Bride by Ifeoma Onyefulu. Ekinadose wants his Uncle Osaere to get married, then he can go to a wedding. One day he sees people welcomed into his grandfather's house with special kola nuts. They've come to collect their bride! K-3

How Many Donkeys? An Arabic Counting Tale
 retold by Margaret Read MacDonald and Nadia Jameel Taibah When Jouha counts the ten donkeys carrying his dates to market, he repeatedly forgets to count the one he is riding on, causing him great consternation. K-2

I Lost a Tooth in Africa by Penda Diakite. While visiting her father's family in Mali, a young girl loses a tooth, places it under a calabash, and receives a hen and a rooster from the African Tooth Fairy. K-3

Ikenna Goes to Nigeria by Ifeoma Onyefulu is about a young boy who lives in London describes his trip to his mother's homeland of Nigeria, discussing the people he met, places he visited, and things he did. K-3

Listening for Lions by Gloria Whelan. Left an orphan after the influenza epidemic in British East Africa in 1918, thirteen-year-old Rachel is tricked into assuming a deceased neighbor's identity to travel to England, where her only dream is to return to Africa and rebuild her parents' mission hospital. 5

Mama Panya's Pancakes : A village tale from Kenya by Mary & Rich Chamberlin. Mama Panya has just enough money to buy ingredients for a few pancakes, so when her son Adika invites all their friends to join them, she is sure there will not be enough to go around. With facts about Kenya and Kiswahili. K-2

Mirror by Jeannie Baker. In Sydney, Australia, and in Morocco, two boys and their families have a day of shopping. Readers are invited to compare illustrations in two wordless stories that are intended to be read one from left to right and the other from right to left. 2-5

Muktar and the Camels by Janet Graber. Muktar lives in an orphanage on the border of Kenya and Somalia. He daydreams about his old life with his family and especially tending to camels. One day, visitors arrive bearing books, and Muktar’s friend Ismail is excited; so is Muktar, but for a different reason—the visitors are riding on camels. Muktar quickly discovers that one of the animals is injured and realizes this is his chance to prove himself. If there is anythingMuktar knows, it is camels. Through the eyes of an endearing protagonist whose love and respect for animals shines, this beautifully told story introduces young readers to another part of the world and way of life. K-2

The Mzungu Boy by Meja Mwangi For Kariuki, life in his small Kenyan village is one great adventure. It gets even more interesting when he meets Nigel, an English boy who is visiting his grandfather. Kariuki befriends Nigel even though the rest of the villagers fear him and call him "the mzungu boy." 5

Nelson Mandela's favorite African folktales collected by Nelson Mandela is a collection of traditional stories from different parts of Africa, featuring varied characters and themes--some familiar, some newer.

No Turning Back : A novel of South Africa by Beverly Naidoo When the abuse at home becomes too much for twelve-year-old Sipho, he runs away to the streets of Johannesburg and learns to survive in the post-apartheid world. 5

One Hen by Katie Smith Milway is about a West African boy who receives a small loan to buy a hen becomes a successful entrepreneur. Visit the web site with activities and videos at Microfinance 1-4

Paper Bird: a novel of South Africa by Maretha Maartens. Food and housing are hard to come by in the black South African township of Phameng. And when his father is killed, young Adam must become a monna (man) early and find a way to feed his four siblings and pregnant mother. In order to work in the neighboring city selling newspapers, Adam travels a treacherous road dotted with armed soldiers and greedy hoodlums, never quite sure if he'll make it back home. Adam's story begins as a muffled cry for help but, fueled by his passionate determination, it eventually burns with an intensity that cannot be ignored. Maarten's account of the desperate situations created by the social injustice of her homeland is striking and painful. Her narrative's charged emotion and suspense more than compensate for a shortage of action.4-5 

The Other Side of Truth
 by Beverly Naidoo. Smuggled out of Nigeria after their mother's murder, Sade and her younger brother are abondoned in London when their uncles fails to meet them at the airport and they are fearful of their new surroundings and of what may have happened to their journailst father back in Nigeria. 5 and up.

Out of Bounds:Seven Stories of Conflict and Hope by Beverly Naidoo. Seven stories, spanning the time period from 1948 to 2000, chronicle the experiences of young people from different races and ethnic groups as they try to cope with the restrictions placed on their lives by South Africa's apartheid laws. 5

The Other Side of Truth by Beverly Naidoo. Smuggled out of Nigeria after their mother's murder, Sade and her younger brother are abandoned in London when their uncle fails to meet them at the airport and they are fearful of their new surroundings and of what may have happened to their journalist father back in Nigeria. 5

Owen & Mzee and others by Isabella and Craig Hatkoff and Dr. Paula Kahumbu. Text and color photos tell the true story of the friendship that developed at a Kenyan wildlife sanctuary between Owen, a baby hippopotamus orphaned by the 2004 Southeast Asian tsunami, and Mzee, a 130-year-old giant tortoise. 4-5

Planting the Trees of Kenya : The Story of Wangari Maathai by Claire A. Nivola. Relates the story of Wangari Maathai, a native Kenyan who taught the people living in the highlands how to plant trees and care for the land. 1-3

Rehema's Journey: A Visit in Tanzania by Barbara A. Margolies. Rehema, a nine-year-old girl who lives in the mountains of Tanzania, accompanies her father to Arusha City and visits the Ngorongoro Crater. K-3

Ryan and Jimmy and the Well in Africa that Brought them Together by Herb Shoveller. A story of one little boy's dream to provide clean drinking water to the people of Africa. 3-5

Sahwira: An African Friendship by Carolyn Marsden & Philip Matzigkeit. The strong friendship between two boys, one black and one white, who live on a missionin Rhodesia, begins to unravel as protests against colonial rule intensify in 1964. 5 and up.

The Storyteller's Beads by Jane Kurtz. During the political strife and famine of the 1980's, two Ethiopian girls, one Christian and the other Jewish and blind, struggle to overcome many difficulties, including their prejudices about each other, as they make the dangerous journey out of Ethiopia. 5 and up.

We All Went on Safari : a counting Journey through Tanzania by Laurie Krebs & Julia Cairns. Arusha, Mosi, Tumpe and their friends embark on an exciting counting adventure through the grasslands of Tanzania, discovering all different kinds of African animals as they count from one to ten. Includes facts about Tanzania and information about each animal, the Masai people and the Swahili language. K

Zarafa the Giraffe Who Walked to the King
 by Judith St. George. St. George recounts a true story of a giraffe’s journey from infancy to fame in this handsome picture book. In 1824 the viceroy of Egypt, wanting the two countries to be good friends, decided to give the king of France a giraffe, an animal of unimaginable exoticism at the time. The story follows Zarafa as she sailed on a tiny boat down the Nile to Alexandria, boarded a much bigger ship to cross the Mediterranean, and then walked more than 500 miles with her beloved handlers to be presented to the king. K-2

Sales of Nelson Mandela's Favorite African Folktales will benefit children in South Africa orphaned and impacted by HIV/AIDS. SA Partnerswhich promotes children’s literature from the new South Africa as a way of engaging a new generation in the joy of reading. For each book purchased in the United States, SA Partners donates a book in the purchaser's name to a school in South Africa. In this way, the initiative addresses the need for access to books and library materials in South African rural and township schools, stimulates economic development, and also increases opportunities for cross-cultural learning between children in the United States and South Africa.


After the Last Dog Died : the true-life, hair-raising adventure of Douglas Mawson and his 1911-1914 Antarctic Expedition by Carmen Bredeson. 4-5

Antarctic Adventure : exploring the frozen south by Meredith Hooper. 4-5

Antarctic Ice by Jim Mastro. Photographs and text describe the varied animal life on the coldest continent, focusing on the Adlie penguin, Weddell seal, and Orca whale.

Nanu, Penguin Chick by Theresa Radcliffe. Nanu, a little penguin chick, faces great danger when her parents leave her alone in the middle of winter to go in search of food. K-1

Spirit of Endurance by Jennifer Armstrong An account of the disastrous 1914 expedition to Antarctica and how its members managed to survive. 4-5

Asia-Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Vietnam 

Behind the Mask by Yangsook Choi. Kimin, a young Korean-American boy, has trouble deciding on a Halloween costume, but as he looks through an old trunk of his grandfather's things, he suddenly unlocks a childhood mystery. 1-2

The Buddha's Diamonds by Carolyn Marsden. Based on Nims childhood experiences in postwar Vietnam, this middle-grade novel lyrically narrates a young Vietnamese boys literal and spiritual coming of age. 4-5

Camel in the Sun by Griffin Ondaatje. Inspired by the retelling of a traditional Muslim hadith, an account of the words or actions of the Prophet, which the author first heard in Sri Lanka, this is an unforgettable story about empathy. 

Chopsticks for my Noodle Soup : Eliza's Life in Malaysia by Susan e. Goodman. A photographic record of a five-year-old Connecticut girl's year in a remote village in eastern Malaysia.1-3

Goha the Wise Fool by Denys Johnson-Davies In this spirited collaboration, a Middle Eastern trickster-fool is strikingly presented to American children. Johnson-Davies, a translator of Arabic texts who lives in Cairo, provides succinct retellings of 15 "Goha stories," which have been illustrated by a team of Cairo tent makers in the form of traditional khiyamiya tapestries, with bits of bright, solid-colored fabric stitched to roughly woven, oatmeal-toned backgrounds. Many of the tales expose familiar human foibles, as when Goha repurchases his own mule after listening to a dealer's glowing, exaggerated sales pitch for the beast. Others amusingly illustrate wise principles ("In life, it is impossible to please everyone") that belie Goha's deceptively hapless ways. Gr 1-5

The Gold-Threaded Dress by Carolyn Marsden. When Oy and her Thai American family move to a new neighborhood, her third-grade classmates tease and exclude her because she is different.

The life of rice : from Seed to Supper by Richard Sobol. Photographs document the farming process of one of Thailand's most valuable crops, from the beginning of the growing season at the Royal Plowing Ceremony, to the painstaking work of transplanting and harvesting rice plants, to the sharing of a delicious meal.

The Quail Club by Carolyn Marsden. Now in fifth grade, Oy wants to do a Thai dance at the school talent show until Liliandra threatens to kick her out of their club if they do not perform an American-style skit together. 4-5 

Running Shoes by Frederick Lipp. Sophy, a determined young girl living in an impoverished Cambodian village, fulfills her dream of going to school--with the help of a pair of running shoes.

Silk Umbrellas by Carolyn Marsden. Eleven-year-old Noi worries that she will have to stop painting the silk umbrellas her family sells at the market near their Thai village and be forced to join her older sister in difficult work at a local factory instead.
A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park. 4-5

A Song for Cambodia by Michelle Lord. A biography of Arn Chorn-Pond who, as a young boy in 1970s Cambodia, survived the Khmer Rouge killing fields because of his skill on the khim, a traditional instrument, and later went on to help heal others and revive Cambodian music and culture. 4-5

The Umbrella Queen by Shirin Yim Bridges. In a village in Thailand where everyone makes umbrellas, young Noot dreams of painting the most beautiful one and leading the annual parade as Umbrella Queen, but her unconventional designs displease her parents. K-2

When Heaven Fell by Carolyn Marsden. When her grandmother reveals that the daughter that she had given up for adoption is coming from America to visit her Vietnamese family, nine-year-old Binh is convinced that her newly discovered aunt is wealthy and will take care of all of the family's needs. 3-5

When my Name was Keoko by Linda Sue Park. With national pride and occasional fear, a brother and sister face the increasingly oppressive occupation of Korea by Japan during World War II, which threatens to suppress Korean culture entirely. 4-5

China, Tibet & Mongolia

Beyond the Great Mountains : a visual poem about China by Ed Young. yrical text and illustrations featuring Chinese characters and paper collage introduce the beauty and richness of China. 1-3

Bringing in the New Year by Grace Lin. A Chinese American family prepares for and celebrates the Lunar New Year. End notes discuss the customs and traditions of Chinese New Year. K

Brush of the Gods by Lenore Look. During the Tang dynasty, master painter Wu Daozi creates an extraordinary mural for the emperor.

Chu Ju's House by Gloria Whelan. In order to save her baby sister, fourteen-year-old Chu Ju leaves her rural home in modern China and earns food and shelter by working on a sampan, tending silk worms, and planting rice seedlings, while wondering if she will ever see her family again. 4-5

Dancing to Freedom The True Story of Mao's Last Dancer by Li Cunxin. In a poor village in northern China, a small boy named Li Cunxin was given the chance of a lifetime. Selected by Chairman Mao's officials from among millions of children to become a dancer, Li's new life began as he left his family behind. At the Beijing Dance Academy, days were long and difficult. Li's hard work was rewarded when he was chosen yet again, this time to travel to America. From there his career took flight, and he danced in cities around the world-never forgetting his family, who urged him to follow his dreams. Grades 3-5

Dim Sum for Everyone by Grace Lin. A child describes the various little dishes of dim sum that she and her family enjoy on a visit to a restaurant in Chinatown. K-1

Elephants and Golden Thrones: inside China's Forbidden City by Trish Marx. With contributions from the Palace Museum (the official museum of the Forbidden City), this is a definitive guide to one of the wonders of the world. 5

Horse Song : The Naadam of Mongolia by Ted and Betsy Lewin. Ted and Betsy Lewin describe the landscapes, people, and activities they encounter during a trip to Mongolia for Naadam, the annual summer festival where child jockeys ride half-wild horses for miles across the Mongolian steppe. 4-5

In the Park and others by Huy Voun Lee. On the first day of spring, a mother and her son go to the park where they draw Chinese characters that represent words relating to the season. K-1

Kindergarten day USA and China ; Kindergarten Day China and USA : a flip-me-over book
 byTrish Marx and Ellen B. Senisi. Contains two stories that depict a day in an American and Chinese kindergarten classrooms to reveal the similarities and differences between how classes are run in the two countries.

Little Leap Forward : A Boy in Beijing by Guo Yue. In Communist China in 1966, eight-year-old Leap Forward learns about freedom while flying kites with his best friend, by trying to get a caged wild bird to sing, and through the music he is learning to play on a bamboo flute. Includes author's notes on his childhood in Beijing, life under Mao Zedong, and the Cultural Revolution. 4-5

Moonbeams, Dumplings, & Dragon Boats by Nina Simonds, Leslie Swartz & The Children's Museum, Boston. Presents background information, related tales, and activities for celebrating five Chinese festivals--Chinese New Year, the Lantern Festival, Qing Ming, the Dragon Boat Festival, and the Moon Festival. 2-4

One Year in Beijing by Xiaohong Wang. A year-long journey in the world of Ling Ling, a young girl who lives in Beijing, China; her personal accounts tell about Chinese culture, including school life, family life, and holidays and festivals. 1-3

Revolution is not a Dinner Party by Ying Chang Compestine. Starting in 1972 when she is nine years old, Ling, the daughter of two doctors, struggles to make sense of the communists' Cultural Revolution, which empties stores of food, homes of appliances deemed "bourgeois," and people of laughter. 5

Shanghai Messenger by Andrea Cheng. A free-verse novel about eleven-year-old Xiao Mei's visit with her extended family in China, where the Chinese-American girl finds many differences but also the similarities that bind a family together. 3-5

Tibet Through the Red Box by Peter Sis. The author recreates his father's visit to Tibet and the wondrous things that he found there. 4-5

Three Pandas by Jan Wahl. Three pandas leave the forest for an adventure in the city. K

Uncle Peter's Amazing Chinese Wedding by Lenore Look. A Chinese American girl describes the festivities surrounding her uncle's Chinese wedding and the customs behind each one. K-1

India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iraq

Afghan Dreams by Tony O'Brien & Mike Sullivan. This book consists of succinct first-person accounts of the realities and aspirations of Afghani children and teens interviewed by O'Brien and Sullivan. The volume is artfully designed, with stirring photographs providing a portrait of the country and its people. 3-6 

Balarama : a royal elephant
 by Ted and Betsy Lewin. World travelers Ted and Betsy Lewin recount how the trained elephants of southern India, in particular the one chosen to be the lead elephant in the Mysore Dasara, are raised, cared for, and prepared for performing in ceremonial processions. Includes background information and glossary. 4-5

Bindi Babes and Bangra Babes by Narinder Dhami. Three Indian-British sisters team up to marry off their traditional, nosy aunt and get her out of the house. 5

The Breadwinner, Parvana's Journey & Mud City by Deborah Ellis. Because the Taliban rulers of Kabul, Afghanistan, impose strict limitations on women's freedom and behavior, eleven-year-old Parvana must disguise herself as a boy so that her family can survive after her father's arrest. 4-5

The Conch Bearer (and sequel) by Chitra Divakaruni. In India, a healer invites twelve-year-old Anand to join him on a quest to return a magical conch to its safe and rightful home, high in the Himalayan mountains. 4-5

Extra Credit by Andrew Clements. As letters flow back and forth--between the prairies of Illinois and the mountains of Afghanistan, across cultural and religious divides--sixth-grader Abby, ten-year-old Amira, and eleven-year-old Sadeed begin to speak and listen to each other. 

The Gifts of Wali Dad : A Tale of India and Pakistan retold by Aaron Shepard.
Elvis the Camel by Barbara Devine. Elvis the Camel is the true story of a young camel whose blissful life in the safety of his mother's love and his herd's protection is rudely shattered when he is hit by a truck late one night.

A Fistful of Pearls & other Tales from Iraq by Elizabeth Laird. Nine traditional folktales much loved by Iraqi children.

Going to School in India by Lisa Heydlauff. Children from India describe the difficult challenges they face in getting to school, as well as the different ways that they are taught. 3-5

Homeless Bird by Deborah Ellis. When thirteen-year-old Koly enters into an ill-fated arranged marriage, she must either suffer a destiny dictated by India's tradition or find the courage to oppose it. 4-5

Iqbal by Francesco D'Adamo. A fictionalized account of the Pakistani child who escaped from bondage in a carpet factory and went on to help liberate other children like him before being gunned down at the age of thirteen. 5

King for a Day by Rukhsana Khan. Even though he is confined to a wheelchair, a Pakistani boy tries to capture the most kites during Basant, the annual spring kite festival, and become "king" for the day. Includes an afterword about the Basant festival.

Listen to the Wind : the story of Dr. Greg & three cups of tea by Greg Mortenson & Susan L. Roth. Mortenson stumbled, lost and delirious, into a remote Himalayan village after a failed climb up K2. The villagers saved his life, and he vowed to return and build them a school. The remarkable story of his promise kept is now perfect for reading aloud. 1-3

My Mother's Sari by Sandhya Rao. A little girl is fascinated by her mother's sari and finds many uses for it. K

Nadia's Hands by Karen English. A Pakistani-American girl takes part in her aunt's traditional Pakistani wedding. 1-2

Nasreen's Secret School A True Story from Afghanistan
 by Jeanette Winter. Young Nasreen has not spoken a word to anyone since her parents disappeared. In despair, her grandmother risks everything to enroll Nasreen in a secret school for girls. Will a devoted teacher, a new friend, and the worlds she discovers in books be enough to draw Nasreen out of her shell of sadness? Based on a true story from Afghanistan, this inspiring book will touch readers deeply as it affirms both the life-changing power of education and the healing power of love. K-2

Nine Animals and the Well by James Rumford. A fable about a group of animals which strives to bring the perfect present to the Indian raja-king's birthday party. Discusses how the numerals we use originated in India. 1-2

The Not-So-Spangled Life of Sunita Sen by Mitali Perkins. When her grandparents come for a visit from India to California, thirteen-year-old Sunita finds herself resenting her Indian heritage and embarrassed by the differences she feels between herself and her friends. 5 and up

Off to War : Voices of Soldiers' Children by Deborah Ellis. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have impacted the children of soldiers--men and women who have been called away from their families to fight in a faraway war. In their own words, some of these children describe how their experience has marked and shaped their lives. 5

Rickshaw Girl by Mitali Perkins. In her Bangladesh village, ten-year-old Naimi excels at painting designs called alpanas, but to help her impoverished family financially she would have to be a boy--or disguise herself as one. 4-5

The Road to Mumbai by Ruth Jeyaveeran. This lively romp across India introduces children to aspects of the country's culture and geography. A little girl named Shoba and Fuzzy Patel (her stuffed monkey) fly on their bed to India in the middle of the night to attend Fuzzy's cousin's wedding. They land in the desert and meet a camel, a coconut juice seller, a line of elephants, a group of monks, and a snake charmer, all of whom guide them to Mumbai (Bombay). K-3

Silent Music : a story of Baghdad by James Rumford. As bombs and missiles fall on Baghdad in 2003, a young boy uses the art of calligraphy to distance himself from the horror of war. 4-5

Snake Charmer by Ann Whitehead Nagda. Vishnu dreams of being a snake charmer like his father. 2-4

Three Cups of Tea (student version) by Greg Mortenson. Mortenson stumbled, lost and delirious, into a remote Himalayan village after a failed climb up K2. The villagers saved his life, and he vowed to return and build them a school. The remarkable story of his promise kept is now perfect for reading aloud. 1-3 

Waiting for the Owl's Call by Gloria Whelan. For generations the women of Zulviya's family have earned their living by weaving rugs by hand. During one work day, Zulviya will tie thousands of knots. As she sits at her work, Zulviya weaves not one but two patterns. The pattern on the loom will become a fine rug. She weaves a second pattern in her mind. Full color. For generations the women of Zulviya's family have earned their living by weaving rugs by hand. During one work day, Zulviya will tie thousands of knots. As she sits at her work, Zulviya weaves not one but two patterns. The pattern on the loom will become a fine rug. She weaves a second pattern in her mind. 2-5

Younguncle Comes to Town by Vandana Singh. In a small town in northern India, three siblings await their father's youngest brother, Younguncle, who is said to be somewhat eccentric. 3-5


Basho and the Fox by Tim Myers. A famous Japanese poet is challenged by a fox to create his best haiku. 1-3

Hachiko Waits by Leslea Newman. Professor Ueno's loyal Akita, Hachiko, waits for him at the train station every afternoon, and even after the professor has a fatal heart attack while at work, Hachiko faithfully continues to await his return until the day the dog dies. Based on a true story; includes an author's note and glossary of Japanese words. 4-5

Heart of a Samurai : based on the true story of Nakahama Manjiro by Margi Preus. In 1841, rescued by an American whaler after a terrible shipwreck leaves him and his four companions castaways on a remote island, fourteen-year-old Manjiro, who dreams of becoming a samurai, learns new laws and customs as he becomes the first Japanese person to set foot in the United States. 5 and up

I Live in Tokyo by Mari Takabayashi. Seven-year-old Mimiko describes what it is like to live in Tokyo. 1-2

Kamishibai Man by Allen Say. After many years of retirement, an old Kamishibai man--a Japanese street performer who tells stories and sells candies--decides to make his rounds once more even though such entertainment declined after the advent of television. 2-3

My Japan by Etsuko Watanabe Yumi, a seven-year-old Japanese girl, shows readers her home (bedroom, kitchen, and bathroom), her school, the public bath, a Tokyo subway station, and a street of shops in the city. In the next section, she introduces traditions related to the New Year, Girls’ Day, Children’s Day (or Boy’s Day), Tanabata (a traditional star festival), Undokai (Sports Day), and Shichi-Go-San (a festival for “three- and seven-year-old girls, and three- and five-year-old boys”). Finally, the book introduces Japanese forms of writing. K-2

Suki's Kimono by Chieri Uegaki & Stephane Jorisch. A little girl declares that on the first day of school she will wear the kimono that her grandmother brought her during her visit from Japan, no matter what anyone says. K-3

The Way we do it in Japan by Geneva Cobb Iijima. Gregory experiences a new way of life when he moves to Japan with his American mother and his Japanese father. 1-3

Tokyo Techno by Lisa Thompson. Jason and Anita are recruited by the Secret World Adventure Team for a mission in Tokyo, where they learn a great deal about Japanese culture while looking for the man they are supposed to help debug a new computer game. 3-4


Angel on the Square 
& The Impossible Journey & Burying the Sun by Gloria Whelan. In 1913 Russia, twelve-year-old Katya eagerly anticipates leaving her St. Petersburg home, though not her older cousin Misha, to join her mother, a lady in waiting in the household of Tsar Nicholas II, but the ensuing years bring world war, revolution, and undreamed of changes to her life. 4-5

How Mama Brought the Spring by Fran Manushkin. A mother in Chicago tells her daughter how Grandma used to make a special surprise on the freezing cold winter mornings in Belarus--so special that it seemed to bring spring with it. Includes a recipe for cheese blintzes. 1-2

Australia & New Zealand

Australia ABCs : a book obout the people and places of Australia by Sarah Heiman. 2-3

Bush Pilot! : flying high over Australia by Robyn Brode. 2-3

The Children of Micronesia by Jules Hermes. 3-4

Ernie Dances to the Didgeridoo by Alison Lester. When Ernie leaves the city and goes to live in Arnhem Land, he sends letters to his old classmates describing the activities of his new friends. K-1

The Kiwi by John Lockyer.

Mirror by Jeannie Baker. In Sydney, Australia, and in Morocco, two boys and their families have a day of shopping. Readers are invited to compare illustrations in two wordless stories that are intended to be read one from left to right and the other from right to left. 2-5

Naked Bunyip Dancing by Beth Norling. This novel in verse follows the school year of Australian students in classroom 6C, as their unconventional teacher encourages them to discover their own strengths and talents and then perform in a memorable concert. 5

One Night in the Coral Sea by Sneed B. Collard III. Presents a description of the process by which hundreds of coral participate in a mass spawning event each spring, on Australia's Great Barrier Reef, describing how they release their sperm and eggs into the ocean, are fertilized,then fend of various predators in the ocean. 2-3

A Platypus Probably by Sneed B. Collard III. Discover one of Australia's most distinguished creatures-the platypus. Follow a female platypus as she hunts for food, finds a mate, builds a shelter, and cares for her pups. 2-3

Stories from the Billabong by James Vance Marshall. Ten ancient legends of the Yorta-Yorta people -- one of Australia's aboriginal tribes, are retold here. K-4

Top to Bottom Down Under by Ted and Betsy Lewin. Ted and Betsy Lewin describe their encounters with Australia's wildlife as they travel across the continent, from its northernmost to its southernmost point. 3-6

Europe and Israel

Black Potatoes : the story of the Great Irish Famine, 1845-1850 by Susan Campbell Bartoletti. Presents an overview of the Irish potato famine of 1845-50, describing the blight on this vital food source, and including information on the political and personal impact it had on Ireland and its people. 5 and up 

Bound for America : the story of the European immigrants
 by Milton Meltzer. Traces the history of changing patterns of European immigration to the United States from colonial times to 2000. 5

The Cat Who Walked across France by Kate Banks. After his owner dies, a cat wanders across the countryside of France, unable to forget the home he had in the stone house by the edge of the sea. K

The London Eye Mystery by Siobhan Dowd. Ted and Kat watch their cousin board the London Eye but his does not get off! They follow clues across London to find him in this fast-paced story. 4-5

My Travels with Clara by Mary Tavener Holmes. Sea captain Douwe Van der Meer embarks on an adventure across the ocean with his pet rhinoceros, Clara, and takes her around Europe so the world can see Clara and Clara can see the world. 2-4

Parthenon by Lynn Curlee. A detailed history of the Parthenon exploring its construction and restoration. 4-5

Snow in Jerusalem by Deborah DaCosta. Although they live in different quarters of Jerusalem, a Jewish boy and a Muslim boy are surprised to discover they have been caring for the same stray cat. 2-3

Zoe Sophia's Scrapbook : an adventure in Venice by Claudia Mauner & Elisa Smalley. Nine-year-old Zoe Sophia travels with Mickey, her dachshund, from New York City to Venice, Italy, for a visit with a famous author--her aunt Dorothy. 3-4

North America, Central America & Caribbean-see also Immigration and Refuges below

All the Way to America The Story of a Big Italian Family and a Little Shovel by Dan Yaccarino. The story of four generations of an Italian American family, beginning with an immigrant who came through Ellis Island with big dreams, a small shovel, and his parents' good advice: "Work hard, but remember to enjoy life, and never forget your family."

Anna Carries Water by Olive Senior. Anna fetches water from the spring every day, but she can't carry it on her head like her older brothers and sisters. In this charming and poetic family story set in Jamaica, Prize-winning author Olive Senior shows young readers the power of determination, as Anna achieves her goal and overcomes her fear.

If America Were a Village A Book about the People of the United States by David J. Smith. America, with all its diversity, is not easily defined. David J. Smith's If America Were a Village takes a snapshot - past, present and future - to help define America for children. Using the same successful metaphor of the international bestseller If the World Were a Village, the book shrinks down America to a village of 100. The metaphor helps children easily understand American ethnic origins, religions, family profiles, occupations, wealth, belongings and more. Shelagh Armstrong's expansive illustrations imagine America as a classic, vibrant small town. Gr 3 and up

The Girl from Chimel by Rigoberta Menchu with Dante Liano. Maya activist and 1992 Nobel Peace Prize winner Menchu, with assistance from Guatemalan National Literature laureate Liano, offers a memoir of her girlhood in the Indian village of Chimel, in Guatemala. Each short chapter tells a story that adds to the broadening picture of history of the village and the everyday life and beliefs of its people. An early story tells of the writer's grandfather literally sweeping his intended bride off her feet and carrying her away to start a new village. Another anecdote provides vivid sensory details of an afternoon spent picking and eating forbidden blackberries, while still another gives a straightforward description of and the meaning behind the traditional practice of burning a baby's umbilical cord and the mother's placenta.Created with strong, primitive forms and vibrant colors, full-page oil paintings brighten half the double-page spreads and provide memorable scenes of Chimel through three generations. Providing a rare firsthand account of Guatemalan village life, this translated book is a good choice for students curious about the Maya as well as those seeking to complete the perennial memoir assignment. 4-5

Jimmy the Greatest by Jairo Buitrago. 
The story of a boy in a small Caribbean town who becomes inspired by Muhammad Ali. 1-2

Kunu's Basket by Lee DeCora Francis. Feeling frustrated when his first attempt to weave a basket fails, a Penobscot Indian boy receives help and encouragement from his grandfather. 1-2

Made in Mexico by Peter Laufer. Describes the importance of the guitar in Mexico, especially in Paracho, a town which is becoming the center of the Mexican guitar industry. 1-3

Mexico ABCs : a book about the People and Places of Mexico. by Sarah Heiman. An alphabetical explanation of the people, geography, animals, plants, history, and culture of Mexico. Includes directions for making crepe paper flowers and "Fun phrases in Spanish." 1-3

Off we go to Mexico! : an adventure in the sun by Laurie Krebs & Christopher Corr. Colorful text with an introduction to Spanish words describes a family's trip to Mexico where they swim in turquoise seas, admire grey whales and monarch butterflies, hike to native villages, and sing and dance to the music of Mariachi bands.

Pictures from our Vacation by Lynne Rae Perkins. Given a camera that takes and prints tiny pictures just before leaving for the family farm in Canada, a young girl records a vacation that gets off to a slow start, but winds up being a family reunion filled with good memories. 1-2

The Pot that Juan Built by Nancy Andrews-Goebel. A cumulative rhyme summarizes the life's work of renowned Mexican potter, Juan Quezada. Additional information describes the process he uses to create his pots after the style of the Casas Grandes people. 
The Raven's Gift : a true story from Greenland by Kelly Dupre. 1-2

Salsa Stories by Lulu Delacre A collection of stories within the story of a family celebration where the guests relate their memories of growing up in various Latin American countries. Also contains recipes.

Sawdust Carpets by Amelia Lau Carling. Celebrating Easter with her Christian cousins in Antigua, Guatemala, a Buddhist Chinese girl enjoys a traditional sawdust "carpet on the cobblestone street near the church of La Merced-until she learns that it will be destroyed under the feet of the La Merced procession. K-3 

That's Very Canadian! : an exceptionally interesting report about all things Canadian by Vivien Bowers. 4-5

The Tortilla Factory by Gary Paulsen. Shows a cycle of life--from seed to plant to tortilla, as workers till the soil, operate the clanking machinery of the factory, and drive the trucks that deliver the tortillas back into the hands that will plant the yellow seeds. K-1

South America

Anthropologist : scientist of the people by Mary Batten. Follows anthropologist A. Magdalena Hurtado as she lives with and studies the Ache Indians of Paraguay, as well as discussing how and why she became an anthropologist. Grades 4-5

Biblioburro: a true story from Columbia by Jeannette Winter. After amassing piles of books, Luis, a voracious reader, dreams up a way to share his collection with 'faraway villages.' He starts with two burros--one for himself, one for books--and heads off. Tough terrain and menacing bandits challenge him along the way, but at last he reaches a remote town, where he holds a story hour and loans titles to eager kids before returning home to his wife and reading late into the night. K-2

The Dreamer by Pam Muñoz Ryan. A lyrical telling of Pablo Neruda’s childhood, begs to be read aloud. The child poet dreams of a different life despite his overbearing father's ideas for his future. The setting is Chile, and Peter Sís’s luminous illustrations adorn the book. 2 and up

Lost City : the discovery of Machu Picchu by Ted Lewin. In 1911, Yale professor Hiram Bingham discovers a lost Incan city with the help of a young Peruvian boy. K-5

My name is Celia : the life of Celia Cruz by Monica Brown follows the life of salsa singer Celia Cruz from her home in Havana, Cuba, to New York and Miami where she brings joy to herself and others through her music. Presented in English and Spanish. 3-5

My Name is Gabito by Monica Garcia Marquez. Gabriel Garcia Marquez is perhaps one of the most brilliant writers of our time. He is a tremendous figure, enormously talented, and unabashedly admired. This is his story, lovingly told, for children to enjoy. Using the imagery from his novels, Monica Brown traces the novelist's life in this creative nonfiction picture book from his childhood in Colombia to today. This is an inspiring story about an inspiring life, full of imagination and beauty. Grade 4 and up

Soccer Star by Mina Javaherbin. A Brazilian boy dreams of being a soccer star, and his sister steps in to help his team win a game.

Tierra del Fuego : a journey to the end of the earth by Peter Lourie. The author chronicles his journey from Punta Arenas, Chile, to the South American island of Tierra del Fuego, describing the places he sees, people he meets, and the historic travelers who sailed the same seas. 4-5

Up and Down the Andes by Laurie Krebs and Aurelia Fronty. The mountain landscape is at the center of this picture book about the Peruvian Inti Raymi Festival as children travel from all over southern Peru, by bus, train, boat, mule, and truck, to the city of Cusco to celebrate with feasting and fun in their traditional costumes. The simple rhyming text and the bright, clear, beautiful unframed acrylic paintings express a strong sense of the rich traditions that are still part of contemporary life, from the clothes and food at the party to the images of the Sun God. Extensive appended notes and a clear map fill in the fascinating history, including lots of information about Inca culture and tradition.

Young Pele : soccers first star by Lesa Cline-Ransome. It started one day during practice. Someone called him Pele, then someone else, and someone else--until the entire team was doing it. At first he didn't like it. But after weeks of hearing "Pele!" Edson weakened. Why not "Pele" whatever it meant?


Chocolate Riches from the Rainforest by Robert Burleigh. Traces the history of chocolate from a drink of the Olmec and Maya and later in Europe to its popularity around the world today. 3-5

Cycle of Rice Cycle of Life A Story of Sustainable Farming by Jan Reynolds. A staple food for a large part of the world, rice is a very important crop. But in Bali, as Reynolds reverently explains, rice is life. On this small Indonesian island, farmers have used an intricate water- and crop-rotation system for more than 1,000 years to become one of the world s largest rice producers while also modeling a successful practice of sustainable farming. Gr 3-5

Evening Meals around the World by Michele Zuratowski 1-2

Fingers, Forks, & Chopsticks by Patricia Lauber. Describes changes in eating customs throughout the centuries and the origins of table manners. 2-4

Food for Thought The Stories Behind the Things We Eat by Ken Robbins. Robbins adds another beautifully illustrated picture book to his list of more than two dozen titles, such as Apples (2002) and Pumpkins (2006). This time, Robbins focuses on a mouth-watering array of produce: apples, oranges, potatoes, tomatoes, grapes, bananas, mushrooms, and pomegranates. Each spacious spread combines Robbins’ vibrantly hued photographs with engaging text filled with information about each food, including its nutritional content, history, current methods of cultivation, and appearance in figures of speech (“couch potato”), as well as mythology and folklore. Grades 4 and up

The Good Garden: How One Family went from Hunger to Having Enough by Kate Milway Smith. Eleven-year-old Maria Luz and her family have a small farm in Honduras, but may not have enough food to sustain them for the year, so Maria's father must leave home to find work, leaving her in charge of the garden. 2-5

Let's Eat! : What Children Eat around the World
 by Beatrice Hollyer. 3-5 Explains what five children living in South Africa, Mexico, Thailand, France, and India eat at mealtime with their families, how their families obtain and prepare food, what kind of foods may be eaten at celebrations, and what their favorite food it. Includes recipes. 

Rice is Life by Rita Golden Gelman. A series of delicate poems and prose vignettes about the centrality of rice to the Balinese, who eat rice for every meal, and whose lives revolve around tending the sawah, or rice field. She shows the drama of a planting season, conveying the rhythm of planting, the richness of the natural environment above and below the water line, the threats to the rice presented by hungry birds and mice, the harvest, and the ceremony of thanksgiving. K-3

The Usborne Internet-Linked Children's World Cookbook EDC Publishing

What the World Eats by Faith D'Aluisio 4-5

Geography, Culture, Dictionaries, Language, Factual Series Books

A is for Africa by Ifeoma Onyefulu & P is for Pakistan and others published by Frances Lincoln Books.

A to Z Greece and others published by Children's Press.

A Visit to Viet Nam, Japan and others Heineman Publishers K-1

Sugar comes from Arabic : a beginner's guide to Arabic letters and words by Barbara Whitesides. No other book so comfortably demystifies the Arabic alphabet, by introducing the letters in the order of the Roman alphabet and using the spelling of English names and words as a way to learn Arabic. Look up matching letters, follow the drections, and soon you'll be writing your own name in Arabic! 3-5 

The Atlas of the Seven Continents published by PowerKids Press.

Japan ABCs : A Book about the People & Places of Japan by Sarah Heiman. An alphabetical explanation of the people, geography, animals, plants, history, and culture of Japan.

Can you Greet the Whole Wide World? : 12 common phrases in 12 different languages by Lezlie Evans

A Child's Day In a Ghanaian City and others Marshall Cavendish Publishers

Colors of Ghana and others Colors of the World series Carolrhoda Books

Count your Way through Africa and others by Jim Haskins

Countries in the News Iraq and others Rourke Publishing

Dropping in on Kenya, Australia and others-a geography series published by Rourke Publishers

Eyewitness Books China and others, DK Publishers

Global Adventures Series, In Viet Nam, In Turkey, etc. dingles & Co. Publisher K-1

Globe-trotters Club Kenya and others

Golden Domes & Silver Lanterns by Hena Khan. In simple rhyming text a young Muslim girl and her family guide the reader through the traditions and colors of Islam.

Got Geography! Poems selected by Lee Bennett Hopkins

Heineman First Library Continents series

Highlights Top Secret Adventures Guide to Japan and others

Hippocrene Children's Illustrated Dictionaries

Island Continents & SuperContinents Australia and Antarctica by Bruce McClish

Kids Around the World series: This series discusses the culture, history, and daily lives of children around the world, and it is filled with interesting facts, illustrations, and photos.

Look What Came From Australia and others by Kevin Davis. 3-4

Made in China and others, Frances Lincoln Press

Our Amazing Continents The Millbrook Press.

Possum and wattle : my big book of Australian words BYBronwyn Bancroft. Explores Australia's rich and amazing landscape and the words that are used to represent it.

Postcards from Japan and others

Questions & Answers Guatemala and others Fact Finders series Capstone Press

Rookie Read-about-Geography Canada and others Children's Press K-2

Super Structures : Inside the World's Most Spectacular Buildings by Samone Bos

True Books Countries & continents. Children's Press Publishers

What's it like to live in...? Canada and others McGraw Hill Publishers

Wonderful Houses around the World by Yoshio Komatsu

The World's Children series Carolrhoda Books

A World of Wonders : Geographic Travels in Verse and Rhyme by J. Patrick Lewis


Akira to Zoltan : twenty-six men who changed the world by Cynthia Chin-Lee.

Amelia to Zora: twenty-six women who changed the world by Cynthia Chin-Lee.

Behold the Trees by Sue Alexander. A land once protected by all sorts of wonderful trees is reduced over time by war and environmental neglect to desert, until new inhabitants plant trees and slowly make Israel bloom again. 2-4

Chee-Lin : A Giraffe's Journey by James Rumford. Though little is known about the African giraffe presented to the emperor of China in the fifteenth century, Rumford has created a fascinating fictionalized tale, complete with descriptions of the animal's capture and voyage. Striking illustrations incorporate elements of three different cultures, reflecting the giraffe's remarkable journey from Malindi (now Kenya) to Bengal (now Bangladesh) to China. A historical note is appended. Timeline. 3-5

Chinese Cinderella by Adeline Yen Mah. The author tells the story of her painful childhood in China where she lived until the age of fourteen with her father, stepmother, and siblings, all of whom considered her bad luck because her mother died shortly after giving birth to her. 5

The Donkey of Gallipoli: A True Story of Courage in World War I by MArk Greenwood. Jack heroically carries more than 300 wounded men off the battlefield on a donkey in this war story. 2-3

The Emperor's Silent Army : Terracotta Warriors of Ancient China by Jane O'Connor. 5

The Fall of the Soviet Union by Miles Harvey. Discusses the history of the Soviet Union, and describes the fall of Communism. 5

Far Beyond the Garden Gate by Alexandra David-Neel's Journey to Lhasa by Don Brown. Describes the life and travels of Alexandra David-Neel, who became a scholar of Buddhism and Tibet in the early twentieth century and trekked thousands of miles to reach Llasa, the Tibetan capital.3-5

Ghandi by Demi. Color illustrations fill this chronicle of legendary pacifistic social activist Mohandas Gandhi, whose work to change India's caste system and free India from British rule inspired both Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela.

Gilgamesh the King by Ludmila Zeman. A retelling of the ancient Sumerian legend of Gilgamesh the king who was part god and part man.

The Great Voyages of Zheng He by Song Nan Zhang & Hao Yu Zhang. Describes the life and adventures of Zheng He, a reknowned mariner and explorer in early fifteenth-century China. Presented in English and Vietnamese. 4

Heroic Children by Rebecca Hazell. Contains twelve accounts of boys and girls who struggled against the odds to achieve greatness. 4-5

Mao Zedong : the rebel who led a revolution by Flora Geyer. 5

Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot : a true story of the Berlin airlift and the candy that dropped from the sky by Margot Theis Raven. The true story of a young German girl, Mercedes Simon, and of the American pilot, Gail Halvorsen, who shared hope and joy with the children of West Berlin by dropping candy-filled parachutes during the Airlift. 4-5

Mother Teresa by Demi. A biography of Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, known as Mother Teresa, who spent most of her life serving "the poorest of the poor" in Calcutta, India.

The Man-Eating Tigers of Sundarbans by Sy Montgomery. The mangrove swamp between Bengal and India is home to more tigers than anywhere else on earth, but these tigers are the only ones who hunt people! 4-5

Mandela : the rebel who led his nation to freedom by Ann Kramer. An illustrated biography of Nelson Mandela, a political activist who was imprisoned 28 years, and the first president of South Africa after apartheid. 4-5

Manjiro : the boy who risked his life for two countries by Emily Arnold McCully. This picture-book biography profiles America's first Japanese resident. Manjiro was a 14-year-old Japanese fisherman when his boat was swept out to sea in 1841. At that time, the law threatened death to any citizen who returned after leaving Japan. A castaway on a rocky island, Manjiro was rescued by an American ship whose captain took the boy under his wing, taught him navigation and farming, sent him to school, and enabled him to realize his dream of returning home. From Massachusetts, where a church deacon steered Manjiro to "the Negro section," to California, where he successfully panned for gold, McCully's clearly written narrative portrays mid-nineteenth-century America as vividly as Manjiro's adventures, and both setting and characters come to life in this Caldecott-winning illustrator's dramatic paintings. Lists of books and Web sites are appended, along with an author's note commenting on matters outside the scope of the story, such as the long period of Japanese isolation and Manjiro's later achievements. 3-5

Peaceful Protest : The life of Nelson Mandela by Yona Zeldis McDonough. 4-5

Saladin : Noble Prince of Islam by Diane Stanley. Stanley adds to her long list of successful picture biographies this timely book about an Islamic warrior noted for his civility. Beginning with the birth of the boy who comes to be called Saladin, she recounts the first words he (and all Muslim children) hear: "There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his Prophet." Stanley sets the stage for the panoramic story by studding it with details of time and place. As a boy, Saladin hears the story of how the Christians conquered Jerusalem, leaving dead bodies of all religions in their wake. Vowing to somehow rectify this situation, Saladin first becomes a soldier, uniting his people, then a leader, taking on the Christians. The story of Saladin battling his way back to Jerusalem is complicated and filled with blood and intrigue, and Stanley tells it vigorously. But more interesting is the parallel journey she recounts as Saladin tries to maintain his honor and chivalry in the midst of horrendous fighting. Trying to cover a personal story and history in 48 pages is a challenge. Sometimes details are glossed over. For instance, readers might be left with the impression that relics, such as a fragment of the "true" cross, were legitimate. 4-5

Sea Queens : Women Pirates around the World by Jane Yolen. This is an engaging look at female pirates throughout history, many of whom disguised themselves as men and committed crimes as dastardly as their male counterparts. Yolen acknowledges that a number of the stories may be exaggerated or even invented; sidebars add supporting facts and points of interest. 4-5

Shipwrecked : the true adventures of a Japanese boy by Rhoda Blumberg. In 1841, rescued by an American whaler after a terrible shipwreck leaves him and his four companions castaways on a remote island, fourteen-year-old Manjiro learns new laws and customs as he becomes the first Japanese person to set foot in the United States. 4-5

The Silk Road by Don Wells. Describes great expeditions across oceans and uncharted territories. 4

Taj Mahal by Caroline Arnold & Madeleine Comora. Recounts the love story behind the building of the Taj Mahal in India, discussing how it was constructed and providing information on Indian culture.

The Travels of Benjamin Tudela : Through three continents in the twelfth century by Uri Shulevitz. A fictionalized account of the travels of Benjamin, a Jewish man from Tudela, Spain, who, in 1159, set out on a fourteen-year-long journey that took him to Italy, Greece, Palestine, Persia, China, Egypt, and Sicily. 4-5

Traveling Man: the journey of Ibn Battuta, 1325-1354 by James Rumford. A pictorial account of the traveler and pilgrim Ibn Battuta in the fourteenth century, following him from Morocco to Jerusalem to Mecca and to the edges of the known world. 4-5

The Wall : growing up behind the Iron Curtin by Peter Sis. In an autobiographical picture book that will remind many readers of Marjane Satrapi's memoir Persepolis (2003), Sís' latest, a powerful combination of graphic novel and picture book, is an account of his growing up in Czechoslovakia under Soviet rule. Written in several stands, the somewhat fragmented narrative never dilutes the impact of the boldly composed panels depicting scenes from Sís' infancy through young adulthood. Throughout, terrific design dramatizes the conflict between conformity and creative freedom, often through sparing use of color; in many cases, the dominant palette of black, white, and Communist red threatens to swallow up young Peter's freely doodled, riotously colored artwork. The panels heighten the emotional impact, as when Sís fleeing the secret police, emerges from one spread's claustrophobic, gridlike sequence into a borderless, double-page escape fantasy. Even as they side with Peter against fearsome forces beyond his control, younger readers may lose interest as the story moves past his childhood, and most will lack crucial historical context. But this will certainly grab teens-who will grasp both the history and the passionate, youthful rebellions against authority-as well as adults, many of whom will respond to the Cold War setting. 5

We're riding on a Caravan : an adventure on the Silk Road by Laurie Krebs. Presents a children's ryhming text for early readers that introduces the sights and sounds of the Silk Road, and includes a history of the trade route. 1-4

Holidays and Celebrations

The Best Eid Ever by Asma Mobin-Uddin. Aneesa and her grandmother come up with a plan to help two girls who are refugees celebrate Eid in America. 2-4

Birthdays around the World by Mary D. Lankford. Describes the way birthdays have been celebrated in the past and the customs used to mark these special occasions in such countries as Finland, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand and others.

A Calendar of Festivals : celebrations from around the world by Cherry Gilchrist

Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Fiestas, Music, and Dance., Celebrate Diwali & others. Holidays around the World Series National Geographic Publisher.

Celebrate! Connections among Cultures by Jan Reynolds. Photos that explores the similarities among celebration rituals in several indigenous cultures around the world and compares them with celebrations in the United States. Includes a map and an author's note.

The Great Race : The Story of the Chinese Zodiac by Dawn Casey. Relates how the Jade Emperor chose twelve animals to represent the years in his calendar. Also discusses the Chinese calendar, zodiac, the qualities associated with each animal, and what animal rules the year in which the reader was born. K-1

The Legend of Lao Tzu and the Tao Te Ching by Demi. This visual stunner is notable for the beauty of its art and design as well as its sensitive textual presentation of the legendary Chinese figure Lao Tzu and the Tao Te Ching, the book of wisdom attributed to him. 4-5

New Clothes for New Year's Day by Hyun-joo Bae. Simple words and inventively composed pictures depict each step in donning the elaborate, traditional costume, from the wrapped and tied "rainbow-striped jacket" to the silk pouch that brings good luck. Bae's delicate illustrations move smoothly between depictions of mishaps as the child wrestles with troublesome accessories and grand, wordless portraits, often incorporating traditional furnishings and ornamentation that demonstrate pride in cultural heritage. K-2

Immigration & Refugees

forcedmigrationguide has good suggestions and books for this topic for Elementary level classrooms including many of the books listed below and more

The Arrival by Shaun Tan. In this wordless graphic novel, a man leaves his homeland and sets off for a new country, where he must build a new life for himself and his family. 5

Benny and Omar by Eoin Colfer. Twelve-year-old Benny, a hurling fanatic, moves to Tunisia, North Africa, when his father is transferred and has a hard time adjusting to the new land until he meets Omar. 5

Brothers in Hope : The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan by Mary Williams. Eight-year-old Garang, orphaned by a civil war in Sudan, finds the inner strength to help lead other boys as they trek hundreds of miles seeking safety in Ethiopia, and then Kenya, before being offered sanctuary in the United States many years later. 3-5

Drita My Homegirl by Jenny Lombard. When ten-year-old Drita and her family, refugees from Kosovo, move to New York, Drita is teased about not speaking English well, but after a popular student named Maxine is forced to learn about Kosovo as a punishment for teasing Drita, the two girls soon bond. 4-5

Four Feet, Two Sandals by Karen Lynn Williams. Two young Afghani girls living in a refugee camp in Pakistan share a precious pair of sandals brought by relief workers. Includes author's note about refugees. K-3

Gervelie's Journey: A Refugee Diary by Anthony & Annemarie Young has photos, drawings and chronological entries that tell the true story of Gervelie's life as a refuge from turmoil in the Republic of Congo and the Ivory Coast. She is now a teen in England.

The Gold-Threaded Dress (sequel The Quail Club) by Carolyn Marsden. When Oy and her Thai American family move to a new neighborhood, her third-grade classmates tease and exclude her because she is different.

Hiromi's Hands by Lynne Barasch. Tells the true story of Hiromi Suzuki, who, with the help of her father, became one of the first female sushi chefs in New York. K-1

How I Learned Geography by Uri Shulivitz. As he spends hours studying his father's world map, a young boy escapes the hunger and misery of refugee life. Based on the author's childhood in Kazakhstan, where he lived as a Polish refugee during World War II.

Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai. Through a series of poems, a young girl chronicles the life-changing year of 1975, when she, her mother, and her brothers leave Vietnam and resettle in Alabama. 2011 Newbery Honor book.  Grades 4-6

The Jade Dragon by Carolyn Marsden. A Chinese American girl torn between her family's traditional values and the more modern ones in her second grade classroom learns that friendship cannot be bought.

Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata. Chronicles the close friendship between two Japanese-American sisters growing up in rural Georgia during the late 1950s and early 1960s, and the despair when one sister becomes terminally ill. 5

Lowji Discovers America by Candace Fleming. A nine-year-old East Indian boy tries to adjust to his new life in suburban America. 3-5

The Matchbox Diary by Paul Fleischman. The drama of immigration and the longing for literacy unfold with a girl's perusal of her great-grandfather's collection of matchboxes and small curios that document his poignant immigration journey from Italy to a new country.

My Two Grannies by Floella Benjamin is a story about two grannies, one from Britain and one from Trinidad who care for Alvinia while her parents are away and she finds ways for them to enjoy being together.

Mystery Bottle by Kristen Balouch. What happens when a boy and his grandfather are separated from each other by borders, politics, and distance? The mystery bottle unites the two through an extraordinary gift. The bond of their love. 1-3

The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi. After Unhei moves from Korea to the United States, her new classmates help her decide what her name should be. K-1

The Other Side of Truth by Beverly Naidoo. Smuggled out of Nigeria after their mother's murder, Sade and her younger brother are abandoned in London when their uncle fails to meet them at the airport and they are fearful of their new surroundings and of what may have happened to their journalist father back in Nigeria. 5

Painted Words Spoken Memories by Aliki. Two separate stories, the first telling of Mari's starting school in a new land, and the second describing village life in her country before she and her family left in search of a better life. 2-4

Salaam : A Muslim American Boy's Story by Tricia Brown. This earnest photo-essay features Imran, a boy whose father was born a Muslim in an unnamed country and whose mother is American and has converted to Islam. The black-and-white photos (some of which are very appealing) show a boy at play with his friends, at home with his family, observing Ramadan and sharing information about his religion with his best friend. 3-5

The Year of the Dog and The Year of the Rat by Grace Lin. In the Chinese Year of the Rat, a young Taiwanese American girl faces many challenges: her best friend moves to California and a new boy comes to her school, she must find the courage to forge ahead with her dream of becoming a writer and illustrator, and she must learn to find the beauty in change. 3-5

Zazoo by Richard Mosher. Amid old secrets revealed and rifts healed, a thirteen-year-old Vietnamese orphan raised in rural France by her aging "Grand-Pierre" learns about life, death, and love. 5

Ziba came on a boat by Liz Lofthouse. Based on real events is the moving story of a little girl whose family has lost almost everything. This beautiful picture book takes us on her brave journey to make a new life far from home. 2-3


Hopscotch around the World by Mary D. Lankford.

Play! The Best Fun and Games from Many Lands by Arlette N. Braman

Play with Us 100 Games from Around the World by Oriol Ripoll

Professional Reading

The Earth is Flat by Tom Friedman

Leaving Microsoft to Change the World by John Wood. n 1998, John Wood was a rising executive at Microsoft when he took a vacation that changed his life. What started as a trekking holiday in Nepal became a spiritual journey, and then a mission: to change the world one book and one child at a time by setting up libraries in the developing world. He was soon driven to leave his career with only a loose vision of the change he wanted to bring to the world.Over the next five years John would make the unlikely marriage between Microsoft business practices and the world of non-profits to create Room to Read, an organization that has created a network of over 5,500 schools and libraries throughout rural and poor communities in Asia and Africa.The organization is now one of the fastest growing, most effective, and award-winning non-profits of the last decade. John has been recognized in the worldwide media as a "21st century Andrew Carnegie," building a public library infrastructure to help the developing world break the cycle of poverty through the lifelong gift of education.

Mountains beyond Mountains: Healing the World: The Quest of Paul Farmer by Tracy Kidder

Open Your eyes: Extraordinary Experiences in Faraway Places edited by Jill Davis.

The Travels of a T-Shirt in the Global Economy
 by Pietra Rivoli. this book looks at the social dimensions of the global economy, citing a common everyday object, the t-shirt, as a way of understanding our inter-connectedness.

Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace One School at a Time by Greg 

Stories & Tales

Adelita : a Mexican Cinderella Story by Tomie dePaola. After the death of her mother and father, Adelita is badly mistreated by her stepmother and stepsisters until she finds her own true love at a grand fiesta. 1-2

The Barefoot book of Earth Tales by Dawn Casey. Seven folktales from around the world express the belief that the Earth and all living things are sacred, and that it us up to each of us to care for our part of the planet. Includes an introduction and "eco-activity" for each tale.

Chinese Mythology : the four dragons by Tom Daning. A short graphic novel featuring the ancient Chinese mythological story of the four dragons. 2-3

Clever Ali by Nancy Farmer. When seven-year-old Ali's greedy pet steals cherries from the wicked Sultan for whom his father keeps carrier pigeons, Ali is given three days to find 600 new cherries or his father will be thrown into the deep, dark oubliette. Includes facts about carrier pigeons and the sultan on whom this story is based, as well as an excerpt from "In Praise of Books" by al-Jahiz. 4-5

Glass Slipper, Gold Sandal : a worldwide Cinderella by Paul Fleischman. The author draws from a variety of folk traditions to put together this version of Cinderella, including elements from Mexico, Iran, Korea, Russia, Appalachia, and more. 1-2

Henry's First-Moon Birthday by Lenore Look. A young girl helps her grandmother with preparations for the traditional Chinese celebration to welcome her new baby brother. 1-2

The Man Who Counted : a collection of mathematical adventures by Malba Tahan. Adventures of Beremiz Samir who uses his extraordinary mathematical skills to settle disputes, give advice, overcome enemies, and win fame and fortune. 5

Magic Hoofbeats: Horse Tales from Many Lands retold by Josepha Sherman. Retellings of horse lore originating throughout the world. 3-5

Middle School & High School
A Hare in the Elephant's Trunk by Jan Coates.
A Long Walk to Water
 by Linda Sue Park
Boy in the Striped Pajamas
 by John Boyne. This work was set in Berlin, 1942. When Bruno returns home from school one day, he discovers that his belongings are being packed in crates. His father has received a promotion and the family must move from their home to a new house far far away, where there is no one to play with and nothing to do. A tall fence running alongside stretches as far as the eye can see and cuts him off from the strange people he can see in the distance. But, Bruno longs to be an explorer and decides that there must be more to this desolate new place than what meets the eye. While exploring his new environment, he meets another boy whose life and circumstances are very different to his own, and their meeting results in a friendship that has devastating consequences.
Does my Head Look big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fatah. Sixteen-year-old Amal makes the decision to start wearing the hijab full-time and everyone has a reaction. Her parents, her teachers, her friends, people on the street. But she stands by her decision to embrace her faith and all that it is, even if it does make her a little different from everyone else. High School
Elephant Run by Roland Smith. A boy saves his father when the Japanese invade Burma in WW II.
Facing the Lion: Growing up Masai on the African Savanna by Joseph Lemasolai Lekuton and Herman Viola.
Forgotten Fire
 by Adam Bagdasarian. Historical fiction set during the Armenian holocaust.
The Girl who saw Lions by Berlie Doherty. Abela lives in Tanzania. Her mother and sisters are dying of AIDs. Rosa lives in Sheffield with her mother - and she is devastated for another reason. Her mother announces that she wants to adopt a little girl from Tanzania, the country that Rosa's father was from. Abela is shipped to England and forced to live cooped-up in a council flat. And Rosa is gradually reconciled to the idea of a new child - but when Anthony arrives, everyone is surprised! Abela, meanwhile, is in the kind but hapless hands of social services and, in despair, she runs away. It seems that Rosa and Abela will never get to be sisters after all.
Habibi by Naomi Shihab Nye. When Liyana's doctor father, a native Palestinian, decides to move his contemporary Arab-American family back to Jerusalem from St. Louis, 14-year-old Liyana is unenthusiastic. Arriving in Jerusalem, the girl and her family are gathered in by their colorful, warmhearted Palestinian relatives and immersed in a culture where only tourists wear shorts and there is a prohibition against boy/girl relationships. When Liyana falls in love with Omer, a Jewish boy, she challenges family, culture, and tradition, but her homesickness fades. Constantly lurking in the background of the novel is violence between Palestinian and Jew.
A Little Piece of Ground by Elizabeth Laird. Set during the Israeli occupation of Ramallah.
Material World by Peter Menzel
No Turning Back by Beverly Naidoo. A boy runs away to Johannesburg and survives as a street kid.
Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood by Marjane Satrapi story of a young girl's life under the Islamic Revolution. Descended from the last Emperor of Iran, Satrapi is nine when fundamentalist rebels overthrow the Shah. While Satrapi's radical parents and their community initially welcome the ouster, they soon learn a new brand of totalitarianism is taking over. Satrapi's art is minimal and stark yet often charming and humorous as it depicts the madness around her. High School
Red Scarf Girl by Ji-li Jiang. For over twenty years, Ji-li Jiang nursed her childhood memories of surviving the Cultural Revolution in China , and finally brought them to life in this book.
Shabanu, Daughter of the Wind, Haveli & Shiva's Fire by Suzanne Fisher Staples. An 11 year old heroine must accept her wedding fate.
Shadow of the Dragon by Sherry Garland. Vietnamese immigrants, set in Texas, gang involvement.
Tasting the Sky by Ibtisam Barakat. This moving memoir of a Palestinian woman's childhood experiences 
during the Six-Day War and its aftermath is presented in beautifully crafted vignettes. Barakat, now living and working in the United States, frames the story of her life between 1967 and 1970 with a pair of letters from herself as a high school student in 1981.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer.
Under the Persimmon Tree by Suzanne Fisher Staples. When her father and brother are taken by the Taliban and her mother and baby brother are killed in a bombing raid during the Afghan war in October 2001, Najmah begins an arduous journey across the border to Peshawar, Pakistan. There, she meets up with an American woman, Nusrat, who has been conducting a school for refugee children while she waits for her husband, Faiz, who has returned to his native country to open medical clinics. For most of the story, the narration alternates between Najmah and Nusrat, allowing readers to see the war's effect on both of their lives.

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