#ReadingAfrica: Children’s Literature panel today

It’s #ReadingAfrica week and Project World Kid Lit is proud to teaming up with Catalyst Press to co-host today’s exciting panel discussion on Reading African Children’s (and YA) literature. Read on to meet today’s panelists…

#ReadingAfrica Week: a discussion of Children’s Literature

Zoom, Wednesday 8th December, 5.30 UTC

Register here

Moderator: Bunmi Emenanjo. Bunmi is the founder of Atlas Book Club, a subscription book club that shares kids’ books from around the globe and materials relevant to the culture of a country featured in the book.

Atlas Book Club

From Bunmi’s welcome letter on the Atlas Book Club website: “What started as a family book club focused on African countries grew into an exploration of different cultures and countries from around the world. I witnessed how my children, and others who participated in the book club, connected with the different cultures through the selected books. I became even more passionate about sharing this transformative experience with kids nationwide.”

Panelists

Idia of the Benin Kingdom, and Njinga of Ndongo and Matamba (Our Ancestories)

Ekiuwa Aire. Ekiuka is the author of Idia of the Benin Kingdom and founder of Our Ancestories, a publishing and education company dedicated to “sharing stories on pre-colonial African legends and provide engaging activities for kids to explore specific African cultures.”

Halley’s Comet


Hannes Barnard. A South African-born author of both English and Afrikaans novels. He debuted in 2019 with the YA novel, Halley se komeet, which he translated into English as Halley’s Comet. In 2020, Wolk, his apocalyptic YA adventure, was released, and coming up in 2022 is his crime novel, die wet van Gauteng.

World Kid Lit resources and book lists

Ruth Ahmedzai KempA literary translator with a particular interest in children’s books, working from German, Russian and Arabic into English. She has translated 28 books, including fiction and non-fiction from Germany, Jordan, Morocco, Palestine, Russia, Switzerland and Syria. Ruth is co-editor of three blogs about children’s literature in translation (World Kid Lit blog, ArabKidLitNow! and RussianKidLit), and loves making #ReadtheWorld resources, e.g. book lists and reading maps for young readers.

Down on Both Sides

Caroline Kurtz. From the age of five, Caroline grew up in Ethiopia, the child of Presbyterian Church missionaries. The family lived in the church’s most remote mission station in the mountainous regions of southwestern Ethiopia near the town of Maji. As an adult, she and her husband returned to the continent as teachers and working with war refugees in Ethiopia, Kenya, and South Sudan. Her experiences were detailed in the memoirs A Road Called Down on Both Sides and Today is Tomorrow, both published by Catalyst Press. With her sister Jane, she founded Ready Set Go Books for early Ethiopian readers. Ready Set Go has now printed and distributed 70,000 books in Ethiopia.

Bilingual English-Amharic books from Ready Set Go Books