WHAT IS IT AND WHY SEPTEMBER?
World Kid Lit Month is a month to celebrate world literature for kids and teens, especially fiction and nonfiction translated to English from other languages.
On social media, in schools, libraries, bookshops and at home, September is the time to find out about global reading for young people. It’s a time to discuss why we should look beyond the books published in our own country and also how to find books first published elsewhere. Above all, it’s a dedicated time to shine a light on a vibrant and diverse area of children’s publishing which can be difficult to navigate.
World Kid Lit Month was launched in 2016 by global literature experts Marcia Lynx Qualey, Lawrence Schimel and Alexandra Büchler. In the US, September is National Translation Month. European Day of Languages also falls in late September, and worldwide there is a celebration at the end of the month for International Translation Day.
NEW FOR 2021
This year we are encouraging educators, librarians and booksellers to get more involved than ever using our pre-prepared reading lists and resources. On the right hand side of this page, you’ll find links to various resources, which we’ll be adding to in the run-up to September.
We aim to make it easier for English readers to find great books from a diverse range of authors and illustrators from around the world. There are many reasons for exploring world literature, with the following four themes tending to stand out in particular.
This reason for global reading is even more compelling this year during the continued coronavirus pandemic. Can’t travel to see friends and family abroad? Perhaps your foreign holiday has been cancelled this year. Why not fly there with a book instead?
This blog is full of suggestions of summer holiday reads, which you could recommend to others when you return to school or work in September.
At the start of the new school year, September is a great time to consider whether the books we suggest to young people are as diverse and inclusive as they could be, in terms of ethnic diversity of the creators and characters, but also disability, sexuality and gender. Children deserve to see themselves reflected in the books they read, and including books in translation on our bookshelves helps open up the world in all its multicultural, multilingual diversity.
Translated literature also opens up genres that are less well represented in English-language publishing, for example comics and graphic novels for all ages, picture books for older readers and narrative nonfiction. A broader range of genres and styles of writing can also inspire and appeal to reluctant readers.
As we face global challenges such as climate change, movements of refugees, and the Covid-19 pandemic, more than ever we need collaboration among nations. How can a culture of reading globally foster a sense of our place in the world from childhood on? Can young people’s exploration of other countries’ art and literature contribute to a world where we interact in a more just and equitable way?
There does seem to be a growing interest in translated books for young readers. However, the majority of books that are being published appear to originate from countries within Western Europe. While this cultural exchange is vital, we also advocate for more books in translation from beyond Europe, from a much broader range of countries and cultures. But we need your help to highlight forgotten gems and new books for translation.
HOW TO GET INVOLVED IN SEPTEMBER
- World Kid Lit blog and YouTube channel submissions are now open. We want to hear from you! You could send us a short video (max 5 mins), a written article (max 800 words), or a book review (max 600 words), focusing on any way in which children’s books/YA and translation intersect. Click here for more details
- Show us your shelves: do you have any translated kids’ and YA books on your bookshelves? What language were they first written in? What did you think and who would you recommend them to? Please share pics on your social media! #WorldKidLitMonth #shelfie #namethetranslator
- Take a trip around the world! In your class or your family, why not set off on a reading tour of the world, reading a book in translation from every continent? You’ll find reading ideas galore on this site and on social media with hashtag #worldkidlit
- Read and review a children’s or young adult book translated into English from another language. It needn’t be long: just a photo and a few words on Twitter or Instagram, a longer review for your blog or school newsletter, or a guest review for World Kid Lit blog ~ we welcome reviews by readers of all ages!
- Watch World Kid Lit Live! Hear about how books for young people travel about the globe in a series of panel discussions and events online
- Spread the word! Please tell your friends about World Kid Lit month, especially educators, booksellers and librarians 🙂
- You’ll find many more ideas and resources on this website, making it easier than ever to pick a place in the world and fly there with a book
WORLD KID LIT LIVE
Details coming soon about this year’s World Kid Lit LIVE for #WorldKidLitMonth.
Can’t wait until then? Catch up on all our previous #WorldKidLitLIVE panels.