What is World Kid Lit Month?
World Kid Lit Month is an annual celebration of world literature and translation for children and young adults, that takes place all September long. If you’ve never read a children’s book from another country or translated into English from another language – now’s the time!
Whether it’s on social media, at home, at school, or at your local library, September is the time to read, explore and share children’s/YA books, authors, and illustrators from other countries besides your own, and books translated into English from other languages.
Please use the hashtag #WorldKidLitMonth throughout September – the global reading community would love to hear what you’ve enjoyed!
How can we celebrate World Kid Lit Month?
Our blog is full of resources to help you choose a country and fly there with a book. You can find new publications on our 2022 translations list, or search resources by country or by source language, or explore our downloadable book lists. Here are a few ideas of things to try:
- Play Bingo! You could use this World Kid Lit Month bingo chart of starter ideas, or make your own for your family or your students: what does world literature for young readers mean to you? If you use this one, can you find a children’s or young adult book (or an author/illustrator/translator) for any of the categories? Can you get a line of 5, or complete a colour category? Take your bingo sheet to your local library and ask your librarian for help finding books! And please share what you read on social media this September with the hashtag #WorldKidLitMonth!
- Read the World: If you’re feeling intrepid, why not set off on a year-long reading tour of the world? Find one book from every continent or read your way around a continent. Browse this blog for ideas, or if you (or your local library) would like specific recommendations, you can contact us on social media (@worldkidlit).
- Mark your progress around the globe: Print out book covers and stick them to a map or globe as you progress on your reading journey. You could use an online map like Juliet’s Book Journey. Or color in countries as you read on a map like this one from Cherry Creek Lane as recommended by Lori of Kids Read the World.
- Learn a language: If you’re studying another language, or have a family connection to another country, why not explore some children’s books in translation from there? Reading the same book in two languages (one at time or both together) is a great way to enrich your language skills while connecting with another culture. Many classic kids’ books have been made into films and TV series, too (see 10 Ways to Celebrate World Kid Lit Month in your school for some starter ideas).
- Write a book review: Pick a world kid lit book you love and share it. It could be a photo and a few words on Twitter or Instagram, a video on YouTube or TikTok (BookTok), a short review for your school newsletter or your blog. It could be a new translation from another language (see our 2022 list), or an old favorite. Use the hashtag #WorldKidLitMonth!
- Schools, libraries, and organizations: if you have multiple staff with an interest in children’s and YA literature, why not ask them for their recommendations of books from other countries, and compile a Twitter series spread out across the month, like the UK Literacy Association, Global Literature in Libraries Initiative or Helensville Library?
What can we do to celebrate at school?
All or any of the above ideas, and we’d love to hear yours too! Schools can use books and poems from other countries and languages to expand students’ understanding of the world and to celebrate their own multilingual and multicultural landscape. For World Kid Lit Month, your school library or classroom could display books translated from other languages. You could start a whole-school Read the World project (like Kids Read the World). Or learn words from another language in class together.
For more ideas, see 10 Ways to Celebrate World Kid Lit Month in your school. Please let us know how you celebrated and spread the word. We’d love it if all teachers and school librarians knew about World Kid Lit Month!
Do you have any images I can use on social media?
Yes! You’ll find free graphics in our public Google drive here. Please feel free to make your own graphics and posters for World Kid Lit Month, share them on social media, and let us know if you’re happy for us to share them in this drive.
Want to post about #WorldKidLitMonth on social media or include a blurb about it in your community newsletter? Please download and use our suggested text (less than 100 words) and suggested tweets PDF.
Why is World Kid Lit Month in September?
September is a great time to explore the world through children’s literature and translation. In the US, September is National Translation Month. 26 September is European Day of Languages, and 30 September is both International Translation Day and St Jerome’s Day – the patron saint of translators!
How did World Kid Lit Month start?
The hashtag #WorldKidLitMonth was first used on social media in 2016 by global literature experts Marcia Lynx Qualey (founding editor of ArabLit), Lawrence Schimel (bilingual poet, author, translator and publisher) and Alexandra Büchler (director of Literature Across Frontiers). With this hashtag, and World Kid Lit blog which also started in 2016, a campaign emerged for more visibility for world literature within English-language children’s and YA publishing. It’s part of a broader social campaign for inclusive and representative literature for children – books that represent our global population in all its diversity.
It wasn’t always easy to discover children’s books from other countries, as publishers don’t always highlight when a book is translated, what language it was translated from, or who the translator was. So, Project World Kid Lit evolved to help English readers all over the world discover global authors, illustrators and translators.
This website was founded with the aim of shining a spotlight on a vibrant and growing area of children’s and YA publishing. It also aims to be a hub connecting readers with many other organizations championing world literature for young people.