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September is World Kid Lit Month!

Two girls reading books at library

September 10, 2022

September is World Kid Lit Month! What is that, exactly? It's an annual month-long initiative that promotes children's literature from around the world, with an emphasis on reading books from other countries, especially those that have been translated into English from other languages. By reading some of these stories, young readers can see the world from a global perspective, learn about other cultures or maybe even become interested in learning a foreign language!

This month, use the library to find some great translated books! A few recommendations are listed below. Find even more on this list that we created. We also have many bilingual books available in Spanish and English, Hmong and English, and more!

World Kid Lit Month is organized every September by Project World Kid Lit. You can follow their blog at worldkidlit.wordpress.com.


PICTURE BOOKS

Book Cover: THE CAIMAN

"THE CAIMAN " by MARíA EUGENIA MANRIQUE, TRANSLATED BY AMY BRILL

When Faoro the clockmaker adopts a baby caiman, he has no idea that someday their story will travel far and wide. But the town of San Fernando de Apure would never forget this kind young man and his adoring alligator, who played with the neighborhood children, took part in Faoro's wedding, and, eventually, mourned his loss.

Book Cover: LITTLE WISE WOLF

"LITTLE WISE WOLF " by GIJS VAN DER HAMMEN, TRANSLATED BY LAURA WATKINSON

Little Wise Wolf is very wise. He loves reading books and soaking up all the knowledge embodied within them. One day, Little Wise Wolf is called on to use his impressive wisdom to help the ailing king. But on his way to the palace, he slowly realizes he may not be as wise as he thinks he is, and that the world is much bigger than that contained within his books.

Book Cover: MAGIC CANDIES

"MAGIC CANDIES" by HEENA BAEK, TRANSLATED BY SOPHIE BOWMAN

Tong Tong could never have imagined what everyone around him was thinking. But when he gets hold of some magic candies, suddenly there are voices everywhere. He can hear how his couch feels, what upsets his dog, that his demanding dad loves him. He even gets to catch up with his dead grandmother. It turns out, these voices in Tong Tong’s life have A LOT to say! Is Tong Tong ready to hear it?

Book Cover: IN THE MEADOW OF FANTASIES

"IN THE MEADOW OF FANTASIES" by HADI MOHAMMADI AND NOOSHIN SAFAKHOO, TRANSLATED BY SARA KHALILI

A young girl with a physical disability gazes up at a mobile of spinning horses from her little pink bed in her room filled with leafy plants. As she watches them prance about, the tufted snout of a real live horse peeks through her bedroom door. Soon enough, our bright protagonist is off and cantering on an adventure with seven majestic horses. The first six are easily understood: their colors, dreams, families, and origins are described and accompanied with exquisite drawings. The seventh horse, however, is an enigmatic creature with no clear hue or history, a lack that is soon filled in by the loving offerings of the other ponies.

Book Cover: PATIENCE, MIYUKI

"PATIENCE, MIYUKI" by ROXANE MARIE GALLIEZ

When spring arrives, Miyuki rouses her grandfather to greet the flowers in their garden, then embarks on a journey seeking pure water to awaken the one flower still sleeping.

CHAPTER BOOKS

Book Cover: TEMPLE ALLEY SUMMER

"TEMPLE ALLEY SUMMER" by SACHIKO KASHIWABA, TRANSLATED BY AVERY FISCHER UDAGAWA

One rainy night, Kazu sees a strange figure in a white kimono sneak out of his house—was he dreaming? Did he see a ghost? The next day at school, the very same person is sitting in his class—and all his friends are convinced that the ghost-girl Akari has been their friend for years. If that isn't weird enough, Kazu learns that his house is in the exact location of an ancient temple called Kimyō, which, legend has it, could bring the dead back to life! Kazu sets out to discover what happened to Kimyō Temple and if the rumors of its power are true. His investigation draws the unwanted attention of his neighbor Ms. Minakami and his mysterious new classmate Akari, who is definitely not what she seems. Now, Kazu and Akari must join forces to find and protect the source of the temple's power, before it's too late.

Book Cover: MY HAPPY LIFE

"MY HAPPY LIFE" by ROSE LAGERCRANTZ AND EVA ERIKSSON, TRANSLATED BY JULIA MARSHALL

Dani is probably the happiest person she knows. She's happy because she's going to start school. Dani has been waiting to go to school her whole life. Then things get even better—she meets Ella. After that, Dani and Ella do everything together. They stick together through wet and dry, sun and rain, thick and thin. But then something happens that Dani isn't prepared for!

Book Cover: NINE OPEN ARMS

"NINE OPEN ARMS" by BENNY LINDELAUF, TRANSLATED BY JOHN NIEUWENHUIZEN

A ghost story, a fantasy, a historical novel, and literary fiction all wrapped into one, this highly awarded novel for young readers begins with the Boon family's move to an isolated, dilapidated house. Is it the site of a haunting tragedy, as one of the daughters believes, or an end to all their worries, as their father hopes? The novel's gripping language, enriched by Yiddish, German, and Dutch dialect, plunges the reader into the world of a large, colorful, motherless family.

Book Cover: PLASTICUS MARITIMUS

"PLASTICUS MARITIMUS" by ANA PêGO AND ISABEL MINHóS MARTINS, TRANSLATED BY JANE SPRINGER

When she was young, biologist Ana Pêgo didn't play in a backyard but on a beach. As she grew older, Ana realized that a new species was becoming more and more common in the sand. She decided to collect the species and give it a name: Plasticus maritimus. She dedicated her life to studying plastic in the oceans and raising awareness of the danger it poses to the health of the planet. Inspired by Ana's experiences, and backed by extensive research, this book explains how plastics are ever more present in our oceans, lakes and streams—more than 9 million tons a year! She explains how plastic is made, offers a field guide to help young people identify the Plasticus maritimus species, and takes a critical look at our current "solutions" to plastic contamination.

Book Cover: TELEPHONE TALES

"TELEPHONE TALES" by GIANNI RODARI, TRANSLATED BY ANTONY SHUGAAR

Every night, at nine o'clock, wherever he is, Mr. Bianchi, an accountant who often travels for work, calls his daughter and tells her a bedtime story. Set in the 20th century era of pay phones, each story has to be told in the time that a single coin will buy. One night, it's the story of a carousel so beloved by children that an old man finally sneaks on to understand why, and as he sails above the world, he does. The next night, it's a land filled with butter men, roads paved with chocolate, or a young shrimp who has the courage to defy expectations and do things differently. 

YOUNG ADULT

Book Cover: THE IMMORTAL BOY

"THE IMMORTAL BOY" by FRANCISCO MONTAñA IBáñEZ, TRANSLATED BY DAVID BOWLES

Two intertwining stories of Bogotá. One, a family of five children, left to live on their own. The other, a girl in an orphanage who will do anything to befriend the mysterious Immortal Boy.

Book Cover: PERSEPOLIS: THE STORY OF A CHILDHOOD

"PERSEPOLIS: THE STORY OF A CHILDHOOD" by MARJANE SATRAPI

In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken only child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran’s last emperors, Marjane bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country. Persepolis paints an unforgettable portrait of daily life in Iran and of the bewildering contradictions between home life and public life.

Book Cover: WONDERFUL FEELS LIKE THIS

"WONDERFUL FEELS LIKE THIS" by SARA LöVESTAM, TRANSLATED BY LAURA A. WIDEBURG

For Steffi, going to school every day is an exercise in survival. She's never fit in with any of the groups at school, and she's viciously teased by the other girls in her class. The only way she escapes is through her music—especially jazz music. When Steffi hears her favorite jazz song playing through an open window of a retirement home on her walk home from school, she decides to go in and introduce herself. The old man playing her favorite song is Alvar. When Alvar was a teenager in World War II Sweden, he dreamed of being in a real jazz band. Then and now, Alvar's escape is music—especially jazz music.


Authors Books Children Early Literacy Reading Recommendations Teens Tweens

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