KCLS Recommends: Children's - Contemporary World Fiction
Annotation:(Multinational) A composite of global cultures, Walk this World celebrates the everyday similarities and differences that exist between cultures around the world.
Annotation:(Antarctica) Sophie Scott is only nine years old, but she's going to Antarctica on an icebreaker with her dad, the ship's captain. During the voyage to Mawson Station and back, Sophie keeps a diary. Ages 6 -9
Annotation:(Multinational) Written in English and 12 other languages. Mothers and sons in traditional dress recount the important roles mothers play around the world. Beautiful illustrations by award winners Leo and Diane Dillon.
Annotation:(Kenya) When his ambition to become a great hunter like his father is crushed by a lion attack that causes him to lose an arm, young Pedru is overcome by a desire to kill the lion that mauled him but questions his resolve when an opportunity arises. Ages 7 - 10
Annotation:(Kenya) Maasai tribal members, after hearing the story of the September 11th attacks from a young Massai, who was in New York on that day, decide to present the American people with fourteen sacred cows as a healing gift.
Annotation:(Nigeria/ Canada) Anna Hibiscus, who lives in Africa with her whole family, loves to splash in the sea and have parties for her aunties, but Anna would love to see snow. Don’t miss the other books in this delightful series for young readers. Ages 5-9
Annotation:(Ireland) Young Maeve feels a strong connection to the mysterious, mummified body of a young girl that her grandfather uncovers while cutting turf in an Irish bog. Includes facts about bogs and the mummies that have been found in them. Ages 6 - 10
Annotation:(Multinational) A little girl's smile as she skips down the street in New York inspires a neighbor to send cookies to her grandson in Mexico, and the goodwill soon spreads around the world . Ages 4 – 8.
Annotation:(India) Eleven-year-old Gopal and his family leave their rural Indian village for life with his uncle in Mumbai, but when they arrive his father goes missing and Gopal ends up locked in a sweatshop from which there is no escape. Ages 9-12
Annotation:(Hawaii) Nine-year-old Calvin catches the attention of the school bully on the day before he starts fourth grade, while at home, the unfriendly, fifteen-year-old daughter of his mother's best friend has taken over his room. Ages 7-10
Annotation: (Nigeria) When an eleven-year-old Nigerian boy leaves his small village to live with his uncle in the city, he is exposed to a range of new experiences and becomes fascinated with crossing the Niger River on a ferry boat. All Ages.
Annotation:(Norway) New friends Nilly and Lisa help eccentric professor Doctor Proctor develop his latest invention, a powder that makes one fart, making them very popular at school, but someone is planning to steal the industrial-strength formula for evil purposes. Ages 8-12
Annotation:(Chile) A fictionalized biography of the Nobel Prize-winning Chilean poet Pablo Neruda, who grew up a painfully shy child, ridiculed by his overbearing father, but who became one of the most widely-read poets in the world. Ages 9-12
Annotation:(South Africa) 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 . Ages 6 – 10.
Annotation:(India) 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. Ages 8-12
Annotation:(Japan) 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. Ages 6-10
Annotation: (Sudan) When the Sudanese civil war reaches his village in 1985, eleven-year-old Salva becomes separated from his family and must walk with other Dinka tribe members through southern Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya in search of safe haven. Ages 10+
Annotation:(Multinational) Madlenka plays soccer in her city neighborhood--with the mailbox, a dog, a parking meter, and some cats. Includes facts about the game, and translations for the word "soccer" in various languages . Ages 4 – 8.
Annotation:(Finland) Tove Jansson is revered around the world as one of the foremost children's authors of the twentieth century for her illustrated chapter books regarding the magical worlds of her creation, the Moomins. Ages 9 – 12.
Annotation: (India) When a boy spots a young tree in the middle of the path that runs through the village, he puts rocks around the base of the tree to protect the tree from being trampled. Ages 4 – 7.
Annotation: (Chad) The children arrive on the first day of school and build a mud structure to be their classroom for the next nine months until the rainy season comes and washes it all away. Ages 4 – 7.
Annotation: (Bangledesh) 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. Ages 7-12
Annotation:(United Kingdom) After learning that she was adopted, thirteen-year-old Saffron's relationship with her eccentric, artistic family changes, until they help her go back to Italy where she was born to find a special momento of her past. Ages 9+
Annotation:(Israel) At age eight, Mikha'el knows he is different from other boys, but over the course of three years as he helps his parents care for his elderly grandfather in Jerusalem, Grandpa teaches Mikha'el to use the gift they share of making other people's dreams sweeter. Ages 9-12
Annotation:(Netherlands) Squirrel and ant discover a mysterious feast with an invisible host in the depths of a forest in this collection of nine charming short stories about friendship, dancing, memories, and lots of cake. Ages 5-8
Annotation: (Mexico/ Mayan) While big changes are coming to her Mexican village, nine-year- old Rosalba hears that the Mayan calendar predicts the end of the world in 2012 and she dreams of an ancient Mayan boy, eyes bound in a shamanistic ritual, who hints at what Rosalba can do. Ages 9-12
Annotation:(Switzerland) In a tiny village in the Swiss Alps, an angel meets an American girl named Zola who has come with her father to open a school, and together Zola and the angel rescue a group of homeless orphans, who gradually change everything. Ages 8-12
Annotation:(United Kingdom) When two Mongolian brothers appear one morning in Julie's sixth grade class, no one, least of all Julie, knows what to make of them. Ages 8-12
A Shared List by KCLS Children's Librarians: Genre Booklists
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“Contemporary Fiction” is written in modern times and takes place in modern times. (Historical World Fiction is a separate list.) “World” books can be from any place on earth, however, the spirit of this booklist is to highlight countries and cultures outside the U.S.A. and to encourage children to travel outside of the “American” experience through literature. Books on the list do not have to be strictly “realistic,” although, fantasy settings of the past and folklore may be excluded. i.e. “magical realism” and metaphorical fiction of a “contemporary style” may be included. The list may include picture books, graphic novels, and chapter books. Books will be selected by qualified librarians based on their quality, availability and kid appeal.