Books as Passports to Global Understanding
for Children in the United States
Growing Up Around the World: Books as Passports to Global Understanding for Children in the United States is a project of the International Relations Committee of the Association for Library Service to Children. We undertook this project in memory of Zena Sutherland, a past International Relations Committee member with a longstanding commitment to high standards for children’s books and to understanding other cultures around the world.
Through Growing Up Around the World, we hope to make books that accurately depict contemporary life in other countries more widely available to American children. The project includes bibliographies representing five regions: Africa; the Americas; Asia and the Middle East; Australia and New Zealand; and Europe.
Because the primary goal of the project is to identify fiction and nonfiction that will help young people in the United States understand the lives of children living in other countries today, the bibliographies virtually exclude genres such as fantasy and historical fiction. Rather than including the best books about other countries written by outsiders to those countries, the list seeks to identify children’s books written or illustrated by people have lived for at least two years within those cultures. With very few exceptions, we limit the lists to books written in the last ten years and currently available in the United States. From time to time, the lists may be updated on the ALSC Web site.
We gratefully acknowledge assistance given by leaders and members of organizations such as the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY) and the Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) as well as individual librarians and children’s literature specialists across the country and around the world.
The Association for Library Service to Children
International Relations Committee
Revised list: January 2009