Reading Across Cultures
Diverse Books for the 7 – 12 Grade Classroom
JANUARY – MAY 2019
All webinars are 7:00 – 8:00 PM EST
Once a month, the World Area Book Awards (Américas Award, Africana Book Award, Freeman Book Award, Middle East Book Award, and the South Asia Book Award) will sponsor a 60 minute webinar on a book recognized by one of the awards.
Each webinar will feature a presentation by an award-winning author with discussion on how to incorporate multicultural literature into the classroom. The books are appropriate for students in grades 7 – 12. Please read along with us this spring as we explore the world through these award-winning books. We encourage all readers to join in on the conversations each month and ask the author your own questions live.
Be sure to join the conversation with our webinar hashtag #2019ReadingAcrossCultures.
All sessions are free and open to the public. All times listed refer to Central Standard Time (EST). Sponsored by the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs, the South Asia National Outreach Consortium, the Middle East Outreach Council, and African Studies Outreach Council, The National Consortium for Teaching about Asia.
January 22, 2019 :
Middle East Book Award,
Middle East Outreach Council
The first webinar of the series is co-sponsored by the Center for Contemporary Arab Studies at Georgetown University and the Middle East Outreach Council. The webinar will explore the book, The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar, winner of the 2018 Middle East Book Award for Youth Literature. The Map of Salt and Stars is part cartography, part poetry, and part call to action. The gripping narrative interweaves the journeys of two strong and intelligent female protagonists: Nour, a Syrian-American girl escaping the violence of the civil war, and Rawiya, a 12th-century girl who dresses as a boy to become apprentice to the famous mapmaker al-Idrisi. Beautifully written descriptions of Nour’s synesthesia help us understand her experiences in new ways. Check out Zeybnab’s instagram where she has worked with schools creating a map of Nour and Rawiya’s travels. You can follow her on twitter or read more about her work on her site.
February 15, 2019 : Africana Book Award
This month’s book award is sponsored by the Africana Book Award. Please join us in learning more about the book, When Morning Comes by Arushi Raina. This fictionalized account of a student uprising that began in Soweto, South Africa, on June 16, 1976, unfolds through the first-person narratives of four young adults from different backgrounds whose lives intersect. An African student, Zanele, secretly organizes the protest against the Afrikaans Medium Decree Act, which required the use of English and Afrikaans (“the language of the oppressors”) in schools. Her apolitical friend Thabo heads a local gang, extorting money from an Indian store owner, whose daughter Meena, is sympathetic to the students. Meanwhile, Jack, a white Afrikaner, meets, befriends, and comes to love Zanele.
March 20, 2019 : Américas Book Award
Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs
We will explore the book, Lucky, Broken Girl by Ruth Behar a 2018 Honorable mention Américas Book and winner of the 2018 Pura Belpré award. In this unforgettable multicultural coming-of-age novel – based on the author’s childhood in the 1960s – a young Cuban-Jewish immigrant girl is adjusting to her new life in New York City when her American dream is suddenly derailed. Ruthie’s plight will intrigue readers and her powerful story of strength and resilience, full of color, light, and poignancy, will stay with them for a long time.
Additional support generously provided by Florida International University, Tulane University, University of Florida, University of Texas at Austin and the University of Utah.
May 8, 2019: South Asia Book Award
South Asia National Outreach Council
The South Asia Book Award highlights the work of Mitali Perkins with her work, You Bring the Distant Near. Five girls. Three generations. One great American love story. Ranee, worried that her children are losing their Indian culture; Sonia, wrapped up in a forbidden biracial love affair; Tara, seeking the limelight to hide her true self; Shanti, desperately trying to make peace in the family; Anna, fighting to preserve her Bengali identity.