Reading around the world (suggestions?) - Mothering Forums

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Old 04-26-2011, 11:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Our mother daughter book club is doing a theme this summer (maybe longer).  We want to "read around the world".  So, I am looking for suggestions.  The girls are mostly 8 & 9.  We don't worry about reading level--just interest level.  Most girls read the books with their moms or their moms read to them.  We want chapter books.  Ideally, we would get books set in several different countries.  However, I will also go with books set in America that depict different cultures and heritages.  

 

Any ideas?

 

 

Thanks, 

 

Amy


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Old 04-29-2011, 04:59 PM
 
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nothing comes to mind right away—but i like this idea a lot.

 

i look forward to seeing the suggestions.


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Old 05-01-2011, 12:01 AM
 
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Are you looking for nonfiction, or fiction?  Written within that culture, or about it? 

 

This one is nonfiction, and more science-based, but I think it's a good way to think about all the places they read about:

http://www.amazon.com/One-Well-Story-Water-CitizenKid/dp/1553379543/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1304229164&sr=8-1

(It's mostly picture-book, illustrated, but good summary of the water cycle and water conservation issues world-wide, complete with suggestions of things to do at the end of the book).

 

This was a fun chapter book, very absorbing, using Chinese folklore techniques:  http://www.amazon.com/Where-Mountain-Meets-Moon-Grace/dp/0316038636/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1304229290&sr=8-1 (fantasy-type novel)

 

Heidi, of course - Switzerland/Germany

 

Ireland: http://www.amazon.com/Nory-Ryans-Song-Patricia-Reilly/dp/0440418291/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1304229362&sr=8-1 (about the Irish Potato Famine, historical fiction - sad, but realistic and a happy-ish ending)

 

Sudan - following two children (a boy and a girl) in the famine/war (there is some description of murder/violence, the book is intended for kids though so it is not dwelt upon):  http://www.amazon.com/Long-Walk-Water-Based-Story/dp/0547251270/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1304229478&sr=8-1 - at the end, you discover that the boy's story was about 15 years earlier - it's about his program building wells in Sudan today. 

 

An easily-read and non-traditional book about Native American culture would be http://www.amazon.com/Way-Rainy-Mountain-Scott-Momaday/dp/0826304362/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1304488726&sr=8-1 - very lyrical, interesting structure. 

 

....So, that's a start??  Hope something looks interesting? 

 


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Old 05-01-2011, 10:57 AM
 
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Rudolfo Anaya has some lovely children’s books with South-western Hispanic characters.

Juan and the Jackalope

http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/a/rudolfo-anaya/juan-and-jackalope.htm

 The First Tortilla

http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/a/rudolfo-anaya/first-tortilla.htm

The Roadrunners Dance

http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/a/rudolfo-anaya/roadrunner-s-dance.htm

 

  Isabel Allende wrote a series of 3 YA books   

The First called The City of Beasts is set in South America http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/a/isabel-allende/city-of-beasts.htm

The second Kingdom of the Golden Dragon takes place in the Himalayas

 http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/a/isabel-allende/kingdom-of-golden-dragon.htm

The third Forest of the Pigmies takes place in Kenya.

 http://www.fantasticfiction.co.uk/a/isabel-allende/forest-of-pygmies.htm

Both authors combine real history,along with legends and myths of each country or culture. 

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Old 05-02-2011, 08:37 PM
 
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 Sounds like a great idea!

 

A few that came to mind-

Holland: Wheel on the School by Meindert DeJong

 

Corfu, Greece: My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell

 

Siberia: The Endless Steppe by Esther Hautzig

 

Malawi: The Boy who Harnessed the Wind

 

Also, there are the series Girls of Many Lands and Royal Diaries (those are mostly set further in the past)

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Old 05-02-2011, 10:09 PM
 
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I really liked these:

 

Becoming Naomi Leon by Pam Munoz Ryan - characters are Mexican-American and take a trip to Mexico.

 

The Dreamer by Pam Munoz Ryan - fictionalized version of Pablo Neruda's life

 

Crazy Man by Pamela Porter - set in Saskatchewan, Canada

 

Shadows of Ghadames by Joelle Stoltz - set in the middle east

 

Morning Girl by Michael Dorris - historical fiction set among the Taino before the arrival of Columbus

 

 


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Old 05-02-2011, 10:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elanorh View Post

Are you looking for nonfiction, or fiction?  Written within that culture, or about it? 

 

An easily-read and non-traditional book about Native American culture would be http://www.amazon.com/Long-Walk-Water-Based-Story/dp/0547251270/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1304229478&sr=8-1 - very lyrical, interesting structure. 

 

....So, that's a start??  Hope something looks interesting? 

 


We love having a mix (non-fiction & fiction) and we were hoping that at least some of the stories took place outside of the US and that the location was relevant in some way (culture, story conflict, etc.)  We have also looked at using folktales/legends from the different places.  

 

Thank you (everyone) for all the suggestions!  I am excited to share the list with the others.  

 

elenorh--- This last book that you linked goes to the wrong book.  It sounds really interesting, could you repost the link or give me the title?

 

Amy

 


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Old 05-03-2011, 02:58 PM
 
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Japan-Sisters of the Sword by Maya Snow (1st of three). 

http://www.amazon.com/Sisters-Sword-Maya-Snow/dp/B003UYV1ZG/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1304456138&sr=1-2

 

It might be too violent for 8-9 yr olds depending on what they like to read.  My 9 yr old read and loved all three books (she was 8 when she read them), but she has an older sister who she tries to keep up with wrt reading various books.  

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Old 05-03-2011, 04:49 PM
 
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Seven Little Australians, maybe? It's classic in a slightly cheesy way; might appeal to that age group. I haven't read it for a very long time, though!

 

When the Siren Wailed, by Noel Streatfeild, is about London evacuees during World War Two. Gives quite a nice picture of WW2 Britain, and is a bit deeper and more intelligent than her ballet-type showbiz books.

 

I agree that My Family and Other Animals is awesome, but some mothers might find it a bit too salacious for 8-9-year-old girls... probably worth pre-reading.

 

Pippi Longstocking is set in Sweden, no? It's pretty fantastical, so not exactly a "this is what life is like in Sweden"-type book, but hey...


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Old 05-03-2011, 11:58 PM
 
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Amy, the book is The Way to Rainy Mountain.  I'll try to edit the proper link into my post.  smile.gif


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Old 05-04-2011, 07:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elanorh View Post

Amy, the book is The Way to Rainy Mountain.  I'll try to edit the proper link into my post.  smile.gif


Thanks!

 


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Old 05-05-2011, 08:24 PM
 
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I thought of another one: The Color of my Words by Lynn Joseph

 


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