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18 January 2021

September is World Kid Lit Month

1 September 2020

With international travel curtailed by the global pandemic, World Kid Lit Month  is the time for young readers to travel the world through books.

First launched in 2016, World Kid Lit Month is a month to celebrate and promote world literature for children and teens, especially fiction and nonfiction translated to English from other languages.

On social media - Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and live Zoom events - September brings the perfect opportunity to find out about global reading for young people.

Author and translator Daniel Hahn said: "Only a few percent of the world have English as a first language. Deciding you're interested in reading only books by people who happen to have been born into the same language as you is as arbitrary as deciding you're only going to read books written by people whose surnames start with vowels. Not that there aren't quite a lot of them, but don't you think you might be missing out?"

Alexandra Büchler, director of Literature Across Frontiers, said: "By reading beyond our borders we explore the vast diversity of voices and perspectives that complement and contrast with our own. Global kid lit offers a window onto the world and a reflection of other cultures, but it also expands the opportunities for children to find the texts that speak personally to them."

There are four strands to the World Kid Lit Month campaign:

  • ARMCHAIR TRAVEL: Pick a destination and fly there with a book 
  • BIBLIODIVERSITY: Kids deserve diverse and inclusive books
  • GLOBAL READS FOR A GLOBAL OUTLOOK: What better way to explore our planet than by reading?
  • FOUND IN TRANSLATION: The key to opening up new worlds and new stories

Readers and educators are encouraged to get involved in September by sharing photos of the translated children's books on their bookshelves (#shelfie). There's also the #WorldKidLitMonth challenge: read and review one children's or young adult book translated into English from another language.

More ideas and resources are available on the World Kid Lit blog, making it easier than ever to pick a country and fly there with a book.