2016 USBBY Outstanding International Books [in School Library Journal]
As the domestic publishing industry continues to respond to the resounding battle cry of “We Need Diverse Books,” the United States Board on Books for Young People (USBBY) has been working assiduously for over a decade to promote international titles among librarians, educators, parents, and readers. The 2016 Outstanding International Books (OIB) list moves far beyond our United States borders – geographically, culturally, ethnically – with 42 extraordinary titles from around the globe, with stories from or set in India, Italy, Korea, Laos, Norway, Poland, Switzerland, Turkey, and more.
This year’s OIB list is all about disruption – in all the best ways. So many of these books refuse to be predictable, disrupting expectations of characters, settings, and narratives. From a boy who teaches his father the power of kindness, to new friends who explore deep below the surface, to war mementos that hold surprising truths, to unfamiliar myths and legends, to walls that reveal almost a millennium of history, perspectives are challenged, subverted, and broadened in unanticipated new ways. Humor, empathy, and creativity all pave the way toward encouraging readers to search beyond boundaries, become more engaged global citizens, and just enjoy good books.
While reading levels are suggested throughout, never let those guidelines deter you from enjoying all sorts of stories. Explore, experiment, discover, disrupt … and grow. Outstanding International Books can do all that and more. [… click here for more]
Feature: “Outstanding International Books: Presenting the 2016 USBBY Selections,” School Library Journal, February 18, 2016
Illustration: Book illustration by Sydney Smith from JonArno Lawson’s Sidewalk Flowers