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The Teacher is on Vacation: Cross-Cultural Book List

By Leslie Lindsay

The teacher may be on summer vacation, but that doesn’t mean you–or your kiddo(s)–have to stop learning, right?!  Exactly.  I was hoping you’d feel that way.

But don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be all gloom and doom.  Summer is a great time to get some reading in–for parents and kids alike.  You can go the typical route and read all of the Caldecott Medal Winners or your child’s summer book list, or you go with the International Reading Association (IRA)’s suggested list of Notable Books for a Global Society [Awards].  Wow…this is a category I am not familiar with.  Thought you’d appreciate the heads-up, too. 

You can access the list, dating back to the late 1990’s at www.clrsig.org/nbgs.php

Here are a few to get you started…


  • Minji’s Salon by Eun-lee Choung (Kane/Miller Press, 2008)
  • Chavela and the Magic Bubble by Monica Brown (Clarion Press, 2010)
  • The Forever Forest: Kids Save a Tropical Forest by Joy Pratt-Serafini (Dawn Publications, 2008) Product Details(image retrieved from Amazon, 6.25.12)


  • Hachiko:  The True Story of a Loyal Dog by P.S. Turner (Houghton Mifflin, 2004)
  • Now is the Time for Running by M. Williams (Little, Brown & Co, 2011)
Product Details (image retrieved from Amazon, 6.25.12)
  • Between Shades of Gray (Not 50 Shades of Gray for kids!) 


  • Karma by C. Ostelere (Penguin, 2011)
Product Details (image retrieved from Amazon.com 6.25.12)
  • Chu Ju’s House by G. Whelan (Harper Collins, 2004)
  • 19 Varieties of Gazelle: Poems of the Middle East by N. S. Nye (Greenwillow, 2002) 

For more information on reading lists and the International Reading Association (IRA), see:

This article inspired by a snippet in the Webster World, an alumni publication (Webster University in St. Louis Missouri). 


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