It’s September – and that means it’s World Kid Lit Month! But what exactly is World Kid Lit and how can you get involved? Johanna McCalmont and Claire Storey tell us more.
First launched in 2016 by a collective of translators – Marcia Lynx Qualey, Lawrence Schimel and Alexandra Büchler – World Kid Lit celebrates and promotes books for children and teens translated into English from other languages. The #WorldKidLit hashtag and our annual celebration of translated children’s books each September, #WorldKidLitMonth, are grassroots campaigns led by a growing community of kid lit aficionados.
We are keen to see more diversity in English-language publishing, to give a richer and more realistic representation of the multicultural and multilingual world we live in; our aim is to make it easier to find children’s and YA books in English translation, from a large range of languages. Our team of volunteers, coordinated by World Kid Lit blog co-editors Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp and Claire Storey, shines a spotlight on books from around the world with reviews, author interviews, publisher profiles, reading lists by country and hot tips for books we think deserve to be translated into English.
The World Kid Lit Facebook page also hosts regular live events with translators, authors, publishers and other literary experts under the title World Kid Lit LIVE. Each virtual panel showcases children’s and YA books from a different region or looks at a particular aspect of publishing children’s books in translation. We’ve had the pleasure of hosting panels on Arabic Literature, Central European Literature, translating kid lit from the publishers’ and translators’ perspectives and, most recently, African Children’s Literature and Africa’s Many Languages.
September is the highlight of the calendar and this year’s World Kid Lit Month is bigger than ever before. In addition to daily guest blog posts, a range of new resources has been created for educators and librarians to help them engage more easily with translated literature. The downloadables section of the World Kid Lit website includes reading lists of 20th– and 21st-century classics in translation – books that can easily be found on school or library shelves. There are also reading lists that focus on books by language or geographic region, including bilingual reading lists. The website is searchable by age group, country, region or source language, meaning that if teachers are looking for books that relate to a specific topic or age group, a simple search should provide lots of ideas!
So why not join us? With #WorldKidLitMonth trending across social media – on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook – World Kid Lit Month is the perfect opportunity to find out about global reading for young people. We hope you enjoy our recommendations and would love to hear what you’re reading too!
On Twitter and Instagram: @worldkidlit
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/worldkidlit and World Kid Lit Facebook discussion group
By Johanna McCalmont and Claire Storey
Johanna McCalmont is a Northern Irish translator and interpreter based in Brussels where she works from French, German, Dutch, and Italian. She is a regular contributor at World Kid Lit. Read more about her work here and follow her on Twitter @jo_mccalmont.
Claire Storey is a literary translator from German and Spanish. With Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp, she is co-editor of World Kid Lit, a website dedicated to translated books for children and young adults. Claire also regularly speaks in schools about languages and translation. Read more about her here and follow her on Twitter @ClaireStorey16.