Travel around the world this summer with children’s literature. Here is a collection of summer books around the world about diverse kids. For more ideas about helping children read over the summer check out my Summer Reading Tips for ELLs.
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Ada’s Violin– Ada Ríos grew up near a landfill in Paraguay. First, a music teacher came to her town and helped to create instruments out of the surrounding trash. Then the children of the town became part of a recycles band that went on to perform around the world.
Elena’s Serenade– In this realistic fantasy Elena wants to become a glassblower like her father. She is told that is only a job for men. Elena travels to the Mexican town where great glassblowers work. On the way, she blows magic and helps those around her. Next, she discovers she can create amazing shapes out of glass. Finally, she is able to share this gift with her father.
One Plastic Bag: Isatou Ceesay and the Recycling Women of the Gambia– Isatou Ceesay thinks of a way to help clean up the garbage littering her home in Gambia. In addition, she finds a way to help earn money.
Sitti’s Secrets– A girl visits her Palestinian grandmother. The girl does not speak Arabic. At first, this is challenging for the two of them, but over time the girl discovers alternate ways to communicate.
Monsoon– A girl describes the anticipation that those around her feel as they wait for the summer rains to come to their Indian city. Finally, it arrives and the town is joyful! This book is full of descriptive vocabulary and offers readers a glimpse into everyday life in India.
One Day in the Eucalyptus, Eucalyptus Tree– This fun book is reminiscent of There was an Old Lady that Swallowed a Fly. It tells about a snake in a Eucalyptus tree that swallows a young boy. Then the boy convinces the snake to go on an eating spree.
Maya’s Blanket/La Manta de Maya– This bilingual book follows Maya and the blanket her grandmother made for her as she grows up. Over time she makes the blanket into new items as it becomes worn with her grandmother’s help. This book follows a similar pattern as the Yiddish folk song I Had a Little Coat.
Nonfiction: Kids & Customs
This is How We Do It– Learn about the life of 7 kids through first-hand accounts of their family, homes, and other everyday activities. Also discover how the author interviewed children from around the world and used the children’s photographs to help create the illustrations for this book.
Throw Your Tooth on the Roof: Tooth Traditions from Around the World– Learn about a wide range of customs from around the world centering around what kids do with their baby teeth when they lose them.
Around the World in a bathtub– Follow young children around the world as they shout “No, no” and their parents say “Yes, yes” about bathtime. Also, learn about how baths are similar and different around the world.
Let’s Eat– Learn about the life of 5 children centering around the food that they eat. Each child tells information about where they live, how they get food, and what they eat. In addition, photographs accompany each description.