Books and travel. I probably identify myself with these two things more than any other. I am a reader and I am a traveler. In many ways I became a traveler because I was a reader. Last year I started to put together a book list for as many countries in the world as I could (I would say every country in the world but there are a few countries that I just couldn’t find a book for.)
For a book to make it onto a list the majority of the book must be set in that country. If the character has immigrated from that country (example: Vietnam) to another (example: Australia) then the book would be place in the country where it is set (In this case Australia) I am avoiding travelogues but I am including memoirs from a native of the country. I think that this is a better refection of authenticity. I give preference to YA (especially contemporary) and I have not included nonfiction books about any one country (example: China: Land of Enchantment).
Preference is given to books written by #ownvoices authors. In some cases I was not able to find a book in English written by someone from that country. This list was originally made with middle school students in mind so there are some adult novels that I skipped over. I have included novels about expats/travelers. This is a reflection of the lives of the students that I work with. They may not be as useful to you.
There are some countries (USA, Canada, Australia, UK) with so many books to choose from that it was overwhelming. I did my best to present as wide an array as possible of experiences and voices. Comments and suggestions are welcome as I have my biases and might need them pointed out.
Some things that you should know:
1. I have not read all of these books. There are so many it just wasn’t possible. If there is a book on this list that you think/know is problematic, please let me know and I will look into it/ take it down. There are some older books written by white guys that I was hesitant to include. I did eventually if I couldn’t find another book. But if the book is a terrible representation of a country I would rather have nothing.
2. If you have suggestions, PLEASE let me know. There are some counties (OMG: the Pacific island nations! Why is finding books for you so difficult?) that do not have a book suggestion. Please help me rectify that if you can.