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Sarah Brady | January 29, 2019

Once a month, the World Area Book Awards (Américas Award, Africana Book Award, Freeman Book Award, Middle East Book Award and the South Asia Book Award) will sponsor a 60-minute webinar from 7:00-8:00 p.m. EST.

Each webinar will feature a presentation by an award-winning author with discussion on how to incorporate multicultural literature into the classroom. The books are appropriate for students in grades 7-12. Please read along this spring to explore the world through these award-winning books. All readers are encouraged to join in on the conversations each month and ask the author questions live. Be sure to join the conversation with the webinar hashtag #2019ReadingAcrossCultures.

All sessions are free and open to the public. All times listed refer to Central Standard Time (EST). Sponsored by the Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs, the South Asia National Outreach Consortium, the Middle East Outreach Council, the African Studies Outreach Council and the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia.

Register here!

Schedule for Upcoming Webinars

February 15, 2019
Africana Book Award – Africa Access

February’s book award is sponsored by the Africana Book Award. Please join us in learning more about the book When Morning Comes by Arushi Raina. This fictionalized account of a student uprising that began in Soweto, South Africa, on June 16, 1976, unfolds through the first-person narratives of four young adults from different backgrounds whose lives intersect. An African student, Zanele, secretly organizes the protest against the Afrikaans Medium Decree Act, which required the use of English and Afrikaans (“the language of the oppressors”) in schools. Her apolitical friend Thabo heads a local gang, extorting money from an Indian store owner, whose daughter Meena, is sympathetic to the students. Meanwhile, Jack, a white Afrikaner, meets, befriends, and comes to love Zanele.


March 20, 2019
Américas Book Award
Consortium of Latin American Studies Programs

We will explore the book Lucky, Broken Girl by Ruth Behar, a 2018 honorable mention Américas Book and winner of the 2018 Pura Belpré award. In this unforgettable multicultural coming-of-age novel – based on the author’s childhood in the 1960s – a young Cuban-Jewish immigrant girl is adjusting to her new life in New York City when her American dream is suddenly derailed. Ruthie’s plight will intrigue readers and her powerful story of strength and resilience, full of color, light and poignancy, will stay with them for a long time.


April – Date TBA!
Freeman Book Award – East and Southeast Asia, National Consortium for Teaching about Asia


May 8, 2019
South Asia Book Award, South Asia National Outreach Council

The South Asia Book Award highlights the work of Mitali Perkins with her work You Bring the Distant Near. Five girls. Three generations. One great American love story. Ranee, worried that her children are losing their Indian culture; Sonia, wrapped up in a forbidden biracial love affair; Tara, seeking the limelight to hide her true self; Shanti, desperately trying to make peace in the family; Anna, fighting to preserve her Bengali identity.



Past webinars:

January 22, 2019
Middle East Book Award, Middle East Outreach Council

The webinar will explore the book The Map of Salt and Stars by Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar, winner of the 2018 Middle East Book Award for Youth Literature. The Map of Salt and Stars is part cartography, part poetry and part call to action. The gripping narrative interweaves the journeys of two strong and intelligent female protagonists: Nour, a Syrian-American girl escaping the violence of the civil war, and Rawiya, a 12th-century girl who dresses as a boy to become apprentice to the famous mapmaker al-Idrisi. Beautifully written descriptions of Nour’s synesthesia help us understand her experiences in new ways.

See the webinar here.