When I was a little girl, I was drawn to stories like Lassie Come-Home and often dreamed of having a best friend just like Lassie. As I got older, although I still enjoyed a good dog story, I became increasingly more interested in world events and fell in love with stories like Dr. Zhivago for introducing me to new worlds and characters I cared about.
Because tools like the internet—let alone blogs—didn’t exist when I was a kid, it was often hard to find stories featuring a canine protagonist and/or one set in a foreign land unless the title specifically included ‘dog’ or the name of a country in it. So I was constantly coming up with zero finds from the card catalog (yes, the card catalog!) and started bugging the librarian on a weekly basis for book recommendations. And even she, despite her will and background, had a hard time coming up with a new title every week.
It is out of my childhood love of these kinds of stories that my own novel, Lara’s Gift—a Lassie-meets-Dr. Zhivago story—evolved. It is also out of the same childhood desire, as well as my interest as an author of young adult stories that I have created the blog, Read the World where I “house” running author interviews of two distinct types:
(1) On Mondays, I post interviews with authors who who have written a story set outside of the United States in World Reads; and
(2) On Thursdays, I post interviews with authors have written a story about a key canine character in Dog Reads.
I have categorized each Dog Read post by breed of dog and by the author’s first name. Likewise, each World Read post is listed by country and by the author’s first name. This way readers can easily search for and find a book about a Shetland Sheepdog by Bobbie Pyron or a book set in Mexico by Laura Resau for example, by perusing the categories I have set up under each sub blog within Read the World, the home blog.
Read the World launched on Monday, February 4, 2013 with an interview featuring Dog Diaries: Buddy by Kate Klimo. Upcoming interviews are scheduled with: Marion Dane Bauer, Kathi Appelt, Sarah Lean, Kathy Nuzum, Dori Jones Yang, Jessica Powers, Mary Hooper, and Terry Lynn Johnson to name a few.
Read the World will run as long as there are titles being published and authors writing these kinds of stories. If you have a favorite dog book or story set outside of the United States, I would love to hear from you. It could be a recent title or an older title. Although my focus is on middle grade and young adult novels within these ‘dog’ or ‘world’ subjects, I am also open to featuring picture books that fall within the respective subject matter.
If you are a publisher or author, I want to hear from you, too!
It is my hope that Read the World will become a go-to-resource for teachers, librarians, parents, and kids who share similar reading interests.
Don’t be shy! Send me your book recommendations and I’ll do my best to feature them in Read the World.