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International Literature Middle School Program

The International Literature Program explores global perspectives through literature and related cultural experiences. The books listed below are available for check out in the East Asia Program's Lending Library.


 "Good literature creates empathy in readers, who, between the pages of books, enter the lives of others like and unlike themselves" (Lehman, 2007, p. 68).


International Collection of Children’s and Adolescent Literature:
Worlds of words – Asia

International Children’s Digital Library

Texts and Contexts: Teaching Japan through Children's Literature

Japan: The Big Wave by Pearl S. Buck

The Big Wave by Pearl S. Buck (1986, 64 pages, ages 7 and up)
Synopsis: Kino lives on a farm on the side of a mountain in japan. His friend, Jiya, lives in a fishing village below. Everyone, including Kino and Jiya, has heard of the big wave. No one suspects it will wipe out the whole village and Jiya's family, too. As Jiya struggles to overcome his sorrow, he comes to understand what it means to be brave, and to appreciate how wonderful life can be.

Information on Pearl S. Buck

Lesson Plans On Tsunamis 

Scholastic Digital Lesson Plan

Tsunamis in Literature and Legends

Tsunamis: A Lesson on Parts of a Wave and Wavelength

The slinkies (12) are available for check out from the East Asia Program.

Shake and Quake by Nancy Volk from Museum of Science and Technology (Syracuse, New York)

Shake Out: Tsunami in a Bottle developed by the Southern California Earthquake Center

NPR: For Kids in Japan, Adjusting to a Changed World

Teach 3.11

Teach 3.11 Syllabus Collection 

China: Chinese Cinderella and the Secret Dragon Society
by Adeline Yen Mah

Chinese Cinderella and the Secret Dragon Society by Adeline Yen Mah (2006, 256 pages, ages 10 and up)
Synopsis: After enduring abuse at the hands of her cruel stepmother, Chinese Cinderella (CC) seeks refuge at a martial arts school and joins a secret dragon society. Under the guidance of Grandma Wu, CC is introduced to the exciting world of espionage as a part of the Chinese Resistance movement. And when CC and her new comrades take on a daring mission to rescue a crew of WWII American airmen, they prove that true bravery knows no age barrier. 

Author’s website

Education Centre
Teacher Notes: Written by Susan La Marca

Korea: A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park (KB015)

A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park (2001, 192 pages, ages 9 and up)
Synopsis: Tree-ear is an orphan boy in a 12th-century Korean potters’ village. For a long time he is content living with Crane-man under a bridge barely surviving on scraps of food. All that changes when he sees master potter Min making his beautiful pottery. Tree-ear sneaks back to Min’s workplace and dreams of creating his own pots someday. When he accidentally breaks a pot, he must work for the master to pay for the damage. Though the work is long and hard, Tree-ear is eager to learn. Then he is sent to the King’s Court to show the master’s pottery. Little does Tree-ear know that this difficult and dangerous journey will change his life forever.

 Author’s website

Original In depth Interview

Korea Academy for Educators

Lesson Plan On Korea