Reading the World Book Group

A Book Group for K-12 Teachers Focused on Global Literature

Dec. 4, 2023
Reading the World


Brazilian educator Paulo Freire writes, “Reading is not exhausted merely by decoding the written word or written language, but rather anticipated by and extending into knowledge of the world. Reading the world precedes reading the word, and the subsequent reading of the word cannot dispense with continually reading the world. Language and reality are dynamically intertwined” (The Importance of the Act of Reading).

Join the University of Arizona Centers for East Asian Studies, Latin American Studies, and Middle Eastern Studies for our Reading the World book group. Inspired by Freire’s words, we aim to create a space dedicated to teachers discussing authentic and engaging global literature for elementary, middle, and high school classrooms.

We meet each month from 4:30-6:00 pm at Revolutionary Grounds Books & Coffee (4675 E Speedway Blvd, Tucson, AZ). We welcome your participation whether you've read the whole book or a single page. Monthly attendance is encouraged but not required. These monthly events are free and open to the public.

This Month:

Our January title is the young adult novel Morning Sun in Wuhan by Ying Chang Compestine.

Weaving in the tastes and sounds of the historic city, Wuhan’s comforting and distinctive cuisine comes to life as the reader follows 13-year-old Mei who, through her love for cooking, makes a difference in her community. Written by an award-winning author originally from Wuhan.

Grieving the death of her mother and an outcast at school, thirteen-year-old Mei finds solace in cooking and computer games. When her friend’s grandmother falls ill, Mei seeks out her father, a doctor, for help, and discovers the hospital is overcrowded. As the virus spreads, Mei finds herself alone in a locked-down city trying to find a way to help.

Author Ying Chang Compestine draws on her own experiences growing up in Wuhan to illustrate that the darkest times can bring out the best in people, friendship can give one courage in frightening times, and most importantly, young people can make an impact on the world. Readers can follow Mei’s tantalizing recipes and cook them at home.

Find the book at your local library or preferred bookseller.

If you love the book and want to use it in your classroom, The Center for East Asian Studies has a book set of 25 copies available to borrow through their Lending Library.

Future Book Group Dates:

Feb. 7

March 6

April 10

May 8

For questions, please contact Lucy (Xi) Lin at