Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Travel the World Anniversary Edition!

This week marks the one year anniversary of my Travel the World Wednesday features here at Becky's Book Reviews. Here is how I introduced this feature last year, "Each week I will review one or two books. What kinds of books? Well, for the most part international books. Books that were first published in another country (not United States) that have since been published here. This includes books that were written in English (Australia, Canada, England, etc.) and those books written in another language that have since been translated into English. But I may also look at a handful of books about characters that enjoy 'traveling' the world and learning about new places and new cultures." I hope you've enjoyed this aspect of my blog, and I'd love to hear your thoughts on what I've done this past year. I hope that I have shown that international literature comes in all shapes and sizes--board books, picture books, early readers, chapter books, novels; fiction and nonfiction and even poetry; kids, young adults, adults; all genres--fantasy, science fiction, realistic fiction, historical fiction, etc. And that it is easier to find than you might think. Reading the copyright and the jacket flap might reveal a shelf full of international titles where you weren't expecting it! I hope I've encouraged you to seek out some international books of your own to read.

If you'd like the chance to win one of four boxed sets: Asia Boxed Set, Discover the World Boxed Set, Travel the World Boxed Set, or Explore the World Boxed Set, please leave a comment on this post answering one of these questions...there will be four winners. Each boxed set contains four books. Please be sure to leave your email address, so I can contact you if you win. Winners will be announced on August 27th. This contest is limited to those living in the United States and Canada.

Who is your favorite international author? Why?
What is your most humorous travel story?
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Anamaria (bookstogether) 9:05 AM  

Thanks for highlighting international books, Becky! To answer the travel question: I would visit Greece with my family. I've never been there, but I taught Classics in graduate school, and the kids are both interested in Ancient Greece, Greek myth, etc. Then we would go to Italy, because I'm an Italophile (I studied in Florence as an undergraduate, and go back every chance I get!). Thanks again!

Ristau Family 10:05 AM  

I have always wanted to go to England - ever since I was about nine years old and fell in love with the British Royal Family. I also had a penpal from England who attended boarding school - something I always thought I wanted to do. Lately I have two new travel destinations that sound appealing to me: Costa Rica because of its beauty, and Iceland because I have been reading a lot about this country and find it fascinating.

Becky 10:22 AM  

Ristau family, I need an email address so I can reach you if you win. If you don't feel comfortable leaving an address in the comments (laney_poATyahooDOTcom) then please email me to complete your entry.

kimberley 2:06 PM  

Hmmm.. international travel sounds exciting, but would I have to bring the toddler along? If I have to bring her then I'll go somewhere that speaks English. A friend just went to Banff (sp?)Canada and loved it so I might go there. I'd chose Australia, but who wants that long of a plane ride with a kiddo? If I don't have to bring baby, then Hmmmm... Maybe Japan. Brush off my skills from 9th grade Japanese class.

Anonymous,  4:10 PM  

This is a great contest, Becky! Thank you so much for promoting international literature.

I want to respond, even though I am not entering the contest to win.

If I could go anywhere in the world, it would be New Zealand. I've heard wonderful things about the beautiful country and I'd even have a colleague there to show me around. I heard they have really great mountains for snowboarding so I'd give up the San Diego sun for a chance to carve down one of their slopes any day.

Suey 4:52 PM  

There's so many places I'd like to travel! But I'm going to say that right now, if I could go anywhere, I'd love to see more of Europe. Switzerland, Germany, France, Spain, Netherlands, Greece, Italy... and all of it! THEN, I'd come back another time and spend the whole summer in just the British Isles.

jenstusue at yahoo dot com

Anonymous,  7:05 PM  

I would love to go to Italy. I am most interested in going to Rome and Venice. I think mostly because of the history.

Stacy Dillon 8:46 PM  

I would like to go to 2 very different places. First, I'd like to go to Wales to see my grandmother's homestead. Then I would LOVE to go to India. I would love to see the Jain Temple on the Hill of Girnar with my own eyes.

Cynda 8:54 PM  

Chaucer has always been one of my favorites as well as the Romantic Poets of England. I would love to go to England and see Tintern Abbey and so many other places written about in those fabulous pieces of literature.

Anonymous,  9:12 PM  

So many favourites to choose from but Mem Fox is definitely high on the list.I heard her reading Koala Lou and loved it. She is so passionate about children's literarture.Can't think of any majorly humourous stories( apart from the usual- back pack flying open as it comes out of the backage shute, sending the holidays' dirty laundry flying.... or arriving at Winnipeg Airport with two small children and finding that my VISA has maxed out after paying for the hire car and the only way to pay for our flight to Calgary is with travellers cheques in $10 denominations.... or plonking myself down on a beach in Italy next to my husband with two ice creams and discovering it's not my husband but a very attractive nude male...or flying back from Majorca with my four year old belting out all the songs from "The Sound of Music", amusing probably to the parents and grandparents but not all the other weary travellers..or watching same child and younger sibling doing aerobics on a railway platform in the middle of the night somewhere between Toronto and Winnipeg.Think I'm on a roll here !
If money was no object(which unfortunately as a preschool teacher it is!, I would like to travel to all the cities in the world with major Art galleries.

Unknown 9:46 PM  

My funniest travel story is from when I was a teenager. My parents and I were on a trip from Germany to England on a bus tour trip. My parents by mistake brought my brothers passport instead of mine. This was the early 80's and they were pretty strict regarding border crossings etc... The tour guide said our only hope at the border was for everyone on the bus to pretend to be asleep and hopefully they border guard wouldn't want to wait for everyone to wake up etc.. Well- it worked. The border guard walked up and down the aisle of the bus, shook his head and left. Thank goodness!

Anonymous,  9:47 PM  

I have always loved books about Australia and in September I finally get the opportunity to go! I just bought "Diary of a Wombat" and can't wait to see the real thing. I have been to London, England for a Children's Lit class and would also really like to go back and explore more. Unfortunately the musuem with the Beatrix Potter exhibit was closed when we were there so I would definately want to go see that.

Thanks for all the great reviews and for having this contest :)


Becky 10:47 PM  

Marilyn and Shalome, thanks for entering! But--and this is important--for your entries to count, you need to provide me with contact information (email address). If you don't feel comfortable leaving your email address in the comments, then please email me at laney_poATyahooDOTcom and mention the Travel the World contest in the subject line. I'd love to count your entries and give you a chance to win.

Unknown 8:54 AM  

Ah, travel, that is a nice dream right now :-)
I would love to go to Greece and see all the history. My father has some great pics from when he visited there in the Navy and I just swoon at the Greek scenery in "Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants".

One of the most interesting books I have recently read by an international author is Exodus by Julie Bertagna of Scotland.

Thanks for your reviews!


Charlotte 10:12 AM  

Hi Becky--

So there we were a year and a half ago, headed for the wedding of my husband's niece in the Lake District of England, our two small children in tow. I knew he'd been in contact with her about it all, so I bought the plane tickets and left the rest to him. We arrive safely at the town where she lives, a pretty substantial market town. And this is as far as the directions he has printed out take us. No phone number, no specific address, and although he knew the name of her neighborhood, located just outside the town somewhere, no one seemed to have heard of it.

So I stayed in the car with sleeping child and hungry child, while he went off to look for internet access...and ten minutes later, he came back to the car. With his niece. She just happened to have come into town, and they bumped into each other on the main street.

So my husband's belief that luck is enough to travel with was strengthened, as was my belief that I should always carry backup information.

my email:

thanks Becky!

Unknown 11:55 AM  

I like you blog, congratulations.

I like to travel a lto and if do you like travel you will love this blog:

I found surferd in google and it have good advices, pictures from a lot of places around the world...

It's really good

Dr. Deb L. Marciano 8:04 PM  

Great reviews, Becky,
Funniest travel story: In Italy, I had practiced in my mind, ordering our lunch in italian. The waitress asked if we wanted tea "con limone'" and I replied, "No, con pesce." Ten minutes later, I realized I had asked for tea with FISH, not peach!

Visiting Italy, ANY TIME is #1 travel destination.

Thanks for the reviews! Happy Reading.

Dr. Deb L. Marciano 8:05 PM  

Great reviews, Becky,
Funniest travel story: In Italy, I had practiced in my mind, ordering our lunch in italian. The waitress asked if we wanted tea "con limone'" and I replied, "No, con pesce." Ten minutes later, I realized I had asked for tea with FISH, not peach!

Visiting Italy, ANY TIME is #1 travel destination.

Thanks for the reviews! Happy Reading.

Dr. Deb L. Marciano 8:05 PM  

Great reviews, Becky,
Funniest travel story: In Italy, I had practiced in my mind, ordering our lunch in italian. The waitress asked if we wanted tea "con limone'" and I replied, "No, con pesce." Ten minutes later, I realized I had asked for tea with FISH, not peach!

Visiting Italy, ANY TIME is #1 travel destination.

Thanks for the reviews! Happy Reading.

Dr. Deb L. Marciano 8:06 PM  

Great reviews, Becky,
Funniest travel story: In Italy, I had practiced in my mind, ordering our lunch in italian. The waitress asked if we wanted tea "con limone'" and I replied, "No, con pesce." Ten minutes later, I realized I had asked for tea with FISH, not peach!

Visiting Italy, ANY TIME is #1 travel destination.

Thanks for the reviews! Happy Reading.

Anonymous,  7:54 AM  

I am a 4th grade teacher and the kids are always fasinated by mummies. I have guided them to look at websites and books that will help satisfy their curiousity. I would like to go to Egypt to get some hands on knowledge to share personally. Don't know if that will ever happen, but it doesn't hurt to dream and inspire kids to follow their own! kristel

Anonymous,  11:47 AM  




Unknown 3:05 PM  

Well, there are a lot of places I would like to visit...Hawaii, Australia, Switzerland...but Joel would most like to visit Denmark, home of the Lego!

Holly 6:58 PM  

Ooh, lush!

I think my favorite non-USian author is probably Garth Nix. (I do love the Aussie YA crew...)
Thanks for hosting this giveaway!

Laura 7:43 PM  

I want to go to Madagascar! Or the Galapagos. I think places that have their own completely unique group of animals and plants are so interesting. Plus, lemurs! What's not to love?

Tricia 9:46 AM  

Hi Becky,
What a great contest. I love the pieces that Kane/Miller publishes.

I have always wanted to travel to India. Since listening the the series Ganga on NPR last year, I'm even more determined to go.

Deb Nance at Readerbuzz 12:33 PM  

My favorite international author: Haruki Murakami (and I can spell it now without looking it up at Amazon!)

If at first (or second or third, in my case) you do not succeed, try, try again. I would like to win...and I try again.

debnance at gmail dot com

Unknown 12:58 PM  

As a kid, I loved reading the Pippi Longstocking books by Astrid Lindgren, as well as Anne of Green Gables. I was very excited in HS when my family went on a trip to the Canadian Maritimes & I was able to see all the places I had read about. One of my most favorite int'l picture books is Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox.
Being a geography teacher, I would love to win one of these sets!

Anonymous,  4:18 PM  

Becky..I'm not into travel outside of the United States...theres so many places here that I would love to travel to...but Canada would be the place I would want to go outside of the United STates...why..its close by...and you can go by car and I could probably understand what they are saying..but..If I had the disire to travel outside of the United would be either Rome or England....thanks...Conie

anra 9:49 PM  

Funniest travel story:

I was staying in England with a friend and he was being all British and well... yeah. And I looked outside the window and told him "It looks like tornado weather out there." and he smirked at me and said "We do not have tornadoes in England, Anra" and so I let it drop and went to sleep. When we woke up the next morning and turned on the TV, 3 tornadoes had touched down in England and one in the area he lived in. I totally said "I told you so" and made him call for the cab ride to the airport since the railroads were busted with all the tornado weather and debris.

Shooting Stars Mag 10:51 AM  

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?

I know this isn't all that interesting, but I'd have to choose England. As of now, I haven't left the U.S. so England would definitely be my first pick. I've wanted to go there for a long time now and I have a pen pal who lives there and it would always be fun to meet up with her!

This is a really great contest, by the way.

Anonymous,  8:54 AM  

Who is your favorite international author?
I would have to say Charles Dickens. Not only could he create an epic tale but he incorporated humor, tragedy, human suffering, and everyday happenings into his amazing stories. As an English Lit major, I always wanted to research and write an academic paper about the authors that were influenced by Dickens (Kafka, Irving, etc.). I think I could prove that he was truly the father of contemporary fiction. Now as a children's librarian I can only hope my students will eventually grow up to love his writing too. So, if I extended this I would love to travel to England to see where this literature was created and view the setting for most of his stories. But that is another post...

Anonymous,  5:46 PM  

I would love to travel with my children to England, to make a literary tour, starting with Bond Street, since we are FANS of Sherlock Holmes, thanks a lot, Becky! (ana at austeriana dot com)

Berek 8:12 PM  

My favorite international author is Glenda Larke. She lives in Malaysia and creates some of the most realistic fantasy out there today.

Lenore Appelhans 1:17 PM  

Who is your favorite international author? Why?
I like French Author Sebastien Japrisot because he wrote some great noir thrillers.

My e-mail is in my blogger profile in case I win, thanks!

Serena 11:52 AM  

I would love to enter this contest. I have to say that I would love to just travel the world, but right now one of the places I most long to see is Portugal because I have been to the Azores where a part of my family is from and would love to see the mainland where the rest of my family hails from.

Chelsea 3:24 PM  

If I could travel anywhere in the world, it would be...

Agh, such a hard question. There are so many places I'd love to visit. Well, Greece. I love Greek myths, and it just looks so beautiful there. Alaska, because I want to stay in the Ice Hotel. Hawaii, because their plants and beaches look amazing. (And I so badly want to swim with dolphins!) London, because who can beat British accents? And Asia, because they're culture and structures are just so fascinating.

I think I failed at this question. But I can't name just one!


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I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

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I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

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