Expand Your Horizons: Read Books from Foreign Lands

Books published outside the US

My friend Rachel asked me for some of these because she has to read them for an assignment for her Writing for Children and Young Adults degree she is getting (Go Rachel! Go Rachel!) I came up with a few, then asked around on twitter and facebook as well.  By collecting and organizing responses, I've come up with a book list, an author list, and a link list. Have at it!

Book list:
Harry Potter series* by J. K. Rowling (UK)
The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (France)
Hilda and the Midnight Giant series* by Luke Pearson (France)
Bad Machinery** series by John Allison (UK)
Hidden* by Loïc Dauvillier (France)
Neurocomic* by Farinella and Ros (UK)
Moonhead and the Music Machine* by Andrew Rae (UK)
Skellig* by David Almond (UK)
Kit's Wilderness by David Almond (UK)
The 13 Story Tree House by Andy Griffiths (Aus)
Saffy's Angel* series by Hilary McKay (UK)
Fortunately the Milk by Neil Gaiman (UK)
When We Wake by Karen Healey (New Zealand)
The Montmaray Journals by Michelle Cooper (Aus)
Happy as Larry by Scot Gardner (Aus)
Fairytales for Wilde Girls by Allyse Near (Aus)
Kaleidoscope anthology edited by Alisa Kranostein and Julia Rios (Aus)
Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil (Aus)
The Protected by Claire Zorn (Aus)
At the Same Moment Around the World Clotilde Perrin (France)
Monster Blood Tattoo series by D. M. Cornish (Aus)
The Lost Conspiracy by Francis Hardinge (UK)
The Books of Pelinor series by Alison Croggon (Aus)
Ruby Red series by Kerstin Gier, translated by Anthea Bell (Germany)
Matilda* by Roald Dahl
The Letter For The King* by Tonke Dragt

(affiliate link)

Author list:
Melina Marchetta
Margo Lanagan
Sally Murphy (her verse novels especially recommended)
Juliet Marillier* (already a favorite of Rachel's, I know)
Ellie Marney
Margret Mahy
Dodie Smith (whose books 101 Dalmations and I Capture the Castle I want to read)
Astrid Lindgren*
Tove Jansson*

and authors listed in the book list, above:
J. K. Rowling*
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Like Pearson*
John Allison*
Loïc Dauvillier*
Andrew Rae*
David Almond**
Andy Griffiths
Hilary McKay**
Neil Gaiman*
Karen Healey
Michelle Cooper
Scot Gardner
Allyse Near
Melissa Keil
Claire Zorn
Clotilde Perrin
D. M. Cornish
Francis Hardinge
Hana Ros*
Matteo Farinella*
Kerstin Gier
Alison Croggon
Roald Dahl* (not all of his books qualify)
Tonke Dragt*

Link list:
At http://en.childrenslibrary.org you can search books by country.
Check  the Children's Book Council of Australia's Book of the Year awards.
More than 800 Australian books listed by Tehani Wessely https://www.goodreads.com/review/list/1900754-tehani?shelf=australian
A tag of Canadian books on Laina's blog http://lainahastoomuchsparetime.blogspot.ca/search/label/canadian%20book
The Enchanted Lion publishing house reprints a lot of European books.

Thanks to the following for contributing to this list!
Ashley Bair
Amber Burge
Betsy Bird (@FuseEight)
Eric Davis (@EricinBoston)
Justine Larbalestier (@JustineLavaworm)
Kathryn Flaherty (@KathrynFlaherty)
Kayla Sorenson
Laina (@lainasparetime)
Leila Roy (@bkshlevesofdoom)
Lisa Brown (@lisabrowndraws)
Ransom Smith
Tehani Wessely (@editormum75)
Vlad Verano (@3rdplacepress)

What would YOU add to this list?

I hope this helps you get your degree, Rachel! Because I definitely want to read more of your writing. (I've read bits of Rachel's most excellent fantasy epic about a tattooed girl, and her redemption story about a  heroin addict. Am waiting not-so-patiently for more.)

All photos came from Rachel's breathtaking instagram feed. She's @rachelandcompany on instagram. You will be *shocked* to know that I post @everead on instagram, mostly pictures of my kiddos and my books.

*I have personally read this book or a work by this author.

**Link to an Everead post: Bad Machinery (John Allison) . My Dad's a Birdman (David Almond), Hidden (Loic Dauvillier), The Graveyard Book (Neil Gaiman)Hilary McKay (who has enough posts on Everead to warrant her own tag), Shadowfell (Juliet Marillier), Moomin (Tove Jansson).


  1. Astrid Lindgren? Tove Jansson?

    1. Of course!! How could I forget those two? (Well, I'll tell you that I couldn't get to my own shelves while I was making the initial list. Sleeping baby. So that's what I'm going to give the blame for my oversight.)

  2. There's a trilogy by Kerstin Gier written in German, I believe, and translated into English by Anthea Bell. The books are Ruby Red, Sapphire Blue, and Emerald Green. I read and loved a series by Australian poet Alison Croggon, the Books of Pellinor---The Naming, The Riddle, The Crow, and The Singing. I ordered the fourth one from overseas because I was too impatient to wait for it to hit the U.S. :)

    1. Excellent! I remember you recommending both of those series to me! (Still haven't read either one yet, oops.) But I have added them to the list. Thanks.

  3. Do the Roald Dalh books count?

    1. It looks like it depends on which title we consider. The BFG and Matilda were published in in the US and the UK the same year, as far as I can tell. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory was published in the US *before* it was pub'd in the UK, so it wouldn't count. Interestingly, I think of C&tCF as an American book. Maybe because it feels like it's set in NY?


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