GUEST ARTICLE: Traveling the World Through Books

11:00 PM Tif Sweeney 0 Comments

Please welcome our amazing International Committee for compiling this fun guest article and creating these absolutely fabulous graphics!  Read on and be sure to chime in with your own recommendations as they request at the end.


As Stephen King said, “Books are a uniquely portable magic.” They’re also the wardrobe door, a path into another time and place, sometimes even places that don’t exist.

Today, we want to celebrate the places books can take you. We’ll also been sharing some books set in various countries on Twitter, so look out for those and share your favourites!

There are 196 countries on Earth, the third planet from the Sun and with a surface area of 510.1 million km². Books are a fantastic way to learn more about the world, and there are clearly many possible settings all around us for a story!

Some settings are more popular than others. PLENTY of books are set in the States, and the UK gets its fair share, too. But what about the rest of the world? The international team set out to find YA books set in other cities around the world.

We hit a bit of a stumbling block, though. We wanted to focus on cities, but we quickly discovered that it was hard enough finding good books set in whole countries, and sometimes even continents.

A couple of cities – London and Paris, for example – get a spotlight, while a lot of other amazing places seem to fade into complete obscurity.

We found more books written about space than in some countries on our very own planet!

We also learned that a lot of books set in other countries were written by… Americans.  And we love and appreciate these authors for writing about countries other than their own, but we still wish there was more written by local authors! One of today’s topics is diversity, and we’d definitely love to see some more here!

So today, wonderful readers, we’re appealing to you for two things.

First of all, can you succeed where we didn’t? Share with us your favourite books set in your country in the comments or on Twitter.

Second, and this is the harder one… Share with your local community what sort of books you want to read. Let publishers and authors know that you want to read about your own country. If you’re an aspiring writer (or even a published one!), we’re appealing to you to write about your experience, your city, your country. We want to know what it’s like where you live!