December 18th: International Migrants Day

Migration is an ongoing process around the world, constantly changing and being influenced by different factors. Whether it be due to persecution or climate change, people are forced to flee their homes every day in hopes of a better life. International Migrants Day aims to show the importance of building a world of peace and opportunity for all by allowing for safe migration everywhere.

If you’re interested in the numbers surrounding migration, take a look at the migration data portal! Today is also the last day you can watch documentaries telling the stories of migrants around the world on the IOM website free of charge!

For visual representation of the topic of migration, the graphic novel The Arrival tells the story of a man in search of a home for his family. This book doesn’t need words to convey the emotions that accompany this complex topic. The Paper Menagerie offers an in-depth view of a character’s inner tug-of-war between her ‘old’ and new identity surrounding her migrant background. The fantasy short story explores how struggling with intercultural identities can make you distance yourself from those closest to you.


The International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPWD) aims to spread awareness of the millions of people navigating daily life with disabilities. This year’s theme “Not All Disabilities Are Visible” refers to the many disabilities that aren’t immediately apparent, such as neurological disorders or chronic pain and fatigue.

Representation in literature and media can help shine a light on issues such as the simplification and stereotyping of disabilities. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time is told through the eyes of a teenager on the autism spectrum, who embarks on an investigation after finding a dead dog. The novel Things Not Seen features a young girl with a sight impairment that befriends the protagonist and offers insight on her daily life and experiences.

Some YouTubers that create content about stereotypes surrounding disabilities that I’ve enjoyed watching include: Tommy Edison, Molly Burke, Jessica Kellgren-Fozgard.


Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need. – Fight Club

Every year, Black Friday shows us an almost caricature-like image of consumerism. Sale signs floating around everywhere, ranging from ‘buy 1 get 1 free!’ to ‘40% off (almost) everything!’ (the almost part being the crucial detail). People flocking to clothing stores, eager to find the best deal. Naturally, it’s amazing to get something you already wanted at a discount. But if you’re trying to find something you want to buy on sale, are you still saving money? Furthermore, what does the fact that these retailers can sell products at a steep discount while still making a profit tell us? Is the deal just that good, or is the original retail price just ridiculous? What is the true cost of these ultra-affordable items?

The documentary The True Cost explores the world of fast fashion, consumerism and the many questions it raises. How much do clothing pieces actually cost to make and what is behind that number? What is the psychology behind overconsumption along with the ethical and environmental implications that follow?

The Buy Nothing Day strategically placed the day of (in the US) or after (in Europe) Black Friday, aims to draw attention to the evergrowing problem of overconsumption. Whether it be a day-long hike or walking around a mall pretending to be zombies, there are various types of activities and protests taking place on Buy Nothing Day.

And while you don’t need to be running around a mall cutting up credit cards in protest, we could all use a day off of shopping to remember that we don’t need to buy everything!

Stay happy and healthy!


“We are not what other people say we are. We are who we know ourselves to be, and we are what we love.” – Laverne Cox (Orange Is the New Black)

Transgender Day of Remembrance was founded in 1999 to memorialise the murder of Rita Hester, a transgender woman. This day is meant to honour those who face stigma and discrimination due to their gender identity, drawing attention to the violence transgender people regularly face.

Ich bin Linus is a German novel that allows a glimpse into the journey of Linus, a transgender man. The book addresses various aspects of gender transition in short, essay-like chapters. The novel Boy2Girl tells the humorous story of what happens when you mix school, friendship and gender identity all in one. The novel is perfect for younger teens and people looking for an entertaining fastpaced read.

Stay mindful and kind,


The diversity of our world’s many religions, languages, cultures and ethnicities is not a pretext for conflict, but is a treasure that enriches us all.” – UNESCO.

Today, we celebrate mindful, respectful, objective and fair attitudes towards beliefs, practices, opinions, origins and identities that differ from our own. To oppose bias, radicule and peer pressure and to encourage diversity and equality around the world the United Nations introduced the International Day for Tolerance in 1996. Indeed, education is the key factor to prevent intolerance, hate, stereotypes or bullying and support a ‘mutual understanding among cultures and peoples’. Therefore, teachers should “[…] help young people [to] develop capacities for independent judgement, critical thinking and ethical reasoning.” – UNESCO.

Lit4School offers a wide range of texts for the German and English classroom that counter intolerance and offer paradigm shifts for young readers: Herkunft by Saša Stanišić provides us with an autobiographical refugee perspective on otherness and exclusion – that makes the readers experiencing what it means to be treated differently when arriving in a foreign country. The Curious Incident of the Boy in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon presents the perspective of Christopher – a boy on the autism spectrum and how he perceives his world from a very different angle. Die Sommer by Ronya Othmann tells a unique story about migration, religious intolerance, violent extremism and civil war. Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman use reverse stereotyping to offer a paradigm shift that makes the readers aware of racial stereotyping and oppression.

Ignorance and prejudice are the handmaidens of propaganda. Our mission, therefore, is to confront ignorance with knowledge, bigotry with tolerance, and isolation with the outstretched hand of generosity. Racism can, will, and must be defeated.” ― Kofi Annan

Lets promote awareness for pluralism, diversity and tolerance in school.

Kind regards and stay safe,


Now that in-person interactions have become scarcer, I’ve caught myself drifting away from the people I care about. May it be forgetting to text back a family member or being randomly irritated during a Zoom call, sometimes I need a reminder to be more thoughtful and kind.

I think books can teach us a great deal about how or how not to treat people, no matter the age of the reader. Room on the Broom tells the story of friends helping each other out no matter what. In Fry Bread, you can see a family held together by the glue that is love, good food and quality time. And lastly, The Magic School Bus shows us that there are no stupid questions and that anything can be solved with some patience.

And although we can’t run into a big group hug, we can try and remember to be kind to the people around us. Shoot a friend a text, donate to a cause close to your heart, or take your dog for an extra-long walk today!

Stay healthy and happy!


On September 10th, the International Association for Suicide Prevention (IASP), World Health Organisation (WHO) and World Federation for Mental Health (WFMP) collaborate to raise awareness of suicide and develop as well as improve suicide prevention plans. For resources, an introductory film on suicide prevention and more information, consider visiting the IASP’s website.

Take a look at our entry on the teenage novel 13 Reasons Why for literature that allows for open discussions in the classroom regarding mental health and suicide.

Click here for German suicide prevention hotlines.

The editors

Dear users,

World Refugee Day is dedicated to raising awareness of the millions of refugees worldwide who have been forced to flee their homes due to persecution, war and conflict. For readers wanting to delve into different points of view, we recommend the novels “Refugee Boy” by Benjamin Zephaniah or “Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence” by Doris Pilkington. For a shorter text, the poem “We Refugees” by Benjamin Zephaniah shares with vivid imagery how each and every one of us can become a refugee.

Let us keep all those affected by persecution and conflict in their home countries in our hearts and minds.

The editors

Dear users,

Whether through J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, W. Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Nights Dream or the elves in J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Ring Series, fairies create magical moments in literature.

On the occasion of the International Fairy Day share your favorite magical moment in literature and send us your suggestions.


Dear users,

Although current events have put climate change on the back burner, International Environment Day can still help reminding us about the importance of appreciating and saving our planet.

On this occasion share your favorite eco-critical sources, send us your suggestions and take a look at our entry Saving Tally for a heart-warming story about a little turtle that has a run-in with some trash floating in the ocean!

The editors