Introducing Yonder: Restless Books for Young Readers
Yonder is a new imprint from Restless Books devoted to bringing the wealth of great stories from around the globe to English-reading children, middle graders, and young adults. Books from other countries, cultures, viewpoints, and storytelling traditions can open up a universe of possibility, and the wider our view, the more powerfully books enrich and expand us. In an increasingly complex, globalized world, stories are potent vehicles of empathy. We believe it is essential to teach our kids to place themselves in the shoes of others beyond their communities, and instill in them a lifelong curiosity about the world and their place in it. Through publishing a diverse array of transporting stories, Yonder nurtures the next generation of savvy global citizens and lifelong readers.
“Reading—like traveling—opens borders, challenges preconceptions, and can have the effect of jolting both readers and wanderers out of their comfort zones. Travel and reading converge at Restless Books, a publisher of international literature…. The idea for a children’s imprint arose through a desire to further diversify the voices within America’s body of literature. If readers become comfortable with reading books from other cultures at a young age, they may carry that comfort with them as they age into other books, [Publisher Ilan] Stavans thought. He also arrived at the idea for Yonder based on input both from Restless readers and independent bookstores that the house is closely tied to. He believes that booksellers and readers are eager for books for children and teens that reflect more international experiences…. A frequent argument concerning publishing works in translation is that culturally specific content is non-transferrable or untranslatable across borders. While Stavans charges that many American readers are 'allergic to other languages,' he rejects the notion that children are unwilling to open themselves to stories that represent other cultures, voices, and experiences. In America’s publishing world—particularly when it comes to children’s books—he believes that there is 'a needlessly protective approach. It’s time we become less protective,' he said…. Yonder, like Restless Books, seeks to publish books that vary significantly in terms of country of origin, voice, and format. Yet all of the books in both the adult and children’s imprints are kindred spirits—'Restless' ones. To Stavans, a restless book 'is about the world today, is in motion, and crosses borders,' he said.”