My favorite books about childhood and globalization

Why am I passionate about this?

I've been interested in children’s lives for as long as I can remember. I think my own childhood experiences provoked my curiosity about the world as observed and perceived by children. My own childhood was affected by globalization in the broadest sense. When I was a child, my family moved to the United States from Iran. I grew up in Utah where I encountered a different way of life than the one I left behind. The shift from one culture to another was thrilling and scary. The encounter with a new world and a different culture has taught me important lessons about children’s creativity, strength, and curiosity as well as their fears, insecurities, and vulnerabilities.  


I wrote...

Children and Globalization: Multidisciplinary Perspectives

By Hoda Mahmoudi, Steven Mintz,

Book cover of Children and Globalization: Multidisciplinary Perspectives

What is my book about?

Globalization has carried vast consequences for the lives of children. It has spurred unprecedented waves of immigration, contributed to far-reaching transformations in the organization, structure, and dynamics of family life, and profoundly altered trajectories of growing up. Equally important, globalization has contributed to the worldwide dissemination of a set of international norms about children’s welfare and heightened public awareness of disparities in the lives of children around the world. This book's contributors – leading historians, literary scholars, psychologists, social geographers, and others – provide fresh perspectives on the transformations that globalization has produced in children's lives.

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Childhood in World History

Hoda Mahmoudi Why did I love this book?

I believe this book serves as a solid foundation for the scholarly discussions surrounding the changing paradigms of childhood throughout history and the world. I find its examinations of many different times and places fascinating. This volume explores the cultural creation of concepts of childhood and the ways they have developed and evolved as the world has become more connected, something I can relate to my own childhood experiences.

By Peter N. Stearns,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Childhood in World History as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Now in its fourth edition, Childhood in World History covers the major developments in the history of childhood from the classical civilizations to the present and explores how agricultural and industrial economies have shaped the experiences of children.

Through comparative analysis, Peter N. Stearns facilitates a cross-cultural and transnational understanding of attitudes toward the role of children in society, and how "models" of childhood have developed throughout history. He addresses the tension between regional and social/gender differences, on the one hand, and factors that encouraged greater convergence, including the experience of globalization. The book also deals with regional patterns as…


Book cover of African American Childhoods: Historical Perspectives from Slavery to Civil Rights

Hoda Mahmoudi Why did I love this book?

I am very interested in the unique challenges that African American children face in the United States. The impacts and continuing effects of slavery and systemic racism begin affecting them before they can articulate the discrimination they experience. This book makes me question the root causes of prejudice and how it is instilled in and inflicted on children.

By Wilma King,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked African American Childhoods as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

African American Childhoods seeks to fill a vacuum in the study of African American children. Recovering the voices or experiences of these children, we observe nuances in their lives based on their legal status, class standing, and social development.


Book cover of Huck's Raft: A History of American Childhood

Hoda Mahmoudi Why did I love this book?

My childhood has shaped who I am and my research interests. Children have been viewed as many things across American History, from sinful creatures to a productive workforce, from coddled innocents to drivers of consumption. This book traces the adventurous, hazardous, and sometimes perilous transition from childhood to adulthood, in all its many forms, through the development of the American experiment. I like to see how broader trends impact how we think of and raise children.

By Steven Mintz,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Huck's Raft as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Like Huck's raft, the experience of American childhood has been both adventurous and terrifying. For more than three centuries, adults have agonized over raising children while children have followed their own paths to development and expression. Now, Steven Mintz gives us the first comprehensive history of American childhood encompassing both the child's and the adult's tumultuous early years of life.

Underscoring diversity through time and across regions, Mintz traces the transformation of children from the sinful creatures perceived by Puritans to the productive workers of nineteenth-century farms and factories, from the cosseted cherubs of the Victorian era to the confident…


Book cover of Learning to Belong in the World: An Ethnography of Asian American Girls

Hoda Mahmoudi Why did I love this book?

Growing up, I moved from one culture to another, and I know being a teenager can be difficult. The lives of teenage girls are complex, even more so for the children of Asian immigrants, who not only face the pressures of school and society but also serve as cultural mediators, negotiators, community builders, and bridges between the many worlds they grow up in. His book looks at the lives of Asian American girls and their roles in globalization and boundary crossing as they struggle, dream, grow, and thrive. As an immigrant myself, I connected to many of the ideas in this book.

By Tomoko Tokunaga,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Learning to Belong in the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This book provides a complex and intricate portrayal of Asian American high school girls - which has been an under-researched population - as cultural meditators, diasporic agents, and community builders who negotiate displacement and attachment in challenging worlds of the in-between. Based on two years of ethnographic fieldwork, Tomoko Tokunaga presents a portrait of the girls' hardships, dilemmas, and dreams while growing up in an interconnected world. This book contributes a new understanding of the roles of immigrant children and youth as agents of globalization and sophisticated border-crossers who have the power and agency to construct belonging and identity across…


Book cover of The Other Daughters of the Revolution: The Narrative of K. White (1809) and the Memoirs of Elizabeth Fisher (1810)

Hoda Mahmoudi Why did I love this book?

This book is very emotional and affecting to read for me. It presents two of the earliest autobiographical accounts from American women, with an introduction by Sharon Halevi. As they trace their lives, they depict a world in which childhood, as modern readers understand, does not exist, and even young women need to navigate the intricacies of their controlling and patriarchal world. I often ask what has changed and what has unfortunately stayed the same.

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The Truth About Unringing Phones

By Lara Lillibridge,

Book cover of The Truth About Unringing Phones

Lara Lillibridge

New book alert!

What is my book about?

When Lara was four years old, her father moved from Rochester, New York, to Anchorage, Alaska, a distance of over 4,000 miles. She spent her childhood chasing after him, flying a quarter of the way around the world to tug at the hem of his jacket.

Now that he is in his eighties, she contemplates her obligation to an absentee father. The Truth About Unringing Phones is an exploration of responsibility and culpability told in experimental and fragmented essays.

The Truth About Unringing Phones

By Lara Lillibridge,

What is this book about?

When Lara was four years old, her father moved from Rochester, New York, to Anchorage, Alaska, a distance of over 4,000 miles. She spent her childhood chasing after him, flying a quarter of the way around the world to tug at the hem of his jacket. Now that he is in his eighties, she contemplates her obligation to an absentee father.




The Truth About Unringing Phones: Essays on Yearning is an exploration of responsibility and culpability told in experimental and fragmented essays.


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