It’s sometimes interesting to get a different perspective on the world. Here are some books set in some far-flung places – and some places close to home – grouped by continent/large body of water with islands in it.

Updated: March 2013


book cover courtesy of SyndeticsAllah is not obliged, Ahmadou Kourouma, Fiction, Ivory Coast
Burn My Heart, Beverley Naidoo, YA Fiction, Kenya
Child of Dandelions, Shenaaz Nanji, YA Fiction, Uganda
The Ear, the Eye, and the Arm: a novel, Nancy Farmer, YA Fiction, Zimbabwe
Measuring time, Helon Habila, Fiction, Nigeria
Purple Hibiscus, Chimamanda Adichie, Fiction, Nigeria
Spud, John van de Ruit, YA Fiction, South Africa
Wizard of the crow, Ngugi wa Thiongʾo, Fiction, Kenya


book cover courtesy of SyndeticsAnita and Me, Meera Syal, Fiction, India
Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress, Dai Siji, Fiction, China
Chinese Cinderella and the Secret Dragon Society, Adeline Yen Mah, YA Fiction, China
In the Sea There Are Crocodiles, Fabio Geda, YA Fiction, Afghanistan
The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Nagaru Tanigawa, YA Fiction, Japan
Message in a Bottle, Valerie Zenatti, YA Fiction, Israel/Palestine
Parvana, Deborah Ellis, YA Fiction, Afghanistan
book cover courtesy of SyndeticsPreliminaries, S Yizhar, YA Fiction, Israel
Q & A, Vikas Swarup, Fiction, India
Killing honour, Bali Rai, YA Fiction, India
Swimming in the Monsoon Sea, Shyam Selvadurai, YA Fiction, Sri Lanka
The Wild, Matt Whyman, YA Fiction, Kazahkstan
The Year of the Shanghai Shark, Mo Zhi Hong, YA Fiction, China


book cover courtesy of Syndetics13 little blue envelopes, Maureen Johnson, YA Fiction, Rome, Paris, Greece, England, and the Netherlands
Blood Red, Snow White, Marcus Sedgwick, YA Fiction, Russia
Bog Child, Siobhan Dowd, YA Fiction, Ireland
The Book Thief, Markus Zusak, YA Fiction, Germany (World War II)
The Dark Room, Rachel Seiffert, Fiction, Germany
book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe Game, Diana Wynne Jones, YA Fiction, Ireland
Journey to the End of the World, Henning Mankel, YA Fiction, Sweden
No and Me, Delphine de Vignan, YA Fiction, France
A Princess of Roumania, Paul Park, YA Fiction, Romania/America
Red Fox Running, Robin Lloyd-Jones, YA Fiction, Greenland
Winter Song, Jean-Claude Mourlevat, YA Fiction, France

North & South America

book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian, Sherman Alexie, YA Fiction, Native American
The Chosen, Chaim Potok, Fiction, Jewish/America
City of the Beasts, Isabel Allende, Fiction, Chile
The Color Purple, Alice Walker, YA Fiction, African/American
The Disappeared, Gloria Whelan, YA Fiction, Argentina
book cover courtesy of SyndeticsThe Goldsmith’s Daughter, Tanya Landman, YA Fiction, Mexico
One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcıa Marquez, Fiction, Colombia
Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry, Mildred D Taylor, Children’s Fiction, African/America
To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee, YA Fiction, America
Unseen Companion, Denise Gosliner Orenstein, YA Fiction, Alaska/America


book cover courtesy of SyndeticsDoes My Head Look Big In This?, Randa Abdel-Fattah, YA Fiction, Muslim/Australian
Guardian of the Dead, Karen Healey, YA Fiction, New Zealand
Leaving One Foot Island, Graeme Lay, YA Fiction, Cook Islands
Looking for Alibrandi, Melina Marchetta, YA Fiction, Australia
Mister Pip, Lloyd Jones, Fiction, Papua New Guinea
Once Were Warriors, Alan Duff, Fiction, Maori/New Zealand
Where We Once Belonged, Sia Figiel, Fiction, Samoa
The Whale Rider, Witi Ihimaera , YA Fiction, Maori/New Zealand

If you’ve read a good book with an interesting cultural perspective then drop us a line; we’d love to hear from you.