Children's Books about the Refugee/Immigrant Experience

Early Childhood/Pre-School Aged Children

  1. 25 Must-Read Multicultural Books for Preschoolers and Kindergartners. var. page s . var.. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    A collection of books and stories that expose children to cultural and ethnic diversity and celebrates differences. The books portray children from various backgrounds and includes stories related to the immigrant experience, books that help children embrace their unique heritage, and folktales from around the world.

    Recommended for ages 3-6.

  2. A Gift for Gita. Gilmore, Rachna 24 page s . 1998. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    When Gita’s father announces that he has received a job offer back in India, she is sad because she’s already made friends and put down roots in her new home. 

    Recommended for ages 3 and up.

  3. A Gift from Papa Diego: Un Regalo de Papa Diego. Sáenz, Benjamin Alire 40 page s . April 1998. English . http://www.cincopuntos.com/products_detail.sstg?id=18

    This children's book is about one little boy's dream to see his grandfather more often. Papá Diego lives in Mexico and Little Diego lives in Texas across the border.

    Recommended for ages 4-7.

  4. A Piece of Home. Levitin, Sonia , Wijngaard, Juan 32 page s . 1996. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    Describes the excitement and fear experienced by Gregor, a young Russian boy, as he immigrates to America. Gregor chooses to bring his treasured and tattered baby blanket to remember Russia by. He is nervous about what his cousin in America, Elie, will about him and his treasured blanket. They boys soon discover that they both kept a piece of home. (IP)

    Recommended for ages 4-7.

  5. Ah Mu Weaves a Story. Gilliam, Sara , Clee, Poe 18 page s . 2009. English Karen . http://www.chicagowelcomesyou.org/ahmu_cover.html

    As Ah Mu weaves a blouse for her daughter, Pohkwa, she describes the experiences of exploring a strange city, taking English lessons, working in a factory and becoming a mother.  Listening to these stories, Hsar Wah is inspired by her parents' courage and strength in the face of many new challenges.  [Description taken from source].

    Recommended for ages 4-7.

  6. Carmen Learns English. Cox, Judy 32 page s . June 1, 2011. English . http://www.fbmarketplace.org/carmen-learns-english#product_tabs_additional_tabbed

    This children's picture book tells the story of Carmen's first day of school in the U.S. and how she copes with only speaking Spanish.

    Recommended for ages 4-7.

     

  7. Colorin Colorado's Book Lists. Colori­n Colorado 1 page . 2010. English Spanish . http://www.colorincolorado.org/read/forkids

    Colorín Colorado's book lists on Migrants and ELLs explore the life of migrant farm workers in a way that children can understand and capture the varied experiences of learning English through a child's eyes.

    Recommended for ages 4-10.

  8. Dia's Story Cloth: The Hmong People's Journey of Freedom. Chue, Dia , Cha, Nhia Thao 24 page s . 1998. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    This is the story of Dia, who was born in Laos and fled with her family to Thailand as a child. When she was 15-years-old, she came to the United States to begin a new life with her family. Dia’s story is told through a "story cloth", stitched by her aunt and uncle, which makes up the illustrations of the book. A teacher’s guide also accompanies this children’s book.

    Recommended for ages 4-7.

  9. Going Home. Bunting, Eve 32 page s . 1996. English . http://www.abebooks.com/Going-Home-Trophy-Picture-Books-Eve/16532492222/bd

    Going Home asks the question, "Can home be a place you don't really remember?" Carlos soon finds out when his family goes home for Christmas, driving south across the border to Mexico. 

    Recommended for ages 4-8.

  10. Good-bye 382 Shin Dang Dong. Park, Frances , Park, Ginger 32 page s . 2002. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    This is the story of Jangmi, a young Korean girl, who can't bear the thought of leaving her home and moving to America and how she slowly begins to feel comfortable in her new surroundings. 

    Recommended for ages 4-8. Age

  11. How I Learned Geography. Shulevitz, Uri 30 page s . 2008. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    The story of a young boy after he and his family fled their war torn homeland. In their new home, they live in poverty. One day, in order to brighten up their home, the boy's father brings home a colorful map which enriches his life in a ways he never imagined. 

    Recommended for ages 4 and up.

  12. I Hate English. Levine, Ellen 32 page s . 1989. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    I Hate English is the story of Mei Mei, an immigrant child from Hong Kong, who has a hard time learning English because she is afraid she will forget her native language. That is, until a caring teacher shows her that she can speak both languages without losing her identity. 

    Recommended for ages 4-7.

  13. I'm Your Neighbor. Cutko, Kate page s . 2017. English . http://www.imyourneighborbooks.org/

    A collection of booklists aimed at building bridges between new arrivals and long-term communities. Books are searchable by age group, community represented, theme, and setting.

    Recommended for ages 4-18.

  14. Migrant. Trottier, Maxine , Arsenault, Isabelle page s . March 2011. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    Each spring Anna leaves her home in Mexico and travels north with her family where they will work on farms. Sometimes she imagines herself as different animals finding new homes but most of all she wonders what it would be like to stay in one place. (Description from source)

    Recommended for ages 4-7.

  15. The Best Eid Ever. Mobin-Uddin, Asma 16 page s . 2007. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    This is the story about how a Muslim-American girl, Aneesa, who celebrates the biggest holiday of the Muslim year, Eid.  She is sad that her parents are away for the Hajj pilgrimage, but her grandmother attempts to cheer her spirits. When she meets a refugee family and their young girls at the prayer hall, who arrived to the United States with very little and she plans to help them havethe best Eid ever.

    Recommended for ages 4-7.

  16. The Color of Home. Hoffman, Mary 14 page s . 2002. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    This children's book is about a young Somali boy who feels out of place in a new country and school, but after painting a picture of his colorful home in Somalia and remembering both the good and bad things his family has left behind, he realizes home can be wherever your family is.  

    Recommended for ages 4-7.

  17. This is Me: A Story of Who We Are & Where We Came From. Curtis, Jamie Lee , Cornell, Laura 32 page s . September 20, 2016. English . https://www.workman.com/products/this-is-me

    This children's book raises important identity issues for children. This interactive book discusses immigration and encourages children to think about what it would be like to move someplace completely different.

    Recommended for ages 4-8.

  18. When This World Was New. Figueredo, D.H. 32 page s . 1999. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    This children's book reflects the experience of Danilito and his parents as they leave their homeland in the Caribbean and come to live in the U.S. Although excited, they are nervous about life in a place where they don't speak the language or know the customs, but a magical, unexpected snowfall raises everyone's spirits and hopes about their new home.. The book includes a classroom guide that is accessible online. 

    Recommended for ages 4 and up.

Elementary School Students (Back to Top)

  1. A Party in Ramadan. Mobin-Uiddin, Asma 16 page s . 2009. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    This is the story of a Muslim American girl, Leena, who finds herself positioned between two worlds.  During the holy month of Ramadan, she wants to fast on the one day her aunt is visiting, so Leena can celebrate with her family during the "iftar" dinner, when the fast is broken.  Yet, Leena receives an invitation for a classmate’s party that will take place on the same day.  This story describes how she celebrates with her friends from school while upholding her Muslim faith. 

    Recommended for ages 6 and up.

  2. A Song for Cambodia. Lord, Michelle 16 page s . 2008. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    This is the true story of a nine-year-old boy who finds comfort in music after being taken to a children's work camp when his village was invaded by the Khmer Rouge. 

    Recommended for ages 8 and up.

  3. Always with You. Vander Zee, Ruth 30 page s . 2008. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    Based on a true story from the Vietnam War. The story follows an orphaned girl and portrays the hope that exists in even the most desperate situations. (Description from source)

    Recommended for ages 8 and up.

  4. Amina's New Friends. O'Brien Carelli, Anne 30 page s . 2013. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    This picture book is about a Somalian refugee girl's first day in an American school, and her desire to make new friends.

    Recommended for ages 7-10.

  5. Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan. Williams, Mary 36 page s . 2005. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    This illustrated book is about eight-year-old Garang and his journey from his family’s home in southern Sudan to Ethiopia and, eventually, to Kenya.  Garang and the other boys he is with walk hundreds of miles seeking safety and face numerous hardships along the way. 

    Recommended for ages 7 and up.

  6. Carly. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) . 1999. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    Carly is a little girl who is forced to flee her home. "She experiences insecurity and rejection before finding warmth, protection and affection in a new home." - Publisher's description.

    Recommended for ages 5-8.

  7. Coming to America: A Muslim Family's Story. Wolf, Bernard 48 page s . 2003. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    Uses easy-to-read text and vivid photos to describe the daily activities of an actual Muslim family working hard to establish their new life in America after immigrating from Egypt.

    Recommended for ages 7-10.

  8. Dear Primo: A Letter to My Cousin. Tonatiuh, Duncan 32 page s . March 1, 2010. English . http://www.fbmarketplace.org/dear-primo-a-letter-to-my-cousin

    The story of two cousins, one in America and one in Mexico, and how their daily lives are different yet similar. Tips for understanding and exploring Latino culture are included. 

    Recommended for ages 5-8.

  9. Drita, My Homegirl. Lombard, Jenny 135 page s . 2006. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    The story of a young girl and her family who come to New York as refugees from war-torn Kosovo. This story shows two worlds coming together and explores the effects of war on a family and how friendship sometimes appears in the unlikeliest places. (Description from source)

    Recommended for ages 8 and up.

  10. Esperanza Rising. Munoz Ryan, Pam 272 page s . 2008. English Spanish . https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/books/esperanza-rising-by-pam-munoz-ryan/

    Esperanza thought she'd always live with her family on their ranch in Mexico she'd always have fancy dresses, a beautiful home, and servants. But a sudden tragedy forces Esperanza and Mama to flee to California during the Great Depression, and to settle in a camp for Mexican farm workers. 

    Recommended for ages 8-12.

  11. Four Feet, Two Sandals. Williams, Karen , Mohammed, Khadra 28 page s . 2007. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    Based on Khadra's experience with Afghan refugees living in refugee camps in Pakistan, this story sheds light on the plight of refugee children living without basic needs in camps worldwide. - Publisher's description

    Recommended for ages 7-10.

  12. From North to South/Del Norte al Sur. Colato Lainez, Rene 31 page s . 2010. English Spanish This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    This is a story of a young boy who is separated from his mother after she is sent back to Mexico for not having the proper papers. 

    Recommended for ages 6 and up.

  13. Gervelie's Journey: A Refugee Diary. Robinson, Anthony , Young, Annemarie 28 page s . 2008. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    The true story of a young Congolese girl and her flight from her home in Africa to seek refuge in the United Kingdom. 

    Recommended for ages 8 and up.

  14. Going Home Coming Home/Ve Nha, Tham Que Huong. Tran, Truong 31 page s . 2003. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    This is a story about a young Vietnamese-American girl who travels back to Vietnam with her family to visit relatives. To her parents, Vietnam is still home, but to Ami Chi, America is home.

    Recommended for ages 6 and up.

  15. Haawiyat. he Comics for Youth Refugees Incorporated Collective (CYRIC) , Lewis, A. David 12 page s . January 2017. Arabic English . https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_PYyLczRT8MeVJKaThWVkphaTA/view https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B_PYyLczRT8MMW5OOF8yMFFhclE/view

    Well-known Syrian folk tales are illustrated in a variety of kid-friendly styles. The stories in the comic were created in conjunction with mental health professionals and are intended intended to deliver some measure of solace or narrative stability in their current situations. An English translation is also available. 

    Recommended for ages 6-12.

  16. Hamzat's Journey: A Refugee Diary. Robinson, Anthony 28 page s . 2009. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    This is a story of a boy who grew up in Chechnya during the war. After many hardships and becoming a victim of a landmine, he and his family immigrate to England to begin a new life.

    Recommended for ages 8 and up.

  17. Home at Last. Middleton Elya, Susan , Davalos, Felipe 32 page s . 2002. English Spanish . http://www.fbmarketplace.org/home-at-last-new#product_tabs_description_tabbed

    This children's book is about Ana's new life in the United States and her mother, who is having a difficult time because she doesn't speak English. A tip sheet is available as well as a Spanish version. 

    Recommended for ages 5-8.

  18. I Pledge Allegiance. Mora, Pat , Martinez, Libby 40 page s . April 22, 2014. English . http://www.fbmarketplace.org/i-pledge-allegiance-hardcover#product_tabs_additional_tabbed

    I Pledge Allegiance tells the story of a young girl, Libby, and her Great Aunt, Lobo, who are both trying to learn the Pledge of Allegiance. Libby is learning it for school while her Great Aunt Lobo is learning it for her citizenship ceremony.

    Recommended for ages 6-8.

  19. I'm New Here. Sibley O'Brien, Anne 32 page s . August 4, 2015. English . http://www.fbmarketplace.org/im-new-here#product_tabs_additional_tabbed

    Maria from Guatemala, Jin from Korea, and Fatima from Somalia, learn to feel confident and comfortable in their new school without losing a sense of their home country, language, and identity. 

    Recommended for ages 5-7.

  20. I'm Your Neighbor. Cutko, Kate page s . 2017. English . http://www.imyourneighborbooks.org/

    A collection of booklists aimed at building bridges between new arrivals and long-term communities. Books are searchable by age group, community represented, theme, and setting.

    Recommended for ages 4-18.

  21. Let's Go See Papa!. Schimel, Lawrence 48 page s . 2011. English . http://www.abebooks.com/Go-See-Papa-Lawrence-Schimel-Groundwood/8082896687/bd

    This children's book is a story from a young child's perspective about what it's like to have an absent parent and to have to leave your home, country and those you love for a new life.

    Recommended for ages 8-13.

  22. Lights for Gita. Gilmore, Rachna 24 page s . 1994. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    Lights for Gita is about a young girl native to New Delhi, India who finds ways to celebrate the Hindu festival, Divali, in her new home in the West.

    Recommended for ages 5-8.

  23. Little Cricket. Brown, Jackie 224 page s . 2004. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    Tells the story of Kia Vang, a twelve-year-old Hmong girl from Laos, whose nickname is "Little Cricket," and her family's flight through Thailand to the United States. She and her grandfather work hard to raise money to bring the rest of their family to join them.

    Recommended for ages 10 and up.

  24. Living in a Refugee Camp: Carbino's Story. Dalton, David 48 page s . 2006. English . https://www.amazon.com/Living-Refugee-Camp-Carbinos-Children/dp/083685960X

    This book helps readers understand what it means to flee all that one knows and loves with the hope of surviving. It relates the story of Carbino, who fled Sudan's civil war. 

    Recommended for ages 10 and up.

  25. Making it Home: Real-life Stories from Children Forced to Flee. International Rescue Committee (IRC) 117 page s . 2004. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    A collection of children's experiences about becoming refugees. The book includes maps and brief histories of each country and helps to educate young people about the world, enabling them to understand the ways in which children everywhere have the same desires, despite their place of birth. (Description from source) 

    Recommended for ages 10 and up.

  26. Mama the Alien/Mama La Extraterrestre. Colato Laínez, René 32 page s . July 5, 2016. English . http://www.fbmarketplace.org/mama-the-alien-mama-la-extraterrestre-bilingual-english-spanish#product_tabs_description_tabbed

    Mama the Alien/Mama La Extraterrestre is the story of a young girl who misunderstands the word alien on her mother's Resident Alien Card and lets her imagination run wild.

    Recommended for ages 5-8.

  27. Mama's Nightingale: A Story of Immigration and Separation. Danticat, Edwidge 32 page s . September 2015. English . http://www.tfcbooks.org/book/9780525428091

    This book tells the story of a young girl separated from her mother who is in detention because she does not have U.S. citizenship papers. 

    Recommended for ages 7-10.

  28. Meltem's Journey: A Refugee Diary. Robinson, Anthony 28 page s . 2010. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    This resource follows a Kurdish family from Eastern Turkey. Thirteen-year-old Meltem tells the story of his Kurdish family's journey to the U.K. from Eastern Turkey, and the harrowing months waiting to find out if they can stay in Britain. This book is the fourth in the Refugee Diaries series, which includes Gervelie's Journey (Congo), Mohammed's Journey (Iraq) and Hamzat's Journey (Chechnya). (Description from source)

    Recommended for ages 7-10.

  29. Mud City. Ellis, Deborah 439 page s . 2009. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    The final book of the Breadwinner trilogy is the story of Parvana's best friend. Although, fourteen-year-old Shauzia escaped the misery of her life in Kabul and now lives in a refugee camp in Pakistan, she still dreams of seeing the ocean and eventually making a new life in France. 

    Recommended for ages 10 and up.

  30. My Diary from Here to There. Perez, Amada Irma 32 page s . 2002. English Spanish This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    This is the story of Amada whose family moves from Mexico to Los Angeles. Throughout her journey she wonders what will happen if she cannot learn English, or find friends, but she soon finds out she's stronger than she knows. Supplemental classroom activities are available. (Description from source) 

    Recommended for ages 5-10.

  31. My Name Is Bilal. Mobin-Uddin, Asma , Kiwak, Barbara (illustrator) 30 page s . 2005. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    A book about a Muslim boy and his sister, Ayesha who encounter teasing at their new school. Wanting to fit in, Bilal starts school as "Bill." Eventually, instead of hiding his Muslim identity, Bilal stands up for his sister and shares his real name.

    Recommended for ages 8-12.

  32. My Name is Sangoel. Williams, Karen Lynn , Mohammed, Khadra 32 page s . 2009. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    This children’s book is about a Sudanese boy, Sangoel, who travels to the United States as a refugee with his family. At first, Sangoel feels lonely and homesick, which is made worse by the fact that so many Americans have trouble pronouncing his name. But Sangoel comes up with a clever solution to the problem and makes many new friends along the way.

    Recommended for ages 6-9.

  33. My Name is Yoon. Recorvits, Helen 32 page s . 2003. English . https://www.scholastic.com/teachers/books/my-name-is-yoon-by-helen-recorvits/

    Yoon is a young Korean girl trying to find her place in her new country by learning to write her name in English.

    Recommended for ages 5-8.

  34. My Name is…Stories and Art by Young Refugees in Minnesota Schools. Center for Victims of Torture (CVT) 32 page s . 2005. English . http://www.cvt.org/sites/cvt.org/files/u11/MyNameIs_pdf.pdf

    Developed for teachers to increase their understanding of refugee student experiences or to be used with mainstream students to increase their awareness of their peers' experiences. It can also be used by trained professionals in their work with refugee youth to help refugee students see that they are not alone in their experiences.(Description from source)

    Recommended for ages 10 and up.

  35. No English. Jules, Jacquelin 32 page s . 2007. English Spanish This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    When she first starts school in America, Blanca does not speak any English and has a hard time making new friends. After many misunderstandings, a classmate named Diane is able to talk to Blanca by drawing pictures and they become fast friends. The book includes a Teacher and Parent Guide with pre and post-reading questions and activities.

    Recommended for ages 5 and up.

  36. One Day We Had to Run! Refugee Children Tell Their Stories in Words and Paintings, Revised edition. Wilkes, Sybella 64 page s . 2004. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    Records the experiences of a group of young refugees in Kenya, including the tragedies they witnessed, the dramas they survived, and the future they envision in words and pictures.

    Recommended for ages 10 and up.

  37. Parvana's Journey. Ellis, Deborah 176 page s . 2003. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    This second novel in the Breadwinner series, tells of Parvana's quest to find her family. Her father has died, and her mother, sister and brother could be anywhere in Afghanistan. 

    Recommended for ages 10 and up.

  38. Playing War. Beckwith, Kathy 32 page s . 2005. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    This children's book is about a group of young boys who like to play war using sticks as guns and pinecones for grenades. When a new boy named Sameer hesitates to play with the other boys because for him, war is not a game.

    Recommended for ages 8 and up.

  39. Red Midnight. Mikaelsen, Ben 224 page s . 2007. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    Recounts the fictional story of a young Guatemalan boy, Santiago, as he escapes from murderous government soldiers and sails to freedom in America in a small sailboat with his four year old sister.

    Recommended for ages 10 and up.

  40. Roses in My Carpets. Khan, Rukhsana 30 page s . 1988. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    This children's book is about a young Afghan boy living in a refugee camp and his hopes, dreams, and hardships. A  Teacher's Guide for grades 3-6, 7-8, and 9-12 is also available with student activity sheets.

    Recommended for ages 8 and up.

  41. Rosita Gets Scared. Alvarez, Vicko 14 page s . 2017. English Spanish . http://scholarcomics.com/work/#/rosita-gets-scared/

    This comic and activity book for children aims to help immigrant children talk about fear. It is designed as a teaching tool for children who are undocumented or have undocumented family members and gives advice on how to cope with fear of deportation. It is also available in Spanish. 

    Recommended for ages 7-10.

  42. Sam's First Day. Mills, David , Finlay, Lizzie 24 page s . 2000. Albanian Arabic Bengali Chinese Czech English Farsi French Gujarati Portuguese Somali Spanish Tamil Turkish Urdu Vietnamese This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    Sam loved to talk. On his first day at school he talked and talked all the way there. But when Sam got to school, he stopped talking. Sam enjoyed writing. He enjoyed playing games. He enjoyed reading. But he just would not talk! Until... A gently told tale for all children new to school or the newcomer to the classroom. A delightful picture book... an excellent dual text. - Publisher's description reprinted with permission.

    Recommended for ages 6 and up.

  43. Swimming to America. Mead, Alice 160 page s . 2005. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    Linda Berati, an eighth grader whose parents are from Albania struggles to decipher her own identity. She befriends another immigrant, but when danger looms, Linda finds new trust and respect with her parents.

    Recommended for ages 10 and up.

  44. The Breadwinner. Ellis, Deborah 439 page s . 2009. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    The Breadwinner is the story of a young Afghan girl whose father is arrested by the Taliban. With her father gone, her family is left without anyone to earn money and shop for food. Forbidden to work as a girl, Parvana disguises herself as a boy to save her family. 

    Recommended for ages 10 and up.

  45. The Journey of Halima. Mermix Non Profit Theater Company 120 page s . August 2016. Arabic Dutch English Farsi French Greek Italian Portuguese Spanish . http://thejourneyofhalima.com/

    A children's fairytale that tells the story of Halima who wants to reach the Land of Rain, in order to bring the rainclouds back to her land, where there is a terrible drought, and where the people are no longer happy. (Description from source) 

    Recommended for ages 8 and up.

  46. The Name Jar. Choi, Yangsook 32 page s . 2001. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    The story of Unhei, a Korean immigrant who is anxious for American children to like her and worried that they won't be able to pronounce her name. She decides to pick a new name but by the end of her first week she realizes how special her Korean name is.

    Recommended for ages 5-8.

  47. The Silence Seeker. Morley, Ben 30 page s . 2009. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    This colorful picture book explores a young boy’s understanding of asylum seekers when new neighbors move in next door.

    Recommended for ages 5-7.

  48. The Trouble Begins. Himelblau, Linda 200 page s . 2005. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    Du Nguryen, a young Vietnamese boy, finally comes to the U.S. with his grandmother to rejoin the family that left him behind when he was a baby. But he struggles to fit in at school and at home. Slowly, his true colors appear and he gains friends as well as the love and support of his family. (IP)

    Recommended for ages 8-12.

  49. The Whispering Cloth: A Refugee's Story. Deitz Shea, Pegi 27 page s . 1995. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    This children’s book is about a young Hmong girl who stitches a pa’ndau, an embroidered cloth, to tell her story of escaping Laos, living in a Thai refugee camp, and coming to the U.S.  The author based the story of the young girl and the pa’ndau’s story upon her experience of refugees at the Ban Vinai camp in Thailand. 

    Recommended for ages 6 and up. 

  50. Who Belongs Here? An American Story. Knight, Mary Burns 36 page s . 1993. English Spanish This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    This children's book is about Nary, a young boy fleeing war-torn Cambodia for the safety of the United States. This story teaches compassion for recent immigrants while sharing the history of immigration in America. and some of the important contributions made by past immigrants. A teacher's guide is included. (Description from source)

    Recommended for ages 8 and up.

  51. Why are People Refugees?. Senker, Cath 48 page s . 2007. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    This book explains the differences between being a refugee, an internally displaced person, and an economic migrant. It also touches on the experiences of being forced from one's home through case studies and quotes from former refugees. 

    Recommended for ages 7 and up.

  52. Xochitl and the Flowers; Xochitl, la Nina de las Flores. Argueta, Jorge , Angel, Carl (illustrator) 32 page s . 2005. English Spanish This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    In this story based on real events, Xochitl Flores and her family move from El Salvador to Los Angeles. Life is very different in the United States but their community rallies around them. This book is written in both English and Spanish, with illustrations by Carl Angel.

    Recommended for ages 5-10.

For Middle School Students (Back to Top)

  1. Behind the Mountain. Danticat, Edwidge 166 page s . 2002. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    Narrates the personal and political events that force a young Haitian girl and her family to immigrate to New York City. It is based of the author's own migration in the 1970s and weaves in Haitian history, Christmas traditions, folk stories, and the oppressive practice of subjecting young girls to indentured service. 

    Recommended for ages 12 and up.

  2. Boy Overboard. Gleitzman, Morris 181 page s . 2003. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    This book tells the story of Jamal and his family on their journey to Australia. Jamal and Bibi want to be part of the next World Cup but first they must face landmines, pirates, storms, and assassins to get to their new lives. 

    Recommended for ages 13 and up.

  3. Dawn and Dusk: A Kurdish Family Torn by War. Mead, Alice 151 page s . 2007. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    Depicts the personal and political crises facing a fictional Kurdish family living in western Iran during the early 1980s, the growing conflict in the country and their own family, and their eventual flight to Turkey and the United States.

    Recommended for ages 10-14.

  4. Forced to Flee: Visual Stories by Refugee Youth from Burma. Berg, Erika 183 page s . March 2015. English . http://burmavisionsforpeace.org/

    This book aims to increase awareness of and mobilize support for those who have been forced to flee violent conflict and persecution in Burma, also known as Myanmar. Collectively, over 1,200 youth participated in the visual storytelling workshops. 

    Recommended for ages 10 and up.

  5. Home is a Place Called Nowhere. Rosselson, Leon 118 page s . 2002. English . https://www.amazon.com/Home-Place-Called-Nowhere-Rosselson/dp/0192725866

    This book for young readers tells the story of Amina, a girl searching for her mother and her home. With the help of a friend, Amina finds her mother and learns the truth about their home.  

    Recommended for ages 12 and up.

  6. I'm Your Neighbor. Cutko, Kate page s . 2017. English . http://www.imyourneighborbooks.org/

    A collection of booklists aimed at building bridges between new arrivals and long-term communities. Books are searchable by age group, community represented, theme, and setting.

    Recommended for ages 4-18.

  7. Remix: Conversations with Immigrant Teenagers. Budhos, Marina 145 page s . 1999. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    "Presents profiles of fourteen teenagers from countries around the world, revealing their struggles to fit into American society and their personal triumphs." - Publisher's description

    Recommended for ages 12 and up.

  8. Tangled Thread: A Hmong Girl's Story. Dietz Shea, Pegi 236 page s . September 22, 2003. English . https://www.amazon.com/Tangled-Threads-Hmong-Girls-Story/dp/0618247483

    This youth novel is about Mai's resettlement to the U.S. from a refugee camp in Thailand. The book follows Mai has she tries to make sense of her new life in the U.S. while still keeping parts of her native culture.

    Recommended for ages 11 and up.

For High School Students (Back to Top)

  1. Funny in Farsi: A Memoir of Growing Up Iranian in America. Dumas, Firoozeh 208 page s . 2006. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    Relates the story of Firoozeh Dumas from the time she came to Southern California as an Iranian girl of seven years old through her college years and marriage to a Frenchman and the cultural difficulties she and her family encounter through the years.

    Recommended for ages 14 and up.

  2. Growing Up Muslim in America: Stories by Muslim Youth. Glancy O'Shea, Marie 122 page s . April 12, 2010. English . https://www.amazon.com/Growing-Up-Muslim-America-Stories/dp/1935552384

    This book shares the experiences of Muslim teens and how they balance typical American teenage issues with pride in their faith.

    Recommended for ages 14 and up.

  3. Haiti On My Mind: Stories by Haitian-American Teens. Vincent, Dana K. (Ed.) , Hefner, Keith (Ed.) , Longhine, Laura (Ed.) 143 page s . April 19, 2010. English . https://www.amazon.com/Haiti-My-Mind-Stories-Haitian-American/dp/1935552473

    A collection of short essays by Haitian-American teens about their lives and bicultural identities. 

    Recommended for ages 14 and up.

  4. I'm Your Neighbor. Cutko, Kate page s . 2017. English . http://www.imyourneighborbooks.org/

    A collection of booklists aimed at building bridges between new arrivals and long-term communities. Books are searchable by age group, community represented, theme, and setting.

    Recommended for ages 4-18.

  5. Kids Like Me: Voices of the Immigrant Experience. Lapinsky, Terri , Blohm, Judith M. 266 page s . 2006. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    Kids Like Me includes the personal narratives of 26 young immigrants as they adapt to life in a new and sometimes strange country and culture. Kids Like Me also includes discussion questions, self-directed activities and research ideas for teachers and families. (KHH)

    Recommended for ages 14 and up.

  6. New Kids: Big Dreams and Brave Journeys at a High School for Immigrant Teens. Hauser, Brooke 308 page s . 2011. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    This book chronicles a year in the life of a group of teenage newcomers at a high school in Brooklyn with students from over fourty-five countries, all recent immigrants who are learning English.

    Recommended for ages 14 and up.

  7. Out of Iraq: Refugees' Stories in Words, Paintings, and Music. Wilkes, Sybella 70 page s . July 9, 2010. English . http://www.colorincolorado.org/book/out-iraq-refugees-stories-words-paintings-and-music

    This book provides, in words and pictures, a glimpse of what life was like in Iraq before they left, why they were forced to flee, and how they feel about life as a refugee. Their stories are set against background information about Iraq, Saddam Hussain's rule, the invasion, and the subsequent civil war. (Description from Source) 

    Recommended for ages 14 and up.

  8. Refugee Teenagers: Escape and Protection from Persecution and War. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) 23 page s . July 1999. English . http://www.unhcr.org/4534f1e713.html

    "This brochure recounts the stories of several refugee teenagers and discusses some of the issues surrounding the protection of refugee adolescents, namely, the dilemmas of unaccompanied minors and the military recruitment of child soldiers." - Publisher's description

    Recommended for ages 14 and up.

  9. Running For My Life: One Lost Boy's Journey from the Killing Fields of Sudan to the Olympic Games. Lomong, Lopez , Tabb, Mark 229 page s . 2012. English . http://www.thomasnelson.com/running-for-my-life

    Lopez Lomong chronicles his inspiring ascent from a barefoot lost boy of the Sudanese Civil War to a Nike sponsored athlete on the US Olympic Team. (Description from source)

    Recommended for ages 14 and up.

  10. Teenage Refugees and Immigrants from India Speak Out. Viswanath, R. (comp.) 64 page s . 1997. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    Describes the challenges, surprises, and achievements of immigration from the point of view of young refugees and immigrants from India. This volume contains the personal stories of 7 adolescent girls and boys whose families brought or sent them to the United States, seeking respite from unrest caused by such factors as tension with neighboring Pakistan, Kashmir's struggle for independence, and ongoing violence between Hindus and Muslims.

    Recommended for ages 14 and up.

  11. Teenage Refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina Speak Out, Revised edition. Tekavec, Valerie 64 page s . 1997. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    Describes the challenges, surprises, and achievements of immigration from the point of view of young refugees from Bosnia-Herzegovina. In their own voices, 8 adolescent refugees relate experiences.

    Recommended for ages 14 and up.

  12. Teenage Refugees from China Speak Out. She, Colleen (comp.) 64 page s . 1995. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    Describes the challenges, surprises, and achievements of immigration from the point of view of 7 young refugees from China. Part of a series of books aimed at young people, this volume contains the personal stories, whose families decided to immigrate to the United States in pursuit of both economic and educational opportunities.

    Recommended for ages 14 and up.

  13. Teenage Refugees from Eastern Europe Speak Out. Rollyson, Carl (comp.) 64 page s . 1997. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    Describes the challenges, surprises, and achievements of immigration from the point of view of 7 young refugees from the Eastern European countries of Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, East Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, and Yugoslavia.

    Recommended for ages 14 and up.

  14. Teenage Refugees from Ethiopia Speak Out. Schnapper, Ladena 64 page s . 1997. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    9 adolescent Ethopian girls and boys share their stories of fleeing a culturally diverse but impoverished nation plagued by a history of internal struggle and the ever-present fear of imprisonment and murder to the United States where they face new challenges.

    Recommended for ages 14 and up.

  15. Teenage Refugees from Guatemala Speak Out. Hadden, Gerry (comp.) 64 page s . 1997. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    Seven young Guatemalan refugees in the United States and Canada tell their stories about the civil war and their integration into new countries.(ERIC No. ED412058)

    Recommended for ages 14 and up.

  16. Teenage Refugees from Iran Speak Out. Strazzabosco, Gina 64 page s . 1995. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    Describes the challenges, surprises, and achievements of immigration from the point of view of young refugees from Iran. In their own voices, these 8 teenage refugees relate their experiences.

    Recommended for ages 14 and up.

  17. Teenage Refugees from Mexico Speak Out. Hadden, Gerry (comp.) 64 page s . 1997. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    Describes the challenges, disappointments, and achievements of immigration from the point of view of adolescents from Mexico. These immigrant youths are 16-20 years old and include both legal and illegal immigrants, high school students and dropouts, and permanent immigrants and those planning to return to Mexico. 

    Recommended for ages 14 and up.

  18. Teenage Refugees from Nicaragua Speak Out. Cerar, K. Melissa (ed.) 64 page s . 1995. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    Describes the challenges, surprises, and achievements of immigration from the point of view of 6 young refugees from Nicaragua. 

    Recommended for ages 14 and up.

  19. Teenage Refugees from Russia Speak Out. Zamenova, Tatyana 64 page s . 1995. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    6 adolescent girls and boys from Russia share their stories of fleeing their homes, the challenges they faced along the way, and their new lives in America.

    Recommended for ages 14 and up.

  20. Teenage Refugees from Somalia Speak Out. Hussein, Ikram 64 page s . 1997. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    Describes the challenges, surprises, and achievements of immigration from the point of view of young refugees from Somalia. In their own voices, 7 adolescent refugees relate their experiences of loss, life in refugee camps, and adapting to a new place.

    Recommended for ages 14 and up.

  21. The Good Braider. Farish, Terry 221 page s . 2012. English . http://www.terryfarish.com/the-good-braider

    Viola, a young teen who has escaped from Sudan, is haunted by the life she left behind – the people she has loved, the violence she has endured, and the natural beauty she remembers – as much as she is fearful and uncertain in her new life as an American living in Portland, Maine. A variety of discussion guides are also available.

    Recommended for ages 14 and up.

  22. The Latehomecomer: A Hmong Family Memoir. Yang, Kao Kalia 277 page s . April 2008. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    Kao Kalia Yang tells the story of her family's journey from the war-torn jungles of Laos to their arrival in America, from her 6 year old point of view. 

    Recommended for ages 14 and up.

  23. The Story of My Life: An Afghan Girl on the Other Side of the Sky. Ahmedi, Farah , Ansary, Tamim 256 page s . 2005. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    Recounts the life of an Afghan girl, Farah Ahmedi, who is crippled by a landmine when walking to school in Kabul and who eventually comes with her mother to Chicago to attend high school.

    Recommended for ages 14 and up.

  24. Transitions: Stories of Our Journeys. Houminer, Talia, ed. , Georgia Mutual Asisstance Association Consortium (GMAAC) 108 page s . 2002. English This resource may be free from your local library or purchased from the publisher.

    Transitions: Stories of Our Journeys is a collection of stories written by refugee youth from around the world compiled by the Georgia Mutual Assistance Association Consortium (GMAAC). These first person accounts offer a unique perspective of the refugee experience. (KHH)

    Recommended for ages 14 and up.