Here is a selection of books from our collection about immigrants and refugees and their experiences leaving their home countries and adjusting to life someplace new. We strive to include as much varied racial/cultural representation as possible, with a focus on #OwnVoices, but these lists also reflect what is available on the market. These titles are only a sample of what you can find in our full collection. To see more, go to Search the Collection, scroll down in the gray box to Immigration, and click on Immigrant/Refugee.
The Arabic quilt
"Kanzi's family has moved from Egypt to America, and on her first day in a new school, what she wants more than anything is to fit in. Maybe that's why she forgets to take the kofta sandwich her mother has made for her lunch, but that backfires when Mama shows up at school with the sandwich. Mama wears a hijab and calls her daughter Habibti (dear one). When she leaves, the teasing starts." -- publisher
The banana-leaf ball
"Separated from his family when they were forced to flee their home, a young East African boy named Deo lives alone in the Lukole refugee camp in Tanzania. With scarce resources at the camp, bullies have formed gangs to steal what they can, and a leader named Remy has begun targeting Deo. Then one day a coach gathers all the children to play soccer. Though Deo loves soccer and has even made his own ball out of banana leaves, he's unsure at first about joining in when he sees Remy on the field. But as Deo and the other boys get drawn into the game, everything begins to change. Their shared joy in playing provides the children-- including Remy--with a sense of belonging"-- Amazon.com
The day war came
A powerful and necessary picture book - the journey of a child forced to become a refugee when war destroys everything she has ever known. Imagine if, on an ordinary day, war came. Imagine it turned your town to rubble. Imagine going on a long and difficult journey - all alone. Imagine finding no welcome at the end of it. Then imagine a child who gives you something small but very, very precious ... When the government refused to allow 3000 child refugees to enter this country in 2016, Nicola Davies was so angry she wrote a poem. It started a campaign for which artists contributed drawings of chairs, symbolising a seat in a classroom, education, kindness, the hope of a future. The poem has become this book, movingly illustrated by Rebecca Cobb, which should prove a powerful aid for explaining the ongoing refugee crisis to younger readers.
A different pond
As a young boy, Bao Phi awoke early, hours before his father's long workday began, to fish on the shores of a small pond in Minneapolis. Unlike many other anglers, Bao and his father fished for food, not recreation. Between hope-filled casts, Bao's father told him about a different pond in their homeland of Vietnam. --Provided by publisher
An illustrated picture book autobiography in which award-winning author Yuyi Morales tells her own immigration story.--Provided by publisher
Here I am
"Tells the story in pictures of a family newly immigrated to the United States and the challenges of starting a life in a new place"--Provided by publisher
What is it like to have to leave everything behind and travel many miles to somewhere unfamiliar and strange? A mother and her two children set out on such a journey; one filled with fear of the unknown, but also great hope. Based on her interactions with people forced to seek a new home, and told from the perspective of a young child, Francesca Sanna has created a beautiful and sensitive book that is full of significance for our time;-- Provided by publisher
Joseph’s big ride
"A refugee boy's determination to ride a bicycle leads to an unexpected friendship"--Publisher
La frontera: el viaje con papa / The Border: my journey with papa
Join a young boy and his father on an arduous journey from Mexico to the United States in the 1980s to find a new life. They’ll need all the courage they can muster to safely cross the border — la frontera — and to make a home for themselves in a new land. Based on a true story.--from publisher
The Most Beautiful Thing
"Drawn from author Kao Kalia Yang’s childhood experiences as a Hmong refugee, this moving picture book portrays a family with a great deal of love and little money. Weaving together Kalia’s story with that of her beloved grandmother, the book moves from the jungles of Laos to the family’s early years in the United States." -- publisher
Priya Dreams of Marigolds and Masala
Priya lives in the United States and her family is from India. She feels the magic of the place her family comes from through her Babi Ba's colorful descriptions of India--from the warm smell of spices to the swish-swish sound of a rustling sari. Together, Priya and Babi Ba make their heritage live on through the traditions that they infuse into their everyday lives.
Saffron Ice Cream
Rashin is an Iranian immigrant girl living in New York, excited by her first trip to Coney Island, and fascinated by the differences in the beach customs between her native Iran and her new home--but she misses the saffron flavored ice cream that she used to eat.
Their Great Gift
Explores the experience of immigrants who came to America in the twenty-first century, celebrating the diversity of the country and hope for the future
Two white rabbits
A young child describes what it is like to be a migrant as she and her father travel north toward the U.S. border. They travel mostly on the roof of a train known as The Beast, but the little girl doesn't know where they are going. She counts the animals by the road, the clouds in the sky, the stars. Sometimes she sees soldiers. She sleeps, dreaming that she is always on the move, although sometimes they are forced to stop and her father has to earn more money before they can continue their journey
Undocumented is the story of immigrant workers who have come to the United States without papers. Every day, these men and women join the work force and contribute positively to society. The story is told via the ancient Mixtec codex--accordion fold--format. Juan grew up in Mexico working in the fields to help provide for his family. Struggling for money, Juan crosses over into the United States and becomes an undocumented worker, living in a poor neighborhood, working hard to survive. Though he is able to get a job as a busboy at a restaurant, he is severely undercompensated--he receives less than half of the minimum wage! Risking his boss reporting him to the authorities for not having proper resident papers, Juan risks everything and stands up for himself and the rest of the community.--Amazon.com
We are like the clouds / Somos como las nubes
Why are young people leaving their country to walk to the United States to seek a new, safe home? Over 100,000 such children have left Central America. This book of poetry helps us to understand why and what it is like to be them.
Wherever I Go
"A hopeful and timely picture book about a spirited little girl living in a refugee camp. Of all her friends, Abia has been at the Shimelba Refugee Camp the longest--seven years, four months, and sixteen days. Papa says that's too long and they need a forever home. Until then, though, Abia has something important to do. Be a queen. Sometimes she's a noisy queen, banging on her drum as she and Mama wait in the long line for rice to cook for dinner. Sometimes she's a quiet queen, cuddling her baby cousin to sleep while Auntie is away collecting firewood. And sometimes, when Papa talks hopefully of their future, forever home, Abia is a little nervous. Forever homes are in strange and faraway places--will she still be a queen? Filled with hope, love, and respect, Wherever I Go is a timely tribute to the strength and courage of refugees around the world."--Provided by publisher
"A biography in rhyme relates the story of Olympic swimmer and Syrian refugee Yusra Mardini." -- publisher