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Great Books About "Immigration"

Fiction Books

Free Spirits
by Julia Watts
Twelve-year-old Miranda Jasper's gift of Sight lets her to see into other people's thoughts. Lately, in her Kentucky hometown a meat-packing plant has brought in new workers, many of whom are Latino. Miranda and her best friend Adam love the diversity and the new Mexican restaurant that's opened, but not everyone is happy with the town's changing population. Latino kids are bullied and the restaurant is vandalized. As Miranda and her friends try to uncover who's behind this, they discover a terrible secret that haunts their community.

The Trouble Begins
by Linda Himelblau
After fleeing their native Vietnam and spending years in the Philippines recovering from TB, Du Nguyen and his grandmother have come at last to the United States to be reunited with Du's parents and siblings. The 11-year-old's life is filled with adjustments to his new family, school, language, and lifestyle.

Jakarta Missing
by Jane Kurtz
Bright and bookish, 12-year-old Dakar misses her older sister Jakarta, who stayed behind in her boarding school in Kenya when Dakar and her parents relocated to North Dakota. As the new kid in America, Dakar finds a best friend named Melanie who listens with wonder at all her tales of Africa. But will this friendship be strong enough to help Dakar through all her family challenges, like when her mom must leave to care for a relative, or when her father rushes off to Guatemala to help earthquake victims?

Hannah's Journal: The Story of an Immigrant Girl
By Marissa Moss
Hannah is 10 years old when her family sends her to America to escape the dangers they face in their native Lithuania . Also on the journey is her cousin Esther, who is four years older, yet not nearly as brave as Hannah. Sailing into New York harbor in 1901, the girls are welcomed by the Statue of Liberty, but must then survive nearly a month at Ellis Island. Will they find the American sponsor they need to enter the country? What will life in the U.S. be like? Read Hannah's journal entries and find out!

Nonfiction Books

The Colors of Freedom: Immigrant Stories
by Janet Bode
A collection of contemporary young adults' works, reflecting their experiences as recent immigrants, includes writing, interviews, poems, and artwork. The teens contributing are from the Americas and Caribbean nations, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

Escaping to America: A True Story
by Rosalyn Schanzer.
The author tells the story of how her father, at just three years old, left Poland with his family in 1921 and emigrated to America. Escaping war and persecution, the family makes a long and exciting journey, finally arriving to join family already settled in the US. Schanzer brings this timeless story of hope and renewal to life with the help of many vivid illustrations.

Denied, Detained, Deported: Stories from the Dark Side of American Immigration
by Ann Bausum
This book explores some of the problems with modern-day U.S. immigration policy by highlighting the stories of three young people: Twelve-year-old German-Jew Herb Karliner, who was denied entry to the United States at the border when he attempted to escape Nazi Germany; sixteen-year-old Japanese-American Mary Matsuda, who was detained with the rest of her family during World War II, and labor activist Emma Goldman, who was deported for her "un-American" views.

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