Let's Talk About Immigration

Discover fiction books featuring characters who are immigrants or refugees, as well as nonfiction books about the immigrant experience throughout history.

Compiled by:
Tressa R.
Picture Books and Younger Elementary
The Arabic Quilt: An Immigrant Story

Aya Khalil
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Kha)

This beautiful story of diversity follows a young girl named Kanzi whose start at a new school in a new country is not easy. However, she finds that her most treasured reminder of her old home provides a pathway for acceptance in her new one. Recommended ages 4–8.

Areli is a Dreamer: A True Story

Areli Morales
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 921 Morales Mor)

When Areli was just a baby, her mama and papa moved from Mexico to New York with her brother, Alex, to make a better life for the family—and when she was in kindergarten, they sent for her, too. This is her true story. Recommended ages 3–7.

Do I Belong Here? = ¿Es Este Mi Lugar?

Rene Colato Lainez
(Espanol Juvenile - ESPANOL Ej Col)

 A bilingual text that offers an empathetic look at how immigrant children start to learn little by little, adapt to their surroundings and friends, and begin to feel like they belong here! Recommended for ages 5–9. 

Facing Fear: An Immigration Story

Karen Lynn Williams
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Wil)

Enrique, a budding soccer star and U.S. citizen, learns the story behind his family's emigration across the border and the risks surrounding the crossing of the United States-Mexico checkpoints. Recommended for ages 5–9.


Young Vo
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Vo)

When Dat starts school in a country where he doesn't speak the language, everything around him sounds like gibberish, until a new friend helps him make sense of his new world. Recommended for ages 4–8.

Home is in Between

Mitali Perkins
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Per)

Immigrating to America from Bengali, a young girl faces the challenge of navigating between her family's beloved Bengali traditions and her new country's culture. Recommended for ages 3–6.

Kids Speak Out About Immigration

Chris Schwab
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 304.8 Sch)

Immigrants around the world move to new places seeking peace and opportunity. How can we support them? We can speak out! Recommended for ages 6–9.

Like a Dandelion

Huy Voun Lee
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Lee)

A poetic tribute to the strength of immigrants. Like dandelion seeds, a little girl and her mother take flight, put down roots in a new country, and begin to blossom in their new home. Recommended for ages 3–8.

My America

Karen Katz
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 325.73 Kat)

Katz celebrates America's immigrant roots with this inclusive picture book, which uses bright, textural illustrations to highlight some of the many cultures and backgrounds that make up the country's residents. Recommended for ages 2–6.

My Two Border Towns

David Bowles
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Bow)

A boy and his father cross the United States-Mexico border every other Saturday, visiting favorite places, spending time with family and friends, and sharing in the responsibility of community care. Recommended for ages 3–6.

My Words Flew Away Like Birds

Debora Pearson
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Pea)

A child who has moved to a new country finds that the little bit of new language she has learned isn't helping her. As she speaks, all the new words fly away! Does she need words to make a new friend? Recommended for ages 4–8.

The Notebook Keeper: A Story of Kindness from the Border

Stephen Briseno
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Bri)

Noemi and her mama must flee their country. At the border, they meet the notebook keeper, Belinda, who inspires hope in Noemi's heart. They find a new sense of home as they camp with other refugees awaiting their numbers to get called. Recommended for ages 4–8.

To the Other Side

Erika Meza
(Juvenile Picture Books - Ej Mez)

As a girl and her younger brother make the dangerous journey from Mexico to the United States border, she creates a game to soften the impact of the experience. Recommended for ages 4–8.

Older Elementary
Barefoot Dreams of Petra Luna

Alda P. Dobbs
(Juvenile Fiction - J Dobbs)

Based on the true story of Petra Luna as she leads her family on a perilous journey in order to cross the United States border and find safety during the Mexican Revolution. Recommended for ages 8–12.

Finding Home: The Journey of Immigrants and Refugees

Jen Sookfong Lee
(Juvenile Nonfiction - J 304.8 Lee)

Discover how human migration has shaped our world as you read the first-hand stories of people who have moved across the globe looking for safety, security, and happiness. Recommended for ages 8–12.

Front Desk

Kelly Yang
(Juvenile Fiction - J Yang)
Series: Front Desk; 1

10-year-old Mia, an immigrant from China, takes on front desk duties at the motel where her parents are managers and uses her creativity and can-do spirit to surmount the obstacles to a brighter future. Recommended for ages 8–12.

Other Words for Home

Jasmine Warga
(Juvenile Fiction - J Warga)

Written in first-person free verse, this book traces the internal journey of Jude, a young Syrian refugee adjusting to a new home and culture in the United States while still facing worries about her family members back in Syria. Recommended for ages 8–12.

Santiago's Road Home

Alexandra Diaz
(Juvenile Fiction - J Diaz)

Following 12-year-old Santiago as he flees abusive relatives and extreme poverty, this story gives voice to a young refugee who overcomes tremendous obstacles to cross the border from Mexico into the United States, only to be trapped in a detention center. Recommended for ages 8–12.

World in Between

Kenan Trebincevic
(Juvenile Fiction - J Trebinc)

When 11-year-old Kenan's homeland of Bosnia is ripped apart by war, his family is forced to make difficult decisions that eventually lead them on a harrowing refugee experience. Recommended for ages 8–12.