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Teenagers in Library


We believe that one of the most effective strategies for supporting English learners is through multicultural literature that reflects the lives and values of the students.  We are providing a link to a list of books that describe the migration experience of many students as well as a list of books with reflect the diverse languages, backgrounds, and cultures of our children.

Books for Personal Migration / Resilience Narratives


Picture books:


Abouraya, K. L. (2014) Malala Yousafzi:  Warrior with Words. StarWalk KidsMedia. The story of a Malala’s bravery in easy reading text.


Awentg, B. B.  (2018)  The Journey of Hope.  The story of one of the “Lost Boys of Sudan.”


Bunting, E. (2006) One Green Apple. Clarion Books. Farah, a newcomer, feels all alone even when she is on a field trip with her classmates.


Clinton, C. (2017) She Persisted: 13 American Women Who Changed the World. Philomel Books.  Stories of American women in history who changed America and the world. 


Curtis, J. L. and Cornell, L.  (2016)  This is Me.  A book about leaving your home and starting over in a new country.


Essa, H.  (2016)  Tell Teach Us Your Name.  A book about the importance of using a child’s real name.


Garza, C. L.   (1990)  Family Pictures/Cuadros de Familia.  Children’s Book Press.  A bilingual picture book about a child’s memories of Mexico.


Giovanni, N. (2005).  Rosa.  Henry Holt and Co. The story of Rosa Parks boycotted the bus and how the event happened.  This a Caldecott Honor Book.


Hyman, T. S. (1983). Tight Times.  Puffin Books.  Poverty impacts a young boy’s life.


Kittinger, J. S. (2010).  Rosa’s Bus:  The Ride to Civil Rights. Calkins Creek Press.  The story of the bus ride with lots of background on Rosa Parks life.


Kuntz, D. and Shrodes, A.  (2017)  Lost and Found Cat:  The True Story of Kunkush’s Incredible Journey.  Random House.  The story of a cat that is lost and later found as a Iraqi family makes a dangerous ocean crossing into Greece.


Lord, M.  2008)  A Song for Cambodia.  Lee and Low.  The true story of a boy who survives the Khmer Rouge through his music.


McGill, D. (2018). I Won’t Quit:  A Teaching Perseverance Book. Trendwood Press. Cady faces a series of obstacles in her life, but perseveres.


Perez, A. I.  My Diary From Here to There/Mi Diario de aqui hasta alla.  Children’s Book Press.  A bilingual book about a girl’s journey from Mexico to California.


Silver, G.  (2009)  Anh’s Anger.  Plum Blossom Books.  A Vietnamese boy’s journey to overcome his anger.


Sornson, B. (2013) Stand in My Shoes:  Kids Learning about Empathy. After Emily asks her big siter what the word “empathy” means, Emily decides to pay closer attention to others during her day.


Spilsbury, L.  (2018)  Children in Our World:  Global Conflict.  Barron’s.  A book that explains how global conflicts occur and their impact.


Van Wyk, C.  (2009) Nelson Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.  Macmillan Children’s Books.  [picture book version of Mandela’s official autobiography of the same name)


Winter, J.  2009)  Nasreen’s Secret School:  A True Story from Afghanistan.  Simon and Schuster.  The story of a girl’s school in Afghanistan.


Wright, L.  Mindful Mantras: I Can Handle It! (available on Amazon)


Wright:  L. Mindful Mantras:  I Will Be Okay! (Available on Amazon)


Yousafzai, M.  (2017) Malala’s Magic Pencil. Little, Brown, and Co.  Malala wished for a magic pencil to draw a lock on her door to keep her brothers out f her room.  



Chapter books:


Alabed, B.  (2017)  Dear World:  A Syrian Girl’s Story of War and Plea for Peace.  Simon and Schuster.  The true story of a young girl who tweets about the war in Syria as she experiences it.


Applegate, K.  (2007)  Home of the Brave.  Macmillan.  The story of a resettled refugee boy from South Sudan.  


Asgedom, Mawi.  (2004) Of Beetles and Angels:  A Boy’s Remarkable Journey from a Refugee Camp to Harvard.  Mawi, Inc.  An autobiographical account of a family from Ethiopia that relocates to Chicago as refugees.


Beah, I.  (2007)  A Long Way Gone:  Memoirs of a Boy Soldier.  Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.  The true story of a teen who was forced into a paramilitary group in Sierra Leone and his eventual escape and rehabilitation.


Bode, J.  (1989)  New Kids in Town:  Oral History of Immigrant Teens.  Scholastic.  Interviews of thirteen teens describing their immigration stories.  


Gratz, A.  (2017)  Refugee.  Scholastic Press.  The intertwining of three refugee boys over time, from Nazi Germany, Castro’s Cuba and modern day Syria.


Jiminez, F.  (1997)  The Circuit:  Stories from the Life of a Migrant Child.  University of New Mexico Press.  Autobiography of Francisco Jiminez’ life as the son of a migrant worker.


Lai, T.  (2011)  Inside Out and Back Again.  Harper Collins.  A story of a girl during the Vietnam War.


Mead, A.  (2003)  Year of No Rain.  Farrar, Straus, and Giroux.  A fictionalized account of the story of the Lost Boys of Sudan.


Naidoo, B.  (2004)  Making It Home.  International Rescue Committee.  A series of stories about refugee children.


Nazario, S.  (2014)  Enrique's Journey (The Young Adult Adaptation): The True Story of a Boy Determined to Reunite with His Mother.  Ember Books.  Description of the journey many Central American teens make to come to the US.


Park, L. S. (2010)  A Long Walk to Water.  Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.  A story about the “Lost Boys of Sudan.”


Pinkney, A. D. (2014)  The Red Pencil.  Little, Brown, and Company.  A story about a girl in a Darfur refugee camp.  


Yousafzai, M.  (2016)  I Am Malala: How One Girl Stood Up for Education and Changed the World (Young Readers Edition)  Little, Brown Books for Young Readers.  Autobiographical account of a girl from Pakistan who was shot by the Taliban for attending school.  [Several picture book versions of Malala’s story are also available.] 

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