Explaining complicated cultural issues to young children can throw many parents for a loop. Thankfully, the world of children's literature is filled with great books that bring giant issues down to a kid-sized level. For instance, the children's books about immigration explore the complexities of this topic in a relatable, nuanced, and intelligent way. Plus, these stories are well-told and engaging for young readers.
In addition, these children's books feature a wide range of voices and insights into the immigrant experience. What's it really like to move some place where the language and culture are totally new and different? How do you navigate a new school and make new friends when everything is so unusual? These books offer kid-sized insights into this experience, covering everything from classmates who can't pronounce your name to the many dangers faced by modern refugees escaping serious conflicts.
Whatever your kid's background, these books can offer tremendous insight into the lives and experiences of others. Plus, many of these reads are just plain fun, featuring brave kids who learn how to make a life for themselves in a new country. Inspiring and informative, these children's books about immigration are a welcome addition to any home library.
1'Carmela Full of Wishes' by Matt de la Pena
2'The Little Refugee' by Anh Do & Suzanne Do
Anh Do, one of Australia's top comedians, tells his immigration story in this gorgeously illustrated book. He recounts his family's escape from Vietnam, a treacherous journey by boat, and the trials of adapting to Australian life.
3'Coming to America' by Betsy Maestro
Covering the native peoples' journey across the Bering Strait, the Atlantic slave trade, and modern immigration tales, this book explores American immigration stories from many different walks of life. This brightly illustrated book is aimed at readers aged 4 to 8.
4'From Far Away' by Robert Munsch & Saoussan Askar
5'The Name Jar' by Yangsook Choi
6'One Green Apple' by Eve Bunting
7'Two White Rabbits' by Jairo Buitrago
8'Stepping Stones' by Margriet Ruurs
9'Her Right Foot' by Dave Eggers
Eggers uses this fun book to examine the Statue of Liberty, and address the fact that she's depicted in mid-stride. He uses this symbol to examine the acceptance that should be at the core of America. He muses on this nation of immigrants in a thoughtful and kid-friendly way.
10'Refugees and Migrants' by Ceri Roberts
11'Nowhere Boy' by Katherine Marsh
After fleeing Aleppo, Syria, for Brussels, Belgium, young teenager Ahmed feels out of place and uncertain. But after meeting Max, another teenager from Washington, DC, the two form a friendship in this new place. It's a story about resilience and the human connections that matter so much.