Age 0-3

I Is for Immigrants, Selina Alko

Alphabet picture book weaves together a multitude of immigrant experiences in a concise, joyful package. What do African dance, samosas, and Japanese gardens have in common? They are all gifts the United States received from immigrants.

Age 3-5

Dancing Hands. How Teresa Carreño Played the Piano for President Lincoln, Margarita Engle and Rafael López

As a little girl, Teresa Carreño the piano helped her share her joy. Soon she was writing her own songs and performing in grand cathedrals. Then a revolution in Venezuela forced her family to flee to the United States. Teresa kept playing, and soon she grew famous. So famous that President Abraham Lincoln wanted her to play at the White House!

 

Age 5-7

Boy at the Back of the Class, Onjali Rauf

A child's perspective on the refugee crisis, highlighting the importance of friendship and kindness in a world that doesn't always make sense.

Sitti's Secrets, Naomi Shihab Nye

Naomi Shihab Nye is an award-winning poet whose father was a Palestinian refugee.  In Sitti’s Secrets, Mona, who lives in America, goes to visit her grandmother in a Palestinian village in the occupied West Bank. Although Mona does not speak a shared language with her grandmother (sitti in Arabic), they are able to communicate through gestures, music, and actions. It is a beautifully written and illustrated book about a loving relationship between a child and her grandmother.

Baba, What Does My Name Mean?: A Journey to Palestine, Rifk Ebeid

When Saamidah, a young Palestinian refugee, is asked by her friends what her name means, she isn't quite sure what to say. She turns to her baba for some answers - but what she gets is an adventure beyond her wildest dreams. Join Saamidah on a lyrical journey, with dazzling illustrations, that brings to life her beloved homeland and celebrates the richness of her cultural heritage and the determination to return.

The Red Pencil, Andrea Davis Pinkney

Life in Amira's Sudanese village is shattered when attackers arrive. She needs to find the strength to make the journey on foot to a refugee camp. The gift of a red pencil opens her mind.

Nicky & Vera: A Quiet Hero of the Holocaust and the Children He Rescued, Peter Sís

Nicky & Vera is a masterful tribute to Nicholas Winton, who aged 29 in 1938 saved the lives of almost 700 children trapped in Nazi occupied Czechoslovakia.  His story is dramatised in this picture book which intertwine's Nicky's efforts with the story of a young girl he saved, Vera.  

 

Age 7-11

The Boy and the Wall, Amahl Bishara 

A bilingual children’s book in English and Arabic that tells the story of a Palestinian refugee boy who loves to play soccer, find turtles, and pick flowers. But the joy of being a child is overshadowed by the huge wall being built through his land. The Boy and the Wall is a story about how the separation wall has affected the lives of the people living in Aida Refugee Camp and an imaginative reflection of a child’s response to the wall.

 

When Hitler Stole the Pink Rabbit, Judith Kerr

This semi-autobiographical and unforgettable story of a Jewish family fleeing Germany before the start of the Second World War has become a much-loved classic.

A Place at the Table, Saadia Faruqi

Sixth graders Sara, a Pakistani American, and Elizabeth, a Jewish girl, connect in an afterschool cooking club and bond over food and their mothers struggles to become United States citizens.

When Stars are Scattered, Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed

Heartbreak and hope exist together in this remarkable graphic novel about growing up in a refugee camp.

 

Age 11-14

 

Santa Claus in Baghdad: Stories About Teens in the Arab World: And Other Stories about Teens in the Arab World, Elsa Marsten 

This lively collection of eight short stories about Arab teenagers living in Iraq, Tunisia, Egypt, the West Bank, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and a Palestinian refugee camp engagingly depicts young people's experiences growing up in the Middle East. With accompanying notes that provide contextual information, Santa Claus in Baghdad brings a fresh perspective to youth literature about the Arab world.

Age 14-16

 

Children of Israel, Children of Palestine (Children of Conflict), Laurel Holliday

Israeli Jews and Palestinians appear side by side for the first time in this remarkable book to share powerful feelings and reflections on growing up in one of the world's longest and most dangerous conflicts. Here, thirty-six men and women, boys and girls, tell of their coming-of-age in a land of turmoil. From kibbutzim in Israel and the occupied territories to Palestinian refugee camps in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, Israeli Jews and Palestinians tell of tragedy and transcendence as they face their deepest fears and dream of a peaceful future.

 

Refugee, Alan Gratz

This book follows Josef, a German Jew in the 1930's, who tries to escape Germany to Cuba, Isabel, a Cuban girl in 1994, who tries to escape Cuba's hunger crisis following the dissolution of the Soviet Union to the US, and Mahmoud, a Syrian youth in 2015 whose house gets destroyed by a missile and whose family decides to emigrate to Germany.