Immigration Titles

Framing the nation’s immigration concerns as a part of America’s infrastructure gives policy makers a fresh way to look at the issue. Children’s book makers have been giving the issue fresh looks for many years now. Some are allegorical; some are filled with specifics. Often the books are by creators with first-hand experience. Sometimes the books have come out at moments--ahem, during a pandemic--that meant they didn’t get the attention they deserve. All brim with empathy and were lovingly created by authors and artists with outstanding kidlit craft. Here are some favorite titles that give young readers (and their adults) new understanding of what it means to have to leave one home and then strive to create a new one. 

Wishes

https://www.hicklebees.com/book/9781338305890

Child-rearing owes much to the philosophy of giving children in fantasy what they cannot have in reality--that is to say, by employing imagination. The painful reality of being a refugee is that so many forces are allied against people. Wishes, without minimizing sadness, peril, or hardship, stakes a claim on hope by imaging that the entire physical world wishes it were kinder and safer. At a family’s leave-taking from grandparents, “the clock wishes it were slower.” The moon, lighting the night for a dangerous boat passage,” wishes it were closer. Muon Thi Van and Victo Ngai have created an amazing allegory for understanding the refugee’s flight,

 

The Capybaras 

https://www.hicklebees.com/book/9781771647823

Uruguayan animator Alfredo Soderguit creates a fable about one population that learns to accommodate, then welcome, a new population endangered by hunters. A fable whose principal characters are chickens and rodents of unusual size--what’s not to love? 

 

Where Are You From?

https://www.hicklebees.com/book/9780062839930

The title question has become fraught: Second-generation and later- Americans are tired of answering it. But it’s an innocent question when asked of this book’s little heroine, and she wants to answer it with the full complexity it deserves: how can she fully describe the rich heritage she loves. Her grandfather helps with a satisfying answer in this book by Yamile Saied Méndez and Jaime Kim.  

 

Sugar in Milk

https://www.hicklebees.com/book/9780762495191

A homesick immigrant girl is consoled by her aunt. In a story within this store, Thrity Umrigar retells a Parsi folktale about a king who proclaims his country too full to take in refugees--and the refugee leader who demonstrates otherwise, 

 

Hear My Voice/Escucha mi voz: The Testimonies of Children Detained at the Southern Border of the United States 

https://www.hicklebees.com/book/9781523513482

As devastating as you should expect: In picture-book format with illustrations by 17 Latinx artists, these are excerpts of testimony by 61 children (ages 5 to 17, most from Central American countries) held at the southern U.S. border. 

 

Pie in the Sky in the Sky by Remy Lai 

https://www.hicklebees.com/book/9781250314109

Jingwen has moved to a new country after his father’s death, and he’s having a very hard time--one made even harder by the fact that his little brother seems to adapt without missing a beat. He copes by sneak-baking (the boys aren’t supposed to use the oven when Mom’s not home) all the cakes that his father planned for a bakery he wanted to open. Remy Lai’s heavily illustrated novel is packed with humor, understanding, and emotional intelligence.

 

Manañaland 

https://www.hicklebees.com/book/9781338157864

The struggles of immigrants underlie Pam Muñoz Ryan’s magical-realism novel, set in a fictional country somewhere in the Americas. A motherless, fútbol-loving boy realizes there may be some truth inside the fantastic stories he’s been told about a kind of latter-day underground railroad for those who flee dictatorship in a neighboring country.. 

 

Refugee

https://www.hicklebees.com/book/9780545880831

An adventure tale for graduates of the I Survived series, Refugee is also a novel to promote discussion. A Jewish boy in Nazi Germany, a Cuban girl fleeing to America in the 

‘60s, and a contemporary boy in Syria seek safety in this novel by Alan Gantz. 

 

When Stars Are Scattered 

https://www.hicklebees.com/book/9780525553908

A finalist for the National Book Award, this graphic memoir is about two Somali brothers’ day-to-day (and year-to-year-to-decade) life in an enormous refugee camp in Kenya. Every detail of it is eye-opening and heart-breaking for securely housed Western readers, but the whole is a testament to resilience and hope. Author Omar Mohamed, now a social worker in Pennsylvania, trusted his story to graphic novelist Victoria Jamieson.  

Wishes Cover Image
By Muon Thi Van, Victo Ngai (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9781338305890
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Orchard Books - May 4th, 2021

The Capybaras Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9781771647823
Availability: Not on our shelves now, usually available for pick-up or shipping in 2-14 days
Published: Greystone Kids - April 13th, 2021

Where Are You From? Cover Image
By Yamile Saied Méndez, Jaime Kim (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062839930
Availability: Not on our shelves now, usually available for pick-up or shipping in 2-14 days
Published: HarperCollins - June 4th, 2019

Sugar in Milk Cover Image
By Thrity Umrigar, Khoa Le (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780762495191
Availability: Not on our shelves now, usually available for pick-up or shipping in 2-14 days
Published: Running Press Kids - October 6th, 2020

Hear My Voice/Escucha mi voz: The Testimonies of Children Detained at the Southern Border of the United States Cover Image
By Warren Binford (Compiled by), Michael Garcia Bochenek (Foreword by)
$19.95
ISBN: 9781523513482
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Workman Publishing Company - April 13th, 2021

Pie in the Sky Cover Image
By Remy Lai, Remy Lai (Illustrator)
$14.99
ISBN: 9781250314109
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Henry Holt and Co. BYR Paperbacks - May 14th, 2019

Mañanaland Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9781338157864
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Press - March 3rd, 2020

Refugee Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9780545880831
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Scholastic Press - July 25th, 2017

When Stars Are Scattered Cover Image
By Victoria Jamieson, Omar Mohamed, Victoria Jamieson (Illustrator), Iman Geddy (Illustrator)
$12.99
ISBN: 9780525553908
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Dial Books - April 14th, 2020