Tag Archives: Kid Life

Immigrant Stories

Immigrant Stories

Here are some favorite books that will give you a chance to walk in the shoes of someone coming to America from somewhere new. You will meet some good friends in these stories. They are so strong and brave! Many of the stories are based on real people, often the author or a relative of the author.

anna-and-solomon_1Anna and Solomon – Based on the story of the author’s grandparents’ migration to the United States from late-nineteenth-century Russia, shares how Solomon moved to the U.S. first, where he worked to save money for Anna to join him.


cora-cooks-pancit_1Cora Cooks Pancit – When all her older siblings are away, Cora’s mother finally lets her help make pancit, a Filipino noodle dish. Includes recipe for pancit.


the-day-of-the-pelicanThe Day of the Pelican – In 1998 when the Kosovo hostilities escalate, thirteen-year-old Meli’s life as an ethnic Albanian, changes forever after her brother escapes his Serbian captors and the entire family flees from one refugee camp to another until they are able to immigrate to America.


drita-my-homegirlDrita My Homegirl – When ten-year-old Drita and her family, refugees from Kosovo, move to New York, Drita is teased about not speaking English well, but after a popular student named Maxine is forced to learn about Kosovo as a punishment for teasing Drita, the two girls soon bond.


esperanza-risingEsperanza Rising – Esperanza and her mother are forced to leave their life of wealth and privilege in Mexico to go work in the labor camps of Southern California, where they must adapt to the harsh circumstances facing Mexican farm workers on the eve of the Great Depression. Disponible en español: Esperanza Renace, Pura Belpré medal winner for narrative, 2002.


four-feet-two-sandals_1Four Feet Two Sandals – Two young Afghani girls living in a refugee camp in Pakistan share a precious pair of sandals brought by relief workers.


going-home_1Going Home  Although a Mexican family comes to the United States to work as farm laborers so that their children will have opportunities, the parents still consider Mexico their home.


grandfathers-journey_1Grandfather’s Journey – A Japanese American man recounts his grandfather’s journey to America which he later also undertakes, and the feelings of being torn by a love for two different countries. Caldecott Medal Winner, 1994.


heart-of-a-samurai_2Heart of a Samurai – In 1841, rescued by an American whaler after a terrible shipwreck leaves him and his four companions castaways on a remote island, fourteen-year-old Manjiro, who dreams of becoming a, learns new laws and customs as he becomes the first Japanese person to set foot in the United States. Young Hoosier Book Award, 2013-2014, 4-6 Nominee.


home-of-the-brave_1Home of the Brave – Kek, an African refugee, is confronted by many strange things at the Minneapolis home of his aunt and cousin, as well as in his fifth grade classroom, and longs for his missing mother, but finds comfort in the company of a cow and her owner. Young Hoosier Book Award, 2009-2010, 6-8 Nominee.


im-new-here_1I’m New Here – Three children from other countries (Somalia, Guatemala, and Korea) struggle to adjust to their new home and school in the United States.


in-the-year-of-the-boar-and-jackie-robinsonIn the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson – In 1947, a Chinese child comes to Brooklyn where she becomes Americanized at school, in her apartment building, and by her love for baseball.


kiki-and-jacquesKiki and Jacques – Eleven-year-old Jacques, who must contend with difficult family dynamics and pressure from an older boy to help him commit a crime, is surprised to discover that he has much in common with Kiki, one of the many new Somali refugees who have immigrated to his Maine town.


it-aint-so-awful-falafelIt’s Ain’t So Awful Falafel – Eleven-year-old Zomorod, originally from Iran, tells her story of growing up Iranian in Southern California during the Iranian Revolution and hostage crisis of the late 1970s.


just-like-meJust Like Me – In this story about unlikely friendships and finding your place in the world, three very different girls, adopted as babies from the same Chinese orphanage, spend a week at a summer camp, where the adoption agency coordinator wants them to journal their “bonding” experience.


the-keeping-quilt_1
The Keeping Quilt – A homemade quilt ties together the lives of four generations of an immigrant Jewish family, remaining a symbol of their enduring love and faith.

 


kira-kiraKira Kira – Chronicles the close friendship between two Japanese-American sisters growing up in rural Georgia during the late 1950s and early 1960s, and the despair when one sister becomes terminally ill. Newbery Medal Winner, 2005.


the-land-of-forgotten-girlsThe Land of Forgotten Girls – Abandoned by their father and living in poverty with their heartless stepmother in Louisiana, two sisters from the Philippines, twelve-year-old Sol and six-year-old Ming, learn the true meaning of family.


landed_1Landed – After leaving his village in southeastern China, twelve-year-old Sun is held at Angel Island, San Francisco, before being released to join his father, a merchant living in the area. Includes historical notes.


A Long Walk ta-long-walk-to-water_2o Water – When the Sudanese civil war reaches his village in 1985, eleven-year-old Salva becomes separated from his family and must walk with other Dinka tribe members through southern Sudan, Ethiopia, and Kenya in search of safe haven. Based on the life of Salva Dut, who, after emigrating to America in 1996, began a project to dig water wells in Sudan. Young Hoosier Book Award, 2012-2013, 6-8 Nominee.


mariama-different-but-just-the-same_1Mariama Different But Just the Same – Everything’s new for Mariama after a long journey by car, train, boat, and plane from Africa. She’s going to discover a world where the streets, her school, and the food are all different. But what about the people?  Disponible en español: Mariama: Diferente Pero Igual


the-matchbox-diaryThe Matchbox Diary – An elderly man shares his story of coming to America with his great granddaughter. Since he did not know how to read or write when he was younger, he created a diary by keeping items inside matchboxes. Together, they open each one like you would a book and learn about where the man came from and his new life in the United States. Disponible en español: El Diario de las Cajas de Fósforos


miss-bridie-chose-a-shovel_1Miss Bridie Chose a Shovel Miss – Bridie emigrates to America in 1856 and chooses to bring a shovel, which proves to be a useful tool throughout her life.  Young Hoosier Book Award, 2007-2008, K-3 Nominee.


mollys-pilgrim_1Molly’s Pilgrim – Told to make a Pilgrim doll for the Thanksgiving display at school, Molly is embarrassed when her mother tries to help her out by creating a doll dressed as she herself was dressed before leaving Russia to seek religious freedom.


90-days-to-havana_190 Miles to Havana – When unrest hits the streets of Havana, Cuba, Julian’s parents must make the heartbreaking decision tosend him and his two brothers away to Miami via the Pedro Pan operation. But when the boys get to Miami, they are thrust into a world where bullies seem to run rampant and it’s not always clear how best to protect themselves.


a-piece-of-homeA Piece of Home – A child-friendly story about the trials and triumphs of starting over in a new place while keeping family and traditions close.



the-red-pencil_1

The Red Pencil
– After her tribal village is attacked by militants, Amira, a young Sudanese girl, must flee to safety at a refugee camp, where she finds hope and the chance to pursue an education in the form of a single red pencil and the friendship and encouragement of a wise elder.


return-to-senderReturn to Sender – After his family hires migrant Mexican workers to help save their Vermont farm from foreclosure, eleven-year-old Tyler befriends the oldest daughter, but when he discovers they may not be in the country legally, he realizes that real friendship knows no borders.
Pura Belpré Award for narrative, 2010. Disponible en español: Devolver al Remitente


save-me-a-seatSave Me a Seat – Ravi has just moved to the United States from India and has always been at the top of his class; Joe has lived in the same town his whole life and has learning problems–but when their lives intersect in the first week of fifth grade they are brought together by a common enemy (the biggest bully in their class) and the need to take control of their lives.



serafinas-promise_1

Serafina’s Promise
– In a poor village outside of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Serafina works hard to help her family, but dreams of going to school and becoming a doctor–then the earthquake hits and Serafina must summon all her courage to find her father and still get medicine for her sick baby brother as she promised. Young Hoosier Book Award, 2016-2017, 4-6 Nominee.


shooting-kabulShooting Kabul – Escaping from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan in the summer of 2001, eleven-year-old Fadi and his family immigrate to the San Francisco Bay Area, where Fadi schemes to return to the Pakistani refugee camp where his little sister was accidentally left behind.


somewhere-amongSomewhere Among – Eleven-year-old Emma’s life in Tokyo changes for the worse when she and her American mother, who is pregnant, must move in with her Japanese grandmother the summer before 9/11 changes the world.



the-turtle-of-oman_1

The Turtle of Oman
– When Aref, a third-grader who lives in Muscat, Oman, refuses to pack his suitcase and prepare to move to Michigan, his mother asks for help from his grandfather, his Siddi, who takes Aref around the country, storing up memories he can carry with him to a new home.


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Big Nate Blasts Off

Big Nate Blasts Off

Big Nate Blasts Off

In this latest misadventure, Nate, the all-time record-holder for detentions, is in trouble up to his eyeballs again. His mouth…well, sometimes he just can’t help himself.

Rather than take Nate’s advice for making the headlines of the school newspaper less boring –  “Lunch Stinks! Students’ Lives at Risk” – Kayla suggests he use his cartooning talents for a gossip column. Nate jumps at the chance, providing cartoons that tease both students and staff members alike. When the new issue comes out EVERYBODY is laughing…except the Principal, who thinks Nate crosses the line and Randy, who does not appreciate the public exposure and retaliates with an ominous “you’re dead” directed at Nate in the hallway.

Uh-oh. This is war! Can Nate once again save himself…from himself? Lincoln Peirce

Big Nate Series:
1: Big Nate in a Class By Himself
2: Big Nate Strikes Again
3: Big Nate On a Roll
4: Big Nate Goes for Broke
5: Big Nate Flips Out
6. Big Nate In the Zone
7. Big Nate Lives It Up
8. Big Nate Blasts Off

If you think Nate is funny, try some of these:
Dog Days Smile Amelia Rules Calvin and Hobbes Lazy Sunday
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Dear Dumb Diary: Me! (Just Like You, Only Better)

Dear Dumb Diary: Me! (Just Like You, Only Better)

Me! Just Like You Only Better

Jamie is still sure that she’s got life figured out – but if she does, how does she get herself mixed up in such crazy situations? This time it’s her birthday and she’s determined that there will NOT be a repeat of last year when her parents gave her a pogo stick instead of the cute puppy she wanted. That pogo stick DID turn into a puppy…that she describes as a “lumpy, toadish bucket of unpleasantness we know as Stink.” Long story. (In fact, it’s one of Jamie’s other adventures – see list below!) Anyway, Jamie has an all-time favorite band and doesn’t like people copying this like…so she pretends to like a different band to throw them off…which turns into a big Jamie-style mess at her birthday party. More fun from that crazy Jamie and her dumb diary. Author: Jim Benton

Dear Dumb Diary Series:

#1 Let’s Pretend This Never Happened
#2 My Pants are Haunted (When Bad Clothes Happen to Good People)
#3 Am I the Princess or the Frog
#4 Never Do Anything, Ever
#5 Can Adults Become Human?
#6 The Problem with Here is That it’s Where I’m From
#7 Never Underestimate Your Dumbness
#8 It’s Not My Fault I Know Everything
#9 That’s What Friends Aren’t For
#10 The Worst Things in Life are Also Free
#11: Okay, So Maybe I Do Have Superpowers
#12: Me! (Just Like You, Only Better)

Dear Dumb Diary Year Two Series:

#1 School Hasn’t This Gone on Long Enough?
#2 The Super Nice are Super Annoying
#3 Nobody’s Perfect I’m as Close as it Gets
#4 What I Don’t Know Might Hurt Me
#5 You Can Bet on That
#6 Live Each Day to the Dumbest

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Stories About Loss, Death & Grieving

Stories About Loss, Death & Grieving
After Eli After Eli – After the death of his older brother, Daniel Anderson became engrossed in recording details about dead people, how they died, and whether their deaths mattered but he is eventually drawn back into interaction with the living. Young Hoosier Book Award, 2014-2015, 6-8 Nominee. Print, eBook
Another Kind of Hurricane Another Kind of Hurricane – The world, itself, seems to bring together Henry, whose best friend died near their home in the mountains of Vermont, and Zavion, who lost his home in Hurricane Katrina, so that the boys can help each other heal. Print
Bridge to Terabithia Bridge to Terabithia – The life of a ten-year-old boy in rural Virginia expands when he becomes friends with a newcomer who subsequently meets an untimely death trying to reach their hideaway, Terabithia, during a storm. Newbery Medal winner, 1978 Print, eBook, eAudio
Charlotte's Web Charlotte’s Web – Some Pig. Humble. Radiant. These are the words in Charlotte’s Web, high up in Zuckerman’s barn. Charlotte’s spiderweb tells of her feelings for a little pig named Wilbur, who simply wants a friend. It is the story of a girl named Fern, who saved Wilbur’s life when he was born the runt of his litter. A tender novel of friendship, love, life, and death. Print, eBook, eAudio
Confetti Girl Confetti Girl – After the death of her mother, Texas sixth-grader Lina’s grades and mood drop as she watches her father lose himself more and more in books, while her best friend uses Lina as an excuse to secretly meet her boyfriend. Print
Flip Flop Girl Flip Flop Girl – Uprooted following the death of their father, nine-year-old Vinnie and her five-year-old brother, Mason, cope in different ways–one in silence–but both with the help of Lupe, the flip-flop girl. Print
The Girl Who Threw Butterflies The Girl Who Threw Butterflies – Eighth-grader Molly’s ability to throw a knuckleball earns her a spot on the baseball team, which not only helps her feel connected to her recently deceased father, who loved baseball, it helps in other aspects of her life, as well. Young Hoosier Book Award, 2011-2012, 6-8 Nominee. PrinteBook
The Last Invisible Boy The Last Invisible Boy – In the wake of his father’s sudden death, twelve-year-old Finn feels he is becoming invisible as his hair and skin become whiter by the day, and so he writes and illustrates a book to try to understand what is happening and to hold on to himself and his father. Print
Milo Milo, Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze – In love with the girl he sneezed on the first day of school and best pals with Marshall, the “One Eyed Jack” of friends, seventh-grader Milo Cruikshank misses his mother whose death has changed everything at home. Print
Missing May Missing May – Missing her recently deceased second mother, May, Summer finds comfort and guidance with Cletus Underwood, a classmate who believes that he has come back from the dead, and together they conduct a seance to contact May. Newbery Medal winner, 1993 Print, eBook, eAudio
Mockingbird Mockingbird – Ten-year-old Caitlin, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, struggles to understand emotions, show empathy, and make friends at school, while at home she seeks closure by working on a project with her father. Young Hoosier Book Award, 2013-2014, 4-6 Nominee, A Junior Library Guild selection Print, eBook
The Thing About Jellyfish The Thing About Jellyfish – Twelve-year-old Suzy Swanson wades through her intense grief over the loss of her best friend by investigating the rare jellyfish she is convinced was responsible for her friend’s death. Print, eBook
Umbrella Summer Umbrella Summer – After her brother Jared dies, ten-year-old Annie worries about the hidden dangers of everything, from bug bites to bicycle riding, until she is befriended by a new neighbor who is grieving her own loss. Print, eBook
Waiting for Unicorns Waiting for Unicorns – After her mother dies, twelve-year-old Talia McQuinn goes to the Arctic with her father, a whale researcher. Over the course of one summer, and through several unlikely friendships, Talia learns that stories have the power to connect us, to provide hope, and to pull us out of the darkness. Print
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Read Right Now! Big Nate

Read Right Now! Big Nate

Nate is an 11-year-old aspiring cartoonist in "Big Nate."

Websites:

Big Nate Series:


1: Big Nate in a Class By Himself
2: Big Nate Strikes Again
3: Big Nate On a Roll
4: Big Nate Goes for Broke
5: Big Nate Flips Out
6: Big Nate In the Zone
7: Big Nate Lives It Up (March 10, 2015)


Downloadable Books:

NateLoud NateWork NateFriends
NateTop NateGrade NateDibs
NatePop NateGame NateFire
Great Minds Think Alike I Can't Take It Big Nate Makes a Splash

Downloadable Audiobooks:

NateRoll NateClass In the Zone
Big Nate Flips Out Big Nate Goes for Broke

 

If you think Nate is funny, try some of these:
Dog Days Smile Amelia Rules Calvin and Hobbes Lazy Sunday
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