Native Voices in November: A Booklist for Students, Parents & Educators

Native Voices in November: A Booklist for Students, Parents & Educators

Native Voices in November: A Booklist for Students, Parents & Educators, put together by the New York Public Library: November is Native American Heritage month. It’s a time to share and remember the history of the Native people who were the first people of this land and continue to be an essential and indelible part of the landscape. This land we walk on is Native land. This booklist is not a Thanksgiving booklist. These titles highlight Native voices and stories that will evoke curiosity in young readers to explore and develop a better knowledge and understanding of Native peoples and communities.  Organized by elementary, middle, and high school. 

Refugeeone.org, “Literature for Children and Adolescents about the Refugee and Immigrant Experience.”

Refugeeone.org, “Literature for Children and Adolescents about the Refugee and Immigrant Experience.”

From the site: These books are geared for children and adolescents and are written about the refugee or immigrant experience from many different perspectives and lands. Some tell the story of life in a war zone or conflict, flight from a home country, life in a refugee camp, or adjustment to a new home in a faraway country. Age appropriateness: These books were categorized into age groups by the Chicago Public Library, mainly according to reading level. Some of the content may contain sensitive material that may be upsetting or scary. Please use your own judgment as to what is appropriate for your child.

Littlefeminist.org, Our favorite children’s books about immigration.

Littlefeminist.org, Our favorite children’s books about immigration.

From the site: “These books address situations from being in a new school in a new country to hiding from the Border Patrol. At Little Feminist we believe that stories teach empathy, and by teaching our kids empathy towards immigrants we can raise a generation of humans that ensures this treatment of immigrants and refugees will not repeat.”

Immigraiton Stories in American History from The-Best-Childrens-Books.org

Immigraiton Stories in American History from The-Best-Childrens-Books.org

Collected and curated by classroom teachers, the children’s books discussed are great resources for immigration lesson plans. Some would make for great read alouds, others would be perfect for required student reading lists. This selection of books will help bring the immigrant experience to life for your students. It is arranged by grade and reading levels.

Scholastic. Twenty-five Books About Immigration Experiences, organized for grades 1 – 10.

Scholastic. Twenty-five Books About Immigration Experiences, organized for grades 1 – 10.

From the site: “Encourage students to explore the power and poignancy of the immigration experience through these affecting stories… This curated collection of titles beautifully captures the immigrant and refugee experiences through both the fiction and nonfiction lens. Use them to supplement lessons on history and culture and to spark powerful conversations around what it means to leave home for a completely new land.”

Social Justice Books: Teaching About Immigration

Social Justice Books: Teaching About Immigration

Titles on immigration and the immigrant experience with a focus on the United States. Books are organized into Elementary, Middle Grades, YA / Adult Fiction, and YA / Adult Nonfiction. Books listed include: Gloria E. Anzaldua, Amigos del Otro Lado / Friends From The Other Side: “Did you come from the other side? You know, from Mexico?” So begins the friendship between Prietita and Joaquin, the young boy who, with his mother, has crossed the Rio Grande River to Texas in search of a new life. • Yangsook Choi, The Name Jar: Being the new kid in school is hard enough, but what about when nobody can pronounce your name? Having just moved from Korea, Unhei is anxious that American kids will like her. So instead of introducing herself on the first day of school, she tells the class that she will choose a name by the following week. Her new classmates are fascinated by this no-name girl and decide to help out by filling a glass jar with names for her to pick from. But while Unhei practices being a Suzy, Laura, or Amanda, one of her classmates comes to her neighborhood and discovers her real name and its special meaning. • Duncan Tonatiuh, Undocumented: A Worker’s Fight: Undocumented is the story of immigrant workers who have come to the United States without papers. Every day, these men and women join the work force and contribute positively to society. The story is told via the ancient Mixtec codex—accordion fold—format. Juan grew up in Mexico working in the fields to help provide for his family. Struggling for money, Juan crosses over into the United States and becomes an undocumented worker, living in a poor neighborhood, working hard to survive.

Laura Lambert, “19 Books for Kids About the Immigrant Experience in America” from Brightly.

Laura Lambert, “19 Books for Kids About the Immigrant Experience in America” from Brightly.

Books arranged from Baby and Toddler to Teen+. Books listed include: • Elisa Gravel, What is a Refugee?: For young readers just learning about the refugee experience, Elise Gravel offers an accessible and affirming introduction; she also addresses why refugees must leave home and how readers can make their community a more welcoming one. The book opens with perhaps the most important message of all, in response to the titular question: “A refugee is a person, just like you and me.” • Anna Kim, Danbi Leads the School Parade: On her first day at her new American school, Danbi has trouble understanding her teacher’s instructions and her classmates’ games. But over lunch, Danbi finds a way to meld her two cultures and create a new game, one everyone can play. An uplifting picture book about finding connection through, not despite, our differences. • Matt de la Peña, Carmela Full of Wishes: When Carmela finds a dandelion to blow, she ponders all the wishes she could make with it. Will she wish for a candy machine? For her mother to sleep in a bed as nice as the ones she makes every day? Or for her father’s papers to be fixed so he can finally come home?

Ladislava N. Khailova, The Stories We Share: A Guide to PreK–12 Books on the Experience of Immigrant Children and Teens in the United States.

Ladislava N. Khailova, The Stories We Share: A Guide to PreK–12 Books on the Experience of Immigrant Children and Teens in the United States.

Named Best Professional Resource for School or Youth Librarians—2019 SLC/ARBA Best of Reference Awards. Khailova identifies both fiction and non-fiction titles published in the United States and Canada between 1990 and 2015 that focus on the twentieth or twenty-first century immigrant experience; organizes selections by their world region of birth, including Asia, Latin America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East, with further subdivisions by countries of origin; provides historical background on the immigration patterns of each group, with a list of additional resources on the topic; and offers discussion starters and questions to promote self-reflection, sense of connectedness, and empathy.