Browse by Race & Culture:
A Day's Work
When Francisco, a young Mexican American boy, tries to help his grandfather find work, he discovers that even though the old man cannot speak English, he has something even more valuable to teach Francisco.
All the Lights in the Night
Arthur A. Levine
Two brothers celebrate Hanukkah on a true and unforgettable journey to freedom as they escape from Tsarist Russia and travel on to Palestine. "The narrative is convincing; the characterizations are natural; and the resolution is touching.
A Long Way Home
An account of the author's inspirational effort to find his India birthplace describes how he was accidentally separated from his family in the mid-1980s, his survival on the streets of Calcutta, his adoption by an Australian family, and his headline-making Google Earth search.
An Ellis Island Christmas
Maxinne Rhea Leighton
Papa has already left Poland, and Krysia longs to see him again. "First we must cross the ocean to get to Ellis Island in America," says Mama. "That's where Papa is waiting for us." Saying goodbye to her home is hard, and the ocean voyage is long and stormy, but finally, on Christmas Eve, Krysia sees the Statue of Liberty! Dennis Nolan's richly rendered illustrations powerfully evoke the uncertainty, wonder, and hope of this young immigrant's experience. An Ellis Island Christmas is a holiday story to treasure, year after year.
A New Barker in the House
Twins Moffie and Morgie are excited when they hear that their family is adopting a three-year-old Hispanic boy.
A Piece of Home
When Hee Jun’s family moves from Korea to West Virginia, he struggles to adjust to his new home. His eyes are not big and round like his classmates’, and he can’t understand anything the teacher says, even when she speaks s-l-o-w-l-y and loudly at him. As he lies in bed at night, the sky seems smaller and darker. But little by little Hee Jun begins to learn English words and make friends on the playground. And one day he is invited to a classmate’s house, where he sees a flower he knows from his garden in Korea — mugunghwa, or rose of Sharon, as his friend tells him — and Hee Jun is happy to bring a shoot to his grandmother to plant a “piece of home” in their new garden. Lyrical prose and lovely illustrations combine in a gentle, realistic story about finding connections in an unfamiliar world.
Hoping to make Chamnan, a seven-year-old immigrant from Thailand, feel more at home, the owner of a Portland, Maine, bakery invites him and his grandfather to hear her bread sing.
Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan
Mary Williams and R. Gregory Christie
Eight-year-old Garang is tending cattle far from his family's home in southern Sudan when war comes to his village. Frightened but unharmed, he returns to find everything has been destroyed. Soon Garang meets other boys whose villages have been attacked. Before long they become a moving band of thousands, walking hundreds of miles seeking safety — first in Ethiopia and then in Kenya. The boys face numerous hardships and dangers along the way, but their faith and mutual support help keep the hope of finding a new home alive in their hearts. Based on heartbreaking yet inspirational true events in the lives of the Lost Boys of Sudan, Brothers in Hope is a story of remarkable and enduring courage, and an amazing testament to the unyielding power of the human spirit.
Carmen Learns English
Newly-arrived in the United States from Mexico, Carmen is apprehensive about going to school and learning English.
A boy and his grandfather cross a language and cultural barrier using their shared love of art, storytelling, and fantasy.
An illustrated picture book autobiography in which award-winning author Yuyi Morales tells her own immigration story.
Goyangi Means Cat
An understanding cat helps a young Korean girl adjust to her new home in America.
Andrea Cheng and Ange Zhang
When her maternal grandfather comes from China, Helen, who is biracial, develops a special bond with him despite their age and language differences.
Here I Am
Newly arrived from their faraway homeland, a boy and his family enter into the lights, noise, and traffic of a busy city in this dazzling wordless picture book. The boy clings tightly to his special keepsake from home and wonders how he will find his way.
Home After Dark
A savage portrayal of male adolescence gone awry, like no other work of recent fiction or film. Wildly kaleidoscopic and furiously cinematic, Home After Dark is a literary tour-de-force that renders the brutality of adolescence in the so-called nostalgic 1950s, evoking classics such as The Lord of the Flies. Thirteen-year-old Russell Pruitt, abandoned by his mother, follows his father to California in search of a dream. Forced to fend for himself, Russell struggles to survive in Marshfield, a dilapidated town haunted by a sadistic animal killer and a ring of malicious boys who bully Russell for being "queer." Rescued from his booze-swilling father by Wen and Jian Mah, a Chinese immigrant couple who long for a child, Russell betrays them by running away with their restaurant's proceeds.
For Adam Reed, basketball is a passport. Adam’s basketball skills have taken him from an orphanage in Poland to a loving adoptive mother in Minnesota. When he’s tapped to play on a select AAU team along with some of the best players in the state, it just confirms that basketball is his ticket to the good life: to new friendships, to the girl of his dreams, to a better future. But life is more complicated off the court. When an incident with the police threatens to break apart the bonds Adam’s finally formed after a lifetime of struggle, he must make an impossible choice between his new family and the sport that’s given him everything.
How I Learned English: The Story of a Brave Mexican Girl
Paula Massadas Pereira
How I Learned English describes the journey of Claudia Sanchez, a young woman who immigrates to the United States. It is a pedagogical picture book that aims to inspire English learners to become proficient in their new language. It was written in basic English to ensure reading comprehension. Study questions are available to encourage discussion. Major topics: ESL, immigration, study skills, culture shock, and cultural values.
I'm New Here
Anne Sibley O'Brien
Three students are immigrants from Guatemala, Korea, and Somalia and have trouble speaking, writing, and sharing ideas in English in their new American elementary school. Through self-determination and with encouragement from their peers and teachers, the students learn to feel confident and comfortable in their new school without losing a sense of their home country, language, and identity.
In English, of Course
Set in the Bronx during the 1950s, when postwar immigrant children were placed in their first American classrooms, this delightful story tells of the riotous linguistic misunderstandings of Josephine’s first day of school. The daughter of savvy Italian engineers, Josephine has lived in the city long enough to have learned a few words in English, but is overcome when her teacher makes her stand up in front of the class and tell about her life in Italy—in English, of course. The result is a charming tale of adventures and multicultural miscommunications as Josephine attempts to make herself understood. Children will come to understand that sometimes people underestimate the talents and dignity of newcomers to the United States and will embark on a poignant journey as Josephine tells her incredible story the best way she knows how and attempts to understand her English-speaking teacher and classmates. Josephine Nobisso is the author of 17 books including Grandpa Loved, Grandma’s Scrapbook, and Shh! The Whale is Smiling. She lives in Quogue, New York. Dasha Ziborova is the illustrator of Crispin the Terrible. She lives in New York City.
A California girl born and raised, Mai can't wait to spend her vacation at the beach. Instead, though, she has to travel to Vietnam with her grandmother, who is going back to find out what really happened to her husband during the Vietnam War. Mai's parents think this trip will be a great opportunity for their out-of-touch daughter to learn more about her culture. But to Mai, those are their roots, not her own. Vietnam is hot, smelly, and the last place she wants to be. Besides barely speaking the language, she doesn't know the geography, the local customs, or even her distant relatives. To survive her trip, Mai must find a balance between her two completely different worlds.
Mariama: 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? A beautiful tale about identity, the process of integration, and solidarity. Are you ready to meet Mariama and play with her?
Marianthe's Story: Painted Words and Spoken Memories
Two separate stories, the first telling of Mari's starting school in a new land, and the second describing village life in her country before she and her family left in search of a better life.
Me And My Fear
When a young girl has to move countries and start at a new school, her fear tells her to be alone and afraid. How can she hope to make friends if she doesn't understand anyone? Surely no one else feels the same way... From the award-winning author and illustrator of The Journey, this insightful and delicately told story shows that we can all find friendship and comfort when we share our fears.
Matt de la Peña
Sixteen-year-old Danny searches for his identity amidst the confusion of being half-Mexican and half-white while spending a summer with his cousin and new friends on the baseball fields and back alleys of San Diego County, California.
Milly and the Macy's Parade
It's 1924 and the holidays are approaching. Milly lives in NYC with her Polish family and frolics daily in holiday displays at the Macy's store under the watchful eye of Mr. Macy. But Milly's family misses their homeland and traditions. In an effort to cheer people up, Milly convinces Mr. Macy to combine old country traditions with new American heritage in a celebration for all to enjoy. Everyone agrees that the resulting parade will become a wonderful new tradition. This heartwarming story beautifully captures the creation of a uniquely American event.