Abdi Nor Iftin first fell in love with America from afar. As a child, he learned English by listening to American pop artists like Michael Jackson and watching films starring action heroes like Arnold Schwarzenegger. When U.S. marines landed in Mogadishu to take on the warlords, Abdi cheered the arrival of these real Americans, who seemed as heroic as those of the movies. Sporting American clothes and dance moves, he became known around Mogadishu as Abdi American, but when the radical Islamist group al-Shabaab rose to power in 2006, it suddenly became dangerous to celebrate Western culture. Desperate to make a living, Abdi used his language skills to post secret dispatches to NPR and the Internet, which found an audience of worldwide listeners. But as life in Somalia grew more dangerous, Abdi was left with no choice but to flee to Kenya as a refugee. In an amazing stroke of luck, Abdi won entrance to the U.S. in the annual visa lottery, though his route to America was filled with twists and turns and a harrowing sequence of events that nearly stranded him in Nairobi. Now a proud resident of Maine and on the path to citizenship, Abdi Nor Iftin’s dramatic, deeply stirring memoir is truly a story for our time: a vivid reminder of why western democracies still beckon to those looking to make a better life.
Years ago a group of kiwi travelled to find a place to settle. Much later another group arrived and wanted to settle there too. Both wondered who these strangers were and they began to fight each other, until eventually they made a treaty and agreed to share and to live together. Listening to Koro’s story the little Kiwi learns about identity, family history, treaties and living alongside other groups.
An accessible picture book that oh-so-simply and graphically introduces the term “refugee” to curious young children to help them better understand the world in which they live.
Norman John Gillies was one of the last children ever born on St Kilda, five years before the whole population was evacuated forever to the British mainland. People had lived on these islands for over four thousand years, developing a thriving, tightly-knit society that knew nothing of crime or money, and took care of its weakest members without hesitation. At the mercy of the seasons and the elements, a unique lifestyle evolved, based around resilience, mutual trust and caring.
A moving and timely story of a young boy separated from his beloved brother and father by a border Arturo loves to look at maps and the lines where different countries meet––as if greeting each other with a big hug. But his mother tells him these lines have a different purpose––to keep people from moving freely across the land. Arturo and his mother are separated from his father and his brother Antonio by one of these lines. Will he ever see his brother again? But the sky has no lines, so Arturo dreams of flying with Antonio through the open sky to the moon, free of barriers. Artful, moving watercolor illustrations express a young boy’s sorrow at separation and his joyful dreams of a world without lines.
This novel in verse is a powerful first-person account of Misael Martinez, a Salvadoran boy whose family joins the caravan heading north to the United States. We learn all the different reasons why people feel the need to leave the hope that lies behind their decision, but also the terrible sadness of leaving home. We learn about how far and hard the trip is, but also about the kindness of those along the way. Finally, once the caravan arrives in Tijuana, Misael and those around him are relieved. They think they have arrived at the goal of the trip — to enter the United States. But then tear gas, hateful demonstrations, force and fear descend on these vulnerable people. The border is closed. The book ends with Misael dreaming of El Salvador. This beautiful and timely story is written in simple but poetic verse by Jorge Argueta, the award-winning author of Somos como las nubes / We Are Like the Clouds. Award-winning Mexican illustrator Manuel Monroy illuminates Misael’s journey. An author’s note is included, along with a map showing the caravan’s route.
Every year, thousands of migrant children and teens cross the U.S.-Mexico border. The journey is treacherous and sometimes deadly, but worth the risk for migrants who are escaping gang violence and poverty in their home countries. And for those refugees who do succeed? They face an immigration process that is as winding and multi-tiered as the journey that brought them here. In this book, award-winning Mexican author Juan Pablo Villalobos strings together the diverse experiences of eleven real migrant teenagers, offering readers a beginning road map to issues facing the region. These timely accounts of courage, sacrifice, and survival―including two fourteen-year-old girls forming a tenuous friendship as they wait in a frigid holding cell, a boy in Chicago beginning to craft his future while piecing together his past in El Salvador, and cousins learning to lift each other up through angry waters―offer a rare and invaluable window into the U.S.–Central American refugee crisis. In turns optimistic and heartbreaking, The Other Side balances the boundless hope at the center of immigration with the weight of its risks and repercussions. Here is a necessary read for young people on both sides of the issue.
Identical twins Ernesto and Raul Flores, seventeen, must flee El Salvador, make a harrowing journey across the Rio Grande and the Texas desert, face capture by immigration authorities, and struggle to navigate life in America.
The star of Orange Is the New Black and Jane the Virgin, Diane Guerrero presents her personal story in this middle grade memoir about her parents’ deportation and the nightmarish struggles of undocumented immigrants and their American children.
Eleven-year-old Carolina moves with her family from Puerto Rico to upstate New York, where she attends Silver Meadows camp with her cousin, finds an abandoned cottage, and reclaims parts of the life she left in Puerto Rico.