Jimena Perez Puede Volar

Ten-year-old Jimena loves El Salvador but when gangs threaten to force her to join, she and her mother immigrate to the United States, but are separated at the border.

The Good Thieves

In 1920s New York City, a young girl with a deformed foot recruits her new friends, a female pickpocket and two circus performers, to help recover an emerald from her grandfather’s mansion in upstate New York after he loses his home to an unscrupulous tycoon.

El Baile De Octavo Y Otros Recuerdos

Eleven-year-old Ada De Jesús was on the cusp of her teens when she moved to the United States from Puerto Rico. Hurricane Hugo had just decimated the island and her father couldn’t find a job. In Chicago, the white dress she arrived in didn’t protect her from the snow and frigid temperatures! Constantly exposed to new things, she developed a resilience that served her well. “From one place to another, like riding a bike, if you keep pedaling, you won’t fall.” Ada discovered that students in the United States were frequently disrespectful to their teachers. At school she often felt like a two-year-old as she grappled with a completely new language. In addition to navigating a different culture, she had to deal with all the issues familiar to teenage girls: the growth of body hair, pimples, menstruation and burgeoning feelings for the opposite sex. Her memories of first intimate encounters, fending off unwanted advances and fear of pregnancy will strike a chord with readers. In these short vignettes recollecting her middle-school years, Ada De Jesús shares her poignant and often funny experiences as a newcomer and an adolescent. Young readers will relate to—and laugh at—her experiences; some may take heart that they too will overcome the difficulties common at this age.

Other Words for Home

Sent with her mother to the safety of a relative’s home in Cincinnati when her Syrian hometown is overshadowed by violence, Jude worries for the family members who were left behind as she adjusts to a new life with unexpected surprises.

Other Words for Home has been discussed in My Take/Your Take in April 2020 and July 2020.

This book has been included in WOW’s Language and Learning: Children’s and Young Adult Fiction Booklist. For our current list, visit our Booklist page under Resources in the green navigation bar.

Dancing Hands

As a little girl, Teresa Carreño loved to let her hands dance across the beautiful keys of the piano. If she felt sad, music cheered her up, and when she was happy, the piano helped her share that joy. Soon she was writing her own songs and performing in grand cathedrals. Then a revolution in Venezuela forced her family to flee to the United States. Teresa felt lonely in this unfamiliar place, where few of the people she met spoke Spanish. Worst of all, there was fighting in her new home, too the Civil War.

Todos Iguales

The story of the 1931 Lemon Grove incident, in which Mexican families in southern California won the first school desegregation case in United States history. Told in Spanish and English. Includes a corrido (ballad), and information about the people involved and events leading up to and after the court case ruling.

My Shoes And I

As a boy and his Papa travel from El Salvador to the United States to be reunited with Mama, his wonderful new shoes help to distract him from the long and difficult journey.

La Frontera

Join a young boy and his father on a daring journey from Mexico to Texas to find a new life.

The Sky At Our Feet

Jason has just learned that his Afghan mother has been living illegally in the United States since his father was killed in Afghanistan. Although Jason was born in the US, it’s hard to feel American now when he’s terrified that his mother will be discovered — and that they will be separated. When he sees his mother being escorted from her workplace by two officers, Jason feels completely alone. He boards a train with the hope of finding his aunt in New York City, but as soon as he arrives in Penn Station, the bustling city makes him wonder if he’s overestimated what he can do. After an accident lands him in the hospital, Jason finds an unlikely ally in a fellow patient. Max, a whip-smart girl who wants nothing more than to explore the world on her own terms, joins Jason in planning a daring escape out of the hospital and into the skyscraper jungle — even though they both know that no matter how big New York City is, they won’t be able to run forever.