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Book Reviews

Shining Star: The Anna May Wong Story

Author: Paula Yoo

Winner of the Carter G. Woodson Book Award presented to exemplary books written for children each year, Shining Star: The Anna May Wong Story is another top-notch biography by Paula Yoo, who also wrote the popular Sixteen Years in Sixteen Seconds. Shining Star tells the little-known story of Anna May Wong, a Chinese-American born at the turn of the century. Read more...

Year Released: 2015

Building Diverse and Inclusive School Communities

Author: Eileen Gale Kugler

Told in a series of well-researched, first-person narratives, Eileen Gale Kugler’s book, Innovative Voices in Education: Engaging Diverse Communities, stands out for its honest and multi-layered approach to building diverse and inclusive school communities. Read more...

Year Released: 2015

Book Review: Lena Finkle’s Magic Barrel by Anya Ullnich

Graphic novels are not just for students. Although the genre tends to appeal to a younger audience, some authors such as Anya Ullnich, who writes for an older audience, uses the genre in order to literally illustrate the complexity of her personal immigration story.

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Year Released: 2015

Students Read and Review Shaun Tan’s The Arrival

Author: Shaun Tan

Reviewed by: Owen Bouchard, Tyler Garry, Alia Higgins and Julia Semmel
Joseph A. DePaolo Middle School, Southington, CT

A number of people have never been to another country. They don’t know what it is like to be an immigrant; however, if they read Shaun Tan’s The Arrival, the readers would have a better understanding of the troubles that people go through. The immigrant protagonist in the story leaves his family behind to start a new life. This story helps the reader relate to the sorrow, longing, and unfamiliarity that many immigrants experience. 

Tan’s abstract art conveys a difference between old and new. The fanciful and bright details in the artist’s depiction of a new, more advanced country is relatable for any reader who has experienced awe of their surroundings. There is plenty more to this story than simply the journey and acclimation of the character, such as: the emotions of his departure, the loss of his family, and the wonders of a new world. Further, the story is all told through black and white pictures.

Tan’s story starts with a simple family: a husband, wife, and young girl in a gloomy and melancholy environment. They are seen packing to leave. Whilst they walk down the street, reptilian spines snake their way in between uniform rows of drab, dreary houses. Later, the husband gets on a train after a seemingly painful farewell.Read more...

Year Released: 2015

How the Novel Americanah Explores Immigration, Race, and Love

Author: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Told through a series of flashbacks,  by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, captures the stories of two Nigerians, Ifemelu and her childhood friend/first love, Obinze, who enter themselves into self-imposed exiles in America and Great Britain after their options for education are squelched by a military dictatorship back home. Read more...

Year Released: 2015

Spare Parts: Four Undocumented Students, One Ugly Robot, and the Battle for the American Dream

Author: Joshua Davis

Author Joshua Davis tells the true story of four undocumented teenagers from an impoverished section of Phoenix, Arizona who build a ragtag robot nicknamed “Stinky” out of spare parts to compete in a national robotics championship against the likes of MIT among other prestigious, well-funded universities. This brave and unlikely team combats more than their competitors. They also fight the vehemence of anti-immigrant sentiment, laws designed to prevent their advancement in society and a pervasive fear of deportation. Even so, they deal with typical teenage issues of insecurity and fitting into high school culture. They find their way with the support of each other and the backing of two teachers, Fredi Lajvardi and Allan Cameron.    Read more...

Year Released: 2014

Enrique's Journey

Author: Sonia Nazario

Sonia Nazario, a Los Angeles Times reporter researched the migration of children in a series of articles which won the Pulitzer Prize and inspired the writing of "Enrique's Journey." Nazario humanizes unaccompanied minors and informs readers of the realities of their incredibly dangerous journeys. “Enriques Journey” not just the story of Enrique, a teenager from Honduras but also explores the reasons families decide to make these dangerous choices and the underreported realities of the dangers. Nazario retraces Enriques steps to reunite with his mother who left to work in the US and send money back to Enrique when he was 5 years old. Her promise to return never happened and Enrique made the decision to make the journey including “el tren de la muerte”, the train of death. The book recounts Enriques journey as well as his fellow passengers who are trying to avoid robbery, assault, and death. Stories illustrate the horrors of other young migrants. Nazarios journalistic style engages readers while informing them with real facts. A new version for young readers was recently released. The new version still gut-wrenching and impossible to put down is toned down from the original version and more suitable for Junior High students.

Year Released: 2014

Green Card Stories

Author: Introduction by Laura Danielson and Stephen Yale-Loehr, Stories by Saundra Amrhein, Photographs by Ariana Lindquist

The American Immigration Council is proud to support the publication of Green Card Stories. Green Card Stories (due to be printed in November 2011) is an incredible tribute to the diverse backgrounds that make up our immigrant population in America today. The American Immigration Council’s mission is to “strengthen America by honoring our immigrant history by shaping how Americans think about and act towards immigration now and in the future” and we can’t think of a better way to further our mission than through this beautiful and touching book.

Not only can you pre-order books for yourself, your office, family members, clients, etc. you can also pre-order a book to donate to your local school, library or community center or you can donate a book to one of the Council’s designated “hot spots” where education on immigration is needed most. Could your Member of Congress use a thank you or a gentle reminder of who our immigrant population is? Donate a copy of Green Card Stories to a Congressional office. All donated books will be delivered free of charge with a note indicating your generous gift.

To get a preview of the book, check out this slideshow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Year Released: 2011

High School-Adult

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The New Kids: Big Dreams and Brave Journeys at a High School for Immigrant Teens

Author: Brooke Hauser

The New Kids is specifically set in Brooklyn, New York at the International School at Prospect Heights. Yet, the reader travels around the world through Hauser’s retelling of certain students’ lives. The students at Prospect Heights are as different as day and night, but they all have something in common: they’re recent immigrants to the US who couldn’t receive an education anywhere else. This book explores the hardships of a select few of these students’ lives and gives the reader a more comprehensive understanding about immigration. This book allows the reader to understand the horrid and repressive conditions that people face in some countries. Hauser shows the reader what people do to obtain freedom.

The New Kids: Big Dreams and Brave Journeys at a High School for Immigrant Teens

Year Released: 2012

Grades 8-Adult

From Every End of This Earth: 13 Families and the New Lives They Made in America

Author: Steven V. Roberts

Roberts, a journalist by trade and talented story teller by passion, paints the lives of 13 families by retelling their stories in a way that captures the essence of their journeys to the United States as well as their journeys to becoming Americans.  Roberts eloquently breaks down many of the myths surrounding immigrants by sharing stories of men, women and children who had to leave so much behind by emigrating.  The book is divided into sections, The Survivors, The International Entrepreneurs, The Business Owners, The Professionals, and The Women.  The characters and their stories give many  fresh perspectives on the issue of immigration.

Year Released: 2009
Grades 9-Adult

From Every End of This Earth: 13 Families and the New Lives They Made in America